Monday, October 23, 2017

My Sunday Best: The Notre Dame Fan Edition

I don't seem to have time to blog as much as I'd like to anymore...and when I do blog, it's often to link up with my fellow Virginian, Rosie, to show you what I wore to if you didn't know better, you might surmise that String of Pearls has become a fashion blog.  Which would make me a fashion blogger.
If you're finished rolling on the floor laughing (or just LOL-ing, or whatever it is you're doing), I'll continue with this "My Sunday Best" post--which is even more fun than usual because the backdrop for my fashion shoot is none other than the lovely campus of Our Lady's University, Notre Dame, in South Bend, IN.

You see, I was out there with my husband this past weekend, along with various and sundry members of the far-flung Pearl clan, to watch the Irish play the USC Trojans--and spank them, 49-14!

Saturday's game didn't start til 7:30 p.m., but preparations for the family tailgater (a long-standing Pearl tradition) over at the stadium parking lot were underway about 12 hours before that.

For the tailgater, I wore jeans along with a Notre Dame sweater vest that I snagged on eBay awhile back, used but in good condition, for a fraction of its original cost.  It was unseasonably warm yesterday, sunny and in the 70's, but that's what I'd packed so that's what I wore.  I could have gotten away with short sleeves, that's how nice it was.  In October.  In South Bend.  Go figure!
I love the embroidery on this uber-rah rah sweater vest.
I used to think these sorts of sweaters were a bit much, geared toward grandmotherly types.  In fact, I had a mild case of buyer's remorse after I'd ordered and received this vest, and I never seemed to be in the mood to wear it.

But now I'm a grandmother.  (Many times over!)  So it's perfect for me.

My husband and I took a break from the festivities at about 3:15 and started walking over to the Sacred Heart Basilica, in order to get there in time to get a seat for the crowded pre-game 4:00 anticipated Mass.  I normally like to wear a skirt or dress for Mass, along with a lace mantilla on my head; but as you can see, my Sunday Best ensemble yesterday was a lot more casual than normal for me.
These are the tightest-fitting jeans I own.  They are not absolutely skin-tight, but are as close to "skinny jeans" as I've ever come.  They're Riders brand, bought on the clearance rack at Walmart for a mere $5, and they've been mostly sitting in the bottom of my drawer for the past few years.  I've got about six pairs of looser-fitting jeans that have boot-cut legs, and I'm more comfortable in that style.  But it was a day of taking fashion risks.

It was also a day of having my picture taken with photo-bombing strangers, outside the Basilica, in the shadow of the Golden Dome.

After Mass, we had a little time to kill before we could enter the swanky club section, located way up high above the crowd, with a magnificent view of not only the field, but also the Basilica, the Golden Dome, and the "Touchdown Jesus" mosaic on the Hesburgh Library.   Yes, up there in the first-class section with all the beautiful people: that's where we were going to watch the game with my brother- and sister-in-law.  (The fact that our family now has access to these seats is a long story for another post; but suffice it to say, we are all a bit giddy about it.)

So with about another half-hour before we could enter heaven the club, my husband and I went around to the back of the Basilica and found a big rock under a tree, just off to the side of the Grotto, where we sat and said a Rosary together.
Here's another fashion risk I took yesterday: see those blue-and-gold, perfect-for-a-Notre-Dame-football-game leather flats (a bargain find from the TJ Maxx clearance aisle)?  When the day started out, I was wearing them with nude knee-high stockings (like grandmothers tend to do), for several reasons; they were new and never-worn, for one thing, and I didn't want to risk getting blisters; and as a rule I don't like to wear closed-toe shoes without socks or stockings anyway, because I worry my feet will sweat and make my shoes get stinky.  However,  I know wearing stockings or panty hose has become pretty much obsolete with the well-heeled crowd these days; so I decided to live on the edge and ditch my hose (literally--I threw them in a trash can).  I believed that these deceptively comfy shoes wouldn't give me any trouble.

How wrong I was!  By the end of last night, walking had become brutally painful, and you should see the blisters I had on my pinky toes when I woke up Sunday morning.  Ouch!  I shall never go without socks or stockings--or at least peds--ever again.

But what an incredible day and night!  The tailgater get-together with so many wonderful relatives and friends!  The exceedingly comfortable club seats!  The endless food and drink in the fancy club!  The fabulous view!  THE BIG WIN!!  It was about as great as it can get.

Aside from the Basilica, the Dome, and the Library, from where we sat we also had a great view of the new Jumbotron screen.  And what moved and touched us immeasurably was the way it was used as a vehicle to spread the Faith.  Before each game the ND team kneels together in the locker room and says the "Our Father."  They showed this sweet tradition on the Jumbotron; and as the sports fans watched the team praying, many voices in the crowd could be heard joining in to pray the Lord's Prayer.  At one point there was also a priest giving a public service announcement about Mass times and inviting visitors to attend.  In a world that tries to squelch all talk of God and religion, it was refreshing and encouraging to witness the way Notre Dame is evangelizing on game day.  I know that in recent years many faithful Catholics have been very disappointed by some of the decisions the administration has made; but be assured, the Faith is still alive and well in South Bend.  And the fans who fill the football stadium on game day appear to be on board with that.

They are also on board with standing and singing along during the National Anthem, loudly and proudly, with their hands over their hearts.
God, Country, Notre Dame.  Yes, indeed.

Now head on over to Rosie's for more Sunday fashion talk!


  1. That sweater vest is awesome!! And what an amazing day you had (aside from the blisters 😢) - the photo bomb pictures are cracking me up a little 😉

    1. I know--those photo-bombers look a little shady, don't they?!

      I do love my sweater vest. I can't believe how long it took me to finally wear it. I'm so glad I didn't send it off to Goodwill when we made our move South!

  2. I think your outfit is great and very attractive on you. You should wear those skinny jeans more often. Wonderful shoes too - too bad they pinched! I'm glad you had a wonderful day.