Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Winter Week in Feminine Dress, Day 2

Today’s schedule: A Family Day! Last year, Dad and David went to the University of IL-Champaign for something called an “E-Fest” – basically a large, regional gathering of model airplanes and helicopters. They enjoyed it so much that Dad really wanted to take us all to see it this year. I can see how someone with an engineering mind would be totally enthralled, because I found it interesting and enjoyable even though I am not at all scientifically-bent. :)

Following the E-Fest, we went to a very well-attended and vibrant Mass at St. John’s Newman Center, and then to Panera Bread for dinner.

Today’s outfit…

Skirt: Wool and pleated with a pattern of colored lines peeking from the comfortable and warm! It’s another thrift-store find from several winters ago. I like to pair it with a red or green top during the Christmas season, but it works nicely throughout the rest of the winter, too.

Top: A sky-blue Worthington pullover I got this Fall from Unique Thrift Store. (You are detecting a pattern here, right? They are usually the best places to find quality modest clothing!). I’m wearing the same black tank underneath that I wore yesterday. The sweater’s dark neckline edge ties in well with the skirt, and there are actually blue lines in the skirt pattern (though you can’t see that in the photo). The black crocheted sweater is my mom’s, which she kindly lets me borrow since I don’t have one. :)

Shoes: Same as yesterday, but with Maggie’s lightweight cotton tights. These are the nicest cotton tights I’ve found: unlike many other brands, this particular Maggie’s design is warm and comfortable, and doesn’t slip down easily. They are trim and classy: a staple ready to pair with any winter skirt! Today I’m wearing charcoal gray, which ties together my black skirt and brown shoes. It’s actually just the right neutral shade against both the black and the brown.

Necklace: My dressy miraculous medal, and on my sweater a “Precious Feet” pin. (You can see the blue top’s cute neckline bow in this photo, too).

Hairstyle: A diagonal/curved French braid, spiraled up into a braided bun and secured with small claw clips (probably my favorite hair invention ever). The flower is of sparkly ribbon and was made by Veronica and I – we designed them for the ladies to wear in our December choir concert. It’s hot-glued to a standard, brown, flat clip which makes it a snap to put in. This do took me about 10-12 minutes this morning.

View 1:

View 2:

Bonus…my sister Veronica’s outfit:

Unbeknownst to one another, we chose similar pleated wool skirts today! She paired hers with what she describes as a “dull plum” colored top (yes, from a thrift store), layered a lighter purple cami underneath, and added a brown shell/stone necklace lent from Mom.

Her paisley-print purple pashmina scarf is worn the same way mine was yesterday, but pulled tighter and tied in the front. She's also enjoying Maggie’s lightweight cotton tights in brown...a perfect color match. Charming, isn't she?

Today’s femininity quote:

"Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor."

~Webster's Dictionary 1828

Today’s feminine website:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Winter Week in Feminine Dress, Day 1

Since my last week in feminine dress was in Spring, I thought it would be a fitting time to do another, and also a good revival for my poor neglected blog.

I'm often asked about how to dress femininely and warmly in wintertime. Granted, our midwestern winters are not quite as frigid as northern Wisconsin or Canada, but we do get our share of cold! I hope to share tips, ideas, and inspiration this week for feminine (plus stylish and frugal) winter apparel.

Today's schedule: The SpeakOut Illinois 2010 Pro-Life Conference

Today's oufit...

Skirt: A favorite I've had for a number of years (probably a thrift store find). The colors and weight make it a three-season piece. It actually has a second layer attached, which is helpful in warding off static-cling and chill (I do wear an additional slip as well). The dressy print of roses in deep red, dusty purple and deep goldenrod went well with the pro-life theme today.

Shoes: My super-comfortable Maryjane-style Sketchers in deep brown, worn with nylons. These are the most brilliant combination of pretty and practical, especially if you will be all day on your feet. I have wide feet, so a few good quality pairs of wide-width shoes are pretty much all I use. I was able to get these for a great sale price at Famous Footwear this fall. Beautiful footwear does not have to be painful — nor need comfort be dowdy! :)

Top: A v-neck sweater with 3/4 sleeves in deep red ("carmine" according to appears a bit brighter than actuality in the photos). I found this one at a recent thrift store excursion. Layering is great both for warmth and modesty — underneath my sweater is a black tank with sequin accents at the neckline.

Necklace: The same rose necklace I wore here.

Shawl/Scarf: Purple "pashmina"-style ($10 from Burlington Coat Factory). This last season, I've discovered how much I enjoy these scarves! Not only do they bring a classy touch, but worn this way it feels as warm as wearing another sweater. There are many ways to wear them, but the two I use most frequently are demonstrated in this video (my first photo today features the first method shown here):

Todays' hair style: A fairly simple but becoming method I devised in the last few months. It is achieved by starting a side part, then turning it into a "box" part. Leave that small section of hair hanging in front, and draw the rest of your bangs (upper hair) back into a barette, smoothing the top with a comb. Put a braid or twist into the small section of hair, drawing it back and joining it into the barette. This style could work on shoulder-length or longer hair. If you find my directions confusing or need assistance, let me know. :) It takes about 3 minutes to do this on myself.

Today's femininity quote:

"When men wish to be safely impressive, as judges, priests or kings, they do wear skirts, the long trailing robes of female dignity."
-G.K. Chesterton

Media Malpractice

This year's March for Life was bigger than ever. And, once again, the secular news media all but ignored it. Last night I heard a priest comment, "You want to know how to make 250,000 people disappear? Send them to Washington and hand them pro-life signs."

What's even more frustrating is that not only does the media belittle the huge, peaceful pro-life presence, but if they do mention us, they try to say that there are just as many pro-abortion individuals there, too. They like to label us "anti-abortion activists" and say things like, "most protestors are in their 60's or older", and "there are no young women around". Sorry, but anyone in D.C. on January 22 can tell you that YOUTH are the ones who fill the place. And young women? I was there, people. If anything, we are the majority!

Righteous indignation is needed here, folks. And plenty of our own self-publishing of the real, staggering facts, while expressing our vocal dissatisfaction with the seriously deficient average news media. Write your paper, TV station, whatever. Point out their obvious lack of skill and respectfully demand fair and balanced reporting in 2011.

From Catholic Fire: At the 2010 March for Life the media set new standards for journalistic fraud. In its lead photo, CNN showed five pro-abortion picketers, all that could be found, and ignored the 300,000 pro-life marchers. CNN's Rick Sanchez wondered out loud which group dominated. Newsweek claimed that most participants were in their 60's when, in fact, most were under 25. This video sets the record straight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend Recap...

Thursday: Lively bus ride to D.C. with prayers, songs, hair braiding...all the usual Claire stuff. :)

Friday: Went up 13 floors at the Old Post Office Building in D.C., Marched for Life with 200,000+, interviewed live by EWTN along with my sister, prayed and sang at the Supreme Court steps, enjoyed time with my sister Sarah and my dear friend Malori!

Saturday: Attended Students for Life Conference and had wonderful surprise reunions with friends, went to a packed-full Mass at the crypt church of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, rode the Metro train (first time!) and spread smiles to whomever I could, visited the Servants of the Lord Convent, had precious time with my sister back at Christendom College, and then went to the black-and-white "Oreo" Dance

Sunday: Awesome Christendom Liturgy, afternoon socializing/open house, evening debate society gathering, swing dance practice!

Monday: Sat in on Theology, Astronomy, and Philosophy (where discussion included differing natures of men and woman AND the four temperaments...totally my element), said goodbye to Sarah (love you, sis!), flew to Atlanta for my connecting flight to Chicago, then find out the lovely lady sitting next to me lives a few blocks away (Erika, thanks so much for the ride!)

...just a slightly full and blessed few days. My heart is overflowingly grateful.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Seasonal Humor

A mother gathered her three young children around their Christmas nativity and read the story of the Wise Men who traveled to worship the Christ Child. Mom told the children that the Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

After the story, her oldest son observed, “You know, Mom, a Wise Woman would have brought diapers.” =)

I'm one day late, but Blessed Epiphany!