Monday, November 16, 2015

WIWS: A Talbot's Happiness-Spreading Dress, with a Holiday Sweater

I just read a thought-provoking blog post called "I Miss Blogs."  It was written by Christy, whose site is called Fountains of Home, and it really resonated with me.  Christy talks about how much things have changed in the world of Catholic mom blogs in the past few years--and even I have noticed the difference.  So many people who used to post daily or almost daily (myself included!) have turned to other forms of social media, like Instagram, to get their writing fixes.  Some of the bigger blogs (like Camp Patton) have closed up shop altogether (and Grace, we sure do miss you!).  It seems that more and more blogs are filled with sponsored posts--which is a good thing for many moms who need to help with the family finances and are able to earn money from home, while caring for (and often homeschooling) their children.  But all these things have changed the flavor of the blogosphere a bit.

Amelia, from One Catholic Mama, made this comment on Christy's post: "I miss the old days as well. This past Sunday, I thought about linking up with WIWS, but then never did, because I felt silly linking up when not many other bloggers linked up either."  And it made me realize that I haven't really been that excited about the whole link-up thing lately, because I've had trouble even keeping up with my little old blog, to say nothing of trying to remember the fun weekly blog gatherings that I used to enjoy being a part of.  Truth be told, I haven't been a very diligent blogger in the year of Our Lord 2015 (this year, my output is about 1/3 what it's been each of the previous years since I started in 2011).  There are good reasons for this, of course; I've been on the road almost constantly, traveling about to visit my large and ever-growing family--which includes six grandchildren to date.

But like Amelia, I used to feel so energized by connecting with my fellow Catholic bloggers.  I used to get a kick out of linking up for What I Wore Sunday, and seeing the fashionable outfits all my blogging friends had put together to wear to Mass that week.  So because like Christy and Amelia, I miss the way I felt about blogging when I started out, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I'm going to do a WIWS post today.  Don't even try to stop me; I'm doing this.  I got my favorite fashion photographer out of retirement to snap some pictures for me.  So here we go.
The main component of my Mass outfit yesterday was a sleeveless knit sheath from Talbot's, purchased at an after-season sale last year for a whole lot less than the [much too high] regular price.  It's a beautiful purple color, one of my favorite shades.  (Confession: I got this dress in bright red and yummy green, too, because my husband insisted.  No lie, he insisted.  He's the best.)  My husband's sister, a Talbot's shopper from way back, has a theory about their classic, well-tailored clothing: she vows that it makes you feel so happy when you wear it that you end up spreading happiness wherever you go.  Everyone wins, you see. 

I love getting dressed up for Mass.  I adhere to the time-honored tradition of putting on your "Sunday best."  So even though we're not quite into the holiday season yet (despite the decorations that you're seeing at your local mall), I paired my happiness-spreading dress with a 3/4-sleeved black holiday sweater, embellished with sparkly beads at the neckline.  The sweater was a bargain-priced TJMaxx find.
I promise you, I am not four feet tall.  I tend to look extremely short and Hobbit-like in these WIWS photos.  I am wearing comfy flats (my go-to black ballet flats)...but still.

Completing the outfit: black opaque tights, a staple of mine.  Unless you're getting up there in years like I am, you may not be able to relate; but for this Grammy, there isn't a better varicose vein-hiding wardrobe item in the world than a pair of nice thick tights.

Let's take a close look at that holiday sweater, shall we?
Okay, my hair is hiding most of the gems, so let's try again.  (Thanks, honey.  I'll take it from here.  It's selfie time!)
Look at the way those beads reflect the light.  They make me as happy as my dress does!
There was one last accessory to complete the ensemble: my new Grace Kelly-style glasses, which my husband loves but which I still avoid wearing most of the time, because I can't get used to the old-school look of them.
I feel like this is how they look on me.
Although that's not so bad, I guess.  I mean, who is happier, or spreads more happiness, than SpongeBob?  (His duds must be from Talbot's.)

One thing before I go.  If my daughters-in-law are reading this: what are your thoughts on holiday cardigans with sparkly embellishments?  No reason.  I was just curious.

Now if you'd like to see what other [much younger, much hipper, less veiny] fashionistas were wearing this Sunday, head on over to Fine Linen and Purple.

(P.S. I just checked in this morning, and their link-up for this week isn't posted yet; so I may be on my own here after all...but I'll keep checking, and as soon as it's up, I'm there!  Because, you know, be there or be square[pants]!)


  1. Great outfit! Love the sweater and the glasses. I need to get a new pair and you are giving me confidence to go pick something outside of my comfort zone.

    1. I still go "Oh no!" when I catch my reflection in the mirror wearing these glasses. They're such a throw-back (and even back in the 80's when I was wearing HUGE plastic frames, they were much lighter in color than these new ones). But I'm trying to like them. Because the only person I want to look good for is my hubby, and for some crazy reason, he loves them. (He was with me when I picked them out, and told me I had to get them!)

  2. Laura, you look so cute! What a nice post. I, too, love to dress up for Sunday Mass. And yes, I, feel my blog is sadly lacking lately. Just the daily busyness of life, I suppose. :-)

  3. Laura, you look so cute! What a nice post. I, too, love to dress up for Sunday Mass. And yes, I, feel my blog is sadly lacking lately. Just the daily busyness of life, I suppose. :-)

    1. Nancy, you're so sweet--thank you.

      Life really does get busy, doesn't it? And I don't want to be so focused on chronicling everything that I forget to experience it when it's happening! But my husband has commented that he thinks I'm happier when I'm blogging regularly, and I think he's right. It's the writing that's so much fun. (I actually have an idea for another book...but I don't know if I'll ever get around to doing it. Blogging is much easier!)

  4. I too loved Christy's post. I think the major downfall of many of the blogs is when they wrote their books. I think the books usurped the joy of writing for fun, and then they felt pressure for every post to be as good as the book. But I could be wrong of course, but Cari, Jen, Hallie etc. their blogs basically stopped when their books came out. You do not fall into this camp thankfully! Your life is just busy but you post and catch us up when you're able. You wrote two books and you still love writing. That's kind of awesome.

    I do not think you look four feet tall so there's that. I think your Mass outfit is nice. We always go to Saturday night and it's just a more casual experience. Which is good for the potential of crying toddler but not so great for cute outfits. Also, I think you rock your glasses! :)

    1. Thanks as always for stopping by, Madeline.

      Even though I don't seem to be able to post as regularly as I used to, I don't think I can give up blogging. It has given me such a great writing outlet, and as a bonus, has blessed me with friendships I never would have had otherwise. I think of my Internet friends, like you, as the "pen pals" people used to have in the old days--when they actually wrote with pens on paper, imagine that!

  5. I miss blogs too, enjoying that you have a little time to pop in again and chat:)

    1. My New Year's resolution for 2016: to get back into blogging more regularly. I like the way you put it: blogging is like popping in to chat. It's fun, and I don't want to give it up. :)

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