Friday, June 25, 2010

Over My Head

SCARFING AROUND, part 5
Ways to Use a Small Piece of Fabric

Feminine toppers come in many styles. There is this type, generally known as a hat...

Then there is this type, generally known as a head covering...
There are lots of ways to apply this article of clothing, or accessory as some may consider it. I don't wear a head covering all the time, content with the covering God has already provided, but that's not to say I don't wish to be knowledgeable in the art of application.

Maybe one day I'll find myself touring holy sites in Rome or Jerusalem, or visiting with a Muslim family, or fellowshipping in a Mennonite congregation. I know I'll want to look my best _and_ honour the customs of those I'm with. I intend to be prepared. I invite you to journey with me as I share some of the delightful web options I've discovered.

Head covering is not just a religious or cultural practice. It is highly practical. In the heat it helps protect you from sunstroke. Seventy percent of your body's heat is lost through your head, so covering up in the cold will protect you from hypothermia and other chill-induced illnesses. If you're in a windy climate, covering your head will keep your hair tidy and dust-free as well as helping prevent wind-chill. And outdoors is not the only location you may want your hair to remain clean and tidy.

If you should be having a bad hair day, or suffer from hair loss, a head-covering is just the ticket to feeling chirpy again about your appearance.

I've visited three different online stores that offer a range of scarves, headbands, pre-tied bandanas, and plenty of images to give you ideas for how to tie the scarf or bandana that you already own or make from scratch.

Have fun!
Tznius' long headcover is available in a range of vibrant colours, and they suggest it may be tied 3 different ways (see images below).
Headcoverings by Devorah unveiled for me the mystery of how delicate pieces of fabric can be fixed to a lady's head without recourse to ugly bobby pins. (See 3 samples below.) The luscious fabrics and trims used by this company surely defy anyone's belief that headcoverings are less than beautiful.

CoverYourHair.com is a glorious place to visit. This rainbow of samples (below) shows just one style of bandana (large handkerchief) available to purchase.

The fabric options range from Audrey Hepburn chic to trendy paisleys and funky prints, and there are plain coloured cottons for those who like to keep it simple.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Look at Layering

The constantly shifting tides of fashion and a vertically challenged shirt hem prompted me to take another look at the concept of layering.

First 5 illustrations from Ezibuy

The technique of layering garments, whether for warmth or modesty, has to be planned if you don't want to end up looking like a hephalump or a slob who's just burrowed up out of bed.

While short-over-long has been the norm for a few years, I think it's a styling that leans toward oddness. In fact, to my eye a long shirt hanging out of a short jacket looks plain frumpy.

Then there's the pregnant look (below). This is legitimate if you are pregnant, but if you aren't, you may want to reconsider your outfit.


Annie Lantz Grand Tour Jacket. Carriage Supper Top, Orient Express Skirt
Examples in the Annie Lantz autumn catalogue have sent the layering trend back to long-over-shorter, meaning the world shall no more see undergarments hanging out. It's a loss I welcome.

Annie Lantz Grand Tour Overshirt, Autumn Traveller's Shirt, Autumn Traveller's Pant

The key here is working from solid-colour basics, then building with simple contrast, either by texture, print, or colour contrast -- any or all of these so long as you have plain and simple to offset it.

Annie Lantz Salon Car Polo Top, Salon Car Vest, Couchette Car Pant
One can be warm and modest and present an ordered appearance all at the same time. It just takes planning, and the forethought to ensure that outer garments are coat length (hemmed below your butt), and shirts are hip-length or tucked into your waistband.

I've acquired a couple of shirts that have tails as long as a coat. All my skirts are hipsters -- shirts look odd tucked inside these -- and my jumpers and jackets are shorter than these shirts.

Narelle's solution: Cut off the shirt tails and re-hem an inch or so below my hip. Now they sit nicely over my skirts and don't poke distracting tails out from under my jackets.

Method: Line up the 2 sides of the shirt, securing with pins (positioned vertically in illustration). Use a square edge to mark a straight course from the button placket across to the side seams. Mark this line with pins, then use tailors chalk to mark the pin locations. Remove pins and cut along chalked line. Remove vertical pins. Measure and pin hem, press, and stitch.

Getting the neat, all-together look just takes planning!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Umbrella that Won't Blow Inside-Out

Continuing in my search for stay-dry options for active ladies who wear skirts and so can't take advantage of waterproof trousers, I came across a clever umbrella.

When the weatherman says "Brace yourself for a wintery blast" and you can't see the view for the rain on the window; when you'd rather stay in but you have to go out, here's what you need...

...a large umbrella that won't blow inside out. An entrepreneurial someone saw the water blasting by and said, "I'll make something that will keep you dry." This is the result, and I think it's brilliant.

My only complaint about the advertising is that if this lady really was wind-blown, she'd have a hat to keep her hair on as well as an umbrella to keep the rain off.

Purchase from www.Innovations.co.nz or www.Innovations.com.au.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Power of Femininity

I find it helpful to be reminded now and again about the value of femininity.

Sometimes the reminder comes from a friend...

She is on the staff of a luxury lodge and texted me one day that while she was working she saw a beautiful woman.

"It was only for a moment but it was enough to make me think WOW! I came home and read Pause at the Mirror. It went along with what I was thinking, that maybe she wasn't beautiful. Maybe it was the way she walked, the way she dressed, the way she smiled. She was very relaxed, peaceful, friendly. Her smile was genuine. Gorgeous long curly thick brown hair. Dressed girly but not overdone."

This vision of feminine grace left such a strong impression on my friend that the lady's charm effected me as well.


Sometimes the reminder comes from pictures...

I found these while researching New Zealand online shopping options. Kooky is high-end women's clothing, but even if the price tag isn't inspiring, the images certainly are.

May you be encouraged to continue growing in grace and femininity.

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