Friday, October 23, 2009

Out of the Package

and onto my back.

The brown dresses arrived today. Shall I call them ugly? Perhaps. I put them on, and while the fabric is lovely and soft and stretchy-like a velour stretch knit courduroy, they are so. brown. How do I manage to imagine fabulous and get dowdy every. single. time.

And the dresses were too big for me in places. What would I do with these ill-fitting dumpy garments for a whole month? Oh, great. God is really going to teach me some humility.

First, I went through my entire closet, and bagged stuff up. It took three bags, and some loose stuff (I ran out of large garbage bags) thrown into the top of my closet (summer and winter stuff all combined) to get the "can't wear this with a dress" items out of the way.

As I went through my clothes, I tried on the various cardigans that I might end up wearing with the brown dresses if the weather is cold enough. And I have a plethora of shawls and scarves and such. Everything else went to the top of the closet. And most of everything that I kept looks rather ragamuffin-ish on me.

I also messed with a dress clip to deal with the extra fabric. It kept popping off as I tried on various sweaters, and it looked very 1990's, and lumpy. More lumps I don't need. I have plenty of those on my own.

Finally, I decided to get out my sewing machine and take in about three inches out from under each arm, resulting in a much better fit. I'm glad I have those skills.

Funny how clothes are. Two identical dresses and careful measuring, yet they are different. The first dress I altered is perfect now. Fits me great. The second dress seems like it must have started out fitting looser, so it's still a bit looser on me, even though I took it in the same, and then took it in some more. Odd.

Here are my first impressions: I Am Hollie Hobbie...the ragamuffin woman with the odd sticking out hair, the clupy brown shoes and the dumpy brown dress to go with my dumpy brown life. This is pretty much how I feel on the inside, and now the outside matches. No pretentions or fabulousness. Nothing suave or beautiful about me. Nothing shiny or holy or clean or perfect, and certainly no unmarred goodness.

Just me and a brown dress.


elizabeth said...

This could be a good thing, I think.

Very cool that you can retailor them; it is odd how even the same dress fits differently...

Amy said...

I will be praying for you during this time. I'm sure it will be a wild emotional ride, but I pray that your spiritual journey is everything you need it to be.

Looking forward to seeing how it goes and supporting you however you need it!

Xenia Kathryn said...

Ah, so the dress is HERE! Don't worry Alana, it's only the first day. I agree with Elizabeth, a lot of good can still come from this!

When I first became Orthodox, I spent a lot of time in the thrift stores purchasing long skirt after long skirt... same with the long-sleeved blouses (with visions of wearing them everyday? I'm not sure). Guess what? Almost all of them have been sifted out and given right back to the thrift stores. Not because I don't want to wear long skirts/ blouses, but because all too often they didn't "fit" me (size-wise and personality wise).

Now I only have about 3 long skirts that I wear regularly, that I really love. They are thrift store finds. I wear these a ton, in addition to some just below wear knee length skirts (that I wear with tights/ leggings). That way I'm still covered, but it helps me feel not so frumpy. Plus, when I look around and all of the other women at church, they're usually wearing something similar.

This experiment will, if nothing else, probably help you realize what you really want/ like to wear. Out with the "kinda cute/ kinda fits/ kinda like it"-- only what you LOVE stays-- even if that means choosing things that are different from your perceived self-style.

After this month, maybe you can re-try on some items in your closet, give 'em a second chance before throwing them out. Get hubby's opinion, friends' opinions. Go "shopping" in your own closet, maybe you'll fall in love with some things you already had (or alter some with your mad sewing skillz) ! :)

Sorry for the rambling; hang in there! You'll do great. Thanks, as always, for your honesty and your willingness to experiment with this.

Katie said...

I know you feel frumpy and dumpy and like nothing spectacular, but remember our Lord was nothing special on the outside either. The Bible says there was nothing about His appearance that would have drawn us to Him. Yet, He healed, loved and saved because of Who was in Him and who He was. Remember, great is the One who dwells in you! May His Spirit hold you up during this challenge!

lisa said...

Just remember what St. Francis of Assisi did in his brown dress! You're gorgeous.