Monday, September 14, 2015

You Learn As You Go

Hey y'all! Wow, awesome, awwwwesome engaged response to my post, "Please Stop Buying Cheap Clothes"! 

Shirt: Thrifted | Hat: Target | Skirt: Sweet Salt Clothing

I take my position of influence here on Fresh Modesty very seriously, so I'm a little paralyzed in my blogging at the moment because I really don't know what I'm doing.

I don't have a list of stores that are "safe" to buy from.
I don't have a flawless eco-wardrobe to show y'all.
I haven't found any modesty-inclined ethical clothing blogs to link you to.
I don't know how to solve this world-wide crisis.

In addition to the new buying standards I'm wanting to practice, my own focus has shifted in fashion and I'm trying to figure out my style--- again. It feels like a constant thing for me and it kind of is. But right now I feel like I'm at a crisis moment of simplifying, defining, refining, and enjoying. 

No, my standards are not changing, nor my dedication to practicality or femininity. My budget certainly isn't expanding, either.

Because I'm a little lost, for the past few weeks I've been in a season of intense study and life inspiration-drawing. And still, I'm not quite confident enough in my articulation of what makes my heart sing to be able to share all of this directly with you all.

You know when you have a spinning contest with your sisters and you just spin and spin until your neck muscles hurt, your eyes are bulging, your feet unable to stop but occasionally tripping, and you're aware of your surroundings but unsure of what exactly you are seeing or what you should focus on? Kind of feel like that right now in regards to my purpose in life, the wardrobe for that purpose, the meaning of that wardrobe for the efforts of this blog, and the efforts of this blog in the lives of those who read it.

I have this feeling I'm not alone in my floundering, nor has it ever been my desire to have you think I "have it all together". So, I'm writing this post to let you know: I'll be sharing some kind of random things as I deliberately spew what I'm learning and gathering inspiration/wisdom from. I'm a stumbling confused passionate mess right now and I'm done being frustrated at myself for not having answers yet.

I have the chorus to a country song going through my head:

Life's a dance, you learn as you go.
Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow.
Don't worry 'bout what you don't know,
life's a dance, you learn as you go.

I hope you stick around for the awkward twirling. :) 


  1. As soon as I saw your post title, that's the song that got stuck in my head...apparently there was a good reason for that! Haha.
    I think uncertainty is one of the biggest things we all have to deal with. I guess we need to learn to dance in this crazy thing called life. ;-)

  2. i love this post you are honest in your struggle of this time in your life and i love how you have shared with this with all your readers. I hope God can guild you in your journey in figuring it out. I have gone though a bit of the same, i don't by eco-friendly as i am plus size and even though i have done part of a fashion certificate, i do not know any that stock plus sizes. I have though been defining my style since i was 18 i am now 20, i use to try and dress to fit in but it did not work, i am autistic and have sensory processing disorder and ehlers danlos syndrome so my social skills are not the best and i get overwhelmed talking to people. I tried to dress to fit in with people my age but i did not get out of the house much and the clothes i bough i was not comfy in nor confident. Now at 20 i have clothing for work setting, home, spring summer, fall and winter and also formal. I do have a lot of clothing and i know that most would think its to much as i only wear house/sweets around the house and then my "good" clothing for outside the house. But for my life and this time in my life it's the best for me and my issues for sensory/autism and eds reasons. I hope you find your style but don't worry if you don't have one type of look just wear outfits you feel amazing in and comfy in as well.
    I would not worry to much about not having a full wardrobe of eco friendly clothing as you are just starting your journey in it. I would not hold it against you for showing outfits that weren't all eco friendly.

  3. Even though things like this may seem small at times, the Lord will get you through this Olivia! And I absolutely LOVE the words to that song! I have never heard them before, so thank you for sharing.

    Blessings in Him,

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. Thank you Olivia for such an honest post about your struggles. I am starting to revamp my wardrobe after years of not being sure (or thinking I was sure when I really wasn't) about my wardrobe. Your blog has been a major help in this area, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. And, just know that everyone understands that you are going through transitions just like many of us are and that we are all very encouraged by seeing someone else going through it. May God bless you in the coming weeks/months as you figure this thing out! :)
    Joyfully His,
    P.S. In terms of defining your style, one word that comes to mind for me is 'classic.' Sometimes classic with a touch of bohemian, or classic with a vintage flair, but always beautifully classic. :)

  5. I just want to thank you. After reading your last post, I watched The True Cost and am convicted to not support unethical clothing stores/brands wherever possible. I too don't have an immediate solution. For now, I am only buying second hand but I know that isn't the whole answer to this problem. I read this article and found it helpful:

    Probably the most important thing we can do is to spread the message about the consequences of fast fashion. The more people who know about this and reject fast fashion, the more impact it will have. It would probably be a good idea too to write up a letter to email to all of the companies we're no longer going to support and telling them our reasons why. Sometimes when I'm faced with the reality of an awful situation like this i'll feel overwhelmed and will despair and end up doing nothing about it. After all, what can I possibly do to fix the situation? I know these feelings aren't from God. God wants us to do the good we know to do. I need to remind myself to take the steps I can, no matter how small I think they are. We can trust that when we plant the seeds, God will make them grow.

    1. "God wants us to do the good we know to do."

      Love that, thank you!!

    2. Thanks for the link, Anonymous. I found the information on that page (and others on the same site) helpful, as well as very much along the lines of Olivia's concerns. (I haven't watched The True Cost so am just going with what I've been reading here, so far.)

      I usually get second-hand clothes anyway (and love finding designer clothes at reduced prices in those stores!) but as many have pointed out, this is not a complete solution.

      Anyway, this subject has caught my attention and I will be listening as Olivia hashes through it in subsequent posts. :) Much love to all of you readers and sisters in Christ!


  6. But wouldn't this problem of third-world working conditions apply not only to clothing, but ALL mass-produced products?

    My one main question is how and where would these people find work otherwise?

    By boycotting mass-production, what does one hope to do?

    Aren't impracticality, massive cost, and inability to tear down massive commercial systems all to be weighed in considering whether one is personally morally accountable whenever one buys something from a large business?

    1. Yes, you bring up a valid concern that boycotting these companies will decrease work for the people making the clothes in third world countries. An alternative would be to not only boycott these companies (and let them know your reasons for doing so), but to instead buy from companies who ensure that the people producing their products are given living wages and a safe workplace. This way we aren't taking jobs away, but actually promoting more job opportunities that are ethical.

      It may be more expensive to buy from these companies, but I wonder if its because I'm so used to being able to pick up a t-shirt for $5. I'm not there yet, but I hope to shop at fair trade companies more and think it will make me smarter about what and how much I buy. I used to be an impulse shopper and over time would end up with a big pile of clothes in my closet because I got such good deals on them (which makes me wonder if I was really saving money after all!)

      I'm still researching all of this and found it helpful as first steps to watch The True Cost and google "ethical clothing companies". I came across SERVV, a fair trade company that sells more than just clothing.

  7. I am interested to hear more of this. I get annoyed with people complaining about costs when we have SO much more than most of the world or even a few generations back plus in terms of costs of living clothes are less than they every were thanks to industrialization . . . and abuses associated with it. My issue is that I want to sew and there seems to be less information about the production of fabric. Also, fabric and garments produced in America are not the option/forbidding child labor. That is impoverishing people who have no other source of income. It is a whole lot more complicated than simply moving factories. I have seen fabric sources, but they seem to be eco related/made in America which, like I said is not at all addressing the real issue.

    1. This, all of this! I'm not sure that making our own clothes is the answer because we don't know how fabric is produced. I wonder if garment companies take that into consideration when they claim "USA-made" or "we pay a fair wage"...

  8. Dear Olivia, You are a very conscientious concerned person and I admire that in you. One thing I really believe in is this saying God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can. The wisdom to know the difference. I do believe that you will find peace and understanding through your prayer with God and in time you will know just what to do. You are already starting your journey keep faith and be yourself things will work out.
    God is shinning on you,
    Stephanie Means

  9. "If you are where you should be, you'll set the whole world ablaze." That's one of my favorite St. Catherine of Siena quotes. Based off of seem to be doing a great job. Keep it up.

  10. Olivia! Thank you for opening up what's on your heart to all of us. We don't expect you to have all the answers to such problems. To me, it is just encouraging that you care about these things and are inviting us all along on this journey. Be encouraged.


  11. Hey, Olivia! I love that picture of you; that's such an awesome outfit!!! I love how you just rock your style. It's great :) Thanks for this awesome, honest post! I love how the blogging world brings people together for these great discussions. Because let's be real: none of us really "have it together," so we're ALL just fumbling around trying to figure out this awesome blessing called life :)

    So, I'm really excited for you to share more of your discoveries and ramblings with us! Peace and blessings!

  12. Wow, so I keep posting-sorry for looking like a spammer! But I just came across this awesome blog post that TOTALLY made me think of this one! Olivia, it looks like this chick is into intentional clothes-buying, and on this post, she reviews a company that tries to be not only ethical, but empowering for women. So, if you're so inclined, here's the post:

  13. Don't feel paralyzed! All we can do is our best...anyone who expects perfection can just scoot along. You brought up some very important issues and I LOVED how your reader community was able to handle the debate in a kind and civilized manner. We all want to do better in this area and make sure the things we use make the smallest impact possible on the Earth and on our brothers and sisters around the world. I'm so grateful to you for bringing these issues to the forefront.

  14. Love your outfit! So pretty! Thanks for being real! You don't have to have it all figured out to just talk to us! Not many people know how to change world crisis. If you get it all figured out, you might want to run for a public office or something. Lol!


  15. I think you're doing pretty good! :) Love the outfit!
    Unique Geek

  16. Etsy is such a good resource for other small-business owners who sell their own handmade clothes.

  17. so its not just me! I have such trouble figuring out my style, one day I am a hipster another I'm retro and so on. I also have a problem with mood swings, like a HUGE problem. UGH, I wish society didnt have such a high standard for looking 'fashionable'. I mean sweats and a tee look fine, right? lol


  18. Hi Olivia! My name is Heather (in case you saw my husbands name and wondered) and I have enjoyed watching your blog for quite a few years now and love popping on every now and then to see what fun things you've posted about this time!
    This post immediately reminded me of something that I'm sure you've already heard of and that has been such fun for me and my four sisters and mother and friends! It's called Dressing Your Truth! During your crisis moment this may be something fun and inspiring for you to look into!
    Have fun!


  19. I did the dressing your truth course. It's an energy profiling thing. But I view it more as a fashion tool/ personality thing.
    It's interesting, they tell you what colors to wear, the style etc. it's helped me pin point my personal style. Just a suggestion, since I helped me. I don't agree with everything the lady believes, but it's a great tool if you filter.
    A modest fashion blog:

  20. Wow! I love, love, LOVE your outfit!

  21. This post made me think of the blog, The Art of Simple. They have a list of ethical places to shop.


Fresh Modesty is fashion blog which encourages girls to "Dress outside your box, but inside His Book!" I allow anonymous comments so those without accounts can comment, but I would really appreciate it if you would identify yourself by some form of a name. :) Thank you for taking the time to comment!