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4.12.2011

Dressing Up Challenge

Okay, first may I start by saying I don't think there's anything sinful or immodest in the wearing of pants, and they can be very feminine. I think that low cut dresses or tops or short skirts or even just tight and body clinging clothing are a lot more immodest than a pair of pleat front capris or pants (one of my favorite pairs of capris are a charcoal pair with pleats in the front, and they just beg to be worn with a floral or well tailored feminine blouse).
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God." - Dueteronomy 22:5
The biblical mandate is for femininity, not for a particular piece of clothing, but for whatever clothing is feminine and associated with women. (Men at the time this was written actually wore long flowing robes and tunics that were dresslike.)
But....for some time now (a couple of years actually), I have been thinking about my femininity, or perhaps lack thereof. Maybe it's because my daughter is so ultra-feminine in her clothing choices, or perhaps because I had some elegant examples of femininity in my mother and grandmothers and many church ladies and teachers. It could have something to do with the fact that I grew up as the only girl with three brothers, and wanted to be just like my big brothers, meaning all the rough and muddy play in patched jeans imaginable. Maybe it was brought on by my mom giving me some vintage dress patterns she had or my obsession with vintage patterns on Ebay . Or it could be that I hate the fact that people (at least according to the movies) used to dress much nicer or formally. Even while doing housework, my grandma looked much more put together, because she was wearing a dress. I remember often as a little girl just watching in awe as my mom or grandmas were getting ready and going into their closets to look at the pretty skirts, dresses, and blouses, not to mention going over their dressers with pretty boxes, jewelry, and such sweet smells. Even after the death of my dad's mom in 2009, I remember going into her closet without any clothes in it, and being able to smell them, the smell of delicate sachets that were always present, and feeling comforted in savoring the pleasing scent.
My maternal grandmother
Femininity was something I wanted, and yet ran from, perhaps because of our gender neutral culture, where you are supposed to pretend that gender doesn't matter while you dress like a "lady of the evening" (thanks to Mrs. Grigsby, my high school spanish teacher who was a great example of a true lady, and who gave that description about immodestly dressed girls).
I think though the greatest reason I've been thinking more about wearing dresses has been because I have felt that my adamant refusal has more to do with pride and my rejection of the feminine nature God has given me than anything else. Pride, because I don't want to be legalistic or even have the appearance of it. It's hard to just go to the grocery store in a dress without me feeling as though people are looking at me and thinking I'm trying to look more holy. I know, I know, it's all in my head, no one cares what I'm wearing at the grocery store, but I suppose I'm just having a hard time not thinking about what others think of me. It's a pathetically sad excuse, but that's where I'm at.
I realize that I can be feminine in pants, but also know that I'm prone to just wear t-shirts and jeans, and at least a t-shirt with a skirt or a jersey dress would force femininity on me, and be just as comfortable. I just can't help but feel that my resistance to being more feminine in appearance has more to do with my pride and my wanting to be in charge and my rejecting of what God has made me.
The other great reason is because when I do dress more femininely my husband not only compliments me, but always says how much he wishes I would wear more feminine clothing more often. Every time he says this I feel so guilty. Not because I wear pants, but because he's right. I often find myself in t-shirts (usually old ones at that) or workout clothes when he comes home and on weekends. I want to please him, but I find myself holding onto selfish desires in this one area, claiming excuses of comfort and practicality when it actually comes down to I want to do what I want to do, and I don't care enough about his opinion to make any real changes just to please my husband.
So, in an endeavor to hold myself accountable, I am going to spend the rest of this spring and summer trying to be more feminine in my daily dress, and I'm going to document and give weekly updates here. This doesn't mean I will be wearing dresses to work in the garden or to run a couple of miles, but I am going to try and wear dresses skirts and more feminine shirts and pants even when I'm staying at home all day.
This is not going to be easy for me as I am inevitably fickle about most things and have trouble actually following through with things, but I'm counting on you to help me, and if any of you would like to join me, I'd love to hear how you're doing. So, go ahead and join me, won't you?
I would love to hear from any of you about how you've dealt with this area or if you're struggling like me.

4 comments:

Sunday said...

I know exactly what you mean! I'm in a very similar place right now, and I would love to join you in making my dress more feminine for this spring and summer.

My only thing is that I am not yet comfortable with posting pictures of myself here, but I would love to do a weekly check up on my blog and just let you know how things are going. :)

I have the same problem with follow through, but I figure that if one of us is having a bad day, the other can encourage her, and hopefully we won't have bad days on the same day! :P

Either way, good luck, and remember I'm here, cheering you on from the same boat! :D

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

Thanks. I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. I'll be cheering you on as well. I can't promise daily pictures of me, but I'll definitely try to get the outfits, before they're covered in spit-up, lol. Hopefully we'll have more good days than bad ;)

Ma said...

I love this:)

I started wearing pretty much skirts and dresses only several years ago just because I like it, and I DO feel more feminine.

I'll be cheering you on!

Sarah : ) www.crumbsundermytable.blogspot.com said...

Thanks Ma! (Love your name, btw) I just feel that because God made me a woman I should be feminine in every way to bring Him glory. I also deep down want to be that way, but am struggling to actually do it. My husband's gonna love it, though, and I want to encourage my daughter, who at 3, still wants to wear pretty dresses everywhere.
Today is day one, so keep me going, ya'll!