Finding My Style

This homesteading life has changed a lot of things about me that I never imagined would be effected by our simple living goals. Not only have my diet, priorities, and faith been changed, but over the past several months I’ve noticed my clothing preferences changing as well. Now, I don’t have many clothes. Not because I wouldn’t like to have more! I simply can’t rationalize spending money on clothes for me when there are things that my kids need more. And most of what I do have, I’ve had since high school. Seriously.

I’ve been feeling the need for a more mature wardrobe update.

And I wonder if it should be more… feminine.

Up until lately, I’ve been a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal. They are quick, comfy, and durable. But sometimes I think of the way my kids look at me, you know, as an example, and I wonder if it might be better for them to see me wearing something a little more girly.

I imagine myself working around the home wearing a flowing casual dress or long skirt, and it seems to me the picture of a godly mother. Now, I’m not saying that I believe a Christian woman should always wear a dress. (Although, when I imagine the Proverbs 31 woman, I can’t help but picture her in a long dress.) I’m just saying that when you see a mother wearing a long dress or skirt, she seems to stand out from the rest of the world. It just isn’t the norm anymore. Let’s face it, she looks motherly.

And I think men appreciate a woman who dresses like a lady as well. Even little Titus notices when I put on a dress, and never fails to tell me how pretty I look.

So, I’ve been working on getting some casual but pretty skirts for everyday wear. Last summer I found a couple at a yard sale that I wear pretty often. I just think dressing more lady-like is a good example to all of my children. I want my girls, and my son, to grow up seeing a woman dressed in modest, feminine apparel.

It’s hard to find affordable clothing that fits this description though! I’ve had a really hard time finding anything that I like, that’s cute, isn’t too low cut, or tight, or short. I’ve searched the internet high and low and just can’t seem to find a modest dress that doesn’t look like… forgive me… something from grandma’s closet? (Why, oh why, all the big poofy sleeves and gigantic collars??)

I’m working on it though. I still wear jeans often, just ’cause I don’t have many skirts. But I’ve been wearing a long skirt a lot more often lately. And I’ve found that I’m beginning to prefer skirts. They’re actually quite comfortable!! And you know, I feel good dressing like a lady.

Kendra
About Kendra 1123 Articles

A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

37 Comments

  1. thanks for the link to this post! i love it!!! its exactly what i have been going through. i mostly wear skirts( even in the snow – i just wear tights or leggings underneath on VERY cold days) and i LOVE wearing my skirts. the problem i have is that im short, but have long legs so nothing ever seems long enough. i love my broomstick, gypsy style skirts for that reason. they are WONDERFUL. i need more denim skirts in my wardrobe however, i think im gonna try and find some way to do what some other women do and may them out of old jeans i dont need or my hubby doesnt need any longer 🙂

  2. The broomstick skirts are pretty easy to make if you can find the fabric. I too have this battle going on in my head. I love the way I feel in a skirt or dress but I always feel a bit inapropriate when jumping into the back of the truck and getting stuff out or what not. I try to wear them when my husband or my father can help me to that stuff.

    If you don’t mine, what size are you I may have skirts sitting in my closet or at the thrift store (the lady there sells clothes by the bag full!!) Message me if you are interested.

  3. Kendra,
    Firstly good luck with the homesteading. With regards to wearing dresses,looking feminine and being a mother, I think all three go hand in hand. I have two teenage daughters and apart from a 4 week stint arising from “rebelous youth”,(eldest dd), both my daughters,and myself have always worn dresses/skirts only. As for fashion we don’t really follow fashion trends, practicallity is much more important than having the latest style. We like what are commonly called prairie dresses and also cape dresses (extra modesty layer) and mostly wear a full apron or pinafore as well. A full apron not only keeps our dresses clean but the extra layer also aids in modesty. There is nothing we WANT to do that we can’t do wearing a dress. That is not to say we can do everything in a dress, but if it can’t be accomplished while in a dress then we don’t do it. I must say here I have climbed a ladder in a dress. As all our dresses are near or ankle length I think it is ok as long as there are no men directly under the ladder, wearing 3/4 length bloomers also helps modesty when picking fruit of a ladder.
    Blessings,
    Grace.

  4. Kendra,
    Go to a thrift store and grab all of the jeans and chinos you can, and turn them into skirts!! You can even get short skirts and add on to the length!! That is what I do for myself and my 16 year old daughter. We get creative and we use old clothes, curtians and fabric remnants. You can “fill in” the triangle area of the jeans (which is what it will be after you rip out the inner seams of the jeans), with a solid piece of material, a patch work, or strips of fabric. Do you have face book? If so, I can send you pictures of what we have made!!! I have made skirts for little girls on up to big grown women, and it is sooooo much fun!
    Praying for you and your family,
    Rachel

    • I would love to see them! My daughter and I are struggling to find durable skirts for around the farm. This project sounds like such fun!!

  5. Maybe you have a place like Value Village down there? They sell second hand clothing and a lot is in great condition… but definitely some of it is from an other era of fashion, and they are really really affordable, and they fund our Canadian Diabetes Association here. You could always look up clothing patterns and make your own, or knit or crochet your own clothes, that would save money and help you prepare just in case everything falls apart… I mean, if we can’t get groceries in the future and are on our own, chances are that clothing shops won’t be plentiful either lol. It might be a good idea to earn these skills so you and your family will be less dependent on mass marketed items and more able to help yourself and loved ones with the basics 🙂

  6. I would love to wear skirts and dresses all the time, but I can’t for a number of reasons. Most important ones: it is against the rules at my job, and it would be terribly impractical even if it wasn’t. I do a lot of climbing ladders, crouching, kneeling, lifting, and running around. Also, it is far too cold here in the winter to even think about it. I can’t imagine shoveling snow with a long skirt on. I’m a fairly active person in general, I work in the garden, ride my bike, hike, etc, and I can’t wear a skirt while doing any of those.
    There was a period in my life where I lived in a very elegant city in a warm climate, and the most physical activity I did was walk across town. It was completely natural to wear a skirt or dress every day. Now that I’m living in a rural area again all those things are sadly hanging in the closet, mostly unused. 🙁

  7. Hello!

    My friend came across your site and told me about it, and I’ve got about 5 tabs open of articles I want to read! Alot of what you’re doing/going through is what I’m also doing/going through.

    I’m also a casual dresser – I love tshirts and leggings or flared workout pants around the house. However when I go out I wear loose clothing and longer tops to cover my booty. I love tunics and would wear them all the time if I could find enough that are inexpensive (I cannot). I’m going to start sewing my own, actually. (another story for another time).

    I appreciate that other women want to dress more feminine. I’m so bad at that! It doesn’t look or feel right to me if I dress too “pretty”. I’ve been such a tomboy all my life! But I’m nearly 50 now and I’m going through this same thing as you that my clothing just doesn’t suit me anymore. Should I dress like an older woman now?

    The only older woman’s wardrobe I appreciate is Dame Judi Dench’s on “As Time Goes By” (British Comedy). She dresses modestly, appropriately, chic and feminine all at the same time.

    Here’s a link that you might like: Holy Clothing. They have some pretty clothes, and they’re not very expensive. If I had even a tad bit of money right now, I’d buy several of their items. http://www.holyclothing.com/store/index.php

  8. This was a great topic. In November I made the decision to start dressing even more modestly and covering. I no longer wear slacks. This was a personal conviction for me. It’s not a salvation issue as far as I’m so considered, so please nobody panic. Since I’ve started doing this I feel even closer to the Lord and I actually feel more like a woman. Again, these are my personal observations. As far as skirts go, wonder if you could make one? There are lots of tutorials and I have no sewing experiences, but feel like I should eventually be able to learn to sew a skirt with an elastic waist. Last September I took up quilting and am loving that. Love sewing those straight lines. LOL. Love your blog and your show. Looking forward to the fellowship and learning more and more. Blessings to you and your family.

  9. We have 4 girls so we have really been studying about what is biblical and what is not as far as dress goes because we didn’t want to be passive about the whole thing and realize when they are 16 and dressing like street walkers that we did something wrong and regret it. That being said, we decided that the easiest thing is to say it is all black and white. No gray area. We went to all Skirts (and NO not mini skirts)- after a year of conviction in Dec of last year. The best place i have found them is Goodwill seriously. 3.99 is full price and you can get them for .99 a lot too. And for kids clothes, i have realized that i need to start making their stuff. The kids skirts are mini skirts and we just do not feel comfortable with that. I do not expect my 4 year old to wear an ankle skirt but i sure will not allow a britney spears skirt either!

    Our family didnt like the change because they didnt want the kids to be made fun of. Well if you are homeschooling anyways, what does it matter, ya know? it isnt like its the only thing my kids will “get made fun of” for….I do believe we are called to “not be transformed to this world but to be CONFORMED by the renewing of our mind”…. =)

    Who cares what the WORLD thinks as long as we are pleasing to our wonderful Lord and Savior!!!

  10. I so know what you mean. I love looking nice and feeling like a lady and I think people look at you differently, maybe more respectfully. I am so looking forward to warm weather to break out the sundresses which I wear all the warm season. I remember my Mom dressing for Church. She wore a dress or skirt and jacket, heels and a hat. She always looked elegant. Flowing dresses are downright comfortable. Good luck in your hunt for the perfect attire. By the way, I adore your blog!

  11. I shop on freecycle and get quite a bit of material there, also dont forget that cheap sheets from yardsales and thrift stores can turn into many clothing and decorating items!

  12. Exactly! I started wearing sundresses this last pregnancy, and they’ve stuck around, as have skirts. They’re pretty, great fun for the kids (you ever sat on a chair and played peek-a-boo with the baby on the ground to flip the skirt around?), and so easy to move around in. Especially if your body’s been a bit challenged by several pregnancies (I’m squishy and fun to cuddle with apparently).

    I’m not adorable and skinny like you, so I’ve had quite the challenge finding things that don’t make me look like a 75yo retiree and such. Sigh. I did *just* find a gal on Etsy/facebook (I can’t machine sew worth a darn) that does cute jean skirts using jeans (just cuts them up), and does custom ones. I need to go through my closet and cull out some for this purpose – I like the hardiness of jeans, but the cuteness of a skirt. 😀 Also on an apron hunt. Finding a tunic/frock style apron that doesn’t go around or pull at the neck is proving… difficult.

  13. Hi Kendra ~
    I too hear your heart. I made it one of my goals this year to acquire a certain number of winter/fall skirts and a certain number of spring/summer skirts. I too like long and flowy. Someone else mentioned Homestead Blessings Art of Sewing DVD and their pattern really does look super simple to make. There is also this link that I discovered a few weeks ago http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/06/summer-swing-skirt.html I’m looking forward to trying it. I also wanted to suggest looking at http://www.tipnut.com I don’t think there isn’t much of anything on there to live more simply and frugally.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Melissa

  14. I enjoy wearing Prairie or pioneer style skirts. I started wearing them more last summer, as I don’t wear shorts. I have a couple of pair of jeans and a few pair of overalls, which I wear, but I am finding I pull out a skirt to wear quicker than the jeans/overalls. I noticed that in the summer, the breezes were much cooler and I was very comfortable. I have been finding alot of skirts at my local Goodwill. If you find a dress you like, you can always alter it to make a skirt.

  15. Just seconding what a lot of ladies are mentioning about watching Goodwill/thrift shops. We find so much at our Goodwill stores–not just clothes, either. It’s amazing how much stuff looks like it’s never even been used. Besides finding good deals, I just think it’s being a good steward to reuse things instead of everyone having to buy everything new. To say we’re a throwaway society is even such an understatement. It’s incredible how wasteful people have become, not to mention how things like appliances, electronics, etc. are built anymore according to principles of planned obsolescence. I personally am not comfortable working around the house in longer skirts (they just seem to get in my way), but do wear them in public. Around the house, I tend to wear denim or khaki “skorts” (skirts with built in shorts, but still look like skirts from both the front and back–in case you aren’t familiar with the term “skorts” where you live) that fall a little above the knee. I just seem to get around better in them when I’m busy cleaning, etc.

    • Yeah, I almost NEVER buy new. Almost everything I get (except for shoes for myself) are from yard sales or Goodwill. I’ve looked and looked for skirts at our local Goodwill (when we had extra spending money, that is), and haven’t had much luck!! I’ll keep looking though, when I’m able to. I think it’s probably cheaper to buy them for a couple of dollars at Goodwill than to make my own, unless I luck up on a really good deal on materials 😉

  16. I love wearing skirts, and I grew up a tomboy in my jeans and t-shirts! If you want a more formal long skirt and feel like sewing, I found a Victorian 5-gore walking skirt pattern and easily adapted it to my everyday life.

    http://butterick.mccall.com/b3418-products-3874.php?page_id=965

    I have made several in different fabrics, and I always get complements on them. In the winter, I’ll make an underskirt out of flannel from the same pattern, and it’s toasty warm. 🙂 I completely understand your “motherly” feeling when you see these skirts. I like to pair them with cardigans. (I have an unhealthy obsession with cardigans… 😛 )

    Broom skirts are also fun. I have a few of those, and love to wear them on warmer days.

    Good luck with your style adventure!

  17. I’m glad you aren’t legalistic–I grew up where legalism actually caused immodesty rather than preventing it (I still laugh when I remember the church group on the stand-up rollercoaster at our local amusement park). I grew up in skirts and always feel more comfortable in them (when it isn’t cold outside), but I also found that there seemed to be a perceived immodesty when I truly wasn’t trying to be immodest. Others sometimes mentioned my dress/skirt in a very “aren’t you special?” kind of way when we lived in the suburbs. Seriously…”My, you dressed up today” etc. And so I found that my clothing had to meet my culture for the sake of true, Biblical modesty. HOWEVER–now that we are BACK out of the suburbs (Praise God), I am drawn back to the long skirts of my past and very glad for it. I agree–my sons need to see true femininity and my daughter needs that modeled for her. I feel more graceful and calm, actually, when wearing one!

  18. I, like you, find myself in jeans most of the time but am being more drawn to skirts. I grew up in a church organization that taught it is wrong for women to wear pants because we’re not to dress like men. I don’t hold to that teaching myself since everyone, including men, wore tunics in Bible days, but I do think that there is something beautiful in a long, flowing skirt and the model of mothers past. Goodwill is a great resource for inexpensive skirts and fabric (think sheets, shower curtains…) to make your own. I know that you like the Homestead Blessings series and their sewing DVD has a great example of how to whip up your own skirt very simply – no pattern needed. Happy hunting in your search!

  19. I hope that you will continue to post your “jourey” in this area. Do you ever hear stories of people beginning their homesteading journey and think….. I remember when we were there and just smile. That’s kind of how I feel about your post today 🙂 My journey with dress was challenging at times, but I encourage you to keep searching. My family has been through some MAJOR changes also. We went from a family who sometimes attended church to being part of the plain conservative mennonite community. MAJOR changes. I searched and searched my bible and prayed about what God wanted from me. I don’t spend much time online anymore and no longer have a blog myself, but once in a while think about some of the families who I used to read about and like to look in on them and see how they are doing. I am happy your family is doing well and how wonderful, a new baby! I wish you the best and look forward to seeing your journey. And to Emily, sounds like the Lord is really working in your life. He does call us to be set apart. Remember that set apart does not have to mean alone. Find other like minded believers and it will make your journey much easier.

  20. Two words: Broomstick skirts. Seriously. I have about 12 of them. Maybe more. They are awesomely comfortable, flowy, and by their very nature, never have to be ironed or pressed. The more wrinkly they get, the better. I have several of the multi-layered ones and several of the gauzy, summery, light ones and I love them ALL. ALL. Best. Skirts. Ever. I pair mine with a wifebeater or spaghetti strap just for around the house and with blouse-type or Indian-style tops to go out. And since they’re not “in”, you can usually find them by the boatloads at thrift stores for like a buck a piece. Get you one. Or ten. You will thank me.

  21. Hi Kendra! Love your blog! You have such a way and maturity about you! Thanks for all of the inspiration! Anyway, I wear skirts almost daily because they are so comfy and attractive. My 5 year old son comments frequently how pretty I am. Love it! We are on tight budget also and I seem to find pretty, modest skirts at Goodwill, Salvation Army (on their 50% off days), and other thrift stores around the area. Just keep checking and I’m sure you’ll find what you are looking for!
    Jamie

  22. Kendra-

    This is exactly how I feel! It’s amazing I read your post and I thought that’s me talking! lol… No but seriously I agree with you 100%. I feel women today are so lost in this culture they have no idea how to get back home. I also have noticed scince my hubby and I have simplified our lives I have a whole new view on life. Sometimes I think…I didn’t feel this way before!But now i’m radical about so much. I can’t help but wonder is this normal in one’s life ? or is this the Lord working and drawing us ladies back home where he intended us to be? Women should be feminine and although I don’t look down on a woman that wears jeans I look up to a woman that wears skirts and presents herself as feminine to her family and todays culture. I’m like you I feel very strongly about this wardrobe change that I try to wear skirts only but I wear pants alot just because its winter and I hardly have any skirts/dresses I am looking for patterns to make my own skirts .My dauhter is 7 and I have been making her dresses and finding material on discount at walmart or a local fabric shop. She wears alot of dresses and skirts I also got her a long denim skirt and a khaki skirt from old navy online. My little girl loves to wear dresses andI explained to her that pretty soon that’s all she’ll be wearing because we want to be ladies 🙂 It’s so much fun being feminine. and I love setting my own agenda . In todays culture everyone talks about individuality but everyone looks the same! I don’t want my kids following modern day culture I want us to be set apart. Here’s some skirts that I love ! I know the patterns are $16.00 but look how cute they are and you can make them over and over again with diff. fabric over the years the patched skirt would be so pretty!
    they have little girl patterns too. I think you would look cute Kendra in the
    summer shade jumper pattern . It’s beautiful. Here’s the site:

    Emily`

  23. Kendra, we share that conviction as well. Keep your eyes open at yard sales and thrift stores (I know you already do) and I’ve also enjoyed this skirt from the Modest Mom: http://themodestmom.com/item_195/Womens-Long-Ruffle-Skirt-Medium-Denim-Skirt.htm

    Maurices is a good idea, too. Occasionally Chico’s has a pretty long skirt, as does Hanna Andersson, as you can find them at their outlet stores or ebay.

    Just keep your eyes open when you’re out — you’ll find what you’re looking for! I’ve found that God honors these efforts to honor him with our clothing 🙂

    Much Love,
    Jaime G

  24. I’m so clumsy. I’m afraid if I wear dresses they will end up around my neck with my bloomers showing if I trip and fall. Now that would be embarrassing. However I think I would love to wear flowy skirts and dresses.

  25. Hi Kendra, I belong to a Christian church that believes that women should wear modest skirts or dresses when in public. We are told that not dressing like the world, but dressing the way God intended, helps us to be a shining light in a dark world. I also feel like I am being a good Christian example when I put on a skirt. Don’t get me wrong, I do occasionally wear pants, especially around home, but it always feels right when I’m in a skirt or dress. One way that I have been able to find cute skirts is by making my own. Turning jeans into jean skirts is pretty easy and makes attractive, cheap, skirts.

  26. With the BohoChic style coming back this spring/summer, you might be able to find more that suits you. I love long flowing skirts, no matter how much heavier Clinton & Stacey says they make me look. I’m comfortable in them, and they make me feel great!

    Sunday, I didn’t change out of my outfit from church, and the boys noticed later in the afternoon. It makes me feel good when normally unobservant little gentlemen say they like something I’m wearing. Makes me want to do it more often!

  27. If you have a Maurice’s near you, check their clearance racks. their regular prices are very high, but their clothes are super cute! We are a dresses only family and my girls and i both (me 36, dd1 15, dd13) all find really cute skirts there on clearance along with the most awesome tops!

    Also, Cato’s is another very cute clothing store, very inexpensive

    both stores have lots of skirts!

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