The Basics of Dance Etiquette

As I have said in the past, this subject is important enough to warrant it’s own series.Β So, I will be doing a quick series, as I have time this week, covering just the very basics.

Our dance is taking place in the evening, but is not a formal “ball”. We’re doing a combination of English and American country and square dancing, with very simple live music (provided by yours truly, on fiddle, and Kyle on guitar).

So, here’s what I would recommend for, first, responding to the invitation, and, second, how to choose what to wear:

R.S.V.P. –Β As always, when an invitation says “R.S.V.P.”, without any qualifications (e.g. if it doesn’t say “with regrets only”, etc.), you should respond on or before the date given withΒ whether or not you hope to attend. If you can’t make it, the host or hostess needs to know. If you are planning to come, they still need to know. You get the idea. πŸ™‚

A Norman Rockwell favorite… found on Pinterest, of course.

What to Wear –Β Events (even, specifically, dances) come in all shapes and sizes, but I’ll speak to this one in particular. This is not a formal event, so wearing a ball gown would be overdressing… by a lot. This is more of a barn dance. However, dancing in a barn does not imply that wearing your farm chore clothes and boots is okay.

  • Footwear

Gentlemen, if it is possible, please refrain from wearing heavy chore boots (or anything similar). If you want to wear boots, riding boots, and such, are lighter weight and will be much easier/safer to dance in.

Ladies, wear shoes that you are comfortable in. If you can’t wear high heels comfortably (and without endangering your ankles and the toes of other dancers), please don’t wear them to the dance… Or, just remove them before getting on the dance floor.

Flip flops, and other shoes that slide off easily, should not be worn while dancing.

  • Clothing

Dress comfortably, but nicely.

Gentlemen, wear shirts with collars, and avoid pants or shirts with stains/holes, etc.

Ladies, pay special attention to your tops: while dancing, you will be stooping (so be aware of those necklines!), as well as reaching up high (so hemlines should be checked).

The point is not to stress about your clothing, but wear something that is comfortable for both you and the mind of those around you.

  • Perfume/Cologne, etc.

You will be in close contact with many people throughout the evening. Please don’t wear strong scents, for our sakes. πŸ™‚

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Top Post from 2014!

From Pinterest again… What a great pairing! The scarf ensures modesty, and the blazer adds class. πŸ™‚

I thought I’d start the year off by reposting some of my top posts from 2014. This one was the most popular (thanks, y’all!):

What to Wear: Making the Outfit Work

So, we’ve now seen some examples of every dress code from casual to white tie formal. And, honestly, it was a sadly difficult series to do with modest pictures. If it’s that difficult to find decent pictures of more formal outfits, how impossible will it be to actually find something to wear?

Thankfully, there are many great ways to make your outfits “work”. Here are some tricks that I use a lot:

  • Shrugs

These are fabulous for transforming any tank top, sleeveless dress, or even strapless gown into a more modest outfit! They can work well for the most casual or the most formal looks.

  • Tank Tops/Sleeveless Shells

We can be thankful that layers are “in”! Find a tank/shell with either a high neckline, or (more commonly) a high BACK, and wear it under those tops that are too low in the neck. And, yes, when I say a high back, I mean that I actually wear these things backward (very often). It works wonderfully!

  • Scarves

These are amazing. I’ve used them to make baggy clothes appear to fit better, create a halter on a strapless dress (over which I then wore a shrug or tied a button-down top… I’ll try to remember to post about that one later!), or make the neckline on my outfit modest. If your top has a neckline that is a bit low for your taste, simply add an infinity scarf and voila! A modest ensemble.

  • Necklaces + Safety Pins

No kidding. I’ve done this several times with success! I’ll often wear a tank top, tie a button-down shirt over it, then wonder what to do about the low-ish neckline of the tank. I want it to be modest even when I bend down, so, I’ve found necklaces to do the trick. I have several medium-length necklaces (reaching just lower than the collarbone) that I can discreetly safety-pin to the tank top neckline, and prevent any gaping when I bend over.

  • Belts/Sashes/Ribbons/etc.

So, your whole outfit is modest and cute… until you bend over. Then, low and behold, half your back is showing. Sometimes this will require adding a long tank top under your current top. But, often, putting a cute belt/sash/or even wide ribbon over your outfit will fix your problems!

Red + Sequins + Holiday Makeup

So, I’ve taken the inspiration from the last couple of posts (on holiday makeup and fashion), and gone “closet shopping”. By this, I mean that I’ve stepped back, taken a fresh look at what I already own, and assembled a brand new look – no money involved. Talk about budget-friendly style!

Sequins have been a staple in my wardrobe for nearly 6 years… But, only for on stage. I wanted to find a way to wear them that wasn’t so dressy. Using some ideas from yesterday’s post, this is what I came up with:

I’m wearing a basic white button-down underneath my white+silver sequin tank top. To make it more casual (and add a much-welcomed pop of blue), I added the denim shirt.

And, since this season begs for bold red pieces, I wore this with my straight bright red skirt. With some tall, high-heeled leather boots, the ensemble came together pretty well… Minus the photography part… πŸ˜‰ (I’ll explain the measuring tape and Post-Its in a later post.)

And, here’s a closer-up of my hair and makeup. I decided to go simple on the makeup… Foundation (e.l.f. – applied with fingers, then brush), powder blush (minimal blush, focusing on cheekbones), ivory eyeshadow (just the base color from a basic “nude” palette – all over the lid and brow bone), black mascara, and a rusty-red lipstick and liner.

My hair was even simpler! Working after my normal routine*, all I did was use 2 bobby pins to hold back the top section of hair. That’s it. No brushing. No hairspray. Just 2 bobby pins.

*I had washed it 24hrs earlier, used some mousse (working it in while it was still really wet), and scrunched it while it air-dried. This helps encourage/define the natural waves. To help keep volume at the crown, I slept with it (dry) that night in a high ponytail.

 

 

Style on a Budget: Winter Plaid

This was found on Pinterest, of course! πŸ™‚

I found this picture on Pinterest awhile back, and thought it was simply adorable. Thankfully, plaid is very “in”, as are cute skirts in general. So, if you can’t find these pieces already hiding somewhere in your wardrobe, just check out the ones I’ve found – each for $30 or less! Just click on the images below to find the products on Kohls.com.

First things first: The skirt. This is a cute option from Kohls.com, on sale right now for only $24.00. That is definitely a winner!

Cathy Daniels Plaid A-Line Skirt – SALE: $24.00

 

Next, you can pair it with a simple turtleneck. Here’s one from Kohls.com on sale for only $11.99.

Sonoma Life + Style Essential Turtleneck – SALE: $11.99

 

Though I couldn’t immediately find bright red boots, I did find this cute red belt! This will make the transition from top to skirt adorable, rather than… not. πŸ˜‰

Apt. 9 Wide Stretch Belt – $30.00

 

Add a hat for warmth and fashion, and you’re good to go.

Croft & Barrow 3-D Flower Felt Cloche Hat – SALE: $29.40

 

 

Fall 2014 – Style on a Budget: Fuchsia (or Sangria!) + Black

How about another “Style on a Budget” for this season?

This outfit was inspiring. It has class, simplicity, color, and lots of femininity.

via Pinterest – popsugar.com

This time, I found items at both Kohls.com, and JCPenny.com – all under $25.oo! I couldn’t really hope to find an adorable, midi-length coat for that price, so we’ll hope you have a favorite coat hanging in the closet.

As always, you can click on any of the pictures below to find them on their store websites.

First off, I found a basic fuchsia T-shirt from JCPenny. On clearance right now, it’s only $9.99!

JCPenny – CLEARANCE $9.99

On Kohls.com, I found this pendant necklace – 24in long – for only $16.50.

SALE: $16.50

Back to JCP… Here’s a more modest pencil skirt than most. It actually reaches mid-calf! Plus, it’s only $19.99 right now.

JCPenny – SALE: $19.99

Oh, how I love fun shoes. These classic pumps are from Kohls.com, and, in my opinion, are adorable. I’m pretty sure I could figure out a reason to need these. πŸ˜‰

Kohls.com – SALE: 23.99

Florida??? But what about swim suits???

Those of us who have been on this deliberate journey through figuring out modesty and dressing respectably will probably all agree that swimwear is… tricky. That shows too much skin. That’s ultra modest, but I can’t swim in it to save my life – literally. That one really compromises my standards… But, that one makes me look muslim.

Part of dressing respectably is trying to keep in mind what your clothes are saying about you. I am not Amish, Mennonite, Quaker, Mormon, or Muslim, and I really don’t want people thinking that I am. If you’ve never had to work through this issue, just trust me: the struggle is real.

So, my family is getting ready to go to the beach with a couple of other families. We’ve never done a trip like this before, and we’re all really excited. But, seeing as we leave in just a few short days, and I will be out of town for most of those days, I really need to figure out what to pack. Here’s what I’ve been doing for swimwear for the past few years. No, it doesn’t solve everything, but it works.

  • Capris – something you feel comfortable swimming in, and preferably from material that won’t hold too much water.
  • T-Shirt – spandex works great. Look for swim shirts, or other athletic shirts for water-wicking, stretchy material.
  • Short skirt (I like to cover my hips for a little added modesty), or dress – again, look for swim-appropriate materials.

I have noticed that a layer of sheer material over the top or skirt (such as with the skirt and olive-colored dress above) can help with maintaining modesty. The material sheds water quickly, and won’t cling to your body as long when you come out of the water.

I have successfully found lots of options like these at Goodwill through the years. So, you can come away with several swimwear options for hardly any cash!

There ya go. It’s not too complicated after all!

Travel Style – Pajamas

Kyle and I are getting ready to hit the road again for a few days. We’ll be staying at our band leader’s house, so it’s like a second home. This makes staying there very easy and stress-free – but doesn’t completely eliminate the need for thinking through what I’ll pack.

I’ll probably pack a couple of bling-y black outfits for on stage, a pair of boots, a pair of stilettos, and all that jazz. That shouldn’t be much different than any other performance.

And, when we’re on the road, I’ll probably be in something comfortable, but stylish enough for shopping, etc. Hopefully, this won’t be a big deal either.

But, what about pajamas? I could pack something that I would only allow myself to wear in my bedroom. Hmm. But, that’s impractical, seeing as I share a bathroom with my brother, and sometimes another band member. Plus, there’s the fact that, after getting back from the gig, I’ll want to shower and change into pajamas… probably awhile before actually going to bed. Yep. I need something decent.

Ever found yourself in such a position? Here’s what I’ve done to solve the conundrum.

Find some comfy “Yoga” pants (I prefer them to be loose-fitting, like the ones shown above, for added modesty.), and pair them with a basic tank top.

Throw a fun tunic or short dress over this, and you’re ready to settle in for the evening – without the necessity of a robe.

At this point, I like to go ahead and take my hair down, too. So, I pack some knit headbands, and voila! My hair is out of the way, with the comfort of being down. When it’s time to hit the sack, I’ll use the headband to tie up my high ponytail for effortless, voluminous hair the next day.