Sunday, December 23, 2012

What I Wore Sunday

by Shannon

Prepare yourself for a loooong blog post. If you stick through it, I'm giving a fashion lecture at the close of this post — YAY!

What a busy time of year. I took photos for last week's link-up, but blogging wasn't even close to happening. My busiest weeks of the year are the last week before Christmas and Holy Week. Now that the family Christmas gathering (both sides at my house at one time!) has passed, you'll get a double-dose of WIWS here this week.

For Gaudete Sunday, I did not partake in rose/pink. I have zero rose in my wardrobe, for serious. There are a couple hot pink accessories and a pale pink sweater with moth holes, so I went with black and brown. Why not.

This is my first LBD. Ever. I don't know how I made it nearly 30 years without one. It goes with everything. Everything! 

Dress: Old Navy
Scarf: Vintage
Earrings: Betsey Johnson, Macy's
Necklace: gift (Fashion Bug?)
Belt: Kohls, Simply Vera
Watch: Fossil

Without fail, I always get a comment on these earrings when I wear them. That Sunday was no exception.

Huh. There's the TEENY TINEST BIT of rose in that bead near the conjunction of those chains. That's all I've got, people.

I used to fear combining black and brown together, but recently I've gotten over that. Rather, I am very picky about finding the right color tights for these boots. This color is juuuust about right.

These boots are beat. They are not supposed to be slouchy, if that tells you anything. I'm in the market for some new ones after the season starts to close. I've had these for three years, and I've gotten my money out of them. I even wear them one or two times a week in the summer. Stank boot, I know, but they look cute with summer dresses. I want something different this time. I really like these, but they're awfully trendy. Plus, Ryan says they look like shoes a kid with polio braces wore back in the '20s. I'll keep looking.

Tights: Target

Boots: Born, Zappos

This was our visitor last weekend, my kindred spirit Amy! She attended Mass with us. I have to give her a shout-out for being such a fantastic role model for Cruncher. Back story: We were college roommates. We ran in the same circle in high school and ended up at college together (much by my doing). On many Sundays, we'd go to both Mass and the service at the Methodist church. Her father is a minister. Today, she's an educator and often works at the Catholic schools back home. When she attends Mass with us, she follows right along, which really helps cut down on Cruncher's distractions. She's an amazing friend.

You'll notice the pictures of me are better than mine of hers. She's a fantastic photographer. And I'm guessing on her outfit's rundown. She's visiting family for the holidays right now or I'd factcheck.

Dress: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: 1928
Necklace: Vintage
Shirt: Heck if I know
Watch: Fossil
Other wrist: hairband?
Tights: TJ Maxx
Boots: Unsure, but FABULOUS

This was a gift from me. I knew she'd love it because I loved it. And because it's also a brooch.

We loooove 1928 jewelry.

BAM! How fabulous are those?

Here's Cruncher's picture of us together. One day, he'll grow. Or point the lens up.

Well, that concludes last week. I'll try to keep this week short, then onto the lecture.

Now that is some Fashion with a capital F! Mama brought this down yesterday (my family lives two hours away). She found it at Goodwill for $8. She swore to me it was a wool dress, but the back has a slit up to THERE, so it's definitely a coat. Probably a springtime coat, as it is not very heavy. Appears vintage, but the tag looks newer (Beaubois?). I kept it on the entirety of Mass (who wouldn't?), and was very comfortable.

Underneath I wore...

...something no one saw. The purple wool skirt, again. Last Sunday of Advent, so why not.

Earrings: gift

Sweater: hand-me-down (Style&Co, Macy's)
Skirt: Consigned, H&M
Brooch: my grandmother's
Tights: Target
Shoes: Calvin Klein, TJ Maxx

Next week, the WIWS photos will no longer feature our lovely Advent Jesse Tree. The rest of the Christmas decorations go up tomorrow! Sorry about the mess of opened gifts in the background. Tradition is to leave them out on display with the tree through Epiphany. We'll need to make room for Christmas morning's gifts but — ahem — someone needs to wrap them first.

The earrings were a Christmas gift from my parents my first year out of college. I didn't wear them for the longest time, because they're diamonds, but I've worn them a ton since I got my hair cut. I decided it's best to enjoy something lovely than to just let it sit and get dusty.

Last Christmas, my sister gave me a bunch of my grandmother's old jewelry. I usually wear gold jewelry, but I felt like this one gave a Christmasy sparkle to my sweater. I always pin this sweater with a brooch, for modesty and fashion's sake.

Holla if the toes of your nicest shoes are busted from kneeling at Mass?

I bought these shoes for a friend's wedding last winter. I feel like they look a little bit ... witchy. But they're classic and go with a lot of my church outfits.

And here's the lecture. My baby sister was among those visiting this weekend. As we were getting ready for Mass this morning, she asked me how I came to find my personal style. She's been struggling with her style since a.) she had a baby, and b.) she matured. In high school and partly into college, she was kinda punky. She's changed (as many of us do), but she's a wife and a mom and a library assistant at a middle school. These things don't often push you to up your fashion game.

I told her (more reminded her) of a few things. I think a woman often needs to have a style revelation before discovering (or searching for) her personal style. Mine came when Cruncher was about 2. I had stopped breast feeding him probably six months prior, and I was at my biggest dress size ever. I had a sick day, home all by myself (give it up for sick days for moms!). So what I did I do? I was a bum in front of the TV, watching a marathon of What Not to Wear. It was then I realized I needed to throw out most of my clothes. For serious. I realized I was too intimidated by being trendy, so I had given up.

Watching What Not to Wear that day made me realize they had been dressing women the same way for years. It's the same clothes over and over and over again. But what they also were consistently doing was dressing the BODY FIRST, and then the personality second. I started looking at clothes for cut and silhouette, not fabric and color. I'm drawn mostly to paisley, plaid and stripes, but not every paisley, plaid or striped piece of clothing is going to look good on me.

I very (VERY) slowly started to build up my wardrobe, trying on tons of items I never would have looked at twice before. Finally, my clothes fit my body shape and height, and then I added in accessories. For accessories, I buy quality (usually vintage) pieces I love and trendy pieces on deep clearance.

I hope the What I Wore Sunday link-up is helping women to see that confidence and femininity are crucial for contentment.

Rant over. I might talk on this some more another week.

Please visit the other ladies over at Fine Linen and Purple


  1. I LOVE that coat! AH what a find!

    1. I know, right?! I was on the phone with my mom when she found it. "Just trust me, Shannon." I will forever trust her.

  2. I would not call that a rant. I call that sensible advice every woman should hear! (WNTW also changed my life...)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for sticking it out to the end of the post, Dwija. : ) Holla, WNTW.

  3. You're adorable. And may I say that I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOVE the camera earrings? I'm a sucker for camera anything really.

    1. Thanks, Jiza! Betsey has a newer version of those earrings that are even better. GOLD.

  4. pearls of wisdom there, Shannon! I was slightly addicted to WNTW for awhile :) And your mom is awesome - that coat is amazing!!!

  5. I love your LBD, and those earrings are too cute! That coat is fabulous too. :)

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I love novelty earrings.

    2. Whoops! My husband was logged into our blog. That was me, not him. ; )

  6. Dang, woman...making up for lost time! You go!!! Love those black and snazzy earrings with your LBD, fabulous cameo, super houndstooth!!!

  7. Eep! Those little camera earrings are beyond charming. What fun!
    I like your thoughts on WNTW, Shannon. I've been thinking about doing a post about the show since it seems to create strong feelings from women.
    Great post!

    1. Thanks, Clare! I look forward to reading a future post from you on WNTW. I think I've only watched that show once since that fateful day three or so years ago. I don't normally seek it out. It was just what I needed that day.

  8. Just reading this today from the link on your most recent WIWS post. Okay, add me to the apparently long list of women whose lives have been changed forever by WNTW! I enjoyed reading about how you found your personal style and I LOVE that coat from your mom! Wow!