17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Random Fashion Notes for the Weekend

Random Note #1: I received my first ever Shade catalog in the mail the other day. I guess I somehow missed getting off their list in my journey to declare my independence from junk mail. I have to say, I am kind of glad that little catalog made it to my door. I thought it was very well done. A few things really caught my eye: The short sleeve, white, button-up shirt. A great wardrobe basic and with 3% spandex, it has the potential for a great fit plus amazing comfort.

Also, check out their two new Extender Slips - the solution to another problem plaguing most Mormon women - the too-short skirt. It is also is a great reminder to women to wear a dang slip under that not-see-through-inside-but-it's-a-different-story-once-you get-outside-dress! Call me old fashioned, but I think slips are still a very necessary, yet hugely neglected underpinning.

Anyway, I have a few skirts that I have used to layer under dresses that are not particularly "short" but the constant chasing and bending over while caring for a baby/toddler makes them feels too short and uncomfortable. And I fear that I am flashing people unknowingly. I know I am not the only woman with this problem. These new slips from Shade can make a skirt or a dress more wearable, comfortable and worry-free by adding a couple inches to the length. And just for the record, I don't quite understand the shape of the Extender Slip on the Shade website, but if you click on the "view on model" button, it makes more sense.

Random Note #2: I received my first issue of Eliza magazine finally after the first one they sent got lost in the mail (BTW, they were really nice to get another one out to me as soon as I brought it to their attention. I love good customer service!). I posted a while back that I was extremely curious to see how they handled the subject of modesty in their magazine. Was it purely going to be about covering the body? Or about living modestly. Two things that don't necessarily go hand in hand.

So here are my thoughts: This new modest fashion magazine featured beautiful photos of models wearing clothes that covered more skin than those in your average fashion magazine. But every outfit wasn't necessarily "garment appropriate" which is fine with me--I realize they are marketing to a larger audience than Mormons and everyone that knows me knows I don't define modesty as covering all the parts that garments cover. I wear garments, so I cover them because it's the appropriate thing to do not because I think that a woman who shows her shoulders is necessarily immodest. I digress.

Many of the clothes featured in the editorials were really expensive, designer pieces which didn't appeal to my "trying to live modestly" side, but really it really appealed to my designer side. I'm talking about some really beautiful, yet modest, eye candy. Some of the spreads seemed really young and half of the magazine was dedicated to weddings, so when it came down to it, there wasn't a whole lot of magazine that I could relate to.

What I did enjoy was the small section featuring vintage wedding pictures. Really fun. And it looks like they are going to continue this vintage picture idea in the following issues as well so if you have some fun, vintage pictures, you should contact them and make a submission.

In the end, I think the magazine has potential and I'll stick with them for a few more issues to see how they evolve and because I love to support women who have taken their passion, thrown in their beliefs and have tried to create a business from it.

Random note #3: In case you haven't heard, there is a new site called The Modest List that claims to bring you "the crème de la crème of modest fashions". They have links divided into categories like fashion, swimsuits, wedding gowns and accessories (can anyone tell me what makes a modest vs. immodest accessory?) I think it could turn into a great reference list for the modest-minded dresser.

Random note #4: Project Runway is probably my most favorite show on tv. I have watched every season religiously. While I was saddened to hear that the new season would be airing later this fall rather than during the boring summer, the news of a new Tim Gunn makeover show brought me some consolation. I really love Tim Gunn. Sometimes I fantasize that he is my super-fashionable father and how fabulous it would be to get his design-eye genes. Then I think of my own father whom I love dearly and decide that it would fine if Tim Gunn were just my design mentor instead.

Anyway, I have watched the first few shows and have been sorely disappointed. He and his sidekick are way too over the top when it comes to labeling what they see as fashion monstrosities. The poor mom last night cleaned out her entire closet and had not one thing in her "keep" pile. Not one thing. Then the fashion moguls gave the mother of two a strappy sundress and heels as her "running errands" outfit. I am sorry, but you two are way out of touch with reality. Does this mom need to wear a t-shirt and capris everyday for every event? Of course not, but to think that heels, blouses, and dresses can become the new uniform of a mother that spends most of her time in the trenches is pure lunacy (they also gave another woman a beautiful dress and heels for her new "dog walking" outfit).

Get her some new underwear. Give her some tips on how to flatter her figure and find clothes that fit properly. Build her confidence. Get her out of her rut. Those are great things. But don't make women feel bad for not looking fabulously fashionable everyday at every moment. People wear clothes for all different and valid reasons--comfort, emotion, communication, as well as figure flattery and style. It's just not reality to assume that the last two are the only things that should matter. But I guess reality doesn't make for good tv.

I will say that I loved the moment when Tim Gunn let out a visceral yelp when someone mentioned the word "leggings". My thoughts exactly.

UPDATE: Random Note #5: Thanks to my long lost BYU Clothing and Textiles buddy, alibop, I have now been introduced to VintageHem.com. They deserve a fashion note of their own -- not just a comment. Alibop was right, they have a large selection of slip extenders featuring fabrics ranging from tulle to silk to polkadots to eyelet and in many colors besides the basic black. Go check it out. They are very cute. Most of them have raw edges which isn't great to wear under all styles (the Shade slips are definitely more sophisticated) but this makes them great for more casual skirts and dresses. The only thing I don't love is that the slip above the ruffle is always white, no matter the color of the ruffle. I wish it all matched because when the slip peeks out from your dress or skirt (which is likely to happen during normal movement) it's a little weird to see a big chunk of white when your dress is black and the ruffle is black. I'm sure it's a cost issue, but maybe in the future when sales build up, they will be able to fix this.


  • ooh, I've been looking for something to wear underneath my dresses that are just a little too short. Unfortunately my two major skirt culprits are navy blue and dark brown - I don't know if black will work.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 9/21/2007 04:47:00 PM  

  • Ahhhhh, I have missed my Tftcarrie fashion-centric posts. This gets my creative "I really need to pay attention to fashion again" juices flowing. Thank you!

    And my mom watches Tim Gunns new show and caught an episode where he taught that the first and foremost step in revamping a wardrobe was correct undergarments. My mother went RIGHT out and got a bra professionally fitted for the first time in her life. It was actually a life altering experience for her and she swears all of her clothes fit SO much better. So Tim gave her some great advice. I'm thinking about getting a bra fitted myself...
    posted by Blogger Chloe at 9/21/2007 04:55:00 PM  

  • tamrobot,

    yeah, black probably wouldn't be the best. Hopefully they will come out with a few more choices down the road. It wouldn't be too hard to make something if you were a sewer, or knew one ;)


    oh yes, a properly fitted bra can make you look 10 lbs thinner and make all your clothes fit so much better. Unless you are barely and A cup and then it doesn't really matter:)

    The underwear shopping is one of the things I like about the show.
    I don't like that the women have no idea that they are going to have to reveal the contents of their underwear drawer to a national audience. I feel bad they get embarrassed with no warning.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/21/2007 05:08:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the link to the list - there are some websites I have never checked before. Always love fashion posts.

    tamrobot- Although this is not the norm, but where I work, BCBG Max Azria, they acually have been pairing navy or dark blues with black for almost year now. I have worn the color combination several times in the past and have quite liked it a lot.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 9/21/2007 06:37:00 PM  

  • wow...wouldn't tim gunn be surprised if he went through an lds women's underwear drawer! i wonder where he would come down on g's....

    Seriously, Carrie I love these posts. I would be that much more pathetic when it came to fashion without you.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 9/21/2007 08:05:00 PM  

  • That shirt is backordered in every size! Apparently you're not the only one to like it.

    I still want it, though.....I have a hard time finding white button downs that fit me well, and that one looks perfect. Of course, you never know....I wish I could try one on first.
    posted by Anonymous the wiz at 9/21/2007 08:44:00 PM  

  • Great tips Carrie! I'm sending this list to my sister in law who is still dressing the "Stars" in LA. They could use a few modest tips.

    Also, there is one thing I CAN'T STAND here in UT- there are many young women and young moms here who think that a SHADE (meaning the cotton/lycra undershirts) are modest enough to wear alone! When you can see the underwire from your bra through the shirt - it is too tight. Also, when thrown in the dryer the elastic falls out so do be careful.

    As for the slips, I love them. I also saw a commercial for vintagehem.com during last April's General Conference. Check them out. They may have a better selection for navy and dark brown skirts.

    Love the blog!
    posted by Blogger alibop at 9/21/2007 08:55:00 PM  

  • Carrie, great advice as usual.

    I love your comments on the Tim Gunn show. I, too, as a Project Runway addict, have been watching Tim's new show, and have been confused by the "sweatsuit alternative" category (ie the sundress and heels for running errands or walking the dog) - who the heck are they kidding? I think the clothes they pick are great and look great on the women, but they aren't realistic for their lives. SURE, Laura Bennett wears a dress and pearls to burp a baby. But there's a long spectrum between sweatpants and a nice sundress and heels, and I feel helpful reality for most women falls in the middle, a place they are ignoring.

    And yes, loved his visceral reaction to leggings. :-)
    posted by Blogger marian at 9/22/2007 06:08:00 AM  

  • Aaughh~ I am totally loving this shirt! I MUST OWN THIS.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 9/22/2007 06:13:00 AM  

  • speaking of catalogs, I liked the Downeast one (for the most part)

    love the slip idea...but love #5's site better...more drama!

    "can anyone tell me what makes a modest vs. immodest accessory?) "
    an immodest accessory is one that has photos or symbols that are satanic (who knows....; ) )

    tim gunn...yeah they are pushing some sort of envelope to be "edgy" and it's not quite working. Throw out VW, make it a half hour of Tim and subject and it will be great.

    Hey, don't knock leggings...they are fun.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 9/22/2007 07:18:00 AM  

  • Rachel H- The navy and black combo is totally eighties but owned it in that picture. Va Va Va Voom girl! And that shirt is not quite the classic I need in my wardrobe, but it is quite dramatic and fun.

    Jen, I was totally thinking the same thing when I imagined Tim Gunn at my house saying that he and his sidekick needed to go through my underwear drawer. Yikes.

    Wiz - I am so bummed! I hadn't tried to order the shirt yet. I contacted them and asked them to let me know when it was in stock. I will be sure to pass the word along.

    alibop - thanks for the tip about vintagehem.com. I love it and had to go back and add a note #5 dedicated just to them. I noticed in the shade catalog that the undershirts had the comment "meant to be layered" (or something like that in the description. It made me wonder if that was their way of saying to all those women - stop wearing our shirts in ways we don't want you to!

    Marian- I agree with you completely. and don't get me started on Laura Bennett.


    I guess I am going to have to get my hands on a downeast catalog. Love your definition of "modest accessories". I once heard as a youth that necklaces hung in a V shape brought too much attention to a woman's cleavage and shouldn't be worn. Of course it was a priesthood leader that said it and it made me furious.

    A 1/2 show with tim - VW would be just perfect.

    ANd sorry, I cannot say anything nice about leggings in good conscious, so we will leave it at a visceral yelp.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/22/2007 10:01:00 AM  

  • rachel h, I stopped at that shirt too....it's totally YOU go for it....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 9/23/2007 06:08:00 PM  

  • another helpful post for us oblivious. thanks!
    posted by Anonymous cchrissyy at 9/23/2007 06:45:00 PM  

  • To the Wiz and anyone else that is interested, the Shade short sleeve button-up shirt will be back in stock the second week of October, so mark your calendar.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 9/24/2007 09:11:00 AM  

  • on with the Random Fashion notes, are there any other places besides Shade that make the skirt extenders, that you girls know about? also this is Aliese, I am wondering how can I join this wonderful group of women? let me know, thanks.
    posted by Blogger Aliese at 11/12/2007 11:40:00 AM  

  • Aliese, in the random note #5 I mention VintageHem.com They make all sorts of cute slips that extend the length of your dress. Definitely check them out.

    As for joining us, all you have to do is keep reading and keep commenting. If you ever want to do a guest post or ask a question, send it to talesfromthecrib (at) gmail (dot) com
    Glad to have you around.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 11/12/2007 02:20:00 PM  

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