Thursday, February 18, 2010

Feelin Feminine Challenge

Christina at TheStoryOfUs shared this challenge recently, and I decided to give it a go. The original challenge is to wear skirts/dresses every day for a week. I have had periods in my life when I did this, but at present it is a bit difficult because 1--I am nursing so dresses/jumpers are out. 2--many of my skirts are summery and it's winter in Alaska right now. 3--some of my skirts still don't fit around my post-baby body. So I decided to do what I do with so many things, and adapt it for myself.
For the last week I have made efforts to be more feminine in my appearance--but not necessarily just by wearing skirts--and to observe how it affected how feminine I felt. I made an effort to actually comb and style my hair every day, not just pull it up in a quick bun (which is what I often do). I wore earrings. I made an effort to be feminine in my behavior--thinking about my role as a Keeper At Home, taking pride in doing what I do well, and also trying to be gentle and patient and those other traditional virtues.

Here are some photos from the week:

Day 1 (Photo courtesy of Wolf)
Nothin makes ya feel fat like wearing your favorite skirt--that used to be slightly loose at the waist--and having to wear a waist cincher to even get it zipped up...and then still looking pudgy anyway. *sigh* I decided to put this skirt away again for a few more months. I can't bear to get rid of it though--not unless I know I won't fit it again--because I made it and like I said, I really love it.

Day 2 (Taking my own photos now--thank you mirror!)
I went for a feminine shirt (my sister got it for me in Brazil), upswept hair, and pretty (etsy) earrings...with my jeans. I liked it. Someone asked me for a tutorial on the hair--I'll try to remember to post that soon. I just wanted something besides a regular old I made a glorified version of a regular old bun. ☺

Day 3--no photos, whoops! I wore an embroidered peasant blouse (which my sister got me from Mexico--go sis!!) with the jeans and some pretty earrings...

Day 4 (Sunday)

A rare non-dangly-earring day, but it was Valentine's, so I figured hearts were in order, besides which these earrings were a gift from Wolf a couple of years ago. ♥
Hair up a la day 2 again.

Day 5
Oh my word I forgot to wear earrings.
I think I get a bonus point for this day though because I made both the blouse and the skirt...

Day 6
These are the earrings I wore on Day 3... (handmade--bought from a street fair vendor when I was in college). Even a blue button-down shirt can be feminine...I think...

Day 7--no photos, but I wore the stripey green skirt again with a tan t-shirt. I didn't sleep very well the prior night and didn't do anythign interesting with my hair or earrings...but I wore a dress. So I still get my points, right?!

Day 8--today
Another peasant blouse (this one I bought in Turkey--note the lace bit in the middle of the sleeve too--I love that part *sigh*) These earrings I bought at a street fair at least 15 years ago. They were on studs which eventually got ikky, but I switched them onto some nice french hooks and they are still my favorites...they have seen more ear time than all my other earrings combined I think. But how can you go wrong with a simple dangle that matches everything?!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So now we get the exciting "let's analyze our feelings" part of the post. ☺ Here are things I noticed this week:
  • A lot of the things I did this week are things I do anyway--baking bread, making dinners, sewing--but when I was thinking about them as part of my 'role' rather than part of my 'dumb stuff I gotta do' list they seemed, I don't know...less drudgery and more noble I guess. I mean, kneading bread is still kneading bread--and I don't mind it--but there's something about kneading it with love instead of kneading it with hurry I guess. 
  • A lot of people chop off their hair when they have kids. If you like short hair, go ahead and have a short haircut...but I think it's sad to get 'mom hair' just because you're a Mrs, you know? I find that a pretty up-do is youthful and elegant and feminine, and it can add a dash of glamour to everyday jeans...
  • All my best stuff is either handmade or from a foreign country. Hmmmmmm.
  • Earrings can dress you up or frump you down. 
  • Femininity is as much about attitude and actions as it is about outfits. Maybe moreso.
  • ...and I no longer own any pants except jammies/sweats and jeans. This is Alaska, after all--and I've lived in the bush for the last two years. I decided that this summer I need to buy a pair of slacks or corderoys so I can have something between 'jeans' and 'church' to wear.


Katie said...

I LOVE all the foreign blouses! My sister bought Turkish dishes in Iraq, so I bet she could get me some pretty blouses!

What are some of your favorite Etsy earring shops? I think earrings make a HUGE difference in how I look when I have my hair up. I have tried wearing earrings every day this week, and my ears are VERY ANGRY! But I'd still like to keep trying!

Do you have the same bra on in all the pictures? The first picture made it look like you had a really unsupportive bra on. If that was remedied, I don't think you'd look 'pudgy' at all. But I've been close to your size before (I was 32G for a while), and I wanted to be comfortable -- I didn't care how I looked! I've lost 4 cup sizes in the last year, but no one (including Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom, and Dillard's) carries my current size, and I've never made it a priority to get something online. Anyway, my point was that I think a better bra would improve things if you want to look less 'pudgy' (your word, not mine), but I am not saying I think you should do that necessarily :-D

Alicia and Justin Clark said...

I really need to work harder at this.....I'm hard on my clothes and so I tend to wear clothes I don't care about because I know they're going to get trashed doing my work of the day. But they aren't pretty or feminine at all. Definitely something I think about working on, hasn't happened yet, but necessary I think. Good job to you for doing it!

Mommy Bee said...

I'm with you Katie, there is a huge difference from one bra to another. i don't remember what I was wearing from one day to the next, but I do have a couple that are much better than a couple of others. Unfortunately (of course) one of the most comfortable ones doesn't seem to support as 'high' or well as some of the others. So yeah, a different bra would probably have made a difference in that first one... On the other hand, the waist was cinched in enough that I had some serious 'muffin-top' going on too, and that's just not pretty.

As for earrings, I don't have a specific seller. I just look for things I like honestly--you can probably see there's a sort of style that appeals to me...longish but narrow. I just do a search like "dangle earring blue" and see what comes up.

Mommy Bee said...

Oh, and Katy, I'm told that pure gold or stainless steel or sterling silver posts/hooks should be better for sensitive sister's ears get 'angry' if she wears non-gold posts too. Even the 'hypoallergenic' ones bother her last I heard. So if you have sensitive ears then talk to the seller/maker, and most of them would be happy to make you a custom set on happy posts. :)

Katie said...

What kinds of words do you use to search? I like the kinds of earrings you're wearing in these pictures.

Mommy Bee said...

Oh, I should mention...if you look at the etsy favorites there on my sidebar--there are earrings in there too (mostly green, because I don't have any green and I was telling hubby the other day that if he wanted to buy me something frivolous--which he likes to do now and then when kitchen gear gets dull--that that would be something good to look at. So I provided him a bunch of samples of what I like LOL!)

Elizabeth said...

I was thinking about this whole "feminine" topic the other day. You and I grew up when being grungy and unfeminine was the rage. Heck, I wore combat boots to church as a youth, groan! And you didn't dare carry a purse. Pastels were not in. No wonder I remember feeling lost and not like the self that I wanted to be. When I think about the grunge 90's, I kinda feel cheated. After that, styles changed and I really love how feminine things are these days. I mean, aprons are in! I feel like it's ok to be me and it's ok to be feminine and I like that. I may not wear a skirt every day, but I can still be feminine.

Katie said...

Claire's has a locked case of supposedly 100% sterling silver earrings, which I tried with the same results. However, it's Claire's we're talking about. I certainly wouldn't put it past a company like that to not be entirely truthful. The other thing is that I'd probably have to wear the steel/gold 100% of the time and never sneak in regular earrings, which I do sometimes.

ChristinaB said...

Your earrings are beautiful! =-} Thats one I stopped wearing ater having kids cause it hurts when they pull on them! But you know I think I'm going to make the effort to wear them!
I also have to say that I LOVE your hair!! I have had short hair for several years. I mean so short that I got my hair cuts out of the mens hair style books! I have been growing it out this past year and am excited to learn how to do some pretty updo's!

Anonymous said...

<3 day five combo!

Yvonne said...

Love the green outfit you made. Yes, I think we should try every day to be our feminine selves. As I get older I don't feel good when I think I look all frumpy. And I want to feel good! :)
Love the foreign blouses. I buy dresses and blouses when I visit other countries, especially Mexico because I am so close now.

Andrea said...

This is a great idea! I've always felt not so pretty/feminine in skirts but I'll try the other things next week. I bet it does wonders for a girls' confidence!

kimberlee said...

I need to do this. I have been feeling very frumpy and unattractive lately. Put an effort into my appearance.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I think the most beautiful and feminine thing about a woman is her smile... and there's not enough of that in these pictures! Too much frowning at the camera! Show us your pearly whites!

nicole said...

Beautiful blouses! I totally agree with you on the hair, and pretty, modest, dangly earrings. I personally, feel very feminine in a dress, and when I wear some scented lotion, and a little makeup. I'm assuming you've read "Fascinating Womanhood", right? It seems like a book that would resonate with you. I really loved most of it... there were just a couple principles that I disagreed with, but overall I thought it was an inspiring book. It really helped me understand the value of dressing and acting more feminine. Our culture is sure mixed-up about what it means to be a woman, but if we follow our intuitions, it just feels right to dress and behave like a woman!

I think you're a great example of womanhood... you're not afraid to embrace femininity and all that that encompasses. It's inspiring!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge, and I enjoyed looking through your outfits! We're getting to host another challenge at Feelin' Feminine and will be posting details tomorrow!

Miss Jocelyn Tzahala, founder and publisher of FF

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