Friday, June 20, 2008

But they're all wearing pants!

Walking into a room full of girls like this can be very daunting if you're wearing a skirt!

As I've travelled to functions with my father in the past year or so, it has become common to hear him mention to my mother on our return that I was one of the few or the ONLY girl wearing a skirt. He doesn't comment often on my appearance, but he sure does notice, and I treasure the times he vocalises his appreciation for my femininity. My mother frequently whispers a compliment in my ear as I'm leaving the house or getting out of the car.

They warm my heart and fuel my confidence. Their opinions matter to me. I need their encouragement, because I'm very aware that I look different to my peers -- in fact, different to most women I encounter. My nature and upbringing have formed in me a strength of mind that helps me cope with standing out, but there are occasions when I have wavered and submitted to peer pressure. I know there are girls who struggle with this on a daily basis.

A forum topic, "But they're all wearing pants!", highlights this very clearly. When there are compromising garments in the closet, there will always be the temptation to wear them. I've brainstormed for ways to maneuver through such situations, and here's what I've come up with. If you can add to the pile, please email us!

1. KNOW why you decided to dress in a modest and feminine manner. Write out your credo and place it somewhere where you can see if often, such as on the wall by your mirror. This should include the value God places on a beautiful heart, and that you are a princess, not a commoner.

2. REMOVE compromising garments from your closet. Sell or give them away, don't stash them where you might go fishing in a moment of weakness.

3. WEAR clothes you LIKE! Stock your closet with garments that you find attractive - whether they're fun and flouncy or refined and elegant. Choose colours that suit you.

4. MAKE TIME to shop productively. Use online resources such as Boutique Narelle to find the type of garments you're looking for, or sew them yourself. Don't settle for a quick bargain that's not quite what you're looking for.

5. LEARN how to turn a collection of nice garments into a classy outfit. Adding a scarf, hat, jewellery, or different footwear can transform a basic skirt and top (notice in these illustrations above and below what colour, shape, and texture do for the basic top and bottom). Knowing that you look snazzy will help fortify you against the uniformed glances of jean jokers and denim dudes.

6. COLLECT images of outfits you admire. Form them into a portfolio and make a note of where they can be purchased.

7. OFFER words of encouragement when you see a girl dressing with care. She may reciprocate on a day when you really need it.

Next week we'll elaborate on point 5 -- using accessories to create style.

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