Summertime. Hot days, warm nights, iced drinks, pool swimming, going to the movies, and spending time with friends. Along with all of this, of course, comes the territory of being surrounded by an inescapable sea of people in "barely-there" summer "clothes". Lately, I have found myself saddened by the clothing that I've seen many teenage/young women wearing, anywhere from around town, at the movies, in a coffee shop, at the pool... honestly, I don't need to travel to any specific destination - it's everywhere! Yes, I understand it's 100+ degrees outside - I feel the heat, too! Yeah, I get that it's summer time, so the general "dress code" is less strict. Sure, that "dress" was a steal at Forever 21 so you couldn't pass it up - wait, are you sure it's not a shirt? Seriously, ladies?
Here are some of my personal style "rules":
1. If it's not comfortable to move around, sit down, or stand up in, I know that I won't be comfortable wearing it all day. Others will notice if you're uncomfortable in your own clothing.
2. If anything, I focus on showing off just one physical feature with an outfit. Whether it's my arms, back, legs, or decolletage, I let the focus be on that area only. Too much bare skin can look... well, like you're trying to get attention.
3. Heels: if you can't walk correctly/normally in them, do not wear them. You will look ridiculous, no matter how "hot" or "trendy" they are. If you want some height, you're much better off wearing kitten heels or wedges - and they're comfortable!
4. When it comes to shorts, if they are shorter than where my fingers hit on my legs when standing straight, they are too short. Yes, I did take this "rule" from my middle school's dress code - and they knew what was up!
5. Skirts and dresses are often my go-to items, and I enjoy feminine pieces that flow and frame my body in a flattering way. In my opinion, A-lines, empire waists, and just-above-the-knee hem lines are universally flattering; "ultra tight", "bandage", and "stretchy" skirts/dresses are not. Our curves are beautiful, but let's leave something to the imagination ladies!
6. Belly-baring tops are not cute. Ever.
7. Bathing suits these days sure look a lot like lingerie. Seeing other girls in this stringy swimwear makes me uncomfortable, and let's be honest, wearing a bikini is far from comfortable! I prefer not to show the whole world my body (mystery is alluring!) by wearing tankini tops and regular bottoms with a cute coverup at the beach or pool. Cute retro swimwear is in style, too - and back in the day, it was expected that a woman be covered up a little more (they also knew what was up)!
8. I'm all for others trying edginess and fashion risks, but trying to wear a shirt as a dress or a cut up white tee with neon green bra is not attractive! Although, I suppose that depends on who/what you are trying to attract.
Side note/rant: I am sick of girls screaming to men, "Don't objectify me! Don't objectify me!" when they're wearing clothing that leaves little to nothing to the imagination. If you don't want to be objectified, practice dressing more modestly! It's really not hard. Please know that being "modest" doesn't mean you can't wear trendy or cute fashion - you totally can! Dressing for one's body type can make a HUGE difference, and straying from trends that don't flatter your body is the first step. Clothing stores like Gap, Banana Republic, and Anthropologie carry some of the most feminine and visually-appealing clothing I've ever set my eyes on, and, while they can be more expensive, quality should always dominate quantity! Also, if you want to save some money and don't mind some digging, discount and thrift stores often have great finds.
Personally, I dress for myself. I like to wear clothes that make me feel feminine, comfortable, and beautiful without feeling the need to show every inch of my body. And since Jesus is the center of my life, I want my appearance to reflect it. I want to point others to Him not only in all that I think, say, and do, but also in the way that I present myself.
"And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves in the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold pearls or expensive clothes." 1 Timothy 2:10
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hair styles and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes." 1 Peter 3:3
"She is clothed with strength and dignity... Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 31:25,30
"The LORD does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7