Monday, September 1, 2014

What's Up | Fresh Modesty, Refreshed!

Hey y’all! Welcome to the new and improved Fresh Modesty Blog! There's all sorts of changes I’m so excited to finally share with you! I’ve gained some clarity on the purpose, vision, and practical aspects of Fresh Modesty that I’m so inspired to share as well, so let’s get started! 

First off, how do you like the new design/layout? As Fresh Modesty expands across the web and into Fresh Apparel, I wanted the brand to be clear and distinguishable across all the many platforms I’m now managing. For your convenience, here is a list of where you can get Fresh content. Click on the words to be taken to that page:
freshmodesty.comfreshmodesty.blogspot.com Map
I hope you follow on at least one of the many social media sites, but I would most especially appreciate if you would sign up for the email newsletter. Right now I am only sending one out every two weeks or so, but soon I will be moving towards emailing every blog post with sidebar highlights of what’s happening on social media and with Fresh Apparel so you don't miss a thing!

Take a look around the new menu pages, sidebar features, and sponsors and let me know what you think and if you find anything broken/whacky!

Speaking of sponsors, I would like to share why I’ve finally opened up to having ads on Fresh Modesty. Until this past year I had the mindset that FM is a ministry, so I shouldn’t be financially compensated for blogging. That is still my purpose for sure, but I realized that sponsorships/affiliate links are a win-win for the reader and blogger, not a sell-out. By working with companies who I trust and admire, I am able to share with you resources that you may not have taken notice of otherwise and at the same time I am blessed with additional income to further the kingdom. If you are concerned or curious about how I use these funds, feel free to contact me. If you would like to sponsor Fresh Modesty, please check out the new Sponsor page!

Would y’all like to hear about my fabulous new posting plan? For the last month or so I’ve felt totally scattered and like I had too many ideas, not enough time, and like I was throwing posts at you with no rhyme or reason. Sharing my outfits in a simple format is nice and according to the post ideas survey, y’all really like that, so it will continue. But I feel like there’s so much more I could be communicating all across the spectrum of topics! So, I have a plan to do just that and in an orderly way.

I present: The Fresh Modesty Posting Plan. The idea is that I will have about a dozen different types of posts and each type will come once a month. So, for example, here is what September’s schedule, Lord willing, will look like:

I’d like to give a short overview of what each type of post will contain and why I believe they will be an encouragement to you:

Awk+Awe | Casual Outfit – Awk+Awe is a great way for y ‘all to read a little bit about my life and the situations that I come across in day-to-day living and get some laughs. I’ve usually shared a casual outfit in these posts as well, so that will continue. Although I would love to do Awk+Awe more than once a month, it takes a lot more time than you would think, so I’m going to have to limit it during my current season of life and so I can focus on the other kinds of posts.

Church Outfit—Self-explanatory. In the past I have summarized sermon notes on these posts as well, but I don’t have 6-8 hours on Monday to devote to that anymore, so I’ll probably just chit-chat as I share. :)

Wardrobe Basics—When building (and continually refining) a modest wardrobe, it is greatly beneficial to take a step back and focus on the vital few instead of the trivial many, to borrow a phrase. So in this series I will be covering what I consider the most important items in a given category. For example, September will be Top 8 Skirts I recommend and in October we’ll cover the modest wardrobe’s Fall Essentials. I’m really excited about this series!

Friends of Fresh Modesty—Yes, it’s coming back! I have a lot of great submissions already and am looking forward to what else y’all will have for me to feature! I will probably share four outfits per post, per month. If you would like to submit an outfit to be featured, please click here to read the guidelines and new submission email address.

Sponsor Post—This will be a round-up of all the businesses and blogs that are sponsoring Fresh Modesty and will include any special promotions/sales that y’all might like to know about and possibly a review or two, so you’re not going to want to skip them!

Farm Outfit—or another type of active, working-hard ensemble. This could be more modest workout attire, what I threw on to chase cows, or what I was wearing when I got roped into a yard game. The intent is to show that modesty is applicable in all of life’s situations and not as hard as it can sometimes seem.

Month’s Favorites—So often lately I’ve been doing or using something and thought, “Wow, I love this so much! Wish I had a reason to blog about it.” Things like a new handcream, a podcast, a style of shirt, a new throwpillow, the joy of using a pen and paper… little bits of life and productive living that I think you will love as well.

Dressing Down Skirts—I started this series back in June with a very positive response. I know I for one have a lot of dressy skirts that are great, but there are only 52 Sundays a year, ya know? So this will focus on making your wardrobe pieces more multi-purpose with some creative pairing and accessories. This will stretch me in a good way, I think. :D

Let’s Talk—A series that simply shares what’s on my heart about something. These will be topics pertinent to young women like me who want to live deliberately and positively. I have so many issues I would like to chat with y’all about and I’m really excited to make this a regular thing as I work through life, just like you.

Concealed Carry Outfits—hehe, I have no idea what kind of response this type of post will get, but I know it’s a need I have so maybe others have it as well. :D This will be a series for the over 21 crowd, or over 18 if you live in Arizona. ;) I know a lot of women who would like to conceal carry a gun for safety, but are having trouble finding modest outfits and holsters that work with their build/petite frame and fashion sense. I’m currently working with T.Rex Arms to develop some super practical women’s holsters and solve some of the problems that we have as women trying to conceal. This series will include outfits with pants, so even if you aren’t looking to conceal hopefully you’ll gain some inspiration from the approach I take to wearing pants modestly.

How To | Make/Style/Solve a Problem—In the past, I’ve covered things like How to | Style a T-shirt, How To | Make a Swimsuit Modest, etc. This theme will continue and we will look into How To | buy jeans, shop for skirts on ThredUP, stay warm in the winter, stay cool in the summer, sleep stylishly, not look like a marshmallow from layers, and more! ;)

Reader Questions + Outfit—I get a LOT of questions from y’all on a bazillion different topics and I rarely get a chance to answer them. Hopefully by devoting some time to this each month I’ll be able to finally do that! I’ll break these text-heavy posts up with outfit photos, since that’s the whole reason y’all read anyway. ;)

Make-Up/Beauty/ Natural Living Tips—One of the most-requested post topics ever on Fresh Modesty, this series will most likely be very simple, but that’s the whole point of natural living, right? These may be video tutorials, product round-ups, make-up guides, and maybe even some health tips I’m really excited about.

So, that’s what’s coming to the FM Blog! I’m so excited to have a plan and I hope you approve! Structure is a beautiful part of life and the intent is that this will allow Fresh Modesty to thrive at its fullest potential. 

One of the new features of this blog I'm most excited about is the Inspiration Categories page. There you will find images you can click on to be taken to posts that are tagged in that category. Thankfully since the beginning of FM I've been pretty good about neatly organizing the posts, so you can click on an image and see some posts that, as a newer reader, you may not have seen before! 
This also means that if you're ever in a pinch and need some quick inspiration for, say, a casual occasion, you can pop onto that page and click to see some relevant outfit ideas.

ChurchCasualActiveHTML Map

I’m so anxious to hear y’alls thoughts on these updates! The more I think and pray, the more excited I get about the incredible gift you and I have been given -each other. I feel a huge burden to inspire young women to live lives of purpose for the glory of God and I am so thankful that you, my reader, are passionate about this as well. Y’all bless me so much and I hope you are encouraged by my attempts to communicate how we as women should be beautiful through and through. 

And finally, I've had lots of requests for blog buttons lately, so here are two that I would so appreciate you sharing:
Fresh Modesty
Fresh Modesty

Now, talk to me! Have you signed up for the newsletter? Do you like the new design? What are your thoughts on the posting plan? What are you most looking forward to? Other thoughts? Comments? Disappointments? Ideas? Thank you SO MUCH for reading Fresh Modesty. This is a joyous journey.
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Be Back September 1st!

Hey y'all! Have you ever felt the need to just push the "restart" button? I am reeeally feeling that way here with Fresh Modesty and can't wait to push the "launch" button on Fresh Apparel Denim Co, too! I'm feeling overwhelmed with how much web work I have to do here in the next couple weeks as I revamp Fresh Modesty (I never really finished last time) and cut the ribbon on Fresh Apparel's website. 

A quote that's stuck with me this week is, "You can do anything you want, but not everything you want." 

It's a wonderful, slightly annoying truth, isn't it? 
I cannot do everything. And trying to gets me nowhere. 

So, I'm gonna take a break from blogging until September 1st. That's the deadline I've given myself to have the new blog design up and functioning, the sponsors organized, and a post or two in the pipeline so I can keep working on the Fresh Apparel website. 

I so appreciate all of your awesome responses to the "Post ideas" survey and I definitely plan on using most of them! I'm still trying to figure out how to do comprehensive, consistent content that doesn't take me days to prepare. As much as I would love to be a full-time blogger, that's not my season of life right now and frankly I'm having a hard time balancing everything. Don't worry, this blog is a huge priority in my life (had to laugh when some of you said you'd like to know what I do in my free time. The answer is this.) and I have no plans to stop coming by at least once a week to chat with y'all. ;) But, I need to say au revoir until for a week  or so so I can focus on making the blog better in the long run. :) 

Have to admit, it is pretty stinkin awesome to be dressed in YOUR OWN clothes. Not clothes I sewed myself, or printed myself, but clothes I designed, sent to factories/ print shops and had them do for me. This is one of the Fresh Apparel t-shirts that I have for the Kickstarter backers and then will be selling on the Fresh Apparel website when it is ready. This skirt is the latest sample I had L.C.King do for me and I've been wearing it a lot to test it out.

If you'd like to follow along on FA's progress, I'll continue posting on FreshApparelDenimCo's Instagram page, here. :) And, don't forget Fresh Modesty has an Instagram as well! 

I would really, really appreciate y'alls prayers for me the next couple weeks. Not only do I have two full sites to rebuild (and I am not proficient at web design at all), skirt details to get to the factory still before they can start production, about 2,500 emails to sort/reply to, and a lot of blog things to think through, but my health has been less-than-awesome lately. Lyme disease is one of those things that you never know how it's going to behave, so it becomes very hard to plan out a work schedule and not get discouraged when I spend an entire morning on the bathroom floor about to throw up or when I have to nap for 3 hours in the middle of the day to try and curb the ridiculous joint pain. I know many of your pray for me regularly anyway and I am SO grateful. I'm just letting you know now of specific things you could be praying for as I need clarity, focus, vibrancy, and perseverance to get my tasks done in a timely manner. :) 

Y'all bless me so much. I am excited for what the future holds! See you soon. 
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Follow Up | ThredUP Dresses

Hey! My thredUP package came! As promised, I'm here to share how my purchases turned out. :) 

Here was my final order from How To | Shop For Dresses On ThredUP.

 I thought I'd just go in order of the shopping cart and show y'all how each one fits. It is seriously so much fun to get a package of clothes in the mail!

 First up, this Tiana B. Casual Dress. If you'll remember from the original post, I decided to take a chance with this dress and I am SO glad I did. This may be my favorite of my new dresses. I was concerned that it would be too short, but it's just perfect for summer. It's a tad looser around the waist than I am used to, but not enough to keep me from loving it. I may take it in, but can wear it in the meantime.

I'm still working to figure out what to wear underneath of it... my sister liked the black, but I want to try white or cream, maybe pink. 

Next we have the Dress Barn casual dress I picked up for my mom. It's a little smaller than I was expecting, but still wearable and I think flattering on her. 

Since it's tighter than she's used to wearing, she may end up giving it to my younger sister who would fit it better. 

Anne Klein Casual Dress. So, so, so, comfortable, easy to wear, and fits perfectly. I've been wearing it today around the house and to a farm photoshoot and it's been fabulous. 

I think I may end up wearing this dress to the Remember WWII event in Linden, TN next month. Its detailing kind of reminds me of that era, with some modifications. It would be fun to create some more authentic attire, but that's not on my radar at the moment. :) 

 Next on the list is this Mossimo maxi dress! I LOVE this. It has a full-length slip, racerback, and ties. Perfect for wearing with a Halftee in the hot summer months.

My sister wasn't a huge fan of the colors when she saw it online, but I absolutely love the print and colors of the dress. I love playful patterns in classic styles. 

 This is the tunic top that I bought for my younger sister, Willa. She's the one who does all my photography and she runs Droplette Jewelry. This Express "casual dress" fit her just perfect with a pair of jeans and she's planning on wearing it this fall. It was a little warm on one of the hottest days of the year. ;)

She rocks a lot of tunic tops and it's always good to find another that looks great for a good price!

Second to last, we have this Miss Guided maxi dress. For only $10.49 I couldn't pass up the opportunity to add a potential beautiful formal piece to my wardrobe. It fits great and even though it's strapless I didn't feel like it would fall down at all.

 Obviously my layering needs a little work, but I could see myself wearing this blue dress to a piano recital, formal dance, or maybe even an evening concert in Nashville. I don't have any of those on my schedule right now, but I might someday. :) It is a little long, but works with heels.

Lastly, we have the black dress that I was really hoping would fit.... but it doesn't. I couldn't even zip it- lol. I thought I knew my H&M brand size, but apparently not. Thankfully Willa needs a new black dress and this fits her great, so it's not a total loss. ;) 

6 successes out of 7 dresses? That seems like a pretty good rate to me! 

If you haven't tried ThredUP yet, they're running a special until September 15th that if you sign up using my {Referral Link} you'll get $20 free credit to spend! That's twice as much as it is usually! 

So, whatcha'll think? Which is your favorite dress? I reeeeally need to go through my closet and get rid of some old ones to make room for these newbies! :) 
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Review | Lime Ricki Swimwear!

Hey! I know it might seem like summer is coming to an end with all the talk about school starting back up, but at least for those of us in the South we still have another month and a half of swimming weather! Lime Ricki contacted me and asked about doing a swimsuit review and I said yes, of course, because they have adorable suits! 

But, by themselves, they don't fit my modesty standards. I want to show y'all that you can take a more conventional suit and make it modest with just some simple layering! Lime Ricki is awesome in that their suits are more modest than the standard bikini you can find at Walmart and they're a great option for those who can't sew their own suit. :) 

 So, to feel comfortable in this suit, I layered it with a Halftee and some Forever 21 leggings. By putting black under the suit, it makes the layering not such a huge statement and is more slimming and easier to care for than white or some other bright color would be.

I have known of Lime Ricki for several years now and have friends who love their suits, but I had never tried them out until this summer. I am very impressed! They are sooo well made and the spandex is nice and thick. The whole top is lined and has great built-in support. 

I know these pictures were taken in a creek, but I am confident this ensemble would hold up really well and be comfortable for more athletic swimmers, too. I do not feel "weighed down" in it at allll. :)

 I wasn't sure on the website how I would like the chevron/butterfly print/ gold mix that this suit has, but I LOVE it in person. It's adorable and quite chic. 

This tankini top and ruffle skirt are on sale at Lime Ricki! 

Oh, look, and they have a great little "fit guide" to help you find the most flattering top for your body type. Love that!

I hope this post encouraged you that sometimes being modest means being creative and simply finding a way to layer in a classy way. Thank you, Lime Ricki, for the adorable suit. 

Do you layer up at the pool? 
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Let's Talk | Inspiration VS Imagination

Hey y'all! This summer as I've been re-evaluating Fresh Modesty--the directions to take it and it's place in my life--I've been changing up some of the places I spend time at on the internet and hopefully have been more purposeful about the content I consume. As young women, we are often guided by our emotions and one happy thought or one sad thought can ruin our day and the days of those around us. We try not to let it, but it happens. And with so many blogs, social media pages, and Pinterest boards at our disposal all the time, we can swing from one mood to the next in a matter of seconds.

 I'm sure there's a psychological analysis that says how unhealthy this is somewhere on the WWW, but the aspect of this that I've been contemplating lately is this:

We all have hopes, dreams, aspirations, goals, and "one day" scenarios in our minds. The online world is incredible in that it can inspire us with quotes, provide motivation through watching and learning from others, and give us a huge head-start on our goals by providing simple "how-to" articles. There is so.much.content. online and it can really be a time, emotion, and energy sucker if we don't discern between what is helpful and what is hopeful in our perusing.

I don't know about you, but as a Christian, I'm on a mission. I am inspired, motivated, enthusiastic to help make visible Christ's dominion over all the earth. That's a big task, and I feel daily how precious every moment is, but often don't realize that I am wasting time imagining instead of doing. Don't get me wrong, imagination is wonderful for children and their stuffed animals. It's great for getting in the creative groove and working out a business problem. But I don't want to live in my imagination. It's not reality; it's just hopes that distract from our real, raw, work.

For several years of my life, I was excited about what I wanted to do with adulthood. I was 100% sure my calling was to be a world-renowned interior designer. I spent hoooooours every day designing fake houses, drawing sketches of the rooms and furniture, pulling swatches I collected from Lowes out of my fancy filing cabinet... my point is, I LOVE interior decorating and design. I could spend hours pouring over Pinterest boards of fancy houses, IKEA furniture, the latest Pantone colors, and the exciting developments in floor covering options. I would be inspired to create and implement these things in my family's house and I would be so happy dreaming up ways to make life more beautiful.

Buuuuuuut... when I scroll through those boards or subscribe to those magazines, a spirit of discontent comes over me. Not in a "oh, I wish I had that house!" way, but in a "oh, if only I had time to create that!" way and I put energy into wishing it could happen. Same thing with sewing blogs these days... I love to sew, love creating my own clothes, love working with my hands in that way. But, it's not something I have time for right now and filling my mind with "somedays" is hopeful, not helpful. Do I ever scroll through "home dec" websites? Yes. Do I do it often? No.
In the first "Let's Talk" post, I ruminated on being known by what you are for instead of being known for what you are against. So, in this situation, instead of imagining, I want to be inspired. Inspired to change now. For the purposes of distinction just here as I'm thinking through this, things which cause you to imagine are wishing-encouragers. Things which inspire encourage you to make your wishes happen.

  • Imagination causes thoughts of "One day I'll create cute paper mache lanterns for the mantle."
  • Inspiration causes me to get off the couch and dust the mantle.
  • Imagination causes thoughts of feeding my growing little family Paleo someday.
  • Inspiration has me taking the extra 15 seconds to put coconut oil in my coffee.
  • Imagination causes thoughts of "My closet could look that good if I could just get all the excess out of there!"
  • Inspiration causes me to roll off my bed and throw the dirty clothes in the hamper and sweep the floor.

It's a really odd line I'm trying to draw/explain, but basically, I've been seeking content online that motivates me and weeding out the blogs/pin boards that do not. So, what inspires me? These quotes:

{ I used to avoid motivational quotes like the plague, thinking they were too self-centered and never put the focus on Christ. I'm realizing, however, that dreams can totally be God-given and when I "believe in myself" I'm really believing in Him who made me who I am. But that's a totally different point to be made at a later date. ;) }

How to stay inspired without losing yourself in imagination? Here's some questions to ask yourself about what you are consuming:

Does this motivate me to DO or does it make me wish for better days?
For example, I follow the instagram account of "I'm Kristen". She's a young wife, mother, and awesome photographer. She posts pictures of her daily life and it inspires me to capture the moments around me even when it may not be perfect. Her posts motivate me to DO. In contrast, I unfollowed a beautiful mother of 4 or 5 a few months ago because although she has absolutely amazing pictures and has chickens like us, it was making me feel like I didn't have enough hours in the day because she was doing all this awesome stuff with her kids and I was just happy if I remind my siblings to get dressed before noon, ya know?

Is this a time enhancer (ideas to improve work-flow, cooking tips, etc) or a non-helpful time consumer?
Lately I have been listening to a lot of podcasts, most of which are geared toward entrepreneurs and encouraging small business owners. These give me great ideas to improve my blogging process, further my business, and help me maintain my sanity by giving me action steps for all my ideas. This has been a great way to redeem my time instead of listening to music on car rides or scrolling through Pinterest as I rest mid-day.

Does this cause me to step or to stumble? 
What I'm talking about isn't necessarily just blog post or Pinterest board related. For instance, there's a song called, "Big Love In A Small Town" by High Road that is about working hard and "raising beans and babies". Yes, it's a love song, but it motivates me to make my life happy and healthy now. Unlike other country songs which can cause me to stumble and get impatient for my cowboy to show up, this one instead encourages me. That's probably weird, but it's true. Evaluating which effect something has on you is important.

Does this make me look to myself or to Christ?
I, oddly enough, really love "Mommy" blogs. I love watching and learning from other women (in addition to my mom ;) who save money, feed their kids well, and know their stuff when it comes to homemade cleaning products. But, there are some blogs which make me look to myself and imagine what I would/will do, or in some strange way make me think, "hey, if she can do it, so can I" in a prideful way. But then, there are other blogs, like Angela's Wool and Wanderlust, that make me reflect on simplifying life and living it for Christ exactly where I am today.

Oh, boy, do I have dreams, hopes, plans, and aspirations of spreading the Good News throughout my life! I pray that by surrounding ourselves with "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable..." (Phil 4:8) that we will be be inspired to live out our lives for His glory, in His strength, focusing our emotions on the work that is before us. :)
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Post Ideas Needed!

Hey y'all! I want to make sure that the content I provide here on Fresh Modesty is encouraging, relevant, and a blessing. So to that end, would you mind taking a moment to fill out this form and just let me know how I can better serve the community here? Thank you so much, I really appreciate!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sweet Salt Striped Shirt

Hey y'all! I'm adjusting to a new schedule of working on business Monday-Wednesday and around the house Thursday-Saturday, hoping that this will smooth things out a little. I found these outfit pictures on the computer today and it reminded me that we only have a few Sundays left until it's no longer "correct" to wear white! I may wear this outfit again while I still can. ;) 

My top I ordered (courtesy of a gift card!) from Salt Sweet Clothing, a website with wonderful modest clothing for women. I absolutely LOVE the two items I got (this shirt and a maxi skirt!) and I'm seriously thinking of ordering more of the same because they've become such staples in our wardrobes these couple of months and my sisters and I are always fighting over them. ;)

// outfit details //
Shirt: Sweet Salt Clothing: c/o them, $20.99
Shoes: ThredUP
Bracelet: eBay: $2.99
Earrings: Gift

 Okay, need to rant about this shirt for a minute. It's amazing. I have a very definite hourglass shape and have a hard time finding shirts that aren't too tight across the chest and yet don't swallow up my middle. This Striped Half Sleeve fits me peeeeerfectly and I feel confident wearing it. I don't have to keep stretching it out, or alter it, or wear a belt with it. It just has a perfect cut, weight, and styling. Definitely worth $20.99. I've gotten so much use out of it and I'm going to keep wearing it through the winter for sure! Sweet Salt has some other adorable tops that when I get some more closet space I will definitely be buying. ;)

I hope you're having a fantastic week so far! I'm going to work on writing Fresh Modesty's newsletter now... have you signed up for it yet? It's an every-so-often email that highlights some of the exciting happenings of everything that's going on with Fresh Modesty and Fresh Apparel. If you use Gmail, check your "Social" tab for it! Oh look, here's a handy sign-up form for you... ;)

Do you have a favorite brand of shirt that always fits right? Do share! Have a wonderful day!
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How To | Shop For Dresses On ThredUP

Hey y'all! I'm in work-a-holic mode over here and have to admit that dressing with class this week has not been a priority. But, I'd like to share one of my favorite resources for finding cute, affordable, modest, quality clothes... from the comfort of my computer chair. :D 

If you've been following me for any amount of time (like even the last 5 minutes) you know that I LOVE ThredUP, which basically an online consignment store. They have a really nice system going and I've been pleased with both buying and selling on the site. 

Name brand clothing at just-above-thrift-store prices? Yeah, it's the best.

This is not a sponsored post, except that if you are a new customer and use my referral link (scattered throughout this post), I'll get $10 to spend on the site. Really though, I just want to share this great resource because I know there are others out there like me who may not have time/inclination to go browse the mall once a week. 

Many of you have asked how I find such cute things on ThredUP when the sheer number of items to browse can be paralyzing, so here I am to show you how I go about browsing for dresses. 

(if you click on the screenshots they should get bigger)
We start at the ThredUP homepage.
They have curated "featured" items, but I usually skip those and just go straight to the "Womens" section and click on "Dresses".

Which takes you here.

Next I go to the sidebar and select my most common sizes, which are 4 and 6. I also change the number of items to view from 24 to 96. This is not a process for slow internet.

Then I select "Sort By" > "Price Low to High"

Sometimes I've found dresses in weird categories, but selecting "casual dresses" for finding modest items is your best bet. Summer dresses usually means sundress, which tend to be more revealing. 
So I select "Casual Dresses" and then Subcategory "Casual Dress". Unless of course your looking for one of those other types. :)

So, we are given thousands of dresses to look through, but I just start at the beginning and start scrolling pretty quickly, glancing at each dress as I do so. Let me explain my reasoning for each of these dresses so you can see how I determine if it's an item to consider:
  • Top left: Cute, my size, but too short and that waistline makes an unflattering tunic
  • Top middle: Nice long-enough black dress in my favorite black dress brand, but I already have one similar
  • Top right: Too short as dress, funky as tunic
  • Bottom left: Love the color, but that neckline isn't flattering on me
  • Bottom middle: Too short, too fitted, too strapless
  • Bottom right: Would make a cute tunic. Color's not bad, and I would probably wear it in the fall.

Whenever I come across an item I want to examine more closely, I right click and open it in a new tab. I let the tabs pile up as I browse and just stay on task quickly evaluating as I scroll. 

More reasoning explanation:
  • Top left: Long enough, black is always classy. But unflattering the way it hangs off the shoulders.
  • Top middle: Cute shift dress, maybe long enough? Worth a look.
  • Top right: Too short.
  • Bottom left: Possibly long enough, but deep V looks awful on me.
  • Bottom middle: Probably long enough. Like the neckline and print and style... but don't love it enough for a closer look. Move on. 
  • Bottom right: Kinda self-explanatory. 

  • Top left: Love the color and style. Would make a cute tunic, but it would cling to jeans. Neh.
  • Top middle: Haahaha
  • Top right: Cute, would consider if I wasn't large-chested. Most of that style of shirt appears too tight.
  • Bottom left: Long, simple black dress. Longer than my others so give it a click.
  • Bottom middle: Too short as a dress, too ugly as a shirt.
  • Bottom right: Nice print and length, but unsure of the neckline. Not really my style. Mom's maybe?

Once I fill up my browser with tabs, it's time to go through and evaluate closer. Notice I only opened 14 dresses out of 7 pages of 96 items... or 14/672. This is a normal ratio and it's okay! It took me maybe 15 minutes to scroll through looking at all those. 

First item evaluation: Notice the lower circled area-- ThredUP recently added the length of the garment onto the description! It makes it so much easier to tell if the dress will be long enough. This dress is cute and would flatter my hourglass shape, but is 1" too short for my dress standards, which is unfortunate because the price is right. That length is measured from the shoulder. I keep a tape measure by the computer to check lengths on me real quick. This is a no-go, close the tab.

A simple black dress that's long enough! And the price is awesome, so I quickly put in my cart. If you're thinking about something, stick it in your cart asap-- you can always take it out later, but if it's not in your cart then someone else could snatch it up. I've had that happen to me and it's so disappointing! I also add it to the cart if I'm thinking seriously about it and close the tab just to keep things neat. I can go back and open them up from the shopping cart to examine closer later. 

Here's that tunic top again. I look at the length and see that it's the perfect tunic top length, but wonder what material it is... 

So I click "view larger photo" and a high-res image of the item pops up in a new tab and I can tell from that photo that it is corduroy fabric. I love the idea of it, but I just can't see myself wearing cords that often because it's usually so warm here. So I passed it up.

Cute Ann Taylor Loft dress that would make a great layering tunic... oh, wait, the length is only slightly above my knee... too long for a non-frumpy tunic + jeans look. Makes this a no. 

 In almost every ThredUP purchase I've made, I've bought one thing that is kind of... different. This was this item this time. It might be slightly too short as a dress, and possibly too long as a tunic, but I'm going to see what I can do with it because I LOVE the neckline and floral print. Yay experimenting. :)

Super adorable Anne Klein Dress that's below the knee and only $12.49? Hard to say no, so I didn't. I added it to the cart mostly thinking of my mom who likes this cut of dress, but I may try it on before I give it to her. ;) 

Like the style, but too short. 

 Love the color blocking on this dress! But, sadly, I don't think my hourglass shape could pull it off very well. Plus, it's about an inch too short to reach my knees. Pass. 

 This one is for my mom. 42" is a great length and it looks like a flattering cut of drapey material. Notice that the care instructions are Dry Clean Only... we very rarely follow those. :P

 This would make a cute tunic! It looks like my sister Willa's style. I don't usually go for styles that emphasis the bust, but she can pull them off. It's also the perfect tunic length and the price is right for something I foresee her wearing often.

A MAXI DRESS! When I come across these, I usually snatch them up. It's so hard to find a flattering one that doesn't cling, and this doesn't look like it would. My shoulder just happens to be 55" from the floor, so this is juuuust short enough that I can wear it. ;) Notice also that it has a racerback, which will call for either a Halftee or a jacket.

Sometimes things that look super cute in one picture turn out to be quite different from another angle. What I thought was a cute polkadot dress turned out to have a back that's just not going to fit my modesty standards. ;) 

 Yet another maxi dress! This one is a little on the fancier side and will be saved for some special occasion I have yet to know about, but at $10.49, I couldn't pass it up. I'll probably pair it with a black cardigan and tall heels, since it's on the longer side. 

Also notice that this one has an elastic back, which gives me the impression it will stay up better than other strapless dresses I've dealt with in the past. :) Noticing now that it is definitely going to need a slip...

 Another maxi!! But this one doesn't look like it will be very flattering and it's 4" too long for me. So, no go.

Once I've made it though my tabs, sometimes if I feel like I haven't found the specific item I'm needing, I'll go back and skim some more. But this time I felt like I had enough in my cart, so I reviewed it.

 Usually at this point I'll go through and pair down majorly the items in the cart, choosing only my absolute favorites, but keeping the order above $50 because that gets you free shipping. ;) 

 This time, though, I only took out one item. Eleven Anne Klein and Dress Barn dresses for $77.43 isn't a bad deal at all. :D
 Finished up the purchase, and it was that simple!! 

 I love to see how much money I saved... $247.57! Let me know if you have any questions! 

Did y'all glean anything from this? I wouldn't mind doing similar posts about the more exciting filters, shopping for shirts and skirts, etc. if this was helpful. :) 

In 8-10 days be looking for a follow-up post about how the items are working out! ;) Y'all have an awesome day!

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