Pinning it: Style

Tonia fell in love with the swish of fabric round her legs again. Then she wrote a beautiful treatise on finding beautiful that says so much to me as I enter my third decade: Finding Our Own Beauty.

It got me to thinking about my own journey. I’ve never really understood femininity or style  until recently. My math went something like modesty=utilitarian-beauty. (My whole idea of modesty, period, was…er…misguided.)  In truth, I didn’t really know who I was throughout most of my twenties so my dressing reflected that. I defaulted by rote to my college standard: Jeans. Slub tee. Birks. (And usually covered in some sort of baby-ish or toddler-ish goo, to boot.)  For the last four or five years, I haven’t really taken good care of myself. My body. My clothes. My hair. Some of that is just a function of being a mom with young kids, but still. There was much I could do and didn’t. I’m not sure I really understand the hows and whys to that yet.

I was in a weird place, clothes-wise, when I got sick year before last. I was pregnant, but that wouldn’t last much longer. I was on steroids well after she was born, and none of my usual post-partum wardrobe fit. Money at the time was so tight that new (or new-to-me) clothes were not in the budget. I started to wear a lot of my dresses over jeans, and suddenly, I was in love. I began playing with that look.

Pinterest entered my hemisphere a short month after E was born. If there ever was a way Pinterest changed my life, it would be in the concept of style and fashion. While there are so many takeaways for home decor and stuff, it was getting to explore the world of Pinterest and my friends’ boards that I finally began to understand femininity and beauty outside of my utilitarian definitions, and by having my own board, I could play with what called my name and what I admired.

Over time, it became very apparent to me what I loved and what my style was, and y’all, let me tell you how freeing it was and is! A few months ago we went on a whole house closet purge. Pulling stuff out of my closet, I could see clearly what I loved and what languished on the hanger and why- it just wasn’t me. I felt a tremendous freedom to let go of all the stuff that didn’t float my boat. The interesting side effect is that I much more choosier than I used to be- I’d rather wait and hold back for a few months to buy something of better quality than grab the cheap stuff off the shelf. I’m slowly collecting classic pieces that will always be ‘me’.

More often than not, you’ll find me in layers. Dress over jeans or capris, long swishy skirts, slub tees (who couldn’t love them?), and pretty blouses. I like solid colors and lace work. Silver jewelry. I love it. It’s practical: the jeans/pants/leggings under the dresses mean that I can move around and not worry about flashing someone and if one layer gets mussed by baby lovin’, off it comes and I still have a reasonably clean and put together outfit. It’s beautiful. It swishes. And it’s me. I could care less what ‘ashion is doing (as Harper calls it). I’m just going to twirl.


  • tonia

    Gosh, I love this, Joy! Thank you so much for sharing it here. I think of the other women who come along here quietly and might be so encouraged to think about beauty and dare to be free in that.

    Pinterest has been a total blessing to me as far as style/fashion goes. It has really given me courage to see that women dress the way they want to and there are a ton of examples of women dressing the way that I’m drawn to. It’s truly an inspiration and courage spot for me. And I love to see my friends’ style too! So fun.

    btw, I am totally cheering you on with the art. You go, girl! I’m so proud of you and I will totally be praying with you! Keep me posted, k?

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