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!

Jewelry Cleaning

I may have posted about this in the past, but it’s worth re-hashing. πŸ™‚

A dear friend…Β it was Miss Connie (our bass player), as it so often is… gave me this great tip on cleaning jewelry. In fact, when I’ve stayed at their place, she has often cleaned my ring for me!

This method works really well, for an at-home job.

All you need is:

  • Mug
  • Water
  • Dish Soap/Detergent (I use Dawn)
  • Soft-Bristle Toothbrush

Heat the water and dish soap until boiling. This is can take a minute or less in the microwave…

Carefully drop the jewelry into the hot water mixture. Let it soak for a few minutes. Remove the jewelry (being careful not to burn yourself, if it’s still hot), and gently scrub with the toothbrush. Rinse, and let air dry.

Now the question… Where would y’all recommend taking jewelry for an occasional check-up/cleaning job? I’d like to find a trustworthy place that could do my ring, as well as Mama’s engagement ring, and other valuables.

 

 

Post-Its on the Mirror?

In the last post, I included a picture of my outfit… But, what you probably saw were the Post-It notes on my full-length mirror. Next to this, you may have also noted the measuring tape. “Why?”, you may ask. I’ll tell you. πŸ™‚ Every so often (not regularly enough, certainly), I take measurements, and track my fitness/weight progress. You could take all sorts of measurements… I do my waist (at the smallest point), bust, hip, and thighs, and jot down my current weight. I have also, in the past, included such information as the approximate number of calories I consumed that day. Simply scratching this all down on a little sticky-note, and pasting it on my mirror helps me to monitor my progress and stay motivated.

Liquid Foundation + Brush

Over the past few years, I’ve been on a somewhat wandering journey to figuring out makeup. I tend to be something of a minimalist, I guess, always preferring the more natural or classic makeup looks. So, I’ve never even attempted contouring, and such techniques.

But, I do like my liquid foundation. My skin is naturally pretty clear, so foundation is usually enough to double as concealer as well. Even foundation, though, can leave your face looking caked with makeup. I like to avoid this. πŸ™‚

Here’s what I’m using right now:

Click on the image to find it on Amazon.com.

I useΒ maybe one pump, dab it over my face, and rub it in with my fingers. I distribute it as evenly as I can, occasionally adding a bit more under my eyes, or wherever needs a little more concealment.

Next, I go over it with a brush. (One day I’ll probably use a foundation brush… But, right now I’m just using a big old blush brush.) This helps SO much to give my makeup a more natural, less “caked-on” look. I love it!

Be Happy

It doesn’t matter how elegant, how drop-dead gorgeous, how accurately polite you are if you are always discontent. Happiness… Smiles and laughter… These will make you more beautiful and likable than any amount of proper etiquette or expensive clothing.

This is on my “Quotes” board on Pinterest, via bloglovin.com.

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!

Amazon.com Dress Review

I did it! I actually worked up the nerve to order a dress off of Amazon.com. Of course, it helped that I had a long-forgotten gift card waiting to be used… Nothing to lose, right?

Click the image to find the dress on Amazon.com. Currently $25.28 with FREE shipping!

Okay, so the image is a little squished… But the dress intrigued me. It was long, flowing, actually had SLEEVES, and had a reasonable neckline. This is shockingly difficult to come across in the world of online shopping. Plus, I’m a sucker for half-sleeves. So, I bought it.

NOTE: After searching through Amazon.com for dresses, I became aware that many of the suppliers are Oriental. Their sizing is, apparently, quite different from ours. Several items had warnings that you should order a size or two up from your usual US size. But, leave it to us good ol’ Americans… Angry comment after angry comment described the clothes as “tiny”, “perhaps doll clothes”, “child-sized”. This worried me a bit, but I decided to brave it. I ordered a Medium (when I ordinarily try to find Extra-Smalls).

It fits perfectly! It does look exactly like I expected, is full-length, and will (I expect) be very fun to wear. πŸ™‚

The only down-side is that the elastic around the sleeve is a bit too tight. But, I am hopeful that it will be a quick, simple fix.

(I hope to wear this with denim, scarves, cute belts, boots, pumps, or whatever suits the occasion!)