Saturday, October 24, 2015

To Refuse the Chronic Casual Dress Code - Dressing to Inspire


 


A lady's paramount role is to inspire.  By inspiring a lady has profound potential to influence others to better themselves and aspire to all that is good, worthy, admirable, and lovely.  Not only does she hold the potential to inspire by the way she acts and speaks, but also by her appearance, and particularly her dress.  Herein lies a great misfortune of modern society:  women have largely lost their ability to inspire by the way they dress.

The chronic casual dress code of popular culture has left a dismal deficiency in feminine inspiration for people of all ages, particularly men and children.  There is nothing about women in sweatclothes to inspire a man to open doors like a gentleman.  There is nothing about teachers in graphic t-shirts and jeans to inspire a little one to her best while struggling to learn multiplication facts.  There is nothing about a mother in yoga pants to inspire children to enjoy the food their mother eats at the dinner table.  If a woman is not even pleasant to look at, how can she expect her loved ones to be inspired to her values and lifestyle?  How can she hope her daughter will wish to emulate her, or her son will want to look for a wife who is like his mother?

A lady does not slouch through life in leisure wear, but sees each day as an ocassion to be lived in loveliness. She chooses her clothing with care, always mindful of the mental image she is creating for those around her.  

Principle:  A lady refuses the chronic casual dress code and dresses to inspire others to gentle behavior.

Note: I am very grateful to Jennifer L. Scott, author of Lessons from Madame Chic, for her campaign to encourage people to "Be Presentable Always".

Art: The Pink Dress, Edward Cucuel 1875-1954

20 comments:

  1. Hi. I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy all of your articles. I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago, and have read everything you have published so far. I loved every one of them! When I begin each day, I am going to try and remember that "a lady .....sees each day as an ocassion to be lived in loveliness." Thank you so much for these words.

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    1. Thank you, Deborah! I am so grateful for your kind remarks.

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  2. I was thinking just this morning when I was out grocery shopping and doing errands, what a shame it is that women present themselves so casually and unfemininely to the world. Even older women dress quite masculinely, with blazer jackets, short spikey hair, pants or jeans. Younger women wear hooded sweatshirts and yoga pants. In my area the only women I ever see wearing skirts are the Mennonites - and the ones around here wear them with old flip-flops or grungey old running shoes so even they don't look overly feminine.

    I am trying to set a good example in this area but it's hard because I have so little funds to spend on my wardrobe. However, I do have a couple of nice outfits. Last week I was shopping wearing a flowing long skirt, a pretty, lacy top and a feminine cardigan. In one store I was told I had to put several of a sale item back because I was above the limit, and the gentleman in front of me offered to buy the items for me! And in another store a teenage girl (dressed like a boy) exclaimed as she walked past me, "I love your dress!" So in my experience you are absolutely correct that a femininely dressed woman is inspiring to others.

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    1. Laura Jeanne, what a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing it. Keep shining in your corner of the world!

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  3. I was going to ask if you were familiar with Jennifer Scott's work...was just watching her video. My grandfather owned a clothing store, so I grew up in a culture of wearing nice clothes. I've slacked a bit over the years, but was so inspired by Jennifer's books this past year that I've made it a point to be presentable almost all the time. As a homeschooling mom, it would be very easy to err on the side of casual clothing all the time, but I take my role more seriously when I dress up a bit.

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    1. I wholeheartedly agree, Jill! I am also a homeschooling mother, and I know my dress affects not only myself, but also my precious little pupil. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

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    1. Thank you, Mrs. Sherman, for your lovely feminine example!

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  5. yes! Thank you for a lovely blog and inspiration.

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    1. I am so happy to hear from you, Marianne! Thank you for your encouragement.

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  6. yes! Thank you for a lovely blog and inspiration.

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  7. I love this! Do you have any suggestions for sources of clothing that inspires?

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    1. Thank you, Tricia. It can be discouraging to shop for clothes that inspire; but they are out there! Look for flattering colors, fabrics and cuts that are feminine. I think classic A-line skirts and sheath dresses look wonderful on most women. I find a great deal of my dresses at Boden during their frequent sales, and have never been disappointed with their quality. I would rather have fewer clothes of lasting quality than more of the cheaper items. But there were many years when I did the majority of my shopping at thrift shops and found countless well-made skirts and dresses. But the best advice I can give is to take the matter to the Lord, expressing your desire to honor Him with a feminine beauty in your dress that will inspire others to loveliness, and asking Him to direct you to what He would provide. He has never failed me on this. Thank you so much for your question and for taking the time to comment.

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  8. Absolutely love your blog, have just read right through it, it is so inspiring, thank yuo for your efforts, keep it up, much appreciated

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    1. Pauline, it is so good to know that someone out there is reading and finding it worthwhile! Many thanks.

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  9. Dear Miss Nancy:
    I adore your blog and hope to read more and more posts in the days to come. If it is alright with you I would like to post your blog on my blog's "favorite list". That way I can see each day if you have a new post and I won't miss a one! :)

    Warm and kind regards,
    Mrs. B

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    1. Yes, I would be so happy for you to add me to your list, Mrs. B. Very kind of you to ask! Thank you.

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  10. I found your blog through a reference in Jennifer Scott’s blog, and have really been enjoying each entry. This week’s message was particularly welcome, as the “California Casual” mentality of my hometown is becoming more extreme and more dispiriting. Thanks to you and Jennifer, I feel even more inspired to stand firmly against the casual tide.:)

    There is an excellent book entitled “The Lost Art of Dress” by Linda Przybyszewski, about the female clothing professionals, mostly home economists, who taught American women principles of good design for clothing. They flourished in the first half of the twentieth century, a time when American women were envied for being well-dressed. And well-dressed didn’t mean expensively dressed. It meant that a women’s outfit was tasteful, appropriate to the occasion, and flattering to her individual figure. The design principles espoused are still pertinent, and the book is a pleasure to read. For those interested in “always being presentable,” I highly recommend it.

    Arabella

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    1. Dear Arabella, thank you for your excellent recommendation! This book has been on my reading list, and is now moved to the top. :-) Your thoughtful and well-spoken remarks are so encouraging to me.

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  11. Kind reader,

    This article and its comments are reminiscent of an old saying someone dear to me would always quote when I was a child- "Going out is an occasion, so dress for it."

    Arabella,
    Kudos for recommending an excellent book. I love this line of wisdom: ...well-dressed didn’t mean expensively dressed. It meant that a women’s outfit was tasteful, appropriate to the occasion, and flattering to her individual figure. I suspect you dress divinely.

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