I Used To Wear Penny Loafers...
I think fashion and the clothes you wear really are all about you. It’s your interpretation and your opinion. It is very personal. Even within the Mormon Church. Unfortunately, I’ve seen much judgment passed from church members and I find that very sad. Much like what Sarah talked about a couple of days ago, I remember seeing one ward member completely YELL at a young woman one Sunday for wearing a dress that didn’t follow the guidelines. This young woman was not a member, was visiting with a friend and I don’t think she came back. Yes, I know that not all members are like that. I know they won’t yell and make a scene…but they will stare. The will look. They may even pass judgment.
That’s not fair and it’s really not for us to decide.
When I was active in the church, I dressed the part. Sometimes I look back at pictures and say, “bleh” and wonder what the hell was wrong with me. No, I didn’t have anything specific wrong with me, well…at least when it came to getting dressed. It was just this: I was Molly Mormon to the fifth power…and my wardrobe matched that to a T (shirt.) For some reason, fashion wasn’t a big issue for me. I think it had much to do with the fact that shopping was always traumatic for me. I’m just under 5’10” and finding modest clothing for me was next to impossible. I usually ended up shopping in the “mom” section…and I just had to deal with it. “They” told me to dress modest, I dressed modest. I never once deviated from that mold.
I’ve been “away” from the church for a little over seven years. While I am pleased to announce that I am much more fashionable, I have not moved so much away from some of the standards of the church. I work in a professional environment, so my clothing is fairly conservative, but even my “play-clothes” aren’t that much different. I do wear sleeveless shirts, but I don’t wear spaghetti straps. I never show my midriff, but I have to admit that is largely due to the fact that I’ve had two children. That TOTALLY messes with your midriff in ways that just shouldn’t be discussed. But DEAR GOD, I wore a STRAPLESS GOWN to my company’s Christmas party last year…and I thought I was going to pass out from excitement. I showed my shoulders…AND my collar bone…all in the same night. I cannot begin to tell you how much I felt like a princess that night. It was a very fancy and princessey dress AND I LOVED IT. It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was breaking rank and showing some skin. It had everything to do with the fact that I FELT pretty and like a princess.
I don’t feel like I dressed immorally at all. I really don’t. But I didn’t dress according to how I was brought up in the church. That is the difference.
I don’t dress like a Hoochy-Mama…not even close. I don’t EVER intend on dressing that way. But I don’t need to. There are items of clothing that I wear that aren’t completely in sync (it is impossible to use that phrase anymore without thinking of Justin & co) with “Mormon” standards. But I think I really stay true to who I am and how I feel about myself. It’s what I am comfortable with.
Having said that, I will maintain very specific standards for my girls as they grow up. I will allow them to be who they are, but there are rules in our household. I think those rules resemble standards within the church because I really don’t think they will harm my children. Oh yeah…and they’ll probably benefit them, too.
So, if you had it in your head that you were going to buy matching, sparkly tube tops or belts masquerading as skirts for Paige and Abby…you were wrong, my friend. Quite wrong.