We’re smack in the middle of a hot, midwestern summer, and I’m thinking it’s a great time for a fun, light topic on the blog. All of this sticky humidity has got me thinking about the fact that not too long from now, we’ll be living in a tropical-ish climate that is pretty much hot and humid all year long!
I’ll be honest, the thought of being hot and sweaty year-round is a little intimidating. It has me thinking about all kinds of super-spiritual things, like: “Where can I find a good makeup that won’t melt in the heat?” and “Will my hair ever look decent again?” and “What in the world kind of clothes should I bring?”
If I was just preparing for a short term missions trip, I’d pack minimal makeup, a bunch of t-shirts, and some hair bands to put my hair up.
I mean, the fact that I am now a missionary’s wife doesn’t mean God required me to hand in my girl card at the altar. I’m still a lady, I still like feminine pretty things, because that’s the way that God wired my brain, and as a daughter of the King, I am still royalty, thank you very much!
These thoughts have started me on somewhat of a quest to find practical, pretty, economical, and extremely hard-working makeup finds, hair products, and clothing that will stand up to the dirt, sweat, and grime that is the Central American mission field! 😉
I don’t plan on dedicating a huge portion of my blog to this topic, but just for fun, as I find products or clothes that meet these requirements, I’ll share them with you. Maybe you’ll find them useful, or at the very least, interesting. I may share the ones that aren’t great, also, in an effort to be helpful to any other ladies out there in similar circumstances.
Today I’ll start with clothes, which is kind of laughable, because I’m not especially stylish. I’m just me. This post was inspired by Kate’s post on The Small Things Blog, asking readers to share their style as post-baby moms.
I can, however, relate to the difficulty of figuring out my style likes and dislikes. The last two years have found me on the road full time and searching for my post-baby, early 30’s, tropical climate, missionary wife, camper life, “momdrobe”.
My style, if you want to call it that, is based on a few needs: the need to take up very little room, the need to travel comfortably, and the need for me to feel comfortable and confident with my four-time post-cesarean self.
So, “my style” basically narrows down to a few basic guidelines/tricks/whatever you want to call them:
1. Fitted t-shirts are rarely my friend. I avoid them in the store, and tend to gravitate towards light, flowy fabrics that don’t cling. Anything that buttons down the front and/or nips in at the waist is usually good.
This has caused my style to become a little dressier than it used to be, not because I feel the need to be dressed up, but because I am completely uncomfortable in clingy tees anymore. I do have a very few knit shirts, which are dark in color, and I wear a cami underneath them to help smooth everything out. If I wear a tee, it’s with a bold pattern that will distract the eye away from problem areas, or I add a vest or other accessory to draw the eyes up. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Vests are my friends. I’ve been layering tanks and dresses with a vest or button-down shirt. It feels cool, summery, and there’s no farmer tan. 😉 I also like the way a denim vest can make a dress or skirt a little more casual. In the cooler months, I do the same, but trade in the vest for a cardigan or jacket.
3. I Stick to a color palette. Finding clothes that mix and match has become necessary while living in a camper, and I have actually really enjoyed the freedom that comes from getting rid of clothing clutter and wearing only what I love. Sticking to a color palette makes this a lot easier. I have learned that I like black and khaki as neutrals, with blues, reds, purples and a bit of green. Apparently, I also love stripes and polka dots, which I didn’t realize until I narrowed down my wardrobe.
I do have a few other colors thrown in, and I will occasionally add additional color with jewelry, although I have been minimizing my jewelry, also, as I prepare to move. My favorite accessory, though, is a good cup of coffee in my hand. 😉
4. I Never buy clothes online. I am, without fail, always disappointed when I buy clothing for myself online. It must be tried on first. My favorite stores to get awesome deals are Burlington Coat Factory, Dress Barn (when I have coupons), Kohl’s (sale and clearance), thrift stores, and, I’m not embarrassed to say, Walmart. I have found several pretty and flattering maxi dresses at Walmart in the last year that cost less than $20 each. Target clothing never looks right on me, neither does Old Navy. Most of the other stores are too pricey anyway, so I don’t even bother.
So there you have it. My fascinating style as a mom of 4 kids, post c-sections, and traveling full time. Which is really not a style at all, but it’s me just dressing for my life. I’m sure it will continue to evolve as I adapt to a new level of heat, dirt, and challenges, while working in a third-world orphanage!
For future posts on this topic, I’m searching for a great hairspray that holds up to humidity, and an eyeliner that won’t melt in the heat! If you have any suggestions, tell me in the comments! I’ll let you know what I find, and good grief, I will attempt to do it in a way that doesn’t have so many pictures of me. I kind of didn’t even want to publish this post because it’s like the neverending post of myself–kind of embarrassing and makes me feel extremely self-absorbed! 😳
There must be a better way to end this…how about a picture that isn’t of me?
That is a much better ending to this post.