Unleashing the Warrior, the Psalms, and Online Shopping

There were two aggressive adversaries ganging up against me. They had similar tactics, but very different end goals. The first, my own mind, tried to dissuade me from feeling worthy or attractive. The second was consumerism, and its ploy was to get me to buy anything & everything.

Thankfully, though, I had a back-up plan. As I sit in my dressing room overwhelmed, frustrated, and in the midst of self-inflicted mental anguish, I remembered that my worth was not tied up in a size, style, or brand. Rather, I was able to recall what God says about me, and His words are not full of “Why did you eat that cookie?” or “Why does orange look terrible on you?” or even “You’d look better in something more expensive.” He sees me as I am, distraught, broken, in need of affirmation, and He calls me lovely.

Lovely. I repeated that to myself, and rehearsed Psalm 139:14 (“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”) In an instant my enemies retreated, and I escaped from the fitting room a victor!

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Looking for some cute Fall clothes? Starting your Christmas shopping early?

Ann Taylor LOFT  is having a big sale this weekend.

Every Friday-Sunday J.Crew opens up their Factory Store (aka Online OUTLET STORE!).

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Give Yourself a Pop of Color

Something happens to me at this time of the year. It happens every year, actually. As the crisp days of autumn approach us here in the northeast our days get shorter…and darker. My wardrobe seems to take a hint from the chilly weather and also goes dark. During these next few months, when I enter my closet, its like all I see are grays and blacks. I am drawn to them like peanut butter is drawn to chocolate, like mint chocolate chip ice cream is drawn to a warm waffle cone. Sorry, I digress.  I think the thick grayish clouds inspire me to want to be dressed just as they are…but I can’t wear grays and blacks EVERY day till April, can I? Well no, not without a pop of color. To avoid looking totally goth or appearing like I’m dressed for a funeral everyday I need to inject a bold burst of color into my solemn wardrobe. For this season, I think eggplant, ruby, lime, canary and cobalt blue are some of my favorite wow colors that can really spice up an otherwise boring outfit. These colors can take clothing from totally drab and dull to hip and wow! Take a look at some of these pics, hopefully they will inspire you to jazz up your own wardrobe with some hot pops of color during this season!

A fab clutch by Michael Kors…

Kathryn Kerrigan’s A-mazing ballet flats…

red-ballet-flats

Lime Turquoise necklace from Nordstrom’s – GORG!

Barse Lime Turquoise Necklace

Fantastic Louis belt…in a stunning fuschia-eggplant fusion!

LOVE this Lucas Jack gold and cobalt cuff…

Gold And Blue Cuff Bracelet

Office Appropriate?

We’ve all done it. Looked in the mirror while getting dressed for work and asked ourselves, “can I get away with this?” Probably not. If we are trying to jam our bodies into a shirt that’s too small or pants that are too tight and unflattering then, no, its probably not acceptable office attire. “But I hate pant suits! They are so stuffy and masculine!” Ahh, excuses, excuses! I think it’s easier than ever to look fantastic at work because office appropriate-clothes have really morphed over the last decade and what is viewed as acceptable now really has quite a wide range.  However, there are and always will be the purely unacceptable pieces that should never be seen in your work environment. For one, flip flops. Now, dont get me wrong – I love a metallic sandal and the way that they can totally pull an outfit together…but sandals are WAY different than flip flops. Flip flops are for the beach or your backyard lounge chair – thats it! Another “piece” that should never be shown off in the office – your belly. If you have a shirt on that is showing your mid-drift, please, PLEASE change it! Dont try to pull down on it and stretch it out so it seems to almost, sort of, kinda work. Its not worth the embarrassment of your boss seeing your pooch as you reach over to hand him that presentation.

Remember, how you dress reflects how you want to be treated, especially in your place of business. You want to give off the vibe that you are a confident, talented, put-together worker who is ready for any challenges that come your way – not a hippie that walks around with your belly exposed and your loud flip flops flapping against the office floor. Make sure your clothes are sending the right message to your co-workers and employer. Dressing like you actually care about your job can have some very positive effects…wearing pieces that just dont cut it could imply that, well, maybe you dont cut it…not the message we want to send – EVER! So take those extra 10 minutes the night before to pick out your clothes, iron them and try them on to ensure you are comfortable with your picks. A promotion could be right around your corner!

J. Crew is showing some fabulous cardigans and blouses this season. By mixing and matching these (and others like them) with a great pair of trousers or a fabulous skirt, you will ALWAYS be office-appropriate!

http://www.jcrew.com/womens_feature/NewArrivals.jsp

Bronzed leopard perfect shirt

Corvara cable cardigan

Merino sequined crochet cardigan

Tight Shirts & Booty Shorts: what is modesty?

Modesty sounds like a heinously archaic word, like something your great-grandma would nag you about & then yank your ear to emphasize her point. Is there a place for modesty in our society? I believe there is, but I think we need to transition our mindset away from seeing it as old-fashioned or confining. Rather, self-imposed modesty is about respecting your body and directing people to see you as a whole person, not just a physical shell. Just as there is not a one-size-fits-all dress or pair of jeans, modesty is extremely personal. Let’s explore this together:

My roommate Kathleen* walked around campus in high, high heels everyday. When we were alone she confessed that she didn’t always like how they felt, but she adored the attention it brought her. Is she immodest?

To some dark nail polish is the embodiment of scandalous, to others fish net stockings reek of overt sexuality. There are groups of women refuse to show their ankles, elbows, or hair. Conversely, there are women who expose it all, touting freedom of expression. 

One of my cousins, Sabrina, has an extremely large chest. She routinely buys tops that fit her appropriately yet her buxomness is always prominently displayed. Is she immodest?

There are individuals who believe that the beach eliminates the need for clothing. Their minimalist approach is a stark contrast to those who feel the need to swim fully clothed.

A different roommate of mine is extremely petite. She often wears extremely tiny shorts. Most ‘normal’ length shorts look ridiculous on her small frame; as a result she walks around in short shorts. Is she immodest?

Modesty, while outwardly expressed, is a reflection of the heart. What is your aim when getting dressed? Is it to ‘sell’ yourself? To present a unique sense of style? Be provocative? Express yourself artistically? Your motives are important. What are you saying with your clothes?

*all names have been changed

Hiding behind the Pillsbury Dough Boy

She described me as ‘puffy’, which isn’t exactly what I’d use in any sort of bio. Can you imagine: Hi! I’m Steph. I like coffee, reading, and spending time with friends. I’m outgoing, spontaneous, and puffy. Puffy. It certainly doesn’t have an alluring, feminine ring.
 
Yet, I was puffy. I was overweight, out of shape, and discontent. My friend’s observation, though a bit hurtful, illuminated the condition of my heart. While my heart didn’t resemble a frosted cinnamon roll, it was full of insecurities. Those insecurities crept into every aspect of life. Every interaction, every prayer, every movement was shrouded with a big, puffy blanket. A security blanket that I thought would protect me, but in reality it just kept me from being real. I was hiding behind the Pillsbury Doughboy.
 
Since that day, almost 6 years ago, I’ve done a lot to fix the outside, but more than that, I’ve worked on having a healed heart. No longer do feel compelled to fish for compliments, to seek affirmation, to hide myself. I’m certainly a lot less puffy, but I’m also happy to be me. Of course, I’m far from perfect, but now, even in the midst of my flaws I’ve hung up the blankie and just let people see the real me. As I continue to work on becoming ‘my best’, I’ve learned that God loves me unconditionally, and despite my humanity He’s created me for a unique purpose. The same is true for you! Why, then, do we hide behind masks (or in my case, a fictional, very doughy character)?
 
MODgrl would LOVE to hear from you either in the comments, or privately at modgrlfashion@gmail.com.
 
And remember, Truth says, “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” Song of Solomon 4:7

My Advice: avoid looking like a hot mess

“Are you feeling okay?” My coworker uttered the four dreaded words. These four seemingly innocent words serve as a reminder of why it’s never acceptable to roll out of bed and head out the door. I chuckled and replied that I felt fine, but made a mental note to put a bit more effort into my appearance the next day. She looked unconvinced, but accepted my reply. However, before exiting my office she grilled me one more time, “Are you SURE you’re not sick? You look really pale.”

Let my embarrassment and shame-filled day stand as a warning; you CAN control people’s perception of you! While obsessing about the external is not healthy, it is important to convey a poised, self-respecting image. On that fateful morning I was telling my colleagues that I belonged home, in bed with a cold tablet and some orange juice. If I had invested only ten minutes—thrown on a necklace, a pair of black dress pants, and applied some concealer—I could have made a statement of preparedness and enthusiasm for my job, instead of one of illness and exhaustion.

As you work on the internal, on becoming the best you, let your exterior shine forth your amazing potential. And unless you really are sick (in which case, go back to bed!), don’t follow my example; avoid going out in public looking like you have swine flu. Ten extra minutes could change the destiny of your day!