We aren’t what we wear

logoI recently had an interesting conversation with two young women that I tutor. Members of the Old Colony Mennonites who have been relocating to Canada from Mexico in recent years, they wear traditional dresses and kerchiefs. I’ve been teaching them to read, a skill they didn’t have the opportunity to learn as children. One of their many reasons for wanting to learn to read  is so that they can read the Bible, so we’ve been using a children’s Bible story book as one of our texts.

“Do we have different Bibles or do we just understand it differently?” M asked me after one of our recent sessions. “Our Bible says that we should wear dresses and cover our heads,” she continued. She was clearly referring to the fact that I don’t dress that way.

So what does the Bible actually say?

“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.” Deuteronomy 22:5

We talked about what that might mean and M was quick to point out that though we might both wear blue jeans, her husband would never wear a top like I was wearing. No one would confuse me with a man because of the way I was dressed!

There was a time, not too long ago, when regardless of what they wore during the week, everyone dressed up to go to church on Sunday morning. Heaven forbid that a woman should wear pants or a man show up without shirt and tie! Thankfully, for many of us, that has changed.

Several years ago, before it became commonplace, I made the very intentional decision to begin wearing blue jeans to church. I don’t wear them every Sunday, but I do make a habit of wearing them quite often.

Why?

There were several young families in our church at the time who were struggling to get their teens to come to church on Sunday mornings. One of the issues of contention was what they wore. The kids rebelled at the idea of having to dress up. It always boggled my mind that anyone would consider one fabric (blue denim) less holy than another and rebel that I am, I felt that if I, sometimes considered a leader in the church, wore jeans, the younger parents might feel more comfortable allowing their kids to do the same.

Who knows? Maybe someday my young Mennonite friends might feel comfortable dressing more casually too. In the meantime, they wear their dresses and I wear my jeans and we have a wonderful time together! After all,

“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

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Fitted or baggy? What’s your style?

logoIt’s kind of spooky how the spirits of the cyber world seem to know exactly what our interests are and how accurately they tailor the ads we see to those areas. Ever since I introduced Fashion Friday to my blog last March, the majority of ads that I see on Facebook and on the news pages that I read regularly have been related to fashion.

Lately, whenever I go to Facebook, this is what I see in the margin.

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I seldom wear dresses, but apparently the internet thinks I should and feels that I should be shopping for some new ones! It doesn’t seem to know my style though, so it’s offering me two strikingly different options.

The dresses on the Fashion Mia site are mostly what I would call fitted. When I do wear a dress, it’s usually for a special occasion and I want to look both feminine and sophisticated. Here’s a closer look at one from that site that I could see myself wearing. It’s definitely my style.

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The dresses on the Buykud site, however, are baggy and, in many cases, shapeless. Here are a few examples.

There’s nothing actually wrong with them. They’re certainly modest and they look comfy, but they’re not my style. In fact, I’d probably look and feel like a bag lady in any one of them and I suspect that my husband, who is rather fond of my shape, would be horrified! They’re simply not flattering; one of my essential fashion F words.

If I had been looking for a new dress this winter, I would definitely have considered this one that kept appearing on a Bay banner across the top of my favourite news site throughout the Christmas season.

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The Ivanka Trump lace-detailed sheath dress, available here, caught my eye every time it appeared. It’s definitely my style.

In the words of fashion icon, Iris Apfel, “I think the biggest fashion faux pas these days is looking into the mirror and seeing somebody else. It doesn’t work. You’ve got to know who you are.” You need to know your style which may be entirely different from mine.

What’s your style? Do you prefer fitted or baggy?

Dressing up

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One evening while we were in Vancouver this week, we went out for an elegant dinner with my father. We ate at Hart House Restaurant in Burnaby’s Deer Lake Park, just a few minutes from the assisted living facility where my 93-year-old father resides. The restaurant opened in 1988 in the beautiful century old Tudor-style house that was originally home to New Westminster businessman Frederick Hart. We dined in the sunroom overlooking nearby Deer Lake. The food was outstanding and the service warm and friendly.

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I seldom wear dresses, but this was an occasion and setting that seemed to warrant dressing up a bit more than usual.

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This simple dress, consisting of navy lace over a nude underlay, is a couple of years old, but still a favourite and very much on-trend. It’s also a perfect traveler. How well a garment packs in a suitcase is an important consideration for me and this dress is a winner in that department. It takes up very little space, weighs almost nothing and doesn’t wrinkle.

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The colourful totem pole stands outside the building where my father lives.

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