Christ is risen, indeed He is risen. That’s what the title means, translating it from Coptic – the ancient Egyptian language used between the 1st and 17th centuries, according to Wikipedia. Something I should know since that’s my heritage, but sadly it’s not the case. Before I turn this article into a long story about Egypt’s history and politics, let me get to the point.
With Easter being less and 2 months away, I am starting my hunt for the perfect church-appropriate outfit for the Easter mass. Yes, I’m a fashionista who believes in God and goes to church. It works, trust me.
Ever since I can remember, it was always a tradition in my family that my parents would take my brother and I shopping for new clothes before Christmas and Easter. I think this may have been the start of the little fashion-beast in me. I never EVER liked my mom’s choices for me and I always had a strong head about picking my own outfits, even when I was a tiny little thing reaching only up to her knees. The same went for dad; except for when he went to Europe on business trips and came back with amazing choices for my mom, my brother and I. I guess then it was special because it was always a surprise and it came from Europe. Ooh la la!!
The only thing my parents and I agreed on was the level of decency in my outfit choices: nothing too far up above the knees, nothing baring my tatas – when I was old enough to have them – and to make sure my shoulders were covered. Of course during my rebellious teenage years till my early twenties, those rules only applied to church. However, as I grew older and wiser, but mainly grew closer to God, I made it a point to have these self-imposed rules apply to my daily life outfit choices. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be practicing what I’m preaching: you can look fashionable without bearing it all for the world to see.
Aside from making these conservative choices because I love God, I did find another reason why I was on the right path: people do judge a book by its cover, especially when they’re meeting you for the first time. That’s why it’s called ‘first impressions’. It’s not your intellect, or even your eloquent way of speaking that will be judged first; it’s what you’re wearing and how you’re wearing it. If that was not the case, you wouldn’t be dressed in your best suit or dress for, say, that vital interview to start your dream job, or your first date with the perfect gentleman you’ve been waiting to meet. Sadly, looks do matter. If we could all wear a sign on our forehead that looked past our image and said what people needed to know about us so we can be treated the way we want to be, life would be a lot simpler. If men could control the urge to gawk at you, I wouldn’t be writing this. The sooner one makes peace with the fact that you do have to be mindful of what you wear, the sooner one can analyze if they are guilty of committing a fashion faux-pas, and the sooner one will start to RESPECT what their mama gave’em.
“Embrace your curves and love your body as it is.” “Dress for yourself and not for others.” “Show what your mama gave’ya!” These are some of the many things we hear women say to one another these days. Women, and even young girls, are now realizing the massive impact body-shaming has on a person’s mental wellbeing. Chapeau, ladies! I feel an absolute sense of pride when I hear women encourage each other and build each other up. Bravo! I do believe, however, that there is a fine line between loving your body and dressing for your body. There is a tasteful way to dress your hour-glass figure without sharing your DD top – or bottom – and having people get the wrong idea about you.
This is why I wanted to share some tips and tricks that I’ve learned myself over the years. After deciding to go on this path of self-respect, I began to notice a difference in the way people around me treated me. What made me adamant on continuing down that road, was seeing the change coming from both men and women. It’s one thing to have men speak to you in a respectful manner and their eyes focusing on yours; but it’s even more inspiring when the women you look up to and respect, start speaking to you like a woman and not a little girl. Portraying a self-respecting image, will make you gain the respect you deserve.
Ladies, if you’ve been blessed up top, trust me we see it! You don’t to wear a low cut top or blouse to show the world your cleavage. That gives people the idea that you have nothing more to offer. A little camisole or bandeau can provide you with the coverage you need as well as give an accent to your outfit; whether because of the lace trim on the camisole or the colour and texture of your bandeau. Fore a more casual look, you could also opt for an infinity scarf; these can jazz up your simple t-shirt and jean look.
BLING BLING LEGS
There’s a time and a place to wear your booty shorts, mini skirts, and mini summer dresses. Personally, I believe that’s at the beach/pool, or even in the comfort of your own home, where the likelihood of someone staring at you in a sleazy way are cut to zilch. If you love to wear shorts or above-the-knee skirts and dresses, be mindful of where they cut off. If you have long legs like me (thank you, Lord!), I usually choose skirts or dresses that cut off at about 2 inches above my knee; because I know once I sit or bend, that baby is going to slide up a bit, or a lot, depending on the material. As for the shorts, I prefer the same thing, but I can get away with even 3 inches above the knee. Even if they slide up a bit, they do have a maximum range of were they go. Wedgie alert! Kidding 😉
It’s a bit of a challenge to find something that fits perfectly and with the right length; especially in this day and age of crop tops, bandeaus, and baby doll dresses. For those of you that don’t have the same struggle as I do, most likely you can get away with the mini skirts, mini dresses, and short shorts out there. You’re even luckier because fashion companies tend to keep the “plain-Jane” designs for the more “conservative” lengths. As much as I like a simple and easy-to-convert clothing piece, I hate looking plain; and so I always look for items that pop. Sadly, most of the time those items are not suitable for the choices I’ve decided to change for my wardrobe. A couple of ways you can get around this challenge, especially if you found a piece that you just HAVE to have: you can buy the item and undo the seam to make it a little longer, or you can get it custom made. Both choices will cost you a little bit more, but sometimes it’s just worth it.
Be careful with flowy skirts and dresses. These two tend to be deceiving at times. You’ll be looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking that it’s a perfect length, when it’s really shorter than you realize. I like to end the guessing game by bending all the way down and reaching for my toes. If you see your skirt or dress riding too far up for comfort, ie. at the bottom of your ‘tush’ or even above that; it’s probably not a good choice. One way of resolving this dilemma, if it’s an irresistible item, is to wear booty spandex shorts underneath. That way if it’s a windy day, you don’t have to walk around while holding your skirt down to avoid an embarrassing scene.
For the athletic ladies that take pride in their toned legs, you don’t have to bear them to show off the shape you’ve worked so hard on. The best items to emphasize the definition of your muscles are fit and flare pants or skinny jeans. Pencil skirts with soft and thin fabric, especially in a light colour, will also do the trick.
Now, with all that in mind, I’m off to start my hunt for the perfectly trendy, feminine, elegant, and more importantly, decent Easter outfit. Say a little prayer for me as this is not always an easy task.
P.S. Check back again in April; I’ll be sharing pictures of my outfit 🙂
P.P.S. Stay tuned, stay trendy, stay beautiful-inside and out 😉