Suppose a guy named Damien feels called by God to go and become a missionary in Africa. He follows God's call dutifully and prepares to go there... But suddenly, all Christians in America decide to do the same, exact thing. Yup. Out of the blue all Christians are migrating to Africa to share the gospel. They figure, if God calls Damien to go to Africa, then it *must* be His will for everyone else.
I call this the one size fits all mentality.
When everyone leaves for Africa, a shortage of Christians develops in the states.... they're all in Africa, right? While Africans are being told about the gospel, Americans have no more opportunity to hear the good news. This leads me to the question, was it really God's will for *all* Christians to go to Africa?
Today I received a thought-provoking comment from Maria, and I would like to share it: I love your sense of style! I just wonder why you think ALL people should be like you? I'd love to email you to talk about it more. Is there any way I can contact you besides comments?
Should all people be like me? I answer with an emphatic no. God created each person differently, with a unique purpose and plan. No two fingerprints are alike, and neither are two life plans. If we all dressed the same way, did the same jobs, and met the same people, our lives wouldn't reflect the creativity of our God.
Not all people are called to dress particularly modestly, and in a way, that's a good thing. If you try to witness to people in a bar and wear a head-covering and a jumper, you won't get listened to for very long. Matter of fact, you probably wouldn't even be there in the first place. Another person who isn't as demure in their dress (haha) might have an easier time connecting with others in that circumstance and challenging them in their faith. In any case, they'd certainly attract far less attention. It is a fact that Christians lead different lifestyles. Not everyone is the CEO of Walmart, and not everyone is out on a farm in the middle of Nebraska. God places us in different walks of life, so we can reach different people.
Queen Esther was called to marry King Ahazueras, and through that the entire Jewish nation was saved. Noah was called to build a big boat in preparation for the flood, and through that the human race was preserved. If we took God's call for each individual to be the same for everyone, we'd end up with a lot of boats and big shortage of kings. O.o Some of us are models in NYC, while others are construction workers in Dubai. One way of life is no better than the other, if we are following God.
There is also no call to judge someone else because they don't believe in modesty or another specific of Christianity... And I have to admit I have been culprit of this, and I apologize. It is the heart that matters and must be right before God, and guess what! We aren't the judge. God is.
So when you read this little blog, please realize that I'm only sharing what God leads me to do, and this is by no means gospel truth. Base your life upon the Bible, and please don't take any other source as truth, including my blog... :)))
Elegance is not in the shoes you meticulously choose every morning, the crimson shade of lipstick you delicately paint onto your lips, or the couture gown you wear to the gala at the Metropolitan Opera House. It is so much more: an air, an aura of refinement, grace, style, and poise. It can't be bought at any store, from Payless to Prada. Elegance will take no bribes... and although the stores will hate me for saying this, elegance cannot be manufactured. There is no one size fits all. The bag the latest celebrity is sporting won't give you lasting confidence, and that is so fundamental to true elegance.
Elegance is a state of the heart and mind. There have been countless times I have noticed beautiful women, sophisticated ones, even stylish ones. Yet so few women possess unforgettable, ingenious elegance. It doesn't work its way from the outside in; elegance radiates from the heart. It is respect of oneself and others....
Elegant women aren't prancing through every single bar at 2 am, baring all for the world to see; they respect themselves more than that. They aren't sticking up their noses at everyone else, taking pride in their sparkling Louboutins or Prada bag, laughing over their colleague's dress from H&M. They respect others more than that.
Elegance comes from rooting your identity in Christ; confidence in who God created you to be: Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30 Elegance consists of so much more than designer labels, high end boyfriends, and Jimmy Choos; true elegance comes from the depths of your soul.
Yes, it takes a lot of guts to pull off vintage. :) But the good thing about it is, vintage is often more modest than most clothes in stores today, and it is also so unique. You are not going to walk down the street and see every other girl wearing the same exact shirt as you have on. Not happening! Great, you say.... so vintage is one-of-a-kind! BUT, finding something that fits right and looks great can be difficult, because in vintage and consignment stores, they don't stock items! I understand your dilemma: often I'll go to a vintage store and find a beautiful dress that is too big! It irks me to no end. :P So, I've turned to vintage inspired stores as great options when I can't find that elusive perfect dress. Despite my recent acceptance of vintage knock-offs, I will always be ridiculously loyal to *authentic* vintage clothes. Think of the stories that are coming with your dress... who knows who could have worn it before? Yes, its unlikely that Grace Kelly might have, but I still can dream. ;) Today, I offer you a dose of modern inspiration and then practical application so that you can incorporate vintage into your own style. ♥
So, lets start with the hair: curly blonde hair, in a cross between finger waves and "usual" curls is so drop dead vintage. I can see the Veronica Lake inspiration in this hairstyle. Vintage hairstyles are always classy, classy, classy.
Thankfully, pencil skirts (like the one this model is wearing) are still around, although they actually originated in the 1950s, and have remained a classic through the years. High-waisted pencil skirts are very vintage-esque, and you definitely see Victoria Beckham rocking those. :)
I love a good modern take on a very vintage look. This gorgeous suit is obviously inspired by vintage, but it has its own twist, with gorgeous draping around the skirt and shoulder. I think the three-quarter length sleeves make the gloves much more modern.
I have no idea what your stance on the fur issue is: some like faux, others like real, and still others prefer vintage fur. Whatever your values are, fur is a perfect way to add a vintage touch to your look. I know, a huge fur coat can look hideously reminiscent of the 80s... a decade some of us would rather forget. :P But a beautiful fur wrap or a small fur jacket like the one above or a coat with a fur collar is a beautiful way to wear it. (btw, don't you LOVE pinterest?)
So, you don't want to be labeled a granny stuck in another century, just because you wear a vintage suit to the supermarket? (all right, ladies, if you wear a suit for the sole purpose of going to walmart, they're right: it *is* overkill. Dressing properly for the occasion is very important!) Getting back to the issue, if you think some of your outfit is too antique, then add a pair of unapologetically modern shoes:
Now, that would dispel the notion of Miss Granny... ;)
And obviously, there are definitely some vintage-y modern suits which won't call for such drastic shoe measures. ;) Although, I absolutely love her shoes...
Can I stop for a moment and say how much I love this photo? All right, back to the issue. Hats are truly as vintage as you can get. From a dramatic black fascinator to a gorgeous sunhat, they add instant charm and beauty to any outfit. There was a time in the past where a woman wouldn't go out without a hat and gloves.... no more! We really need to revive this trend :)
Black lace is just beautifully vintage, and so many designers are creating gorgeous modern takes on it. It is truly timeless. Adding a strand of pearls to an outfit is so beautiful, but if you pile them on, it adds a bit of a modern touch. Mixing pearls and other pieces of jewelry will achieve the same modern quality.
so, classy. ♥ Is anything more vintage-y than red lipstick? I don't think so!
Next to hats, I have no idea what speaks more vintage elegance than a headscarf. Everybody from Vivien Leigh to Marilyn Monroe wore them, especially in convertibles. (you know the routine, enter the car with flawless hair, exit with anything but... however, a headscarf helps you retain your hairstyle)
I kind of love this dress....! A shorter hemline (as in right above or below the knee) really helps to modernize a vintage frock. I adore her audrey hepburn-esque ballet flats.
So, you might be wondering if anyone wears vintage full time. Yes, although there are only a few, there are some people who are %100 vintage lovers. One such person is Dita Von Teese: she mixes some modern with mostly vintage, and really, I think she is one of the few people that can pull it off. :)
I love how much leopard she wears, and her lovely shoes. Notice her beautifully red nails.
This is what she wears normally! I love it :) Her shoes are so vintage.
Like I said, vintage tends to be more modest in hemlines and necklines.
Oh, her coat. just lovely.
This is definitely one of my favorite looks for her. She looks so glamorous.
She has such interesting shaped shades...
Yes, she knows the power of red lipstick too. ;)
A beautiful, full circle skirt.
Yes! Headscarf and ballet flats.... she really is so stylish, in a utterly unusual way.
Wrap dresses are so beautiful on her, and very vintage-esque.
Sorry, I just love this one. She is reading the back of a soap box in a supermarket, and looks like she is going to a cocktail party!
Love the black lacework on the upper part of the dress.
She is so cute! I love her style ♥
Isn't her style lovely? And yes, we are now finally getting to the practical aspect of things. Enjoy!
1. First, you need some lovely vintage style blogs to follow, for some more inspiration. (really, can you ever have too much? ;)
~the girl never gets older: can I say gorgeous?! She is beautiful, and her style is very romantic and vintage inspired. I love it; she looks like a doll!
~Vixen Vintage: Again, talk about lovely! She wears vintage full time, and is so good at it.
~Elegant Musings: Casey doesn't just share her lovely vintage-y outfits, but talks about other aspects of stylish life -- you know, elegant musings? ;)
Next, hit some vintage shops and invest in some glamorous jewelry:
Vintage cocktail rings, and any other beautiful piece of jewelry you can find :) If you don't have pierced ears, vintage stores usually have tons (and I mean a lot) of clip on earrings. I suppose no one had pierced ears then? I've hardly ever been able to find normal earrings. :P
Cat-eye eyeliner is absolutely stunning, and very retro-esque.
And if you are feeling very dramatic, you can even add a fake beauty mark.... Yes. *If*
(By the way, don't you love this photo of Marilyn Monroe? She looks hilarious!)
Start wearing hats! Beware though... you might get stared at O.o
Add a headscarf :)
3. Now, some things you MUST look for when scouring through a vintage store:
Circle skirts... usually, if you want as much volume as this one has, you will need a petticoat.
Flouncy or fitted, vintage dresses are always worth having.
Anything beaded: dresses, belts, bags....
If you find a pair of gloves that fit perfectly, I suggest you keep them.
I have a very difficult time finding vintage hats that look good on me, so if you find one, I suggest you get it :)
Believe it or not, its hard finding good quality fur for a reasonable price, with a good fit. If you find one, I wouldn't pass it up!
4. Lastly, some great vintage inspired stores:
~Stop Staring!: Gorgeous, gorgeous store.... I love almost everything and would die to have a dress from here :) Just a few of my favorites:
I just adore the silhouette, and the color is darling.
I ADORE this dress. She looks rather thin though..... scary.
So lovely... more 70s than everything else today :)
I love the see through sleeves... so chic.
Concluding this lengthy, long overdue post, I would like to pause for a moment and thank each follower for the tremendous support over the past few months. Over 100? It seems just like yesterday that I was staring at my first follower :) Thank you all so much...... I love you all muchly ♥ God bless!!