For one thing, I'm female. As such, I like pretty and cute things. I suppose it is some quirk God programmed us with, but do we really mind? Honestly?
Also, there are a lot of ridiculously talented people out there creating beautiful, exquisite things: jewellry, purses, clothing, home decor goodies - and they're doing it as individuals, or maybe with a friend or two. That means it isn't mass-produced - it's unique. I have no quibble with mass production in most cases: it makes things more affordable (try to imagine how expensive even the lowest-level car would cost if it were made on a car-by-car basis). However, like most people, I find something wonderful about special items that few others have. Why blend in with the crowd and look like everyone else? Frankly, I think a lot of mass fashion is silly (skinny jeans again?) - and the followers tend to look like lemmings, not to mention each other. It's so tiresome to see pretty girls looking just like each other! We're all individuals with different personalities. Indie designers offer an opportunity for us to express our own self, and often at a very reasonable price.
Keep in mind, though, that some of the items are more expensive - because the designer may have spent two hours making that pin, or a few days making that dress. They often can't buy the supplies in bulk the way Target or bebe or Express can.
As for the 'modest' part...well, I'm kind of a 'classic' girl, tending to dress more like Audrey than a Britney. In fact, Britney isn't even part of my dialect. There's some Marilyn thrown in there, but I tend to be of the persuasion that a woman can be sexy without revealing cleavage, bellybutton, buns, long stretches of leg, or any combination thereof. Head-to-to prairie rat wear is out of the question: one can dress attractively without leaving so little to the imagination as most women today do. If I find pretty things that are also 'modest' - as in, they cover attractively - I'll mention them. Gladly. It's not quite as hard to find lovely, fashionable clothing that is still ladylike as some would have you believe.
"Modest" does not have to mean "ugly". And frankly, that "modest" stuff sticks out like a sore thumb in public, not in a good way - and a lot of the people wearing it are, honestly, anything but modest about wearing it.
Some people - mostly Christians - think that 'pretty' and 'modest' just cannot go together. I heartily disagree and find these arguments rather sickening. Any God capable of creating such beautiful things as a cherry blossom tree in full bloom, a vibrant sun conure, an animal as magnificent as the horse, the shimmering arrow of fast-moving tropical fish, breathtaking vistas of ocean or desert or rolling hills, or (to round things out) an oak tree aflame with vibrant colour in the waning days of fall is most certainly a God who doesn't mind seeing humans wearing pretty, attractive things.
(Warning: some Bible stuff ahead, but it fits in with the thesis and shouldn't offend anyone of any faith or non-faith. But feel free to skip.)
The Proverbs 31 woman clothes her family and herself in rich, beautiful clothing. God set down very detailed rules for what his priests should wear, and it wasn't even close to being plain, believe you me. There's a lot about dress and appearance in the Bible, more than many would like to admit, and it's pretty detailed. Even Christ Himself is described as wearing a robe of "fine linen" - as are all the saints. Fine linen isn't cheap, and while it can be simple, as anyone who has seen anyone else wearing a very nice linen suit knows, it just screams "I am well made, and I cost money money money." He tells us to look at the lilies of the field and how well He dresses them, and lilies aren't a favourite flower because they're plain. I think pretty and modest can go together beautifully. Besides...ugly can be ostentatious (remember the 70s?).
I'm a Christian woman, but I get regular trims to my mane, wear makeup daily, like perfumes, and looooove my scented moisturizers. My closet is full of cute clothes (of course, I never have enough, but other people seem to think I spend a fortune - if only!) that is attractive yet ladylike, and even (*gasp!*) reveals...shoulders and bare arms! And my neck! And calves - even ankles! Gaaaah! That gets me condemned right there. I give myself weekly manicures and a biweekly pedi.
To my non-Christian/Catholic/whatever faith readers, have no fear. I will not be telling you to buy a full, floor-length skirt (well...if it's made of satin or silk, or has some lovely embellishments...because there's something about a ballgown, you know?). Or to wear nothing but turtlenecks and to throw out your blowdryer. Never ever. I also don't plan on preaching at all. But I figure all of us can use some defense against the long-skirts-and-sleeves-only crowd, faith-type or not!
So, that's the plan. Scoping out pretty things, and if possible, modest things. I enjoy sharing things I like with others, and hope you enjoy seeing them as well. Of course, if you see anything lovely, feel free to bring it to my attention!
Labels: General Philosophy