Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Journey Towards Attractiveness

Last Sunday I posted about modesty, and mentioned a piece of advice I read.

Dress to be attractive, but not provocative. 

I covered the provocative part last week, but merely touched on the attractive part.  Dressing to be attractive has been a long, learning curve for me. 

When I was a kid, I basically learned how to dress from this book.

Sad, I know.  My parents were/are completely uninterested in fashion or clothing and didn't teach teach us anything about clothes, beyond the whole wear clothes that are clean, modest and not raggedy.

My senior picture in high school involved me wearing something plaid.  Plaid????!!!  Really???  In my defense, plaid was all the rage in the mid-1990's at my suburban New England high school.   Those were the grunge days after all. 

I'd post it, but I don't want to scare you all.  Plus, I'm too lazy to scan it from my yearbook, never mind that I don't even know where my yearbook is.

Anyway, it's been a long journey for me to figure out how to dress in an attractive manner.  There have been lots of bumps along the way.  And, we won't talk about my bra less, hippie phrase where I was convinced that bras cause breast cancer.  Yeah.

So, okay..moving on. 

The most important thing I have learned about dress, is to dress in a manner that is flattering to your body type.   Not for the body type you want, or the body type you used to have, but the body type you currently have.   And, that changes.  

Before, I had kids, I really liked the look of a fitted, turtle-neck sweater.  Like this.

And, I still like that style, but it just doesn't look as flattering on someone, who thanks to pregnancy and many combined years of breastfeeding, has mammary glands of the rather large variety.  It just doesn't. Something with a v-neck or more scooped neck is more flattering.

The length is great though.  I've learned that I really need skirts and sweaters with more length that go past the hips.   Ones that end right at the hips, just don't look good on me, because my hips tend to be the widest part of me.  I spent too many years wearing too short shirts before I figured that out.

And, I really like this style of skirt.

But, I just don't feel that it is as flattering on someone (such as myself) with larger hips. 

So, I tend to stick with more straight skirts or skirts that flare out/pleat below the hips, instead of right on the hips.

I've also had to do some Internet research into selecting the right pair of jeans for your body type, so as the avoid the dreaded "mom jeans" look.   If you search around, you can find some good information.  I think the biggest thing is just to avoid jeans that are too baggy or have too small pockets that are placed too high up. 

Learning about colors hasn't been as hard.  I have an olive skin tone and even as a teenager I noticed that certain colors are more flattering, so I tended to stick with those colors (for me, things like black, white, brown, red and dark pinks or purples, while shying away from things like pastels, which don't look good with my skin tone. 

And hair.  Oh hair..has been a learning curve.  I have hair that tends to get very frizzy and curly in humidity. And, I have spent most of my life living in a very humid climate. Sometimes I think I should just move to Arizona and solve my hair problems once and for all.   I'm too lazy to blow-dry or straighten my hair, so I've just been on a quest to find hair products that actually eliminate and control the frizz. 

This is the best I found (along with their conditioner).  And, no one better comment about sulphates or dangerous, toxic ingredients in shampoos, because I have my fingers in my ears and I'm not listening. ;)

Make-Up. I've had to basically figure out make-up all for myself.  I don't wear a ton, but do usually wear foundation (yes, it is a non-toxic, mineral brand, so you can all breathe easier on that).  Occasionally some lip gloss, eye shadow or blush, but foundation is basically my staple.   All, this has been a major learning curve for me, because I grew up basically knowing nothing about make-up or clothes or anything like that.

And, I'm still pretty clueless when it comes to accessories.  And nails...I have no idea how to have nice nails. I think that is going to be my next area to tackle. 

I'm definitely not a fashion plate, but over the last few years, I've been striving more and more to look more and more "put together."  I don't think it is beneficial to run around looked ragged and frumpy all the time. I think many people have this stereotype of moms always looking tired, haggard and dumpy, which makes the idea of having kids or having several kids, not all that appealing.  I'm hoping by putting slightly more effort into my appearance, I can help others see how great having multiple kids can be....and that it's not necessarily a sure-fire way to frumpdom. 

So....with that in mind.  How did I do today?  I'm linking up with Fine Linen and Purple, for What I Wore Sunday. 

I'm sure the shirt-tied-in-front look is so last year (or last decade or something) but I really like this white shirt, and it is just a tad too big for me to wear unless I belt it or tie it or do something to make it a bit more flattering. 
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  1. That outfit looks great! It's a good combo of Lent+Spring, with the black, white, and green!

  2. I love your outfit too!

    And I totally can relate to the "too short shirts" phase. Personally, I blame the late 90s and early 2000s when all shirts seemed too short. It was such a relief when long shirts became "in" around the time I graduated from college. Except if the windows of the local stores are any indication, short is in again (on the upside, it's not like I'm going to be shopping in those stores anyways... but I have a feeling we're going to be seeing a lot of bare midriffs around here as soon as it hits 40 (so like now).

    1. Yes..sadly it is now the 90's that are coming back in style.

  3. Love this post so much! Have you considered doing a mini series on this? Thanks for linking up, you look beautiful! :)

  4. Taking biotin has greatly improved the appearance of my hair and nails. I'm also a "Makeup, what is makeup?!"-type lady, but I've really enjoyed the results.

    1. Also, (hit submit too soon) I think you can wear an oversized shirt without looking frumpy as long as you pair it with something that has a slim silhouette like skinny jeans or something.

    2. Yes....I've heard that before about biotin. I'll have to try to find some!!

      I think the oversized shirt with skinny jeans look can look great on some people, and not so great on others. I really think it just depends on your body type and shape. I'm not a fan of the way it looks on me, but I think it can look great on other people

  5. Great post and outfit, Amelia! I think we all kind of look back on how we looked in our youth and cringe a little bit. I sure do! What I really struggle with now is being moderate in my pursuit of attractiveness. On the one hand, you can be like your parents and not care at all, and I admire that type of detachment. I'm hopelessly materialistic! But on the other hand, I agree with you about the importance of being attractive so as to evangelize to others.


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