U is for Unmentionables: Underpants

Nearly every woman wears underpants*. Yet many of us behave as if they are (or should be) unmentionables. While underpants are only for the wearer’s eyes and for those very few to whom she chooses to reveal them, there are underpants issues worth mentioning. (Bras and other undergarments too, but those are different posts.) Lingerie affects a woman’s mood. A new bra and pants feel wonderful. Lingerie, including underpants, also affect the look of a woman’s clothing. If they’re visible either because of fit or because the colour or pattern can be seen through our clothing, then we might as well put our underpants on view for all to see. … Read more…

T is for Thrift Shops!

Some women won’t enter thrift shops. I wouldn’t until I changed jobs, made much less money, and desperately needed clothes. A woman I knew shopped at the Salvation Army and always looked amazing. One Saturday, I stopped in. While softly asking God, “What am I doing here?” I looked through the women’s clothing and found unworn garments with price tags attached. There were several items I’d have bought at retail. They fit. For less than $20, I had much needed additions to my wardrobe. Eventually, I discovered I could have a much better wardrobe for less money if I used thrift shops in addition to other discount resources. Over time, … Read more…

S is for Separates for Evening

Most of us occasionally need to dress for a formal evening event: A concert, a special celebration, a wedding — the possibilities are many and we’re usually caught with nothing to wear and, too often, little money to spend. There will always be occasions, like a family wedding, that require us to shop. But most of us can make dressing for formal events much easier by using garments we already own and a little advance preparation. All we need is a few separates for evening. (And chances are, we already own some or all of what we need.) First, identify one or two of the skirts or trousers you’d already … Read more…

R is for Rules: The 5 Pieces Rule

Fashion ought to be fun and ought not have too many rules. At the same time, considering that we only wear 10 to 20% of our wardrobes, we do waste a lot of money buying clothes. A few rules can make shopping less stressful and dressing more fun. Most women like new clothes. Even if we buy from thrift and consignment shops or trade with friends, clothing that is new to us makes us happy. And most of us either: Avoid shopping until we have an event or realize our clothing is falling apart. OR Shop and buy all the time, have a closet stuffed with clothes, but still feel … Read more…

Q is for Quality: Educational Shopping

Quality is the intersection between personal style and design, craftsmanship, materials, fit, and appropriateness. A garment may be well-made, beautifully designed, of exquisite materials but it’s not quality for the woman it doesn’t fit, if it’s inappropriate for the occasion, or doesn’t suit her style. Most of us don’t recognize quality. But we can learn. Learning to recognize quality requires effort, patience, and the willingness to step outside our comfort zones. Money is not required. Too often we waste money on badly designed, ill-fitting garments, of poor workmanship that are inappropriate for the particular use we envision. When we go for quality, we save money and dressing becomes much easier. … Read more…

P is for Personal Uniform

It’s the morning after a late night and… A text announces an early morning meeting and… Yet another day will be spent in court (or some similar setting) and… Suddenly, it’s time to bring your fashion A game. A personal uniform is always useful. But for those occasions when time or energy are lacking, a personal uniform is a necessity. These are not personal uniforms: They’re prescribed. A personal uniform consists of a few (about 12) pieces chosen from an existing wardrobe that 1) look good, 2) work together, and 3) are ready to pop on with a minimum of fuss. My Spring/Summer personal uniform contains twelve pieces. I like … Read more…

O is for Outfits For Different Body Shapes

N is for No Standard Sizes Or Body Shapes shows five women between 5’2″ to 6’1″ tall. Each weighs 154 lbs and has a different body shape. Wouldn’t it be cool to see women with bodies like these in a couple of real outfits? We don’t have their measurements so first it’s necessary to make some assumptions. Unfortunately, the 5’2″ woman is not wearing a supportive bra so it’s difficult to see if she has an hourglass shape. Since she has narrow shoulders, let’s presume she¬†has a petite (at least on top) pear body shape. (A properly fitted bra can make a huge difference in body shape.) The 5’4″ woman … Read more…

N is for No Standard Sizes or Body Shapes

Each of these women weighs 154 lbs. (That’s about the same weight Marilyn Monroe was at her heaviest.) They are neither under nor over weight. They do not appear to be either super athletic or out of shape. They each have a different body shape. When shopping, each of these women will find clothing that fits and clothing that doesn’t. Several of them will need to alter some or all of their garments (or pay someone to do the job). Do note, the 5’2″ woman wears a smaller size than the 5’4″ woman. Since size depends on garment design and manufacturer, the 5’2″ woman will sometimes be able to wear … Read more…

M is for Mine

“Hold still,” one of the LOFT designers told me as I turned to see who was fiddling with my skirt. “I’m fixing the bow for you.” When he stepped back to admire his work, I reached around and felt the bow in the middle of my back. “I don’t like it there,” I firmly told him as I retied the bow. “I like it on the side.” I felt a light slap against my hand, “The designer intended it to be tied in the back.” I twirled. The voluminous black fabric of my vintage, 50’s, wrap skirt swirled around me. “This skirt is mine!” I corrected him. “I decide how … Read more…

L is for Looking At Lust

I’ve had several admirable priests tell me that men usually need confession more often than women because of lust. I’ve had admirable ministers share similar sentiments. And perhaps they’re right. But each time I hear something of that sort, my forehead crinkles and my head gives a rapid shake because lust is so much more than Matt. 5:28, “But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus is obviously speaking to men. But what of women? And not the increasing numbers of women who indulge in pornography. (Pornography for women is often called “erotica” but … Read more…