Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Thrifting Fun and God's Providence!

Remember how God answered my very specific prayer about boots when I was making my Rey costume for the Star Wars movie? Well, He did it again! Only, not for boots. Let me explain.

Lately, I've been purging my closet and organizing the clothes that I want to keep and those that I should give away. After I organized my nursing-friendly clothes for this season, I realized that I would really benefit from another dress or two to wear to Mass. So, I headed out to the thrift store, and made a very specific prayer to God.

So, God, I really need a dress. You know that my style revolves around the 1960s, so how about something hippyish in earthy colors? Or a really cool shirtdress (something like this)-and maybe in the color green. Thanks! 
I went up to the dress rack, and bam! One of the first items I found was-you guessed it-a hippyish piece in earthy colors. Actually, this dress immediately made me think of what Lindsey Stirling wore in her "Roundtable Rival" music video.

OK, so Lindsey's outfit is actually a completely different color, and doesn't have different layers. But my dress is the same high-low style and it's in earthy colors. And even if it doesn't look like what she wore, it makes me think of Lindsey Stirling when I put it on, and it makes me feel like I'm in her music video, which is fantastic.

$4 of awesomeness.
I gleefully grabbed this dress and kept scooping through the racks of dresses. I described the different clothes I found to Peter, who was observing my treasure hunt with wide open eyes. A woman nearby glanced over at me, and I shrugged apologetically. "Yeah, not to weird you out, but I just like to talk with my baby about what I'm doing." She smiled and moved away. I kept moving my hands over the clothing rack.  A turquoise color caught my eye, and I whipped out-you guessed it-a shirtdress. Not green, but turquoise is fairly close, right?

$3 got me this epic creation! 
I was (and still am) so excited that God answered such a quirky prayer, and I think it's cool that He brought me epic (and very reasonably priced) dresses. But here's the catch: He provided, but there's still work I have to do.

The hippyish dress is awesome and fits perfectly, but I don't want to wear it by itself. The shoulder straps are super thin little braids, and I like to have a bit more coverage on my shoulders. In the front, the skirt does not drape very far down my thigh, so I would like to wear something underneath it.

Unfortunately, I have no clue what to wear with it! I think this kind of dress begs to be worn with skinny jeans, but not only do I not own skinny jeans, they would probably make me claustrophic and I'd also never be able to take them off (Jenny pretty much describes what my encounter with skinny jeans would probably look like). I could probably wear this dress with leggings, but I don't own leggings in a color that would work with this dress, and I don't want to buy more leggings specifically for this outfit, since I'm going for closet-minimalism. I thought about perhaps making wider straps for the top, but I don't think I'd have fabric that would work (the fabric of the dress is a little bit shiny). I could wear a t-shirt, I guess, but it could make nursing complicated. And I don't think that a cardigan works well with this, otherwise I could pair a cardigan with a nursing tank. Maybe I should just buy something to wear with this dress so that I don't have to go through the thought process of figuring out life, even though I don't want to buy more clothes? The struggle!

Moving on...

The shirtdress is fabulous...but it's a few sizes too big (I didn't get a picture of the back, but the extra fabric poofs out like crazy). I'll just alter it! my sanguine self thought as I bought it. Have I altered a dress before? Nope. However, I do know how to sew, and this dress seems like it may be forgiving-not only is it a wrap dress, but pleats are built into the design. I'm thinking I could probably add some pleats here or there to size it down and make it work. Maybe?
A pocket! And pleats! 
Isn't this just how God works? He answered my prayer and brought me some super awesome clothes, but my work isn't finished. It makes me think of how He offers us so many epic gifts freely, but even after we accept these gifts, we can't just slouch on our couches and do nothing. "For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead" (James 2:26). Our joy in accepting God's gifts prompts us to glorify Him through beautiful work and apostolates as we grow in holiness and bring the Gospel to others. As I learned so well from my years of living in the Diocese of Wichita, 
"Stewardship is the grateful response of a Christian disciple who recognizes and receives God’s gifts and shares these gifts in love of God and neighbor.”
God is giving all of us so many epic gifts today. Will we open our eyes to recognize these gifts-and will we share what we are given with others? And if any of you have a gift with clothes and have advice for making my epic dresses work, I would love to hear your ideas! ;) 


  1. Do you have any slightly longer skirts you could wear under the hippy dress? I often take the dress over skirt approach for a slight lengthening affect. Otherwise leggings or maybe even some denim capris might work. A cardigan might work as a shoulder cover-up, otherwise a denim jacket (I love those, I wore one with my wedding dress so obviously I think they go with everything...), or maybe a button up skirt that you can tie in front. Also, skinny jeans are not always that tight--in fact, nearly ALL of the skinny jeans I've bought myself are pretty baggy...because apparently that's how I choose jean sizes. I have two pairs of fitted skinny jeans and they were hand-me-downs from my sister.
    Sometimes you can alter a dress by just taking it in a bit all the way down both side seams

    1. Ooh, that is a good idea! I haven't done the dress over skirt thing before. I think I may have one or two skirts that could work for this. A denim jacket is such a good idea! You know, it's funny-I've always thought those look awesome, but I don't think I've actually ever owned one-maybe it's time that I find myself a good denim jacket. It's good to know that skinny jeans aren't always that tight! Thank you so much for your advice, Rachel! Peter just went down for a nap, so I think I'll whip out my sewing machine and try to take in those side seams and see what I can do on that dress :)

  2. Fun finds!
    This past Sunday I wore a blouse that I purchased two years ago for the first time! It was a situation kind of like with the first dress--I didn't feel it went with anything until I got these new capris over Labor Day weekend. In hindsight, that was far too long to wait...
    Anyway, great reminder about stewardship of our gifts!

    1. Thanks :) Congratulations on finally being able to wear that blouse! That's pretty exciting. Sometimes, clothes just take a while to match themselves up into cute outfits, I think. I bought an awesome yellow dress years ago that I needed to wear something under or over, but nothing I had really seemed to "click" with it. But then, a few years after I bought it, someone gave me a white sweater that perfectly went with it. Those kinds of experiences have a nice bit of satisfaction, I think!

  3. Don't buy the skinny jeans. That's all I have to say.

    1. Hahahaha noted. Thankfully, I have a skirt that seems to work under this dress, so I don't think I'll have to go the skinny jean route ;)