Nov 072011

This Monday is not a profile, since I have (sadly!) run out of modest ladies willing to share their testimony with you. If you know someone, please let me know!

Today I want to share my personal clothing dilemma with you. Sounds exciting, eh? It isn’t “about modesty” necessarily, just about my adventures with modest dressing.

As you probably know, I was not raised dressing in the modest manner I do now. Nor have we had an excess of money at any point in our marriage, whith which I could just run out and buy a whole new wardrobe (even if I wanted to).

So, what happened, was a gradual transition.

I picked up a skirt off the department store clearance rack. I picked up a skirt at a thrift store.

I bought a couple of men’s short-sleeved button-down shirts at a discount store. The fact they are “men’s garments” here seemed to weigh less heavily than the fact that the “women’s” styles available all had plunging necklines, or a too-fitted cut, or other similar issues.

Every once in a while (birthday, etc.), I would be able to order an item from a WAHM online shop that made modest clothes to order. A jumper here, a skirt there…

And headcoverings happened the same way. A couple purchased here and there, a couple won on blogs and giveaways, a couple of gifts.

But the end result is quite a hodgepodge of, well, themes.

Ideally, I’d like to have the most combinations and options available from the relatively small number of items I might have in my closet.

Although this photo (from Wardrobe 911)doesn’t match my modesty choices entirely, it gives you a good visual:

All three bottoms … go with all four tops … go with both jackets.

With just the seven base pieces, you have twelve outfits (plus the jacket options). And you’d never have the last clean top not match the bottom you wanted to wear.

My current wardrobe, however, doesn’t work that way. (I’m leaving the “church clothes” and “serious work clothes” out of the equation, since they don’t need to be mixed and matched in).

I have:

Plain jumper (brown)
Three patterned jumpers
Denim skirt
Denim skirt with “pinstripe” pattern

That’s plenty of bottoms, really. But then there’s the tops:

White blouse – goes with anything
Tan blouse – goes with anything
Green blouse – goes with plain jumper, one pattern jumper, both denim skirts
Green/white check blouse – goes with plain jumper, plain denim skirt
Greenish “Hawaiian Shirt” – goes with plain jumper, plain denim skirt

Okay, that’s still a pretty good setup, if maybe not “ideal”.

Then there’s the headcoverings.

Now, it’s true that I could just wear a white one, and it would go with everything. But I have some other cute ones that I’d really like to wear!

The trouble is – they don’t play well with others.

I have a really neat headcovering from Sowers of Hope that is a brown and navy print on white. (The one pictured is from their shop; not mine, but to give you an idea how the bold prints can look).

So, I can’t wear it with anything patterned. That leaves out all the bottoms except the one plain jumper and one plain denim skirt (I could probably get away with the pinstriped denim) — and then only if worn with a plain top in a coordinating color. Hm.

And there’s that adorable tichel I have that’s tan with dark brown stars. I’ve only worn it a couple of times, since it only really seems to work with the brown jumper and white blouse.

Too many patterns!

The easiest coordination system would be with no patterns at all, but that could get a little dull.

Maybe the answer is to only have one category patterned – tops, bottoms, or headcoverings. If everything in the other two categories was solid colored, that would make for a lot more combination options.

What do you think? What do you do?

  One Response to “Modesty Monday: Mixing N Matching”

  1. Jim hates patterns, so I usually go for plain tops and bottoms. I do have a burgundy top with little flowers in various colors. I also have a white skirt with brown flowers and a patchwork skirt with every color imaginable. I don’t have to worry about headcoverings, either. Mostly I wear a long black skirt and a tan denim one. After that it depends on the season – my plain white one or white with brown flowers are too light and breezy to wear in winter. I have a grey plaid wool one for winter. It has a pattern, but it’s all greys. I guess that would be my suggestion for you – if you must pattern, do it infrequently and do it in as few colors as possible. Also, learn to make a simple a-lined skirt with an elastic waist. My white skirt was free from a garage sale. Jim was looking at fabric to get me for cheap and the lady gave it to him cuz she thought it was sweet. It’s one of my favorite skirts – just a simple a-line long skirt with elastic waist. It took about 30-60 minutes total. I need to take my own suggestion and make some more skirts, since I’m tired of the same 3 skirts all the time. Sometimes lately I’ve been sneaking jeans back in. :( Skirts don’t make me feel pretty when I wear the same 3 every day.

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