Monday, January 10, 2011

Yup. I'm back.

Hey, everyone.  Remember me?  I’m the girl who disappeared from her barely-started blog for 8 months for no good reason.  I didn’t get married or get a new job or develop a chronic illness or have some horrible life event occur to stop me.  I just stopped, and then never overcame the inertia preventing me from starting again.  But, in the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions and an uncharacteristically high (and probably short-lived) level of motivation, here we are!

I’ve been looking back over the scant few outfit posts I made back in the day, to see if my style has changed much.  It hasn’t.  I have worn The Cape of My Dreams a few times.  It’s gorgeous, but I find it a bit hard to wear unless I’m just standing around.  When my hands are through the arm-holes, I feel like I have on manacles.  The stiff wool moves as one big unit, and if I raise my arms above my head, the front of the cape covers my face. Not so great singing on the platform at church or trying to function at my office job.  I’ve only felt truly comfortable in it one time-when I went Christmas caroling.  I wore it with a brown long-sleeve tee underneath, a cream pencil skirt, cableknit tights, brown riding boots, and a taupe beret with a cream flower attached.  I felt very “Olde Tyme Caroler.”  

I’ve gotten a lot of new stuff over the past 8 months that I’m excited to showcase.  I’ve also gotten rid of quite a bit of stuff through donation to the church clothes closet and several individuals in need.  Too bad I still have SO MANY CLOTHES that several garbage bags’ worth of giveaways barely made a dent.  I have a serious hoarding problem.  My bedroom looks like this, only deeper:


My hoardiness has gotten so bad that I am afraid to have my landlord send repairmen to fix things that are broken, and since I’m embarrassed to have the broken things and the heaps of clothes, I don’t invite people over.  I really love hosting get-togethers, but my "If I can't do it perfectly, I'm not doing it at all" mental roadblock is stopping me from enjoying my interesting house and my super-awesome friends to the fullest extent.  Therefore…I need to get organizing and start clearing out a lot of stuff.  A LOT. OF STUFF. I’ll never be one of those minimalist I-have-3-skirts-and-that’s-all-I’ll-ever-need people, but I own enough clothing to dress an entire army of chubby skirt girls, and it is unnecessary, decadent, and borderline sinful.  I am not being a good steward.

So, I’m embarking on an out-with-the-old/not-in-with-the-new journey.  I’ll be posting more specifics later, but the process will involve some major wardrobe assessment, elimination, and organization, as well as a temporary buying embargo.  Right now, I'm feeling excited and determined, as well as a bit apprehensive.  I need to make myself accountable for this somehow, so I'm dragging you along for the ride.  Pray for me, y'all!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thrifted: The Cape of My Dreams

I went thrifting on Friday, and I found this gorgeous vintage wool cape at Goodwill for five dollars!  It is in perfect condition.  The lining is silky perfection, and the buttons are tortoiseshell-esque.  I hate winter, but I want it back just for a day, so I can wear this cape with boots and a jaunty beret wile I go skipping through a snowy meadow.

Although the cape made me giddy, Salvation Army was the source of the bulk of my haul.  Fridays are half-off if you're wearing a red shirt (in the fall/winter, they do some sort of KC Chiefs thing.  I have no idea why the red shirt for the rest of the year, but a bargain's a bargain, so I red-shirted it up!).  I got 3 cardigans, 4 patterned skirts, and a pair of American Eagle flip-flops, each for $1.00 or less.  I am trying to branch out with the whole retro/vintagey patterned skirt thing.  We'll see how it goes.  I'm afraid of looking like a grandma.  Any recommendations on pairings for any of my loot?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Outfit: Pinned Up

Praise the Lord for safety pins.  I have no less than 12 of them keeping this outfit from being an immodesty nightmare.   I've kind of been holding on to most of these pieces until I found a way to modestify them, so I finally threw in the towel and just wore them all at once.  The white tank underneath is quite low, and it doesn't have adjustable straps.  I always have to pin it up when I wear it, and it's hiked up so far in the front that it hangs low in the back and looks strange under a normal shirt.  Sticking it under a dress, the fact that the front hem is at my ribcage and the back hem is at my bum is nicely hidden. 

The dress is a new purchase from Old Navy online.  I liked the pattern, and between a sale and a discount code, it cost $11.  I justified the purchase because it has a lot of colors I already own (maybe since 1/4 of my wardrobe is from Old Navy!), and I thought I could remix it quite a bit.  It's tough to see, but there's lavender, turquoise, deep purple, kelly green, lime green,'s like Easter exploded into confetti all over this dress.  Anyway, it's just a teeny bit too short for my comfort, especially after belting (which I needed to do to avoid looking pregnant). So I stuck this skirt underneath.  It's pretty snug in the bum area, so a long layer over the top was probably a good idea. 
The pinky-lavendarish bubble sleeve shirt has a really wide neckline, but when I tried to wear it belted on its own with just a shirt under it, I didn't like it.  I want to look like my layers are purposeful and fashionable in their own right, not just "I know this shows my bra straps, so I'm sticking a random shirt under it."

Contrivances like that are what give Apostolics and others who keep modesty standards reputations as tacky, frumpy dressers, and part of what deters others from committing to maintaining a modesty standard.  It's possible to look fashionable and trendy in clothes that keep you covered.  I love it when I make a new acquaintance, and after seeing them a few times, she says something like "You always dress so cute!" or "I love your girlie style!" instead of "What's the deal with all the skirts?" or "Don't you EVER wear sleeveless?!?"  It's not that I am ashamed of my modesty, or that I don't want to stand out and set myself apart from the worldly crowd.  It's quite the opposite.  If people notice first that I look put-together, and THEN that that put-together look is always sleevy and skirty, I'm much less likely to get the "I could never wear dresses all the time" or "Holiness standards are so limiting" responses, and they're more open to hearing my testimony about why I dress the way I do.  Do you have similar experiences?

White Tank: Walmart
Lavender Bubble-Sleeve Top: Old Navy
Multicolor Dress: Old Navy
White Pencil Skirt: Torrid
Green & White D'Orsays: Burlington Coat Factory
White Belt: Cato
Blue/Green Hair Brooch: Walmart
Lavender Sunnies: Torrid

Monday, May 3, 2010

Outfit :Spotty with a Chance of Green

This outfit was the result of a need to wear yet another long skirt in a line of long skirts because the spider bites on my lower legs still look gross.  Now they're all scabbish.  Urgh.  I don't have that many dressy or business-casual long skirts.  I'm generally a knee-skirt wearer, so more than a week's worth of long skirts gets me scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I got this spotty number on super-clearance at Cato a few years ago, and it is about 2 sizes too big.  I could take it in, but it has a weirdly attached lining, and I'm too lazy to do much more than taking a seam or two up either side, so fixing linings on rando seldom-worn articles of clothing are just not in the cards.

I'm not crazy about the sweater, either.  I wear it to work because it has 3/4 sleeves, and I don't have to worry about getting the white cuffs dirty, as I do with my long-sleeved light-colored cardigans. So I look baggy and sloppy, but not dingy and scroungy.  Good tradeoff?

The grassy green of the tee, helps a bit, I think.  I have to be careful with the greens I wear, as the wrong shade can make me look horrific. This particular green is iffy, so I separated it from my face with my trusty black scarf.

I also enjoy these ruffle-top shoes.  They are comfortable, which is rather rare for $6 Cato shoes.  I was hoofing around in these puppies all day, and my feet felt fine.  The ruffly elastic bit did leave a rather deep indentation across the top of my foot  but it didn't hurt.

Green Satin-trim Tee: Old Navy
White Tank (underneath): Old Navy
White 3/4 Sleeve Cardigan Sweater: Worthington via Salvation Army
Long Black & White Spotted Skirt: Cato
Black Elastic Ruffle Shoes: Cato
Black Scarf: Dollar General

Monday, April 26, 2010

Outfit: You Picked This for Your 1st Outfit? Really?

Yes.  Yes I did pick this rather unexciting ensemble as my first outfit post. I'm attempting to not miss more than 3 days in a row when it comes to posting, and I'm out of time, so these pictures of me looking rough are getting the blog treatment.
Yesterday was Friend Day at church, and everyone was encouraged to come semi-casual. I felt kind of awkward singing on the platform without heels and other fanciness, just because I'm used to being dressed up in "Sunday Best." It definitely made for a more comfortable BBQ party afterward, though.  Anyway, I had a terrible time coming up with something to wear that wasn't denim, wasn't dressy, would be ok outside in the cool, misty afternoon, hid my dirty hair, and covered my legs (Apparently a spider visited me in my sleep the other night, and I now have a series of ugly bites up my shin. I hope I rolled over and smooshed the bugger).  
I ordered the taupe ruffly shirt from Old Navy online a few months back during one of their mega-clearance sales.  I think it cost $2.49.  I never wore it because, like so many ON pieces, it's made of that tissue-weight jersey material that stretches and looses its shape approximately 3.7 seconds after you put it on.  I've taken to buying an insanely small size in shirts like these, and just embracing the stretch-out factor.  This shirt is a straight-size large.  Look at me.  Do I look like someone who wears a large with no "X"s in front of it?  

I snagged the skirt recently when it first made the jump to the clearance rack at Cato.  I'd planned on buying it since I first saw it in the store, 'cause a long, tiered white skirt had been on my wishlist for a while.  I'm sure it will get cheaper, but I decided it was worth a few extra bucks to be able to start wearing it now.

I initially planned to go with all neutral tones in this ensemble, but when I put on the hat, it blended too much with my hair and just looked "blah."  I tried several brooches and flowers in the brown family, but nothing looked great, so I popped the pink one on instead.  I needed additional "pop," so I added a pink layer in the shirt stack.  

I wanted to further refine, but couldn't be late to praise team practice, so I tossed on the cutwork belt I stole off another shirt, slid on some flops, and dashed out the door.

Taupe Shirt with Ruffles: Old Navy
Brown Long-Sleeve Tee: thrifted (Target new merch @ Goodwill)
Pink Short-Sleeve Tee: Tabeez
Brown Tucking Tank (not visible): Old Navy
White Tiered Skirt: Cato
Bronze Flower Flops: Kohl's
Brown Cutwork Belt: Cato (stole from another shirt)
Brown Knit Hat: Kohl's
Pink Flower Pin: Cato

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Giveaway by Proxy: Spellbound Headband

I love ginormous hair accessories.  I have a lot of hair.  I like to wear it "big." The current trend of wearing oversized headbands, clips, feathers and fascinators is making me all kinds of happy!  I've been cobbling together my own hair stuff for years, but now that they're "in" with people outside the Apostolicverse, there are a lot of  ready-made options out there.  Etsy shops abound, and teenybopper stores like Forever 21 and Deb have racks and racks of moppet bows and mini-hats.

One place that is a cut above the rest when it comes to these over-the-top-yet-still-wearable adornments is Spellbound.  These headbands are seriously awesome.  Take a look at this deliciousness:

 "The Last Dance" : So innocent and child-like, but infinitely grown-up and classy.

 "As Time Goes By" : I am a total sucker for French veiling. Gorgeous.

"She's Cheerful" : If a candy store and a haberdashery had babies, they would be these fascinators.  Love!

So we can agree that her work is great, yes?  Unfortunately, the awesomeness comes with quite the hefty pricetag, so these beauties are a little out of budget.  Sad face.  Wouldn't it be nice if they cost a little less?  Would zero dollars be sufficiently inexpensive?  If you'd like the chance to own a beautiful Spellbound original for the budget price of *nothing,* then get on over to one of these fabulous blogs and enter to win one!

Kjrsten at {have a cute day} is giving away one of Miriam's beautiful pieces.  I adore this blog and read it regularly.  Her style is whimsical, yet reasonable, and I love her tone.  She also has the kind of "mainly clothes, but occasionally other stuff" balance of posts I'd like to cultivate here at I, Apostolica.  Go here to find out how to register.

Helena at A Diary of Lovely is also doing a giveaway of a Spellbound headband.  I found out about this giveaway through Spellbound's facebook page.  I'd never visited before, but after a brief perusal, this blog looks to live up to its name!  Helena's photography is beautiful, and the layout is so clean and serene.  She has a brief interview with Spellbound creator Miriam Reider and instructions on how to enter A Diary of Lovely's giveaway here.

I hope you win! Look for some upcoming posts here at I, Apostolica about making your own headbands and other hair accessories with stuff you probably have lying around your house already.  I'm going to try to school myself in some more advanced bow-making techniques.  We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What is an Apostolica?

I teetered back and forth between prefacing actual content-based posts with a "What's the deal with all the skirts" disclaimer, or just jumping right in and fielding questions if they arise.  I know plenty of fashion bloggers out there who don't have specific standards in dress who wear skirts most of the time, and no one seems to comment on the fact.  Conversely, the few Apostolic/Pentecostal gals I've found out there who blog about their clothes seem to get a lot of comments and questions about it.  It kind of leads me to believe that "Apostolic/Pentecostal Style" is distinctive and recognizable as such, even though we're not the only modest dressers or skirt wearers out there.  

Here's a batch of us at a recent Pentecostal Youth Convention in Kansas:

 And another set after a Young Adult Retreat in Maryland:

We're distinctive.  It's more than a skirt. It's more than having a lot of hair.  It's more than following trends without compromising modesty.  It's Apostolic Style.

I chose "Apostolica" as my online moniker because I am an Apostolic Christian, and my spiritual beliefs have a strong influence on my life, and, more pertinent to this blog, my fashion choices.  If you had to pick one defining characteristic about me, my "Apostolic-ness" would be high on the list.  Maybe right after “human” and “female.”  Yes, it’s a title describing my religious beliefs, but it’s so much more than just ticking the “Protestant, Other” box on a form. All of the things I choose to be in life; all of the decisions I make; most of what makes me me is wrapped up in my faith.  If I weren’t in church, I would be a totally different person, and I have no idea who that person would be.

Part of that personal identity is tied up in the frivolity of fashion.  I choose to keep certain standards of physical appearance that I believe are in line with what God instructs us to do through the Bible.  This isn’t a blog about doctrine, so I won’t go into a litany of explanations regarding my personal religious beliefs or the teachings of my church.  If you want to know more about our organization and what we believe, here are a few links to get you started:

Essentially, I'm a Skirt Girl.  I choose to wear exclusively skirts and dresses--no pants, shorts, etcetera. I also value modesty, so I avoid some other clothing, including short skirts, cap or sleeveless shirts, low necklines, anything sheer or super-tight--basically anything revealing or accentuating parts of myself I am reserving for the eyes of my Someday Husband. 

I don't wear much jewelry or makeup, and I have long, uncut hair.  Toss in the additional limiting factors of wearing plus-size (yup, I'm a chubby one), living in a smallish city without a ton of shopping options (Midwest all the way), and not having a ton of money (PTL for a secure job at all in this climate, but still...), and shopping can be a bit tricky. 

Yes, in some ways these restrictions are limiting, but they can also be exciting and challenging. Most "off-the-rack" outfits won't work for me, so I'm forced to be creative.  If I see a look in the pages of a magazine, I get to think "How can I make that happen in my world?" rather than "Another cute outfit I can't wear. *sigh* " 

That's me.  I'm an Apostolica. And I'm super excited about it!