Life is Worth Living

Kim, Why Do You Always Wear Skirts?!

The other day, when the twins and I were stranded in St. Paul, we decided to tour the old James J. Hill Mansion.  I was of course wearing my usual attire: black shirt, gray skirt, and black boots.

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For the record, this is the exact gray skirt I was wearing that day…

And naturally I was minding my own business during this tour, politely listening to our Tour Guide in his ponytail, pink button-up shirt, and skinny jeans.

As we were entering the bed chamber and bathroom of the Mr. James J. Hill’s wife, our Tour Guide commented on the lack of a shower.

He glibly remarked, “You’ll notice, if you look into Mrs. Hill’s bathroom, that you will not see a shower, but rather only a bathtub.  In fact, none of her daughters’ bathrooms have showers either, but all the boys do, as well as James Hill.  This was because it was thought that if a woman were to take a shower, she may suddenly want to wear…”

He dramatically paused and then smirked, “pants.”

At this point, the Tour Guide grinned and looked directly at me, the only woman wearing a skirt in our group, and then remarked, “You probably don’t have a shower in your home?”

He winked at me and went on, “Watch out for those showers, ladies!”

Honestly, it took all my self-control to hold back an eye roll.  Instead, I just interiorly rolled my eyes, for he meant his comment as a slight to any woman who would be backwards enough to prefer the chains of feminine attire.

Well, I do prefer dressing in a feminine way.  I like skirts, and I like dresses.  And I can really think of two main reasons why this is so:

  1. I am a woman after all, and I like how skirts and dresses make me feel.  I like feeling feminine.  Why is that such a bad thing in our culture anyway?  Why must we all be the same?
  2. I’ve noticed that when I do “dress up,” I feel better about everything.  My morale goes up.  I’m happier.  I’m a better wife and a better mother.
For the record, I do own one pair of jeans and one pair of black pants, which I do wear from time-to-time…even though I don’t like them.

Today, however, in honor of my Condescending Tour Guide I want to offer a challenge to any ladies out there who may have never given skirts or dresses a chance.  I challenge you to a 30-Day Skirt-Wearing Fiesta.  (Or Dress-Wearing Fiesta.)

30-Day Skirt-Wearing Fiesta Guidelines

  1. Wear a skirt (or dress) for 30 days in a row.
  2. Notice how it makes you feel.  Uncomfortable?   Pretty?  Frumpy?  Feminine?  Whatever.
  3. Does anyone treat you differently because you’re “dressed up” in a seriously “dressed down” culture?
  4. Write these things down daily.  Keep a journal.
  5. At the end of 30 days, review your thoughts, and let me know what you think.  I’m genuinely curious, for I realize that skirts and dresses are not everyone’s cup of tea.

I Did Not Grow Up Wearing Them Either

By the way, I never used to wear skirts every day.  It just sort-of grew on me over the years, but I suppose it began about 15 years ago in grad school.  I had a friend who consistently wore skirts, and she always looked so well put-together.  Later she married and everlastingly wore the same thing: a black pencil skirt and a collared, button-up shirt.  I can tell you, her presence commanded more respect and awe than if she had chosen to wear sweatpants and t-shirts.

In any case, I’ll close this post with photos and comments of my 4 skirts that I wear every single day.  (I’ve also got a few nicer skirts and dresses for Mass…but I don’t feel like trying those on right now.)

Skirt #1

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This is my newest skirt, which I bought at Christopher and Banks for about $45 earlier this year.  (It’s still available HERE on their website.)  I like the jean material because it’s stiff.  I don’t like flimsy material of any kind.  The buttons that you see running down the front are deceiving, as they don’t actually unbutton.   I also like this skirt because of its length.  It’s great for any season.  You’ll notice that all my skirts are this length, which is intentional.

Skirt #2

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I purchased this skirt for a few dollars at Clothes Mentor, a second-hand store.  I’ve had it for a few years, and I still like it, even though I’m not a huge fan of brown.

Skirt #3

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I bought this skirt probably 7 or 8 years ago at Christopher and Banks.  I don’t remember how much I paid for it.  It’s also jean material, like the first skirt.  (I clearly like jean material, even if some may think it nerdy.)  I realize that when I wear this skirt, I’ve likely got “Homeschool Mom” tattooed on my forehead, but I don’t care.

Skirt #4

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Lastly, you’ve already seen this skirt.  It was also purchased at Christopher and Banks 7 or 8 years ago, and I still like it, in spite of Condescending Tour Guides.

If you’ve got any other clothing-related questions, be sure to ask!  Or, if you’d like a tour of my closet, click HERE.

For those of you who may be new here, I’ve also got some other thoughts on clothing and modesty HERE.

Christ-Like Minimalism

Christ-Like Minimalism: The Bedroom Closet

Some of you could care less about what’s in my closet.  Really, I sympathize.  You may just want to skip this post.

For the rest of you, here we go.

My Closet:  An Introduction

Now I’ve been pregnant or nursing for about 13 straight years.  Just think about that a minute.  Then consider that I likely have another 10 more years of fertility.

Take a minute, do the math, process it.  Think some more.

So clearly my body has been up and down a lot and will be up and down some more.  There’s my normal, pre-pregnancy weight.  Then, there’s my pregnancy weight.  I always gain about 50 pounds.  Then, there’s the post-pregnancy period, wherein it takes about a year for my body to return to its initial weight.  And then about that time, I’m pregnant again.

Why do I mention all this?

Because as any of you mothers out there know, this requires a variety of clothing sizes, unless you have the privilege (or burden?) of being able to buy new clothes every “Body” Season.

And then consider the fact that I live in a region that promises a temperature swing from a frigid -40 degrees Fahrenheit to a blasting 110 degrees.

It’d be a lot easier to live somewhere tropical year round.  I imagine you could live in a sundress and call it good.

How does all this relate to my closet?

In short, I’ve got three wardrobes:  Normal, Pregnant, and Post-Pregnant.  Of course there’s some overlap with clothing.  For example, my two nursing tank tops have simply become my pjs for all Body Seasons.  (Romantic, no?)  And fortunately (or unfortunately?) I can wear my one pair of sweat pants also during all three phases.

But for my sanity, I do have clothing for each specific Body Season, and I’ll mortify myself a little by writing about it.  Maybe it’ll give you a few ideas.  I’m hoping it’ll spur me on to get rid of more.

So what is in my closet?

No skeletons, I hope.

Here’s a shot of my clothes as one walks in the closet:

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Let me break it down for you.  As it happens, right now I’m experiencing a Normal Body Season, so my blue tub of maternity clothes is sitting on the floor.

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Tub of Maternity Clothes.  Currently not in use.

The pink box on the upper shelf is my wedding dress, and the brown box is my sole box of childhood memorabilia.

My Post-Pregnancy clothes are discreetly hanging in the corner, behind a few tank tops, which you may be able to see, if you look closely.

My dress-up clothes are hanging on the right, with my 3 dancing dresses in plastic.  (My husband and I enjoy dancing; it’s a hobby.)  So, the clothes on the left are what I wear every day.

Here are the remainder of the shelves, which contain bottoms for all four seasons – jeans, skirts, skorts, and capris.  (I don’t have any shorts.  I hate them.)

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The top shelf features a pink dancing skirt next to a Nikon camera; the bottom shelf has two bags on it.

Here are the exact numbers of my regular clothes:

  1. Long-sleeved shirts: 12
  2. Short-sleeved shirts: 6
  3. Tank tops: 7
  4. Sweaters/zip-ups: 8
  5. Jeans: 1
  6. Pants: 1
  7. Skirts: 6
  8. Skorts: 3
  9. Dresses (including for dance): 8
  10. Capris: 2
  11. Leggings: 2

I realize that for many of you, I’ve got a ridiculous amount of clothing.  But I’m working on it.  I was greatly inspired by Darci Isabella’s video on what she’s got in her closet.  Wow.  Like 5 tops and 2 skirts.  Just wow.  She does qualify it, however, with that she’s done having children.

My current rule is that if something comes in, something goes out.  I keep the same number of hangers.  And I also “rotate” my clothing, so that way I can see what is being worn, and what is not.  For example, do you see that blue long-sleeved shirt on the end?  I haven’t worn it in a long time, because it’s on the end.  Everything that’s been worn, gets put on the other side.  That shirt may have to go.

Confusing?  Make sense?

It’s my crazy way of knowing what I need to get rid of.

And how about my husband?

Here’s his entire wardrobe.

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Work clothes hanging on top.  Everyday clothes on the bottom.

He does have some running clothes too, and so do I.  They’re just in the dresser, in the room, with underwear and socks.

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Dresser for underwear, socks, 2 pairs of leggings, nylons, running clothes, veils for Mass, and an empty drawer.

And shoes?

I gave up on shoes a long time ago.  Less is way better, and in my case, a lot more comfortable.  Here is a picture of every single pair of shoes I own.

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From left to right: winter boots, running shoes, every day shoes, dancing ballet slippers, sandals, flip flops, and every day boots.

Any questions?  Be sure to ask.