Friday, May 31, 2013

June: A Week In Feminine Dress Month


"Feminine Dress" doesn't have to be difficult- try dressing up your
normal skirts and tops with cardigans, belts and jewelry!


Don't forget, ladies, that June begins the "Week In Feminine Dress" challenge!  I will be posting pictures of seven days of feminine outfits at intervals throughout the month!  Please contribute with your very own "Week In Feminine Dress".  It is not at all difficult to take pictures of your outfit every day for a week!  Send your photos to me at: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!

Thanks!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Challenge!

For centuries women went through daily life dressed like this.
Are you strong enough to do it?


Dear faithful readers of The Catholic Lady Blog,

I have a challenge for you!

I am hosting "A Week In Feminine Dress" which means you are challenged to wear modest, elegant clothing for an entire week, photograph your endeavor, and submit the photographs to my blog for publication!  The object is to encourage more women to dress like a "Catholic Lady".  Please consider joining the "Week In Feminine Dress" challenge!


Here are the rules:

No pants, shorts, flip flops, low necklines, sleeveless tops, tight clothing, short skirts (showing the knee), or anything that you find questionable!  Dress like you would imagine a true Catholic Lady to dress.

Submit your photos to me via thecatholiclady@gmail.com sometime before June 30!



Even if no one else volunteers, I will be posting pictures of me and my daughter for your encouragement and perusal!  It is possible to spend an entire week in feminine dress!

I hope you join me!

Sincerely,
Colette Zimmerman

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Modest Clothing Resources




I know I promised this long ago.  Here is the result!


Modest Clothing Resources:




Skirts and Dresses:

1. Thrift and Consignment Stores!  Ladies who dress modestly will agree that thrift stores are the number one place to find long skirts and dresses and modest tops that have more recently gone out of fashion!  Goodwill is THE place to start.

2.  Ebay and Etsy (http://www.ebay.com/ and http://www.etsy.com/) are the places to shop online if you're looking for something specific such as a special occasion outfit or maternity skirt.

3. I have ordered skirts from Chadwicks who is one of the only stores that consistently has long skirts for reasonable prices (on clearance!) http://www.chadwicks.com/category/400103202/skirts  There are so many online stores that sell "modest dresses" too, but I usually find them too short or low-cut to be worth the price.

4. Sewing!  I watch for pattern sales at JoAnns during holidays.  Skirt patterns on sale are between $1-$3!

4. Don't forget The Catholic Lady skirt shop is opening soon with our line of summer skirts for ladies, maternity, girls, and babies!  Make sure to check the blog often for updates!




Tops:

1. Thrift and Consignment!  Tops are usually pretty easy to find second hand.

1. On Clearance!  I get most of my tops at Burlington Coat Factory, Gabriel Brothers, Dress Barn, New York and Co, Ann Taylor Loft, Kohl's, Target, etc.  Modest sweaters are easier to find in the winter than modest summer tops.  When I find a cute summer top that I really like I wear it with a long sleeve shirt underneath or a camisole and light sweater.  There are ways to make clothes modest!

2. Sewing!  If you don't know how to sew, maybe one of your friends does!  I have a few cute top patterns that are not at all difficult and can be adjusted or altered to make the neckline modest.





Maternity:

1. Same with thrift and consignment since many women give away their clothes after one child!  Don't pass up the low or sleeveless tops!  Add a shirt underneath for combined modesty AND cuteness!  Alternatively wear a cami under and sweater over!  (I do this constantly toward the end of pregnancy!)

2. Look for garage and community sales.  These are the places to find gently used/new maternity clothes.

3. I was surprised that many of my regular clothes work for me for the first 5-7 months of pregnancy.  I can still wear my looser fitting tops and sweaters and squeeze into skirts that fit below the belly!  Empire waist tops and dresses are sometimes more flattering than maternity ones!

4. Alter your clothes!  Skirts can be made into maternity simply by cutting off the top at the hips and adding a 4-6in. stretchy panel taken from an old cami (found at Goodwill for $2).  This is so easy to do and you can have so many pretty maternity skirts without the price!




Girls and Babies:


1. I definitely recommend shopping second hand thrift stores and consignment.  There are so many cute girls clothes of many sizes that are barely worn or still with tags!  Girl's designer special occasion dresses can be found at consignment stores for a fraction of the new price!

2. Shop ebay and etsy!  There are tons of cute second hand or never worn girls clothes online!

3. Shop clearance!  The same stores I listed above can have the same deals for littles.


Children's consignment shopping
 
 
Do you have any more suggestions?  Feel free to add your ideas in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On A Pedestal



Watch this interview with the author of "An American Knight" a book about a legendary Marine who spoke out against women in the military!  There are some excellent arguments against feminism included about midway through the interview.

See it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kvL11Kd2Jtk

Daughters



I have said before that women protect virtue.  They do.  And they also inspire it.  Raising a daughter is an important task because it brings this reality to life.  Traditional women hold the standard of decency, femininity, and chivalry- all things that are missing in today's society.


My daughter, Beatrice

Ever since I found out less than a year ago that my baby was a girl, I thought about how I would raise her.  I want my daughter to be a lady, a lady with high standards.  What are some things I plan to teach her in order to form this lady I hope she becomes?

-First, modesty.  My baby girl is 5 1/2 months old and she already wears mostly skirts.  Of course this is not absolutely necessary for a baby!  But I want her to learn how to dress like a lady.  And as centuries of virtuous women have taught us, ladies do not wear tight clothes, short skirts, low necklines, sleeveless tops, or pants!  Dress protects and grows the soul.  I will try as hard as I can to instill in my daughter this great ladylike quality: modesty!

-Secondly, elegance!  I want my girl to be classy with an aura of refinement and elegance!  Elegance is the result of Christian civilization and women especially can influence elegance in manner, dress, and deportment.  There are so many little things that girls can learn such as carrying a handkerchief and learning how to curtsy!

-Thirdly, courtesy!  I plan to teach my little girl to accept the help of gentlemen.  I want her to appreciate chivalry in all its finery of virtue.  I want her to let men open doors for her and desire men to fight for her.  Real ladies inspire chivalry and I want my daughter to learn how!  Hopefully this will help her in a future courtship!  A lady should also know the difference between a gentleman and crass attention.  So many women today draw attention from cheap men and then actually appreciate it when they are insulted!  Girls should be taught to avoid such situations by the way they dress and behave and the company they keep.

I have so many ideas about what little girls should be taught!  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

A Sneak Peak...

...at what's coming to The Catholic Lady Skirt Shop...
 
Ladies Floral Ruffle Skirt

Ladies Linen Aline Skirt

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Heart of the Home




Are mothers still the heart of the home?

Do they spend the majority of their time there, making home a cozy and comfortable place?  I picture the old fashioned American wife hanging out clothes on the line, canning, or weeding her vegetable garden.

Or do we have a generation of away from home mothers?  It's easy enough to see moms driving to work in the morning, driving children to school, taking their kids to sports and activities, working out at the gym, or picking up food for dinner.  Mothers at home?  Not so common.

In 1900, 6% of married women worked outside the home.  By 1998, it had increased to 61%.  Of women with children under the age of six, 12% worked outside the home in 1950 and 64% in 1998.

It's sad that women don't raise their own children anymore.  There is something about daycare and preschool that just can't compete with the organic element in the family.  And what about husbands?  Many poor men have to come home to a wife who is probably more exhausted than they are after working all day AND THEN taking care of children and housework, not to mention preparing dinner and making a comfortable setting for his arrival home.

And what about working women?  Is it really satisfying to make a salary that is mostly used for work clothes, her own car, daycare, hairdressers, eating out, and other work supplies.  Is this really satisfying to a wife and mother, the so called heart of the family?

The heart is essential.  Maybe married women should think about this more and about their role in a happy, functional family.  Women are strong, but not when they try to have feminist strength.  "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."


                            Chapter 2 chart 8








A Weekend In Feminine Dress

For A Weekend in Feminine Dress I post pictures of my outfit (or a friend's outfit) that I take sometime over the weekend to encourage other women to dress like a Catholic lady!  I'm also posting where the outfit was purchased to hopefully give you some ideas for finding modest clothes!
 
 
It was actually cool here yesterday so I wore a sweater with my outfit.

 

Yes, I know my hair is messy.
 

 

Necklace, headband, bracelet and earrings
 
 

 
Skirt, a thrift store find originally from White House Black Market!
 
 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Floral Blouse from Consignment Store
Black Skirt from Goodwill (White House Black Market!)
White Sweater from my sister from Thrift Store
Black Shoes from Thrift Store
Necklace from Gabriel Brothers
Bracelets from Claire's and my Mom
Earrings from my sister-in-law from England!
Headband from Claire's

Friday, May 24, 2013

Therese: The Story of Saint Therese of Liseiux (2004)

*Below is a guest post by Mrs. Jill Goldbach.*
     
Saint Therese of Lisieux, otherwise known as the Little Flower, is a saint of whom we have probably all heard.  Although it was released in 2004, I finally decided to watch the movie this year.  It was possibly the best film I have ever seen, and I highly recommend it. 

This movie is a spiritual treasure.  Lindsay Younce, the actress who portrayed Saint Therese, read excerpts from A Story of a Soul  (the autobiography of Saint Therese) throughout the film.  This allowed the people watching the film to get a better understanding of the holiness of this saint.

Saint Therese learned the "little way" to holiness, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from her example.  When Therese was younger, she was selfish.  One Christmas Eve, a miracle happened that allowed her to feel "the need to forget myself and to please others."   She truly understood the need to become like a little child in order to go to Heaven.  When she was preparing to enter Carmel, she made sacrifices by "giving up my will in little things that no one noticed."  She achieved a victory over her will in this way.  She said, "When I did my duty without excuses, no one noticed."  It seemed that everyone noticed when she actually made mistakes!  Her "efforts to achieve perfection met with more thorns than roses."   She saw Jesus in her Carmelite Sisters, even the ones who were mean to her. 

The scenes of her illness and death were very moving.  Having died from tuberculosis at the age of 24, she suffered immensely.  Lindsay Younce did an excellent job of portraying Therese's agony.  Her superior told her the closer she came to God, the more simple she would become.  This was true in Saint Therese's life, and if we can imitate her "little way," we can become saints too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Our Lady Seat of Wisdom

 
 
 
Our Lady Seat of Wisdom is my patroness in The Catholic Lady apostolate.  Her image is my favorite.  I love how she holds the Christ Child at once protectively and reverently.  I also like how even with closed eyes, Our Lady exhibits remarkable confidence.
 
 
 
From The Love of Eternal Wisdom by St. Louis de Montfort:

Four Effects of Wisdom:

1. Wisdom gives man light to know the truth but a wonderful capacity to make truth known to others.
2. Wisdom gives man a relish for things of God.
3. Wisdom pours into his heart ineffable joy, sweetness and peace even in midst of hardest trials and tribulations.
4. Wisdom sets men on fire and makes them do great things for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.


 How to Obtain Wisdom:
 
1. Ardent desire, fostered by the keeping of the Commandments
2. Persevering prayer
3. Universal mortification;
4. Tender and true devotion to the Blessed Virgin



“If we really wish to obtain life everlasting let us acquire knowledge of Divine Wisdom; if we wish to reach perfect sanctity on earth, let us know Eternal Wisdom; if we wish to possess the root of immortality in our heart, let us have in our mind knowledge of Eternal Wisdom.   To know Jesus Christ, Eternal Wisdom, is to know enough.  To know everything and not to know him is to know nothing.”

Been sewing...

 
A peak at...
 
  
...the baby skirt!!!!!!!
 
Coming Soon to The Catholic Lady
skirt shop!!
 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Catholic Lady Expands

 
Dear Readers,

I am excited today to announce some very exciting news!  I have been considering the logistics of this for awhile now and I have finally decided to do something about it.

The Catholic Lady blog is expanding to include...






Baby elastic skirt in yellow floral cotton.


...a skirt shop!

Yes, The Catholic Lady shop will open in 1-2 months and will include ladies', maternity, girls', and babies' skirts!  I have my designs chosen for this summer but please let me know what you would be interested in for the cooler months so that I can begin designing cold weather skirts.

Thank you readers for your patience while I am launching my business since you will probably notice a reduction in posts for awhile!

I hope everyone enjoys a lovely summer!
Warmest regards,
Colette

Summer Fashion Inspiration

Dirndls are so pretty!
Necklaces are a must for summer!
I would really like these shoes if they were a little more formal.
 
 



I love this summery, feminine outfit.  Perfect for the beach!

Of course I must include one of Grace Kelly!
Ladies look beautiful in long skirts!
 
This skirt is so eye-catching!


 

 

Detail is important!

 
 
Floral skirts just can't help being pretty!
 

Wear hats to be proper and elegant!

Carry a parasol to be feminine and fun!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dressing Up




There is actually a class at Notre Dame University called "A Nation of Slobs".

Here is a CBS News article that covers it.

An excerpt from the article:

"There was a time when a woman really made an entrance! Remember? Skirts swished, heads turned . . . and it wasn't for a red carpet event, either.

It was for dinner, or going shopping.

What happened?

These days, anything goes. Shorts and flip-flops are fine for any occasion. And so are pajamas.

"Dressing up? A quaint and bygone custom.

Have we become a nation of slobs?"



Do you agree?  Read the rest of the article here:





Please let me know what you think in the comments below!

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

 For A Weekend in Feminine Dress I post pictures of my outfit (or a friend's outfit) that I take sometime over the weekend to encourage other women to dress like a Catholic lady!  I'm also posting where the outfit was purchased to hopefully give you some ideas for finding modest clothes!
 
Yesterday was beautiful weather; I think it reached 80 degrees in the afternoon.  I took some pictures of my daughter, Beatrice for this post too!
 
Beatrice in her Sunday best.
 
 
We took these pictures on our front porch.  I am wearing a simple skirt, top and sweater outfit!  How I wish I could wear dresses again, but I am still in a plight that only nursing mothers understand.
 
 
My hair is pinned back and I am wearing black and silver earrings and necklace and also a pearl bracelet.
 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Cream shirt from New York and Co.
Black cardigan from Gabriel Brothers
Floral skirt from Goodwill
Bracelet as a gift
Necklace from Gabriel Brothers
Earrings from Consignment Store
Black Flats from Burlington Coat Factory
 
 
Beatrice is Wearing:
 
A white and pink smocked dress, second hand from my youngest sister





Friday, May 17, 2013

Inequality

Photo: How much quality time do you give your family?

Often, parents will say, "I don't know what happended to my kids.  I sent them to a good school, and they lost the faith."

Children need more than a school.  And they need more than just the physical existence of the family.  They need to perceive the spirit of the family. 

That is to say, the family is able to communicate an atmosphere of temperance and balance that particularly addresses our present needs.

It does this by creating the ideal psychological conditions for individuals to develop. 

The family at once limits, yet challenges. It succors, yet makes demands. Inside its climate of intense affinity, affection, and
stability, a person can develop a colossal self-sufficiency. At the same time, the individual comes to have a great dependency on the family to provide both support for shortcomings and incentives to excel.

Family members share qualities and appetites, defects and disordered passions. Yet the family, especially the large family, is also rich in solutions since the individual draws upon family traditions, past figures serving as role models, and corrective or counterbalancing traits from the two family lines to hold defects in check. 

The family is the home of the moral and social virtues. In this way, the family is a veritable school of temperance that provides a practical formation that theoretical teaching cannot supply.
The traditional family is the primary example of inequality
which embraces the splendor of God's creation
and is the natural safe haven in which people tend to thrive.

Egalitarianism would make all people equal.  All men could do the same things and would be worth the same amount.  Egalitarianism is boring.  But not only that.

Egalitarianism is false.

-Egalitarianism does not exist between the sexes.  Physically men and women are unequal.  Intellectually they are unequal.  And physiologically they are unequal.  Men and women surpass each other in different respects.  We ourselves admit this when we attribute certain qualities as masculine or feminine.   There is inequality between the sexes.

-Egalitarianism does not exist in age.  A newborn baby knows nothing whereas a great theologian knows much.  Babies cannot walk whereas some adults can climb mountains.  There is inequality in age.

-Egalitarianism does not exist in talent.  Some people can sing, design, run, whistle, climb, bake, play music, or think.  There are experts in every field and people who just don't have the skill to measure up.  There is inequality in talent.

-Egalitarianism does not exist in temperament.  Some men are extraverted and some are introverted.  Everyone has a different way of arranging their houses.  Men have a great variety of preferences and dislikes.  Equality does not exist in temperament.

-Egalitarianism does not exist in the spiritual realm.  As, St. Therese of Lisuex explained:

The modern family embraces a creed of "equality" which
favors homosexual and lesbian relationships and
out rightly attacks the sacred institution of God's marriage.
"You knew all my intimate thoughts and cleared up all my doubts. I once told you how astonished I was that God does not give equal glory in heaven to all His chosen. I was afraid they were not at all equally happy. You made me bring Daddy’s tumbler and put it by the side of my thimble. You filled them both with water and asked me which was fuller. I told you they were both full to the brim and that it was impossible to put more water in them than they could hold. And so, Mother darling, you made me understand that in heaven God will give His chosen their fitting glory and that the last will have no reason to envy the first. By such means, you made me understand the most sublime mysteries and gave my soul its essential food. –St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul.


I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace [...] Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendour of the rose and whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realised that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay.
It is just the same in the world of souls — which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.
I also understood that God’s love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul. Indeed, as it is love’s nature to humble itself, if all souls were like those of the holy doctors who have illumined the Church with the light of their doctrine, it seems that God would not have stooped low enough by entering their hearts. But God has created the baby who knows nothing and can utter only feeble cries. He has created the poor savage with no guide but natural law, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. They are His wild flowers whose homeliness delights Him. By stooping down to them, He manifests His infinite grandeur. The sun shines equally both on cedars and on every tiny flower. In just the same way God looks after every soul as if it had no equal. All is planned for the good of every soul, exactly as the seasons are so arranged that the humblest daisy blossoms at the appointed time. — St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul. (New York: Double Day, 2001) 2-3.

And so, the only thing that is equal in all of nature is the potential to reach perfection.  Everything alive has a soul, and with a soul comes a mystical calling.  A flower has a calling just as a great leader has a calling.  They vary infinitely, but they are equal in that they have the potential to reach perfection.

To spread lies of equality harms society by attacking the foundation of all law and causes the decay of structure.  To glory in inequality is to marvel at the great diversity of creatures and the great strength and weakness of each person, place, and thing.

Meaningful customs and formality will only flourish in a society that embraces inequality.

If you are interested in how to reestablish a society like this, look at the very exciting post below.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Introducing....Return To Order!!!!!!

 

It is probably obvious from the title of this post that I am pretty excited about this book!!!  Ever since my husband and I read it we have been convinced that this book outlines the ONLY solution for America's problems!  So The Catholic Lady Blog is officially...


INTRODUCING...




Watch the video here to learn more:
http://www.returntoorder.org/2013/05/video-trailer-is-america-worth-fighting-for/
 
 
 
Visit the official website here to order your copy today:
http://www.returntoorder.org/

 

 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming soon...

I am excited to introduce a new and exciting book tomorrow on the Catholic Lady Blog!  Stay tuned to find out what it is!!!!!!!!!!!

Etiquette

Etiquette is a form of rules without which life would become disordered and chaotic.
 

Today, manners are confusing and embarrassing.  This is probably because society does not value etiquette and so most people don't know the basic rules.  Back in the day (as they say) when etiquette was taught and valued, people were naturally protected from embarrassment and scandal.  People knew what to say when and how to say it.  They lived by a rule of protecting one's good name and the name of others, a rule of pleasantry, honesty, and gratitude.  It is helpful to study etiquette of course.  Here is brief guide of what to do when, as a Catholic Lady...


-Dinner: A lady is careful of her manners at all times, but especially when eating.  Women used to be taught to always fold their napkin on their lap, eat with the proper utensils, say please and thank you, and all the while maintain a polite conversation.

-Parental and Family roles:  If you are married, never disagree with your husband in the presence of the children.  Let them see that Dad and Mother are both on the same page.  If you can't decide, withdraw to a private place to discuss your verdict, but never appear indecisive before the children.  Set a rule about who will do what, meaning hopefully the mother will be in charge of the housework and the father will be in charge of the money.  (This doesn't mean you can't help each other out once in a while either :)  A functional family has rules and sets a high standard when it comes to good manners and discipline.

-Let men open doors for you.  Yes, it's true that some women actually refuse this kind and chivalrous gesture.  It is a mark of good manners to accept, and what's more, it's a sign of proper ideals.  It is also proper for a gentleman to precede a lady down the stairs and follow her up, in case of a fall.  He should always attend to her needs when they are out as well.

-Public discretion: There used to be a much higher regard for scandal and the desire to avoid at all cost.  It is important to speak quietly when in the streets and to avoid undue attention when at a restaurant or theater or other public place.  Also, it is good manners to avoid topics of conversation relating to personalities, wealth, or the position of others when in mixed company.

-Arrive and leave at the proper time.  The consideration of other people is important, especially when you are the one invited into their home!  If one is attending a dinner party, it is proper to arrive at the time agreed upon or a minute or two after.  It is good advice to read the signs of the host or hostess to determine when is the proper time to depart.  Do not bore or tire your entertainer or they might not invite you back!

-Letter Writing: Years ago people took advantage of the custom of sending messages, thank-you cards, and care packages in the mail.  There is a personal touch that goes along with a hand written note that is not possible when emailing or texting.  Thoughtfulness says much for a person's character.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kentucky Derby Hats



Since the Kentucky Derby was run two Saturdays ago, I have been thinking about the hats!  Kentucky Derby hats are a tradition!  A tradition that lasts because it is fun and pretty!  Derby Hats are usually bright colors, wide brimmed, and loudly decorated.  Here are some pictures of Derby Hats for you!


Teal and black

Pink and netting

Very pretty pink

Yellow and coral
 
Classy with black netting and sequins

Big and purple

Ambiance

According to St. Thomas Aquinas, there are four qualities of beauty:

Truth
Goodness
Oneness
Symmetry

In modern design and architecture, these qualities are abolished.  The absence of beauty deprives our souls of nourishment and inspiration.  There is an intimate connection between the body and soul that requires accordance between adornment and behavior.  The effect of ambiance upon the development of the soul is tremendous!


Conversation




Architecture






Study






Dining





Resting

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