Sunday, January 8, 2017

A Grammy's Sunday Best

Hi there, readers!

If you're here, God bless you for checking in, especially when I haven't been keeping up my end of things lately.  I've been on a bit of a blogging sabbatical, and I have so much I want to share with you: the grief of losing my beloved father, the beauty of his very peaceful and holy death, and the joy of having every single one of our kids and grandkids under our roof to spend Christmas with us just a month after his passing.  It's a lot to write about, and I have a brain crammed full of thoughts and feelings to process and organize before I can do these events justice...but I thought it might be good to get back in the blogging groove today with a lighthearted "My Sunday Best" post.  So I'm linking up with Rosie to show you what I wore to Mass this Sunday.
Before I get started, let me preface this post by saying that I've been told by several people (when I've gone through occasional periods of "Why am I still blogging?" angst) that String of Pearls does fill a need, even in a Catholic blogosphere that's densely populated with ladies who are much younger, much funnier, much better writers, and much better evangelizers for our beautiful Faith.  Not to mention more fashion-savvy!  Because I am a woman of [ahem!] a certain advanced age, I've been reminded, I have a different perspective than the typical "mommy blogger": I've raised my five sons and [supposedly] have some wisdom to impart, having survived the many stages of child-rearing, entered the empty-nest years, and been rewarded with a growing brood of grandchildren.  I am that rarest of birds: the grammy blogger.  I'm not so sure about the whole wisdom-imparting thing; but I hope I've been able to show younger moms out there that although it's a bit heart-rending having all of your beloved chickies leave your nest, there are so many indescribably wonderful things in store for you when your children are grown and having families of their own.

Anyhoo, time to talk fashion.

The fact that I'm an older gal undoubtedly shows in my clothing choices.  I am drawn to longer hems and longer sleeves and loose, flowy tops.  Actually, my fashion style might be summed up in the phrase "full coverage."  I love layers with sweaters and vests; I love jackets and coats.  Swimsuits?  Not so much!  I would say that this is because I'm in my late-50's; but I was always sort of like this, even when I was young and toned and wrinkle-free.

In recent years, I've enjoyed flipping through my mom's vast collection of women's apparel catalogs when visiting her and my dad at their house...because my mother is 81 and we have very similar taste in clothing!  I've ordered some items from these catalogs from time to time, and now they show up my mailbox, too.  If you're under 40, you've probably never heard of Blair, but I'm always finding things I want in that catalog.  I recently fell in love with a Blair outfit and my husband ordered it for me for Christmas.

Here's the kicker, though: Blair sells clothing for us mature ladies, but the women who model it in their catalog are a couple of decades younger than most of their customers.  So when I fell in love with this skirt and top, I forgot that I'm not 30, six feet tall, and willowy-thin like the girl in the picture.  So...the Sunday Best outfit I wore today wasn't exactly a win on me.
Yikes!  Ugh!  When I showed my husband this side-by-side comparison, he said, "It's just lighting."  Yeah, that's it.  Lighting.  Otherwise this model and I would look almost identical.  (It should be noted that my husband always has my back; I call him "my back-haver.") 

It's possible that I should have ordered a size smaller, I don't know.  But I decided to push through and add a belt.  Surely that would help with the problem of looking extremely shapeless and dumpy.
Okay, the belt might be a slight improvement.  Maybe.  And then I wore a lace mantilla to Mass, too.  Because veiling is just something I've felt compelled to do, and it makes me happy.

My best accessory, however, was a silver Celtic Cross that my youngest son gave me for Christmas.  Back in October, he traveled to Ireland.  When he went to the Cliffs of Moher, he saw this necklace in the gift shop there and bought it for me.  I just love it (and him)!
The thing I thought was great about this ensemble (before I realized that it wasn't going to look all that great on me) was that it would be perfect to pack for airplane trips, because the fabric is wrinkle-resistant.  Also, it's loose and comfortable--which is what I look for in a travel outfit.  As a bonus, I figured I could mix and match the pieces with solid black and turn one outfit into three.  Like so.
I'm not really comfortable with the leggings, because the top isn't long enough.  I would most likely pair it with a black skirt, black pants, or jeans instead.

I have to tell you that half the fun of doing a "My Sunday Best" post is employing my husband as a fashion photographer.  He makes me laugh (perhaps you can tell from the pictures) and he actually works really hard to get the best shot of the clothes.  He would have more success if he didn't have such an awkward model to work with!
He thought maybe the hand-on-hip thing would help.  (Did it?)

Okay, that's it for this not-very-fashion-forward grammy blogger.  If you'd like to see more (and better!) Sunday Best outfits, go and visit a blog for my mom.

21 comments:

  1. 1. I LOVE your perspective as a "grammy blogger" - because, it gives me hope that the challenges I currently face (as my son is carried down the hall away from the chapel screeching at me), the long days, the hours spent nursing sick kiddos will eventually reward me (hopefully) with fully grown children who share their antics as they take THEIR children to church! You give me hope with your perspective!
    2. I loved the belt added to the outfit - it really did help define a shape that is even shapeless on the model in the picture. And, I agree with your husband - it's the lighting (and, I may have said "awwwww" when I read his response). Furthermore, I am all about getting multiple outfits out of only a few pieces! That is actually how I shop now - trying to get the biggest bang for my buck, and the most wears possible out of the fewest pieces.
    3. I enjoy my husband doing the photography, even as I am a most uncooperative model! You look beautiful, and fashion-forward. Don't tell yourself anything different!

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    1. 1. As my mother-in-law used to say about every tough phase our kids went through, "This too shall pass." And it always did. And now we're watching our boys and their wives in our old roles, with toddlers and babies, and it's so great. :)
      2. I LOVE being able to mix and match pieces and get more outfits! I saw so much potential for that in this skirt and top.
      3. Thank you, you're very sweet.

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  2. First, it's true. I also love your perspective on the blogosphere! :-) I haven't jumped into full on mommy blogger mode (because my newborn isn't screaming at church, yet), but I am sure I'll be the typical one. Lol. I think that shirt with jeans would look really good! However, I didn't think the original outfit was bad at all, to be honest. Oh, and the most important part of my comment...I wanted to tell you that you are hilarious. I laughed my entire way through. I haven't met you, but I swore I could hear you. ;-)

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    1. Hilarious? Gabriela, you just made my day. I do have some hilarious sons, and my husband's family are all a bunch of funny Irish storytellers; but me, not so much! My dad just died in November, and I can remember growing up that it was the highlight of my day if I could say something clever and funny and make him really laugh. I love to make my husband laugh, too. So I'm thrilled to know that something I wrote here made you laugh. :)

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  3. So glad to hear from you! I love reading what you have to say, but I think you know that. I am going to side with your husband because I think your outfit looks nice! I love that you are able to pair it up with things and make some different outfits. Perfect for travel. :) The cross is gorgeous, what a thoughtful gift.

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    1. Hi Madeline! Thanks, I can always count on you to have something nice to say.

      The cross--yes! It kind of melts me imagining him visiting the Cliffs of Moher and looking for a gift for me there. He is a very sweet son.

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  4. I like the original outfit, but I really like the shirt and leggings! Happy to see you here by the way!!!

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    1. The shirt and leggings would never work in real life. The top is too short, and I would be constantly tugging on it and feeling a bit naked on the bottom. If it was about four inches longer, I think I could do it. But instead, I think I'll wear it with pants or jeans.

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  5. You do have a very important role to play in blogosphere. So love hearing what you have to say always.
    My heart just melted to imagine your youngest buying the cross way back and keeping silent all this time.
    The belt was a great touch, also thought the outfit shone when separated, actually really loved it with the leggings. Stylish

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    1. Thanks, Erin!

      I know, mine melted, too, imagining him buying that back in October and saving it to bring home at Christmas. He had been traveling a lot this past fall (Ireland, England, Greece, and Finland), and all he said was, "I'm all set with your Christmas gift." So I figured he'd probably picked it up during his travels, but I had no idea where he'd bought it. I am so thrilled that he brought me something Irish. He knows his mom. :)

      I thought I was going to love this outfit, but I actually think the it looks best as separate pieces.

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  6. As I was reading along I was thinking "Add a belt!" and ta-da! It totally did change the look. Your mix and match is fun. What about wearing the skirt and the black tank, but with the skirt on top and up at your natural waist?

    I'm glad to read your occasional posts. :)

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    1. Alicia, if the skirt didn't have an elastic waistband (it's an old lady-style number!), tucking in the tank might work, but I don't think it would look that great.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. I think you look great! I especially like the shirt with leggings. I think you could totally pull it off. It's great to have pieces that work well with other things and that don't wrinkle!

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    1. I am constantly in search of things that don't wrinkle and can be mixed and matched, because we have been spending so much of our time on the road the past few years. So I do think I'll be able to get a lot of use out of this $20 outfit!

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  8. The belt definitely helps! And I, too, struggle with seeing things that look great on tall models and then end up totally dwarfing my shorter figure - so hard!

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    1. I wish they'd show the clothes on models who are more regular-sized! That would really help. That's the one downside of ordering online; at least in person you can see how you look in an outfit.

      This one isn't perfect, but I'm going to keep it because I think I'll wear it.

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  9. Hi! I like the original outfit, but it may have fit better a size smaller. The top paired with the leggings is cute! I don't think you could have worn a smaller top with the leggings, as it may have been too short. So I am glad that you didn't order the outfit a size smaller! :)
    I love what you bring to the blogging community! Keep writing!

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    1. Erica, the killer is that I needed a smaller top, but the skirt fit perfectly. So if I'd gone a size down, the skirt would have been tight. And as you said, a smaller top couldn't have worked as a tunic over leggings, so it's just as well.

      I'm going to try to keep writing. I'm finding it difficult lately, but I want to do better in 2017.

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  10. I'm 61 this month, so I really enjoy hearing from a "granny blogger"!

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  11. Laura, you are so darn cute! I love the one where you're laughing at your husband and the one with your hand on your hip. :) If that top would have been longer you totally would have rocked the leggings! I'm just like you, I like coverage but then I always did even when I was young. I have never been very fashion forward myself and I feel frumpy sometimes. It does help that last year I lost 40 lbs. so I feel like I can wear cuter clothes. I'm back to where I was weight-wise as a young and middle-aged adult (I'm 59) so yay!

    I love your Sunday best posts. Please keep them up! :)

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