Do I dress in a manner that would make a Mormon mother* proud?
I can take a perfectly clean room and turn it upside down in 10 minutes flat while searching for the perfect top to go with the perfect slacks. And don’t forget the shoes… Heels? Of course!! Open-toed? Checking pedicure status… all is clear. Now which clutch? Which wrap and what jewelry?
I ENJOY this life, I enjoy it a lot!
But, do I dress in a manner that would make a Mormon mother proud?
BYU’s honor code, the best guideline I can find to represent standards by which Mormon women are expected to dress, provides the following dress and grooming standards:
A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles and colors. Excessive ear piercing (more than one per ear) and all other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.Surprising even myself I bat 50%. I keep “a clean and well-cared-for appearance,” a COSTLY clean and well-cared for appearance, but a well-cared for appearance none the less. I don't have excessive piercings or colorful hair. I avoid the extremes in styles. I am a fashion follower, not a fashion forward, extremely awesome, risk taking dresser like Gwen Stefani, or beloved designer Betsy Johnson. Sadly, this is where it all ends. I fail because I show a little shoulder (sometimes the Whole. Entire. Thing), and not just while jogging. I do it in public non-recreational settings as well, such as restaurants, movie theatres, pubs and sometimes, EVEN WORK… **gasp… ah the horror of it all.** I wouldn’t/couldn't pass up a backless, strapless or sleeveless if it was beautiful, in my price range and blended well with other pieces in my wardrobe. I own dresses and skirts that show my knee, and sometimes my wrap around dress gets whipped up in the wind and reveals my ENTIRE leg, Marilyn Monroe style. I wear form fitting clothing because I think it makes my small 5’2” stature appear grander in some way and my small you knows appear larger in some other way. But in the end, I am an argyle sweater wearing tweed skirt kind of girl.
I have no problem with BYU’s dress code, or people personally trying to live by a similar dress standard. But I won’t lie when I tell you that I much more enjoy wearing a darling strapless sundress on a sunny weekend in San Francisco then I ever did in Provo, Utah. No ones looking, judging, wondering to themselves, “huh... that girl must not be Mormon, OR maybe she's a Mormon Gone Bad.” Don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about because I have done it myself and I doubt I am alone here. I prefer living in a community where what I am dressed in actually says next to nothing at all about me, one where I could make almost every mother proud.
*this in no way is a reference to my own mother. My own mother is a non-judgmental woman (when it comes to me… the rest of ya'll I can’t speak for). I believe my mother is comfortable with the way I dress. My evidence? That had she kept her clothing from when she was younger I would be sporting it around town right now!