Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIWW: What's the Point?

I've been wondering a bit about this What I Wore Wednesday series.

On the one hand: Motivation to make a little extra effort. Plus, some of you sweet people actually like these posts!

On the other hand: Extra effort takes extra time and energy. Also, what about the whole, "Man sees outward appearance, but Jehovah looks on the heart?" The Bible -- the book I hold most dear -- has plenty to say about not giving undue focus to outward adornment, especially at the expense of the "hidden man of the heart."

What's a beauty-loving girl to do?

I don't know the answer. What I do know is that the spirit behind these posts, and behind getting out of one's pajamas into something mildly flattering in the morning is NOT ...

a. To impress my blog readers and in-person friends.
b. To judge my fellow mamas for the way they present themselves.
c. To spend more time getting dressed in the morning than I spend reading His Word.
d. To blow my budget accruing a huge, fashion-forward wardrobe. (To review: I rarely spend more than $20 on a piece of clothing, I often shop consignment/thrift stores, I pare down my closet so that it only contains pieces I feel good in and will happily wear.)

The fact is, though, that until this corruptible shall put on incorruptible, most of us act the way we feel, and the way we feel both drives and reflects how we dress. The Professor, for example, stopped wearing T-shirts to campus once he earned his Ph.D., even though he's working with the same people. He figured the doctorate merited at least a collar. :-) And would I arrive at a paid job in sweats and a stained T-shirt and expect anyone, myself included, to take me seriously, even if I were well-qualified for the position?

I would not. Neither would you. Right?

Moms (and I include those who spend some hours at paid employment), don't we have a high calling? Doesn't it ruffle our feathers when someone denigrates the job of raising human beings? Don't we appreciate a little respect?

So how about -- without undue vanity or obsession -- if we sort of ... dress the part?

I just have a couple pics from this week. Remember Renée's advice to enliven a snoozeworthy outfit by accessorizing? Well, there was a bare-bones ensemble or two this week that could use the help. I'm not sure I achieved "WOW," but maybe it was a step up from "Meh?"

BONUSES: My "vintage" kitchen! My loving dog! 

Cardigan: Target (currently on sale)
White T: Gap Outlet
Capris: Gap, from Thrift Store (Savers?)
Gold Flip Flops: Reef Krystal
Green beaded necklace: Holly Lane Designs
Necklace #2: The Vintage Pearl

T-shirt: Target
Jeans: Gap
Scarf: Old Navy
Belt: ?
Bracelet: Handmade by Martha of MotsDots

And there you go! Anyone have a success story to share? I've loved getting a few emails about thrift store finds! 


Lisa S. said...

Hannah, these posts mean a lot to me. I think a lot about what my appearance tells my daughter about her mother and about herself. It is very easy to be lazy, and while I don't want to send my child a message that outward appearances are of the greatest importance, I want her to know that I care about myself. I also want her (and my boys) to know that while I do not leave the home to go to a professional position, I consider my job to be the most important job I could ever have. There are days when the workout clothes are the easiest and closest to toss on in the morning, but the pretty dress makes me happier, even though it might need ironing and a shaving-of-the-legs. ;) I *get* your WIWW posts, and I enjoy them so much. For the record, you look great in jeans, and that scarf is lovely. I've also become a master of the thrift store. It's a fun challenge to walk in with a $30 limit and walk out with a wardrobe. On a practical note, have you been to Forever 21? The clothes are hit and miss, but they have a great selection of fun accessories for silly prices. Not quality jewelry, but fun costume items. My kids spent $10 each on me there for Mother's Day and I now have a fun new selection of earrings, necklaces, and rings to choose from. (Earrings from $1.80, necklaces and rings from $2.80.) Just thought I'd share! -Lisa

Hannah said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comment, Lisa. I so appreciate your "getting it." :-) I did go into Forever 21 once recently but it was totally overrun with UT girls, and I fled in a panic. Maybe I'll gather my courage for another foray on a weekday sometime ...

Raji P. said...

I have an idea -- how about a Forever 21 and lunch girl's evening out? I had a similar experience at Forever 21. I explained my misfittingness by saying I am Forever 26, not 21, so there ya go.

Have you ladies been to Charming Charlies? Or Sam Moon? Speaking of fun accessories.

Let's go on an accessory outing, it would be cheap and fun with company.

I love the belted look - it really suits you, Hannah.

Gabi said...

I'd like to say "ditto" to everythig Lisa said. :) Also, I think there's nothing wrong with attending to our outward appearances, so long as that doesn't become an idol. After all, the "ideal" woman of Proverbs "is clothed in fine linen and purple" - which, being the thrift gal she is, she may very well have gotten in a thrift store or on sale at Target. There you go - biblical justification for WIWW. ;)

Gabi said...

PS - I especially loved the scarf/T/jeans look!

Bear Creek Mama said...

YOU are a way hip Mamma - inside and out!

Michelle L said...

I love these posts and you make a great point about showing and commanding respect for your job by dressing the part, and for many of us with kids, our #1 job is parenting! There's a big difference between being materialistic and just having some fun with good, inexpensive fashion ideas. I enjoy your posts because they are not in the least - how do I say it - uppity or snobby or preachy in any way about the whole fashion thing. No intimidation - just great fun with money saving ideas that inspire.

Danica Newton said...

I LOVE your WIWW posts :) I, also, am a total cheapskate when it comes to spending money on my clothing. I see it as just one more way I help contribute to our family's finances.

We just finished a Precepts bible study on Titus at our church. The part of it that stuck out with me the most was chapter 2, where Paul lays out the behavior of godly young women: love their husbands. Love their children. Be workers at home. Be sensible, pure and kind. Be subject to their own husbands. Studying this passage so reinforced our decision that I stay at home. There are many pressures in the world (and the church) to put yourself first. Reading your posts (really your blog in general) also encourages me to continue on in this godly lifestyle. Thankyou!

Anonymous said...

Hannah, Since I began working from home six months ago, I have made it a point to get up, dress decently, and do my hair and make-up every single day. I love that you are posting the idea that appearance is a personal motivator. Helps us all to raise our game, and you and your readers are so right in thinking that whatever we do during the day related to work and family is important. I love that the children have you as such a wonderful example. My mom used to do housework in a shirtwaist dress and low heels! Imagine. But she always looked nice. People still tell me what a class act she was, and she's been gone almost nine years now. Impressions stick.

Hannah said...

Everyone, I'm loving all these excellent insights. Thank you for taking the time to share them with me!

Bethy Lynne said...

I usually don't spend too much time or verbal acknowledgement on my clothing, but I have a school end-of-the year banquet tomorrow, and I went out and BOUGHT A DRESS! Because of your inspirational posts, I just might write a blog post about it...uh someday... Anyway, bear in mind, I haven't bought a new dress for I don't know how long because I always feel that I can make do with what I have, shouldn't spend money on myself...blah blah blah...but it was only $25 marked down from $110! Anyway, I came home and pranced around in it and felt light and young and beautiful...remember I'm pregnant with baby #3...there is something to having something nice to wear...I felt worth it if that makes sense. Anyway...I just gave you my condensed blog post, but I hope you still read and comment when the official post comes out with photo of course!

Julie said...

I love the theory on dressing the part. It's true. It's true about the feathers being ruffled too! I never thought about dressing the part as a mom...thanks for this post!

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with the dressing-the-part thing too!! when i was getting ready to take the LSAT someone told me that statistically, people who dress up do better on the test. i dont know where (or how) she got that stat, but i still believe it. (i dressed frumpy so as to justify any poor scores, but thats a whole different issue :p)

and i LOVE these posts. and i love love love that last pic of you. im kinda tempted to start my own series of WIWW...partly cos now that i have to wear skirts every day im getting less and less interested in dressing nicely... BAD. must. get it.together. SOON :) xoxo