WIWS: Happy Memorial Day

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Hi, there! A little late joining in on the fun…but Arrested Development did just become available on Netflix…  😛

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Of course, it would figure that on the “unofficial start to summer” weekend, it would be a “feels-like” temp of 34 degrees. I decided to go patriotic in honor of today:

Dress: Something I’d mentioned before from a consignment shop. 🙂

Sweater, tank and leggings : somewhere. 🙂

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WIWS: Come Holy Spirit…

…breathe life into Oklahoma. If any readers out there are affected by the tornado, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

 

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Dressed liturgically yesterday:

ImageDress: A number from Burlington Coat Factory circa 2007.

Sweater: Ann Taylor Loft, ages ago.

WIWS: Special Guest Photo Bomb

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Happy last week of Easter! This Sunday was a bittersweet one. More on that after the clothes.

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Special Guest photo bomb!

On me:

– Purple twirly dress from The Limited (last Fall clearance).

– Navy cardigan from a former roommate’s closet, I think.

– Silver gladiator wedges by Naot. Sooo comfortable on the soles. Hilariously, I ended up tripping in them more than walking (poor footfalls) than Friday night when running for the train in straight heels.

On Special Guest:

– Green polo from wherever men buy such things. So, could be anywhere!

My roomies were very kind to let my best friend crash on our living room couch for a visit this past weekend. He is a gallant gentleman. Who lives so very far away. Prudence and patience are the virtues God wants me to work on…

WIWS: Conference edition

ImageHappy Bright Week to all the Eastern rite readers! This weekend I was at a writers’ conference in Springfield, MA. It was wonderful. I also got to experience a different Mass for the first time in a while. So my outfit was comfortable and functional, but still church appropriate.

ImageTurquoise top: Marshall’s.

Black cami: Forget. I had to throw it out anyway. The lace around the bustline was starting to separate scandalously. There was some yanking and pulling of a sweater…

Black pants: New York and Company. Affordable, serviceable, and still classy.

ImageAnd book earrings from Broadside Books in Northhampton. Designed by Cory Anne Sharer. http://www.coryannesharer.com/gallery.html

7QTF: Thoughts on Modesty

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It is Spring, and in some cases, Summer (the South’s “summer” is actually known as “Sauna.”), so that means skirts and shorts and shirtless men. So modesty is on my mind.

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This hilarious post by Seraphic Singles pokes fun at the scrupulous nature of screeds for female modesty.

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This hilarious post by Simcha Fisher rallies around the notion that appropriate pants can be modest.

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My own thoughts: I believe we are the first arbiters of our thoughts when it comes to visuals, and our primary responsibility to look away (preferably into the person’s eyes) and send away impure thoughts (hard to do when you’re looking into some piercing green eyes or gentle baby blues). That being said, we should extend charity to one another and sacrifice our desire to enhance our appeal for the good of our neighbor’s soul.

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And sometimes that charity means not rejoicing when your kid yells from the car at a female jogger he doesn’t know about her workout gear (once seen on a comments forum); understanding that women have different bodies, so knee-length can be a  really hard standard to meet if you have longer than average thighs, or recognizing that busty women on a budget can’t help the way T-shirts fit them and that flat women shouldn’t get mistaken for a teen boy; and that some people  must go from un-air-conditioned home to un-air-conditioned transit stop to un-air-conditioned church might bare (gasp!) upper arms and (get the fainting chair) shoulders.

 Exhibit A:

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Look ma, no cleavage

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Repeat after me: men can be immodest, inappropriate, unchaste. And in more ways than with their (and our) emotions. There is a reason that Cosmo’s “Guy Without His Shirt” is a monthly feature that only entices sin, and a reason my eyes need to suddenly find the floor or ceiling really interesting during the volleyball scene in Top Gun. If women are asked to not deliberately spark the wrong kind of imagination with their swimwear and workout gear, then I think we can ask men to respect the same boundaries. So put on a shirt.

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This article from one of the most modest countries in the world, Saudi Arabia, about a man reportedly too handsome to be allowed in the country  demonstrates that it’s not just certain body parts, but the mere appearance of a person that can spark lusty thoughts. Which all together only serves to demonstrate that the problem isn’t so much the body part, face, eyes, wrist, ankle, long, muscly hugging arms… the problem is our own minds.

Exhibit B:

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“Hey girl, I could listen to you talk about God’s plan for loving goodness all day.”
(if you readers need me, I’ll be in the confession line.)

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 So in the end, instead of railing against a person, people of a certain gender, type of perfectly appropriate garment, let’s all remember to call upon St. Michael to rail against the Great Deceiver, and rejoice in the authentic beauty of God’s creation.

 

What I Wore Sunday — Palm Sunday

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Happy Palm Sunday! It’s hard to believe we’re almost at the end of Lent. This Sunday I wanted to wear something that was indicative of the change in tone…no more purple…but also something subdued, evocative of Christ’s Passion, which we hear in today’s Gospel.

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As always, the assorted black thermals.

Top: 3/4-sleeve sweater from New York and Company (last Fall)

Skirt: The Limited. (on sale last Fall)

I feel like Lady Sybil on Downton Abbey when she said that her clothes were from her season and wanted to “wear them out.” After Mass today, I intend to go shopping for a new, or at least, new-to-me, Easter dress.

Reflection: This morning’s Psalm is is 22: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” I have been blessed to celebrate Mass at churches with robust music ministries, and every year, I am practically crying in the pews from the sheer guttural, passionate aching despair of the emotion behind this Psalm. And it is one that my heart has cried out on its own during some past seasons in my life.

For personal reasons I won’t get into here, this has been a Lent of discontent. But unlike other seasons, when Psalm 22 was my anthem, I do not feel abandoned by God. It is one of those situations that I share with others, who often wail “Why is this God’s will?” But this time, I don’t blame God. I blame myself for things said or left unsaid, things done, or left undone. I blame others for exercising their free will that seems counter to the “good” that I am seeking. But I do not blame God. No. Even if I don’t show Him enough, I recognize that God has not abandoned me. But I will pray for the strength to not abandon Him.

Holy Week Note: Check back in throughout the week. I’ll have some reflections based on a couple songs that really capture the spirit of Holy Week. I’m unsure if I’ll post a 7QT on Friday. I’d like to, for those who want something spiritual in the midst of their day.

 

7 Quick Takes Friday – Swimsuit Edition!

With the recent spate of warm weather and summer rapidly approaching for the Southern girlfriends, it’s time to think about swimsuits. Just as we Catholic women are called to metaphorically clothe ourselves in strength and dignity, we should also try to have our clothes show the strength and dignity. Contrary to what the secular media and commercials tell us, there are swimsuits that reveal our God-given beauty. While there is no rule book for length or type of top, it’s safe to say skimpy and stringy are not the best options.

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Option: The Swimdress

This girly water wear is perfect for all shapes and sizes. The options offered at Swimwear Place, Kohl’s, and Land’s End come in a variety of necklines and styles.

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Option: Mix-n-Match Two_Pieces

These suits allow you the coverage where you’d like it, and are priced so that you can grab just the top or just the bottom to incorporate into your wardrobe. They are from Lime Ricki, LL Bean, and Rey Swimwear.

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Option: Rash Guards and Board Shorts

Sport the sporty look with these pieces. Rash Guard tops come in many sleeve lengths, great ones have SPF IN the material, and still offer a modest look. Board shorts allow for moveability as you swim or surf, and come in different lengths, depending on how much leg you want to show.

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Option: Full-Bodied and Faithful

These suits were designed with the woman of faith in mind. Many religions share the Catholic view of feminine beauty. Modest by the Sea designs for the Muslim women in mind. SeaSecret (viewable on Mikvah Minder) is a line of swimwear for Jewish women. And the LDS (Mormon) – approved Hydrochic suits not only offer coverage but also SPF in the material of the suit!

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Option: Vintage Swimwear

Not your grandma’s suit by far, but they’ll definitely bring you back to grandma’s time in terms of cut and coverage. ModCloth, Shabby Apple, and Popina all offer retro-inspired looks great for all body types (talk about strength in #3 – you go girl!).

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Option: Make Your Own!

Handy with a needle and thread? Consider making your own. Jalie, Kwik Sew, and Elizabeth Lee Designs all offer patterns for a variety of bathing suit styles.

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Option: Class Up Your Own!

Have a new desire to go the extra modest mile, but low on funds? Here are simple ways to use other pieces of your wardrobe. For halter tops that now seem a little scandalous, don a sports bra first. If you’re only wading, throw a tennis skirt over your bikini bottoms. Some of your exercise wear, like cap sleeve tops and bike shorts, may still be comfortably worn in the water.