Tuesday, November 26, 2013

On the Language of Fashion

1950's "the old and the new" fashions reflected the decade's push for adaption to the modern world.  
 
       "It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization."

      "Actions speak louder than words," is no less true when it comes to clothing.  Fashion has come a long way.  I came across a group of young Catholic college men this summer who were defending bikinis.  I learned that just because some fashion is tolerated and accepted somehow makes it right in our modern day word- a huge problem!  There are many people have no idea about the importance of being counter-revolutionary in a world that is increasingly "pushing the envelope" when it comes to fashion.

     Fashion speaks a language that is very easily, sometimes subconsciously understood.  Cutout necklines (like the one above right) suggest provocatively that a seemingly innocent dress might not be so innocent after all.  Subtle hints like cutout necklines and slightly short hemlines or not so subtle ones like writing across the bum and bikinis, are used to psychologically induce the wearer and the culture to lower their standards.  It works.  The virtue of purity and Sacrament of Marriage lie in ruins, dragging down many souls along the way.

       This type of reasoning is elementary.  When we get up in the morning we have to get dressed to be successful at whatever we are doing that day.  A businessman puts on his tie, a housewife puts on her apron, a prostitute puts on her bikini.  Likewise, there is no way that our economy, society, or morality are getting any better without getting up and getting dressed for it.

       The language of clothing is powerful.  Sexual identity (and thus the very basis of human existence) is right now being destroyed through its influence.  It is no longer acceptable in out world to identify something just by natural law.  Everything is relative to even perverted desires and everyone's right is to determine something however they think it should be, not how it is.

      Fashion is no longer simply a matter of course.

      The language of fashion is a weapon.  Are you going to use it for good or for evil?

On Dressing Up

 

I Love Lucy is an old classic and an old favorite.  I enjoy the atmosphere of old time American family life.  But what I really like about this 50’s show is perusing delightfully though Lucy’s many outfits.  Although this was unquestionably a revolutionary time in fashion there is something that still held on throughout the nineteen fifties and that something was dressing up.
 
Did you ever notice a woman who is really attractively dressed up at the grocery store or at the mall?  Were you not edified merely by her presence and felt that aura of civilization, of refinement, of beauty?  Why?  Was it the trouble she took to represent herself in the best manner possible?  Or was it the natural association you made that a refined, graceful soul was hidden beneath such refined, graceful adornment?
Today, the modern Catholic lady does not necessitate this trouble to dress up.  But don’t you think care of the soul might be slipping along with the care of the body?  When I see Lucy vacuuming the rug with her high heels or Ethel make a stunning entrance with styled hair and pearls I cannot help but feel the elevation of thought and conversation that must have been inspired in that era simply by dressing up!  How much less does one feel like talking of God when one is sitting on the floor with pajamas or bare feet.  A true Catholic lady must seek to express her virtue at any cost through the faultless adornment of the body.  Failure to do so will result in a slow but sure decay of principle.

Hairstyles, stockings, shoes, hats...these things are not just neglected but almost extinct!  Perhaps a little attention and trouble are worth it to obtain that lovely something in your own family- the effect of dressing up!

Tips for Ladies on Cold Weather Dressing

I have received more than one request to share some tips for cold weather dressing.  I am not an expert on this topic (I prefer a warm fire to winter sports), but I do have a few suggestions.
 
 
1. Layering is the key to warmth.
 
Deborah & co.'s fleece lined leggings: http://www.deborahandco.com/fleece-lined-leggings/
 
 If the ladies of past centuries were able to do it, so can you.  Dressing warmly does not have to be about wearing ski clothes and Under Armor.  Layering is the key to warmth, and ladies usually can do this quite easily and safely.
Three layers are appropriate for cold weather and should include:
a) basic layer against the skin such as a simple cotton tee and tights/leggings
b) insulating layer such as a warm sweater and flannel petticoat or slip
c) protective layer such as a coat and denim/corduroy/wool skirt



2. Feet, hands and face freeze first.



Every time I have been really cold, it is my feet and hands that feel it first.  In fact, the rest of my body usually does not get cold easily as long as I am dressed appropriately.  Thus, prioritizing cold weather boots, gloves, and scarves/hats is essential.  Gloves and scarves are quite easy to obtain and there are many tasteful/ladylike colors and styles available.  It does not have to be expensive to obtain a good pair of boots at the end of the season or on consignment either.  It is better to buy quality though since these items will have to be durable.

It is interesting to note that the most common complaint of women and cold weather seems to be wearing skirts when in fact, the feet and hands are what suffer before the legs.

2. Do not compromise elegance for practicality!
 
 

 
"You are what you wear" is very true.  The most important part about a lady is her soul.  Clothing not only expresses her spiritual nature to the world, but influences a lady's character.  Do not compromise elegance when it comes to cold weather dressing.  It is not worth it, even if temporal comfort must be given up.  In my opinion, there are many sporting activities that would far better be sacrificed before appropriate attire.
 
 
 
Now it is up to you!  If I have any readers from Canada or Alaska or other cold climates, please let me know what I have missed in the comments below!


Monday, November 25, 2013

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

Welcome to A Weekend In Feminine Dress on The Catholic Lady Blog!  I welcome ladies to submit pictures to be displayed here in order to encourage other women to dress like a "Catholic Lady".  If you have a photo for me, please send it to: thecatholiclady@gmail.com!  Here is what I wore yesterday:
 
 

The pictures are not very clear because the colors of my clothing are so dark.  Sorry about that.  I was also feeling quite exhausted when these pictures were taken at the end of the day.  I really need to take photos first thing to make them turn out better...:)
 
 
 
 
I'm Wearing:

Purple Top- Goodwill, originally Target Maternity
Black Cardigan- Target
Black Maternity Skirt- I made
Black Flats- Payless
White Layering Top- Walmart
Bracelet- gift

Monday, November 18, 2013

A Weekend In Feminine Dress: Everyday Edition


Happy Monday and welcome once again to A Weekend In Feminine Dress, maternity style!  Today I am posting pictures of some outfits I wore last week to get some ideas out there for what to wear "everyday"!  I would appreciate your feedback and ideas for modest maternity or non-maternity everyday clothing.  I still do not have an extensive (modest) maternity wardrobe.  I am sorry for the extremely odd expressions.  It is very hard to get the right angle in a self portraits in the mirror in a small bathroom while seven months pregnant:)
 
Also, please consider volunteering photos for A Weekend In Feminine Dress and I will be happy to post them here to give myself a little break!  I do not want this to be about me (especially now that I am not the ideal model), but about modesty and elegance in dress!
 
One of my favorite easy maternity outfits.
 
 

This is a stretchy skirt originally from LOFT that works well for maternity.
 

This is not my favorite outfit, but it is comfortable around the house.

I know this looks a little silly, but I wore the same brown skirt (again) with this slightly too short dress and a raincoat.  Yes, it is very much adapted for modesty:)
 
 

My favorite maternity skirt!
 
 
Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Weekend In Feminine Dress

It's Monday again and time for A Weekend In Feminine Dress!  Here is what I wore yesterday and what Beatrice wore too!  I am thinking of publishing an everyday outfits edition soon for a little change and to share ideas on what to wear every day.  Please send me your pictures too if you want to participate (thecatholiclady@gmail.com)!


I'm sorry the photos are blurry.  These pictures were taken at the end of the day.
 

I wear this black stretchy maternity skirt pretty much every time I dress us now!  It is my favorite because of the length and comfort.
 
 
I love this baby dress!  Baby girl clothes are so pretty!!!
 
 
 
I'm Wearing:

Top- Consignment, originally Old Navy Maternity
Lace Cardigan- Dress Barn
Black Maternity Skirt- I made
Black Flats- Payless
 
 
Beatrice is Wearing:
 
Red Dress and Top- someone gave us!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Coco Chanel and the Fashion Revolution

Coco Chanel

       I recently came across the 2009 film, Coco Before Chanel, and decided to watch it in hopes of learning more about what drove the tremendous fashion Revolution of the 20th Century.  I have always been interested in her story, since Coco Chanel was almost singlehandedly responsible for some of the most dramatic changes in women's fashion.

       The movie was full of immoral liaisons, not surprisingly, since Coco and her sister, formally orphans, both found positions as mistresses in their adult life.  This struck me as interesting, considering that it would not have been difficult to find a respectable place working as a maid or a nanny back in early 20th Century France.  It also tells a great deal about the type of person Coco Chanel was.  She despised convention.  She was a Revolutionary.

     "In any case, such judgments are not really on the movie’s agenda. Rather than take a moralizing or pitying view of its characters, who live according to... the logic of their desires, Ms. Fontaine examines them with curiosity and compassion." says the New York Times.

     Although many of the scenes I could not watch, I did learn something from this film.  Firstly, Coco Chanel was a cynical person.  She saw the beauty of Victorian fashion as constraint and inequality.  She took femininity as a curse and used every effort to revolutionize it into a superficial tool that moved society.  Coco saw sailors on the beach and immediately designed a striped jersey overall for herself to wear- with pants.  She walked around in her own creations, a man's coat, a short haircut, no corset, a perpetual cigarette, and drew the attention of something "different" which was later seen as something "modern", "all the rage", and "classy". The Revolution moved on.

     The movie covers only Coco's early life.  She went on to become the mistress of some of the most influential men of her time.  She was a drug addict for most of her life, injecting herself with morphine on a daily basis.  Coco Chanel was rumored to have German sympathies during World War II; in any case, she moved among German elites in Paris during its occupation, even becoming involved in an affair with a noted German officer at the Paris Ritz.
Early Chanel designs
    
    Why do these personal events matter so much in the analysis of a celebrated designer of women's fashion?

      Perhaps they tell the story better than her clothes.  Coco Chanel's designs "liberated" women from a life of traditional morality.  They freed women to become the feminist working woman of a brave new world.  They stepped toward a hippy nudist culture.  They were the first hint of our current nation of slobs.  All of these fashion eras are related through a progression of rebellion.

      Women are made by God to be ladies with engrained morality based on natural law.  Evil hates women to be this way and thus creates an alternative in popular culture, especially fashion.

    I assume it is pretty obvious at this point what I think of Coco Chanel and the Fashion Revolution.  (Although No. 5 perfume and Chanel jewelry can still be used to accent femininity of course!)  The question is, do you agree?  Please let me know in the comments below!

Monday, November 4, 2013

On Celebration


Celebrating the holidays can bring with it scruples about secularism, materialism, and maybe even paganism.  The Catholic lady must analyze all these dangers, for they are very real; but she must not allow herself to be caught up in them.  If her attitude affects the enjoyment of her family, the Catholic lady has ceased to be a vessel of virtue and begun to be one of demise.


Since celebration must be about something good, the message we impart by  elebrating must be received.  “The more, the merrier,” is an old expression and perhaps one with some truth.  Surroundings of beauty, comfort, and cheer cannot be overdone to produce an atmosphere that sends the message.  Maybe the gospel of John is the best way to have Christmas for our minds, while the senses are better satisfied with turkey, Christmas trees, and jingle bells.



I think the Catholic lady has an increased opportunity during the holidays to see that her family is immersed in comfort and joy.

*Please share your comments below!*



On a Woman's Apostolate



By GK Chesterton 

“How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.”

Another Weekend In Feminine Dress!!!




Here is another beautiful picture that a friend sent me for A Weekend In Feminine Dress!  I think she looks beautiful!  I love the floral dress and jacket and shoes!  Perfect!

A Weekend In Feminine Dress- Maternity Edition

   A Weekend In Feminine Dress is when I post pictures of myself or a friend wearing a modest, feminine outfit (including where it was purchased) in order to form ideas for finding modest clothes and inspire ideas on how to dress like a lady!  (Please include your tips too in the comments!)
 
   This is what I wore yesterday.  I made the blouse recently and wore it with a cardigan I had in my closet.  I usually do not wear maternity cardigans unless I want to wear it buttoned.  The skirt I made too since I really needed a nice maternity skirt that fit well and was long enough (so hard to find)!  I wanted to put a photo of my new pin first since I just received it last week when my husband and I became supporters of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.  I was so excited and it is so beautiful as you can see!
 
   I am sorry again for the poor quality of my pictures.  I think my camera is just getting old and this may not be corrected until I get a new one.  Sorry.

 
 
 
 

Here is my outfit!  I already feel huge and I still have two more months of pregnancy to go!
 
 

Lace and pearls.  Don't you just love them both!?
 

Top, sweater and my new pin!
 
 
Skirt I made recently; it has a stretchy waistband for maternity wear.
 

 
Back- I curled my hair two days ago; I really like it curly:)

 
 
Earrings from my sister two Christmases ago.
 
 
 
 
 
I'm Wearing:
 
Top- I made
Cardigan- Burlington Coat Factory
Skirt- I made
Earrings- Sister
Pearl Necklace and Bracelet- gift
Shoes- Payless
 
 
 
Thanks for reading this!  Let me know if you have ideas for modest dress or maternity dress!  I am always interested in new ideas and tips!

 

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