Friday, January 28, 2011

The Scotty Suit

Under her cardigan, Narelle wears a Warehouse camisole (from the girls' section).
Your Closet and the Men in Your Life
My sister brought her young family to visit for a few days. In his bedtime prayer, 3-year-old Scotty thanked God that he got to sit next to Aunty Narelle at the table and that she was wearing a blue suit. I was tickled pink to know he approved of my appearance.
Joshua, Scotty, and Elizabeth help Aunty Narelle sing. Narelle is wearing what she now thinks of as her Scotty Suit.
My father appreciates that I present myself in a modest, feminine manner. He's proud of my wholesome womanliness. I like knowing I please him.

When you choose your wardrobe, do you consider the men in your life? Are they delighted in you and edified by your appearance, or are they distracted and uncomfortable around you?
Do you know what your menfolk think about dress and modesty? Does it matter to you what they think?

Jeff Pollard wrote, “Women and men need to clearly understand that clothes are a language, a true body language.” [Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America. Your complimentary copy from Chapel Library is waiting for you. Email for your free copy (no postage required in USA), or download free pdf version here:]
Colleen Hammond, author of "Dressing with Dignity", said, “There is a difference between dressing attractively, and dressing to attract. …You can dress fashionably while still maintaining your dignity.”
And a closing thought from counter counter-cultural journalist Wendy Shalit:

"Not only do we think there are differences between the sexes, but we think these differences can have a beautiful meaning – a meaning that isn’t some irrelevant fact about us but one that can inform and guide our lives. That’s why we’re swooning over nineteenth-century dramas and clothing. We want our dignity back, our ‘feminine mystique’ back, and, along with it, the notion of male honor."  [A Return to Modesty.]
What a button placket lacks, a JayJays camisole can supply.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Modelling Modesty: Christmas Carol

"Modelling Modesty" posts on Boutique Narelle provide you with proof that you're not the only girl in the world striving to be modest and gorgeous. Welcome to the company of courageous femininity!
Modelling modesty, Narelle demonstrates her Christmas Eve outfit. She wore the same skirt and colour scheme the following day...
The shoes were a gift to herself, subsidized by Mum. Have you noticed that pretty footwear makes even a plain outfit charming?
If you're thinking that this looks like she needs to invite her shirt down to meet her skirt, you'd be right. Between stretch fabrics and health issues, Narelle struggles to keep her ensembles all together. Hanging loose is good for her wellbeing but not her wardrobe!
The finishing touch.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flowers in Your Hair, part 2

Wild or garden flowers may be out of season or out of reach for you, but don't despair. The imitation variety are attractive and generally inexpensive. Flowers in your hair in winter have a special power. It's as though they puff out their colour and sweetness to the world's grey frigidity, bringing smiles, defying gloom.
Jyoti and Narelle
Jyoti prepared a magnificent feast for Narelle's birthday party. With little time to primp once the food was ready, a flower on a small crocodile clip was the perfect ornament. Along with her beautiful smile.

Narelle wore her hair up (below) on Christmas Day, using a butterfly clip and two alligator clips to pin it up in sections, the last clip hidden by an adaptable red rose she found in the $2 shop the day before -- it can be fastened by elastic hairtie, small crocodile clip, or brooch pin.
From "The Inheritance" by Louisa May Alcott
"Tell on, and Amy, love, come place some flowers in Ida's hair; she has left that for your skillful hands to do."
From "Roses and Forget-Me-Nots" by Louisa May Alcott
a short story which you can read here:

    In vain they searched; in vain Marie wailed and Belle declared it must be somewhere; no wreath appeared. It was duly set down in the bill, and a fine sum charged for a head-dress to match the dainty forget-me-nots that looped the fleecy skirts and ornamented the bosom of the dress. It had evidently been forgotten; and Mama dispatched Marie at once to try and match the flowers, for Belle would not hear of any other decoration for her beautiful blonde hair.
    The dress fitted to a charm, and was pronounced by all beholders the loveliest thing ever seen. Nothing was wanted but the wreath to make it quite perfect, and when Marie returned, after a long search, with no forget-me-nots, Belle was in despair.
    A general "Ah!" of admiration arose as Belle, Mama, and Marie surveyed the lovely wreath that lay before them; and when it was carefully arranged on the bright head that was to wear it, Belle
blushed with pleasure. Mama said: "It is more beautiful than any Paris could have sent us;" and Marie clasped her hands theatrically, sighing, with her head on one side:
    "Truly, yes; mademoiselle is now adorable!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

Flowers in Your Hair, part 1

Have you ever worn a flower in your hair? Maybe even a floral wreath? How did it make you feel?

There's nothing like the femininity of floral adornment. I hope the following story quotes and photo illustrations encourage or remind you to wear a flower in your hair now and then, to celebrate the gift of being feminine!
From "Rilla of Ingleside" by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Rilla was leaning out of her room window, dressed for the dance. A yellow pansy slipped from her hair and fell out over the sill like a falling star of gold. She caught at it vainly-­but there were enough left. Miss Oliver had woven a wreath of them for her pet's hair.

Rilla whirled into the shadowy kitchen at Ingleside, where Susan was prosaically darning socks, and lighted it up with her beauty. She wore her green dress with its little pink daisy garlands, her silk stockings and silver slippers. She had golden pansies in her hair and at her creamy throat. She was so pretty and young and glowing that even Cousin Sophia Crawford was compelled to admire her­-and Cousin Sophia Crawford admired few transient earthly things.
From "The Blue Castle" by L. M. Montgomery
Valancy had never had a pink dress or worn flowers in her hair.
Thanks to Lauren East for this image.
    Valancy had heard so much about him [the portrait painter] that she couldn't help turning her head back over her shoulder for another shy, curious look at him. A shaft of pale spring sunlight fell through a great pine athwart her bare black head and her slanted eyes. She wore a pale green sweater and had bound a fillet of linnaea vine about her hair. The feathery fountain of trailing spruce overflowed her arms and fell around her. Allan Tierney's eyes lighted up.
    "I've had a caller," said Barney the next afternoon, when Valancy had returned from another flower quest.
    "Who?" Valancy was surprised but indifferent. She began filling a basket with arbutus.
    "Allan Tierney. He wants to paint you, Moonlight."
    "Me!" Valancy dropped her basket and her arbutus. "You're laughing at me, Barney."

From "Kilmeny of the Orchard" by L. M. Montgomery
She had woven herself a chaplet of half-open white rosebuds and placed it on her dark hair, where the delicate blossoms seemed less wonderful than her face.

She had crossed her long braids at the back and pinned them about her head like a coronet; a late white rose was fastened low down on the left side.

She wore a dress of her favourite blue, simply and quaintly made, as all her gowns were. Her glossy black hair was wound about her head in a braided coronet, against which a spray of wild asters shone like pale purple stars. Her face was flushed delicately with excitement. She looked like a young princess, crowned with a ruddy splash of sunlight that fell through the old trees.
From "Roses for Mama" by Janette Oke
Nervousness brought a flush to Angela's cheeks. She had never been in a wedding party before. She stepped to the back of the church and waited for the cue from Mrs. Merrifield; then she began the slow procession toward the altar. On her arm were white camellias and blue forget-me-nots. A spray of baby's breath [gypsophila] was tucked in her loosely coiled hair.
Thanks to Kristin Reyland Wilson for this image from her wedding day.
From "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott
Feeling almost happy again, she [Meg] laid by a few ferns and roses for herself, and quickly made up the rest in dainty bouquets for the breasts, hair, or skirts of her friends, offering them so prettily that Clara, the elder sister, told her she was 'the sweetest little thing she ever saw', and they looked quite charmed with her small attention. Somehow the kind act finished her despondency, and when all the rest went to show themselves to Mrs. Moffat, she saw a happy, bright-eyed face in the mirror, as she laid her ferns against her rippling hair and fastened the roses in the dress that didn't strike her as so very shabby now.

    So she made her wedding gown herself, sewing into it the tender hopes and innocent romances of a girlish heart. Her sisters braided up her pretty hair, and the only ornaments she wore were the lilies of the valley, which 'her John' liked best of all the flowers that grew.
    "You do look just like our own dear Meg, only so very sweet and lovely that I should hug you if it wouldn't crumple your dress," cried Amy, surveying her with delight when all was done.
All three wore suits of thin silver gray (their best gowns for the summer), with blush roses in hair and bosom, and all three looked just what they were, fresh-faced, happy-hearted girls, pausing a moment in their busy lives to read with wistful eyes the sweetest chapter in the romance of womanhood.

Amy stood like a graceful statue, with a most becoming ray of sunshine touching her white forehead and the flower in her hair.
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