Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'm Engaged!

Y'all... I'm engaged! There is a super sparkly yellow gold ring on my left hand. Every time I see it, feel it, remember it-- I think about my tall handsome man who loves me and has asked me to spend my life with him. If sap is not your thing, I suggest you forego reading the rest of this post. ;)

Here's the scoop, girlies!
November 21st, 2015 an acquaintance I had always admired messaged me on Facebook with a photography question. Shocked and confused that this guy who I knew for a fact was very intentional about NOT flirting with girls was talking to me so casually, I answered his question politely and expected he'd end the messaging after some light chit-chat. But that didn't happen, and now 172 days later, we are pledged to be married. :) I plan on writing up our story soon, but for now, how about I answer some questions I know are coming!

Who IS this guy?? 
His name is Calvin and he lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He's 24, works building stills that recycle printing solvents, is exactly 12" taller than me, and is the youngest of 4 from a loving Christian home. I love his heart, his groove, and most of all his desire for living a godly life.

Does this mean you're moving??
Yes! I'm moving to Georgia!

How did y'all meet?
July 4th, 2013 we met at a party at my pastor's house. He has known a lot of my friends for a decade or more but since he lives in Georgia our paths never crossed (although I had heard lots about him!) until then. He doesn't remember meeting me, but I recall that he carried on a conversation with my dad for a long time while I stood there trying not to seem like I was listening. :P

When's the wedding?
Middle of August, 2016!

Did you guys court?
Yes, that's what we called it. We joke that we did a lot of things very differently than how you're "supposed" to, but our relationship has been exactly what our personalities needed to help us grow as individuals, as Christians, and, in God's timing, as a couple.

How did he propose?
I'll save that for "our story" :)

Are you making your wedding dress?
I don't know yet-- I've only been engaged 5 days! I'll keep y'all updated though. ;)

What's the future of Fresh Modesty now that you'll be a wife?
Calvin's totally on board with me continuing to blog! Y'all get to come through this crazy transition with me and I'm so excited to share my journey with my Fresh Modesty girls!

So there's my news. The Lord has richly blessed me and I am thankful.
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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Crazy March Days

Hey y'all! I hope you're having a great week! I'm unpacking from returning from Georgia on Monday and preparing for a trip to Ohio on Friday, with a jaunt to Nashville Thursday evening for the Teach Them Diligently Convention. Needless to say, dressing up has been the last thing on my mind as I clean the house, work on getting skirt orders out, briefly help my sister sew bridesmaid dresses, and prepare for company. My first priority? Drinking coffee.

I wasn't intending to do a full "review" of this coffee when Gypsy Coffee Co. sent it to me, but I love it so much I wanted to mention it. My goal for 2016 is to only work with ethically-minded companies, so when they contacted me asking about sponsorship I couldn't say no. 

From their about page: 

"Gypsy Coffee- a place where creativity is encouraged, Christ is honored, fair-trade coffee and other drinks are made, sold, and enjoyed, and money is raised to end human trafficking. Sounds cool, huh? That's the dream.

So far we have our own variety of fair trade Honduran coffee, a great coffee recipe, and a good bit of energy, but we hope to eventually become a real coffee shop selling our very own coffee."

Their Full City Roast is awesome. It's exactly the flavor I like for my afternoon ah-the-kitchen's-a-mess-I-need-to-make-dinner pick-me-up. ;) I love it in the french press, 2-3 T for 24oz of water. 

My wet hair in a weird bun is a good indication of just how real this outfit is. My shirt I pulled out of the "donate" bin we had in our room because I just wasn't ready to say goodbye... and I'm glad I did! I didn't realize how few spring shirts I have until the weather warmed up these last 10 days or so. My earrings are from my sister's Etsy shop, Droplette Jewelry

My skirt I made from scraps, just piecing it together carefully and paying attention to the grain of the denim so it would lay right. :) 

My mug says "Actually, I Can" from Jo-Ann's. 

Y'all try out Gypsy Coffee Co. if you can. They have a sale going on through March: GCSPRING30 for 30% off! Have a great day! What's your weekend look like?

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review | Tik Tak Layering T

Hey y'all! I have a quick and easy spring/summer outfit and review for you!

It's finally warm enough for short sleeves and short skirts! Sadly it's still getting dark earlier than I realize so I have indoor pictures today. 

Shopblets sent me their Tik Tak Layering T to review! It's a full t-shirt with super fun sleeves that make layering under a strappy shirt look so much snazzier! The shirt itself is a perfect length for a petite girl like me but I imagine would also work for a long torso. There is a high and a low neckline, and I wore it backwards so the high would be in the front. Shopblets' Candy Rack collection has several styles of these layering Ts that are a great idea for those shirts that need more pizzazz than a Halftee! 

 I have a 10% off code to pass along! Enter "FRESH10" at checkout on :) And, guess what? The Ts are proudly Made in America, so you can feel awesome about supporting this company!

My purple tank is Mossimo brand, my skirt Ann Taylor, and my shoes Aldo; 
all second-hand from ThredUP

I sat down on the couch earlier and my 10 year old brother looked up from his game of Minecraft that he'd been glued to for an hour and said, "You look really pretty, Olivia"... so I'm going to call this ensemble a success. ;)

I've spent this week nursing a headache, replying to your emails and FB messages (still working through them!), enjoying the sunshine, and trying to get my head together about all the things I need to accomplish! What are you up to this week?
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Friday, March 4, 2016

When A Conviction Has Social Ramifications

Inspirational Quote

Hey y'all! I hope you're doing well today! As I've been going through a particularly rich time of growing and learning in my life, I've also been realizing how important grace and understanding among believers is. I'd like to flesh this out in 5 ways we can handle situations in which our convictions have social ramifications. In this article I'm talking about issues of orthopraxy (right doing) not differences in orthodoxy (right believing).

1) Keep it to yourself. 

Matthew 6:1-4, "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them... When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you do as the hypocrites...your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."

The incredible, yet sometimes frustrating-to-our-flesh thing about convictions, is that they are a deeply personal thing. The Holy Spirit moves and works in each of us differently and we have to understand that first and foremost. We don't know how the Lord is working in someone else, nor do we need to broadcast how God is moving in our own hearts.

2) Participate in your own way. 

Romans 14:22-23, "Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin."

This chapter is amazing in the way it encourages us to love one another in our various convictions. Verse 14b says, "But to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean." The examples given are issues (vegetables, day of worship, wine or no) that were of particular popularity in the early church because they were matters of interpreting the Old Testament. The language Paul uses (weak and strong) does convey that one brother is more full in his understanding of Scripture, yet there is no suggestion of pushing the weaker to take the position of the stronger. On the contrary, 14b says that it is a sin to violate your conscience and that we should have a healthy respect for one another's convictions.

So, for me, I am convicted to shop ethically for my clothing now that I am aware of the ways it affects people globally. (Read my post Please Stop Buying Cheap Clothes if you haven't yet) In general, this means boycotting stores like Forever 21, GAP, Old Navy, etc. But, I have a tradition of going Black Friday shopping at the mall with good friends. We have so much fun getting up early and exploring the (oddly empty) mall! But if I were to buy like I used to, I would be violating my "new conscience". My sisters and my friends have little to no conviction to "shop ethically", so although I personally did not buy much from the mall, I took Romans 14:22 to heart and was happy in my own way before the Lord, not worrying about what others are or are not convicted about. This isn't a "better than thou" attitude (if I had that I wouldn't be go, lol) but a spirit of joy in the journey.

[If hanging out at the mall were a frequent activity for my friends group, I would probably try to suggest other activities so that I wasn't constantly tempted, but this is a once-a-year thing.]

3) Quietly excuse yourself. 

Romans 14:12, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God."

Sometimes, even when engaging in an activity would be a ton of fun for social reasons, our convictions are such that it would violate our conscience to participate, so excusing ourselves is best. There is a family in our church who has stricter movie-viewing standards than many of the other families. So, when a group of us is getting together to see a new Marvel movie or whatever, depending on the content, this family may just say, "Thanks for the invite, but we won't be seeing this without ClearPlay" and the rest of us respect that and try not to make it harder for them to say no. Sometimes their example will encourage all of us to change our plans and sometimes not. But the decorum with which they handle the situation is always a blessing.

4) Share your passion at a time when the issue is not at hand. 

Romans 14:19, "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another." Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun."

We are all learning and growing in different areas at different times, but one of the super awesome things about friends is that we get to share, learn, and grow together. We can share what the Lord has laid on our hearts, we can excitedly send them a link to a great documentary we just watched, and we can rant over coffee about how Walmart treats their employees. As long as we approach with an attitude of humility and "this is the way I see it, you don't have to agree" we should feel safe sharing our hearts and passions. The wrong time to launch into your "soda-is-awful-and-your-body-is-a-temple" spiel is walking out of the gas station with your bottled water while your friend carries a Coke. If you are newly convicted about something and would like your friend to know and understand your perspective, choose a time at which emotions are not on high-alert and you are able to have a calm discussion. In my case, choosing a neutral time to share my passion usually means turning the greeting "How are you?" into an exuberant explanation of how the methylation cycle works and how everyone needs to be taking Vitamin C everyday. :P

5) Don't burn your friends with the fire of your passion. 

James 3:4-5, "Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!" Luke 6:45b, "For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

When we're excited about something, we want to talk about it! When we've learned an interesting health fact or business concept, we want to share it! That's totally natural and a very good thing (because when we're filled with Jesus, we can't help but share!), but we have to be careful that in our bubbling over we don't alienate our friends and family who don't share our excitement.

When I was starting Fresh Apparel Denim Company, I listened to business podcasts for 8 or 9 hours a day nearly all summer long. This was an excellent education, but as you can imagine the only thing going on in my heart and mind was all business all the time. So, that's what I talked about and- go figure- not all of my friends shared this passion! It was hard for me to see at the time, but I was pretty annoying and dogmatic with it all. It's so easy to get wrapped up in an area of study when we're first getting into it that we forget we need to ask how our friends are doing, talk about something besides the different interpretations of Revelation, and shut our mouths a paragraph and a half before we want to. Better to have them ask questions than to have friends walk away bored out of their minds. :p

Unity, love, and joy in the Lord are SO important, especially in modern America where there are so many things Christians passionately disagree and argue about. There is also a ridiculous amount of compromise -- and expectation that we will compromise-- that we need to be on guard to not allow ourselves to grow indifferent or stop seeking the Lord's face on issues. Our consciences should not be dismissed as legalistic or silly. The Lord places convictions in our heart for a reason-- let's honor ourselves and others as we live them out. :)

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I Can Do Casual, Too...

Hey y'all! I share a lot of church/dress up outfits just because I like those ones more than my causal outfits, but today I have a relaxed ensemble that actually really jives with my desire for class to be maintained while being super easy at the same time. 

My hoodie jacket is Threads 4 Thought brand and is made from organic cotton. I bought it second hand on ThredUP, which gives it extra good-for-world points. ;) 
My skirt is also second hand from a neighbor (same one as I wore on New Year's!), but my tank is from Forever21. I borrowed my sister's Converse for the day and wore fleece-lined leggings to keep warm.

My week has been full of laundry, dishes, meal prep, and replying/going through about 1200 emails that I've let pile up the last few weeks. O.o

I'm a huge fan of this ear cuff (like an earring, but without the piercing) because I feel like it adds a little something extra to my outfit but it doesn't get in my way like a bracelet would or give me a headache like a necklace would. My gorgeous long earrings are from my sister's Etsy shop, Droplette Jewelry

I hope you're having a great week! Have you discovered any ethical brands lately?

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Friday, February 26, 2016

Instagram Recap | Winter So Far

Hey y'all! While it may appear I've abandoned Fresh Modesty due to the lack of posts, I've actually been taking some time to re-evaluate, re-energize, and renew my passion for sharing classy fashion with you! Instagram is so much more convenient than blogging, so I've been posting there while I've been absent from the blog. :) But, for those without an account, here's a few of my favorite outfits from the winter so far:

I'll be back with a "real" outfit post on Monday! Blessings!
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

10 Packing Tips for Frequent Traveling

Hey y'all! I hope you're doing well! It's a wonderfully busy season for me these days! Of the last 7 weekends, I've traveled 5 of them visiting family and friends in Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, and Virginia.

I'm back home now and hopefully back to blogging! I thought I'd share a few things that I've been doing to make frequent traveling easier.

1) Leave room in your suitcase.

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to fit everything back into your suitcase at the end of your trip or not being able to root around in your bag to find socks because it's too stuffed. Choosing a suitcase with some wiggle room and/or paring down your items so that you don't have to struggle to fit it all in is one way to relieve some stress!

2) Pack your reliable clothing.

I know it's a lot more fun to pick different or new outfits to take on a trip, but you will thank yourself if you make sure they are first and foremost pieces you feel comfortable and confident in. Trying new outfits in an unfamiliar environment just adds to the awkwardness you're already experiencing being away from home.

3) Turn your purse into your overflow bag.

I have a Mary-Poppins sized purse that has been such a blessing these last few weeks. I keep a smaller wallet in there to take into the gas station, grocery store, etc. but by keeping all the "extras" I take on a trip in my purse I'm able to feel prepared and don't have to think about what to take with me in my pockets when riding with a friend or leaving last minute for a trip. Some things I keep with me:

  • My make-up bag
  • Tylenol/benadryl/Vitamin C
  • Handcream
  • Mints/gum
  • Protein bar
  • Bobby pins
  • Pain relief cream
  • A full-sized, shareable bar of nice dark chocolate
  • Chapstick
  • Extra mags for my gun
  • Deodorant 
  • Sharpie
  • Bracelet 
  • Perfume
  • My Bible and a notebook
  • Phone charger
Sometimes if I don't have room in my suitcase I also throw my straightener, hairgel, and jewelry case in my purse.

4) Take your own blanket.

No matter how many times you visit grandma's or your best friend's house, it's always so much easier to sleep when you are warm under your own blanket. It can double as a pillow if you decide nap at a gas station and ensures you're able to keep warm when your host doesn't believe in turning on the heat unless it's snowing. ;)

5) Plan your outfits around your shoes.

Shoes are the bulkiest item to pack, so if you're able to take just two pair for a weekend it really helps. If you're taking boots with you, try to incorporate them into your travel outfits so you don't have to fit them in your suitcase. It's always good to have some sort of casual shoe that you could do active things in and then a pair of nice flats or heels for the other events. This past weekend I packed three pair, but ended up not wearing the gold heels because they kept slipping off my feet and I couldn't walk in them... which was weird because they usually fit fine? But it worked just fine to wear the plum shoes with my church dress.

6) Always take a casual outfit.

I don't know how many times I've been super thankful I had thrown a pair of jeans and warm sweater tunic into my bag at the last minute. Whether it's freshening up after traveling, ending the day with a movie at a friend's after a fancy event, or being invited rock climbing unexpectedly, having the extra outfit is a very nice thing. :)

7) Handcream.

When I travel, I try to simplify my routine as much as possible. So instead of packing body lotion and make up remover, I just try to take something that works for both, like Cetaphyl or coconut oil. Gas station restrooms have ridiculously drying soap, so moisturizing is even more necessary than normal.

8) One jacket (with pockets).

There's no reason to take more than one outer coat/jacket for a weekend trip. It may not go with every outfit perfectly, but that's okay. I don't like toting things around with me, so having pockets for my phone and keys in my coat helps keep my hands free when I'm wearing a dress or other outfit that doesn't have pockets.

9) Don't apply make-up at 3 am.

I don't know about you, but I usually wake up with puffy eyes, sheet creases on my cheek, and a generally less-than-perky appearance. If I apply make-up before my face has had time to energize, my makeup looks horrible the rest of the day. So I throw my make-up bag in my purse and apply it once the sun has risen. There's better lighting in the car than in my bathroom anyway. :P

10) Don't take more than you can carry.

It's no fun to take up vacation time schlepping stuff around. Take only what you absolutely will need so that you aren't tripping over suitcases in your hotel room or making 3 trips from the car to your friend's third floor apartment.

I'm sorry I've been so absent these last few weeks! I've been posting a little bit on, though, so I'll share some of those posts here on Friday!

What are your top travel tips? I'd love to hear them since I have two more weekend trips scheduled for March! Blessings!

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Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Hey y'all! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 

This is what I wore to two parties last night. I was very overdressed, but I am unapologetic on New Years Eve about wearing outlandish sequins. :D 

It was a chilly evening and both parties were in barns, so I layered for warmth. 
I concealed carried my new M&P Shield in a compression-style holster I made; that was my first layer. Over that was a long-sleeved Halftee, a burgundy tank from JCPenny's, my fabulous sequin cardigan I bought on ThredUP just for this holiday season, and an elastic/leather belt I found in the closet. I think my skirt is a hand-me-down from a neighbor. I settled for comfort and wore my brown HushPuppies brand boots. And F21 leggings, because Tennessee finally decided it's winter now. 

I've gotten away from wearing waist-defining belts just as a personal style preference, but it really worked this evening to reign in the floppy sequin thing. I braided a section of my hair and tied a gold sparkly fern to it for even more fun. It looks weird/super obvious in the pictures but it wasn't in person.

I'm super excited about what 2016 is going to hold. I've been in a funk the last few months, but something clicked this week and I think I'm finally coming out of it. :) 

How did you ring in the New Year? Do you dress up? Did you get anything super awesome you're just dying to tell everyone about for Christmas?! haha update me ladies! 

{p.s. I'll be sharing more about the holster I made once I've had a chance to test it/train with it/etc, so hang tight on the concealed carry questions. I'm just recently renewing my resolve to carry daily.)
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Monday, December 7, 2015

Cashmere + Pleather

Hello! I hope your Christmas season is off to a wonderful start! 

This is what I wore to church yesterday. I jumped into the Christmas spirit by pairing a shiny cranberry pleather skirt with my gold pumps and a cozy cashmere sweater. 

I made this skirt in October as a sort of challenge to myself. I bought the fabric at the thrift store and it's closer to the texture of a vinyl table cloth than it is to a cotton fabric... so of course I wanted to make a pleather-look skirt! I used the "Never-ending pie slice" technique from my How To Sew Denim eBook to get a pattern for the high-waisted skirt. I also took out several inches of fullness by slicing the pattern and bringing the sides in. Four gores, fully interfaced, side zipper. :) It was a fun couple-hour project.

My sweater was ridiculously soft... and sadly I won't get to wear it again. It got put in my closet instead of my mom's by mistake and she wants it back. :P 

I FINALLY got a floppy-brimmed hat! I've been trying to find the perfect one for about 18 months and on Black Friday I got this one for $15 at Charlotte Russe. The brim is just the right size to be super cute but not too dramatic for church. 

Necklace is from Charming Charlie, gold shoes are Jessica Simpson brand from Goodwill. :) 

And, it's kind of hard to tell because of the hat, but I got a haircut! I had Kitty put a gazillion layers in and I'm SO happy with it. My hair was getting really hard to deal with and now it takes no time at all to add a swirl to the ends of the layers and run out the door. Staring at these pictures I see my hair was looking a little messy (blame it on the cashmere) but I hadn't done annnnnything to it in 4 days  and that makes the style a winner in my book. ;) 

Alright, I've gotta run and hem and ship a bunch of orders, so I'll catch y'all later! Have a wonderful week!! 

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Autumn Turned Winter

Hey y'all! It's now officially cold more days of the week than it is warm, so something cozy for church this morning was a must! 

Y'all remember my perfect dress from Autumn Trends | Day Two? Well, throw a cozy jumper sweater over it and voila-- it's winterized. 

This is a Ralph Lauren cable-knit sweater from ThredUP. My Gianni Bini brand black boots are also from there. Hat was Target a few years ago and the long earrings are from Charming Charlie's. 

If the day had been slightly warmer, I probably would have worn the gorgeous gold heels again, but I'm really starting to move towards comfort over fabulousness in my old age. ;) 

 These two verses of Dear Lord and Father of Mankind stuck out to me while we sang them this morning:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, 
Forgive our foolish ways; 
Reclothe us in our rightful mind, 
In purer lives Thy service find, 
In deeper reverence, praise. 

Drop Thy still dews of quietness, 
Till all our strivings cease; 
Take from our souls the strain and stress, 
And let our ordered lives confess 
The beauty of Thy peace. 

What a reminder! The lines in italic especially encouraged me that taking the time to reevaluate and strive for more ordered lives IS a God-glorifying activity. This applies to so many areas of life! But of course I immediately smiled realizing my closet is not confessing the beauty of His peace right now. ;)

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! I'm off to play games with friends. Blessings!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5 Fall Outfits I Blogged And Now Wonder WHY

Hey y'all! It has been a crazy crazy last couple weeks! I've really wanted to post some outfits, but my main photographer has had a nasty cold and I just couldn't drag her out of bed to grab some shots.... and now I have the lovely bug and I'm considering doing a post on 5 reasons why every girl needs a pair of Nike track pants... #1 being so you can look decent while laying around on a Tuesday swallowing garlic cloves every few hours. ;)

Instead of a classy post like that, today I'm going to share "5 Fall Outfits I Blogged and Now Wonder WHY" because in the time I haven't been blogging recently, I've been watching documentaries, reading books, listening to lectures, and talking to friends about good art, beauty, identity, math, and excellence-- and how they should not be compartmentalized in our lives as Christians.

There are elements and principles of design that should be followed in our wardrobes with similar attitude as when composing a piece of music or planning brushstrokes for a work of art. Obviously, our outfit of the day will not have the lasting impact or significance as The Last Supper by Di Vinci, (thank goodness) but because "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence", (1 Peter 1:3, emphasis mine) we should use the fundamentals of aesthetics to evaluate our outward adornment. Elements of design are pieced together to create principles of design in good art.

Here are the 3 elements of design I'm focusing on learning currently (definitions from ArtsEdge website):
  • Line is the most basic building block of formal analysis. Line can be used to create more complex shapes or to lead your eye from one area in the composition to another.
  • Color differentiates and defines lines, shapes, forms, and space. 
  • Texture is the surface quality that can be seen and felt. Textures can be rough or smooth, soft or hard. 
And the 3 principles of design:
  • Balance is created in a work of art when textures, colors, forms, or shapes are combined harmoniously.
  • Emphasis is created in a work of art when the artist contrasts colors, textures, or shapes to direct your viewing towards a particular part of the image.
  • Unity is created when the principles of analysis are present in a composition and in harmony. Some images have a complete sense of unity, while some artists deliberately avoid formal unity to create feelings of tension and anxiety.
Now, to evaluate some fall outfits I have blogged over the years and now realize were not well done.

Line: The top's tuckage and the skirt's fly bring your attention to the widest, most awkward part of the outfit: the hips. So very bad.
Color: The monochromatic color scheme of the outfit is fine and harmonious, but (and maybe this is just the lighting of the picture or the contrast of the wall behind) the gold shirt detail really clashes with the bleached highlights of my hair that year. 
Texture: The texture of the light knit shirt and cargo denim skirt go fine together, but the skirt obviously didn't wear well because of all the wrinkles which are distracting and messy.

Balance: The balance is off due to the awkward lines and distracting textures of the outfit combo.
Emphasis: Certainly not on the face where it should be!
Unity: Theoretically this should have been a fine outfit, but when even one element of design is off (line), it ruins the whole thing!

Line: Top-half is fine, bottom half... fluffy then chicken bone ankles. Not good. 
Color: This shade of lime green with burnt orange is very jarring. It's confident, but not cohesive. 
Texture: The texture of the shirt does go with the skirt, but the skirt is just a bad look due to the wrinkles and odd gathering.

Balance:  The balance is fine, because the skirt has a little more weight to it than the shirt, keeping the proportions okay.
Emphasis: Because my hair is down and I have some braids to add texture, I think your eye is drawn to my face... but just barely.
Unity: Due to the lines, colors, and textures, this outfit just is not excellent.

Line: The shawl's angled hem combined with the long gored skirt does create a flattering line.
Color: Orange and brown are great colors together, but the pink shirt underneath totally throws the whole look. 
Texture: Linen is a great fabric to go with knitted shawls as it goes with the easy breezy feel. The feather earrings also go with the look.

Balance:  Due to the see-through shawl, the hip line isn't destroyed by the scarf, but the v-neck t-shirt underneath is just confusing.
Emphasis: If the undershirt was a color that blended, it would drive the eye towards my face. But as it is, the emphasis goes towards the tight shirt and dark tank under the shawl.
Unity: One distracting point of an outfit can ruin the whole look. :P

Line: Okay-ish. The proportions are right, but the contrasting colors definitely break up the eye-line.
Color: Whyyyyyy that orange? Way too obnoxious to be paired with muted gray and given as much space as the black. Bright colors should be in pops, not large percentages. 
Texture: Eh, not going to complain about the textures except to point out again how bad wrinkles are.

Balance:  The colors definitely throw off the balance of this outfit.
Emphasis: The v-neck and large hair-bow help draw the eye to my face, even with the distracting skirt lol.
Unity: Overall, the outfit's not that bad. But it's not good either-- and I'm striving for great.

Line: Just bleh. Those sleeves are not flattering on my skinny arms and the jeans are ill-fitting.
Color: Lavender was a fun color for a while, but did not blend with my red hair or brown purse. 
Texture: Corduroy and knit goes great together. Corduroy badly stretched out is a terrible look though.

Balance:  The shirt's print gives more "weight" to the top of the outfit, but the length of the shirt cuts at an awkward length.
Emphasis: The first thing I see when I look at the image is a poorly defined midsection. O.o
Unity: Of the 5 outfits I've evaluated today, this is the most unified, just working with weird pieces.

The purpose of this exercise was to train my eye to evaluate my own clothing based on objective concepts so that in the future I can better combine for a cohesive, excellent looks.

I do remember WHY I chose to wear and blog these outfits, but my thinking has shifted and I disagree with my past self that those were good reasons lol. I'm not "being hard on myself" just acknowledging that growth and learning should always be happening. :) 

So, I realize not everyone has the advantage of 5 years of their outfits being documented to help evaluate, but how do you think you can apply these elements and principles into your daily dressing? 
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Let's Talk | List for Teenage Girls

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg
Seen in Nashville yesterday.

Dear Teenage Sister-in-Christ,

I turned 23 last week, which means I've had a few years to process some things that I did- or did not- do right while I was in my teens. I wish I could go back and encourage myself that life is short and tedious, but to not grow weary and take every moment captive. I can't though, so I'm writing you, hoping that maybe you'll learn from my perspective things that I wish I had studied or skills that I've been so grateful I've developed:

  • Learn food photography. There WILL come a time you need to do it well. 
  • Go the extra mile in math. You may need to figure out how many pounds of sand you need to buy to level out under the swimming pool someday.
  • Learn good housekeeping habits, even if you're not naturally inclined towards tidying up. 
  • Don't use Bath and Body Works products. The smell of Twilight Woods is not worth the toxic load on your skin. 
  • You probably won't get married young. 
  • Learn house/table/product staging. Like food photography, there WILL come a time when you'll need that skill. 
  • Read the classics. Read the poets. Read about art. Learn about your city. 
  • Learn how to sew with excellence. 
  • Learn web design, even if you're not "techie".
  • Learn how to do hair.
  • Redeem your time with audio books. Still one of my fondest times from my teenage years was listening to Augustine's Confessions while sewing Reformation Day costumes for my sisters and me. 
  • Loosen up on the eyeliner. It doesn't make you look older. 
  • Acquire a basic understanding of needlework, even if you don't have the patience for it. 
  • Study the golden ratio. 
  • Don't ignore "the little kids". Some of my best friends now are younger girls I had to grit my teeth and "put up with" when I was 15 and they were 11/12. The older we get, the easier it is to forget that there's an age difference. 
  • Learn Photoshop, video editing, and typography. You may not plan to ever have a business, work as a graphic designer, or blog, but the chances of you being asked to make a flyer for a church event or help your husband with t-shirts for his company, etc. are preeeeetty high. 
  • Explore your interests. Draw, paint, sculpt, sing! Economics, politics, theology-- it's all profitable. 
  • Invest in your siblings. They will be your best friends. 
  • It is better to be quiet than to fill silences with meaningless flirty chatter. 
  • Enjoy family time, but making the effort to hang out with friends will also be a big blessing in your life. 
  • Learn to read sheet music.
  • Don't say derogatory things about guys. Build them up with your words and actions.
  • Learn some pop culture. 
  • Pinterest is great! In moderation. 
  • In social gatherings, relax. 
  • Keep a journal. 
  • Learn the art of story-telling. Whether it's entertaining company, sharing a life-lesson at a Bible study, or simply making small-talk, being able to tell an interesting (and not super long) story will serve you well. 
  • Instead of filling your hopechest, simplify your stuff to leave time, energy, money, and space in your life for ministry, hospitality, and friendships. 
  • Cook a real meal at least once a week. Cooking is a muscle that has to be exercised. 

But most importantly, memorize Scripture, talk with Jesus, and share your joys, hugs, and struggles with your mom. She can be pretty great.

Do you have any advice/skills you would add? I hope this has encouraged a few of you to take life by the horns and enjoy the day. :)
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