Thursday, February 16

What I wore




The best of the morning's "what I wore" shots - ha! But the kids are too cute so I decided to post them.
I now enjoy taking time to dress each morning and the reasoning behind this trickles down into what I'm teaching (in word and deed) to our kids.
Many years ago, after Sean had left the corporate ladder world, and begun working for himself, I began running into more and more people that knew him when I was out and about. We've lived in the same general area our entire lives and when you have, suddenly it becomes clear that everybody knows somebody you know. So I decided I should probably begin to dress nicer (for me: no yoga pants and t-shirts) when I went out. That thought translated into thinking that, well, if I was going to dress nicely for people who know my husband, to be a good reflection of our home and family name, then I should probably be dressing nicely for him at home also. And so I asked my husband what style of clothing he liked me to wear.
Over time, as I went into thrift stores (because I've made a habit of shopping thrift no matter what our income) I chose clothing I liked but that also fit into the description of what my husband said he liked seeing me wear - things that are "classy and tasteful". I'm not a doormat and have strong opinions on clothing but it didn't take much effort or money to begin to swap out items in my wardrobe for things we both liked. For some, this may seem domineering, asking my husband what he likes me to wear, but he, in turn, asks me what I like him to wear (and I'm brutally honest if I don't like something).
All during this time God has begun working in my heart about dressing more modestly. Previously I was of the opinion that if a guy had a problem, that was his problem, and his temptation or sin had nothing to do with me. After all, there was nothing in the Bible about how long my skirts should be, or whether or not a woman should wear shorts, or if two piece bathing suits were from the devil. :) The Holy Spirit gently steered my heart towards scripture on the intentions of my heart and treating other men as my brothers in Christ. Would I dress with a low cut top and short skirt and sit in a room of my brothers? GROSS! AWKWARD! Definitely not. I have no brothers but the thought of dressing to attract my siblings attention, or so that they could appreciate my body or beauty is just disgusting.
For a while my dresses got longer and longer, because long skirts equal modesty, right? Definitely not. First of all, modesty is a heart issue that manifests itself outwardly. I began to wonder what was behind these scriptures I kept hearing quoted about women not dressing like men, hence the long skirt mode of fashion. As a lover of fashion and fashion history, I knew that men had once worn robes and dress-like fashions that would now-a-days be considered effeminate. I also knew that t-shirts, which just about every woman wears, had begun to be worn by military men who after war wore the t-shirts as civilians, then the general public picked up on the trend regardless of gender - so if we could dress on top like a man, why not on the bottom?

So I'll encourage you to do what I did. I dug up everything I could, every scripture, every Hebrew and Greek word and churned them over, looking at the pieces, seeing what I ought to do, what I ought to wear as a representative of Christ, seeing what was really what. I understand that we are not under the law but that we're called to live in a balance of law and grace. If not, we'd have been commanded by Jesus to toss out the Ten Commandments long ago. Jesus also quoted from the Old Testament more than anyone else, hereby solidifying that Christ would not refer to something that was errant. Now, before I go on and on on this, because the topic of the Old/New meld is thrilling to me....
I discovered that I'm not supposed to put on men's armor, that I'm not to try to pass myself off as a man or live as one, and that chaste and modest and discretion have nothing to do with skirts or skirt length.
I understand this is a touchy subject, and I encourage you to talk with your husbands about it, whether or not they are believers. If your husband is a believer - I encourage you to do a study together if you have not.
For the nitty-gritty of this outfit:
Black riding boots, ebay - $60
wool knee socks - gift from Sean
vintage red skirt, thrifted and new waistband put in, $2
L.L.Bean black v-neck sweater - $10 at the outlet
black velvet jacket - I have no idea I've had this so long :)


Sally said...

While I am absolutely NOT a fashionista, I am quite intrigued by your study and would love to hear more about that study!

Joy said...

Great post, Hannah! Great outfit, adorable kids, and great thoughts on modesty and femininity!

I share your perspective on this topic. After years of thinking that the only way to be feminine and modest was to wear skirts and avoid pants, my husband and I have come to the conclusion that this isn't really what it's all about after all. You can be modest in a pair of jeans (as you've shown here in your "What I Wore" posts), and you can also be immodest in a skirt. Just being "skirts only" doesn't mean we're modest or more spiritually mature than ladies in pants. So many other factors come into play.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the inspiring photos!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Great outfit, Hannah!

I agree with what you wrote about modesty and dressing to please our husbands and being a good reflection on our family etc...I usually wear a skirt or dress because it feels more feminine to me, and it is more unusual these days, though not here in Lancaster County! Our goal is to be modest and feminine.


Lisa said...

I love your what-I-wore-posts.
I think, what you wear is really tasteful. And what you write here is really interesting. But I think, it's not really so difficult, to dress myself to feel right - you only have to be creative, for example, a lot of things, that are sold as dresses (I really don't understand who does name some of them dress!) are very nice tops. And if you are able to do only little changes on things - no problem. But I often find it so difficult, how to dress my nearly eleven years old daughter! For little girls it is easy - but for older girls... I don't want her to look like a toddler and I don't want her to look like a little woman. Perhaps you could tell us, how you do manage this problem. Of course we have the difference, that our kids have to visit public schools and you have to think about how other kids are dressed - I think this needs one more point of view.
Thank you for sharing your nice outfits.

Lecia said...

Love this post and your what I wore post.

Michele said...

You look beautiful, as always, Hannah. I love that you wear skirts around the house. I enjoy skirts, as well. :-) I used to save my "good clothes" for going out. Silly, really. After all, it's Michael I want to have enjoy me, so now I dress for him...even at home. I am enjoying seeing "what you wore". Keep the pictures coming.

Bethany Lynn said...

Great post! Thank you!

Mindy said...

I loved this! Makes me think I should dress nice for my husband at home too =) And I would love to hear more about your study on modesty. Can you give us some tips or hints on where to go in the Bible etc. to start such a study ourselves?

Renee said...

My husband loves picking out clothes for me and has really started to do this in the last couple of years. He's got great taste and really like it when I dress nice for him. I think it's one way I show that I love him. I also think modesty is very important, but I love to wear jeans and find them very comfortable.

Emma said...

Hannah, you have such a lovely blog and beautiful, Godly family. YOu and I have different beliefs and such different lives, but I visit your blog frequently because it is so wonderful to see a family putting such high value on loving eachother. Everytime I visit Cultivating Home I feel like a welcomed visitor, sitting in your beautiful house, enjoying the warmth.

Many parents put their children on such a low priotity, treating them harshly (we homeschool also and oh the comments from other parents just drain me) and it's breath of fresh air to read your beauitful posts and encouragements on how to put family, children, home and of couse God as first priority.

Blessings to you and your family,


Mrs. Rebekah S. said...

Really like the outfit and really like how you expressed your conclusions about modest, appropriate dress. I couldn't agree more and could identify with the journey you've taken through Scripture and study to reach those conclusions. :)

mira said...

is it weird to admit that when I happened upon an older lady's ENTIRE WARDROBE at a local free clothes place, one of the first people I thought of was you? I admire your ability to wear skirts year round, and now I have my own collection of vintage wool (complete with matching sweaters) to fulfill my years long desire for more femininity in my wardrobe.

Keep up the inspiring writing, it is an encouragement to read.