Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feeling Great to Be Girlie!

Gunne Sax dresses were all the rage.
It was cool to be pretty.
In the 90's a funny thing happened.  The whole grunge movement reared is unkempt head and drove fashion to develop some bad, unfeminine habits.  Basically, the 80's were a decade that championed what it meant to be a girl.  We primped and painted ourselves up and dressed in lace and puffy "Anne of Green Gables" sleeves.  We wore pearls around our necks, and our waistbands around our waists.  It was a lovely time.  We didn't have to fight with the image of strung out, skinny girls with flat tummies and ample bosoms.  It was a time where we could be comfortable, but beautiful and girlie.

Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
The nineties lowered waistbands, in keeping with the grunge movement of fashion that looked like it was salvaged from a dumpster.  We lowered the rise on our pants as women, making our body shapes look more like men and trying to streamline our torsos.  We wore ugly, worn out things and hoped we looked cool.

We didn't look cool. We just looked neglected.

In real life, the truth is that most women have a little belly because it is part of our anatomy and our heritage.  We are women who become mothers and nurturers, and it is a beautiful and divine thing.  Even looking back over the years, women constantly were worried about their waistlines, but accepted that by having a waistline you are curvy, feminine, and beautiful.

We like to look nice, and to feel beautiful.  It is time to embrace the feminine again--and to stop saying that it is for grandmas and old ladies.  The truth is, grandmas and old ladies never abandoned their femininity--and now it is time for us to embrace it too!

The good news is that Girlie is back.  

It is in fashion to be feminine again.  (Thank you Marc Jacobs, Mad Men, and Monique L'huilller to name a few...) We are finally moving away from the harsh, heroine addict fashion and austere, corporate man-like fashions.  What is on the horizon?  Here it is.  Actually, it has been coming on for at least 4-5 years now.  So, love it, and live it, and hope it doesn't go away again!

Beautiful curvy shapes with skirts that fall on the natural waistline, and fun retro prints (like polka-dots).

Floral prints are also back.  This includes even the typical "granny florals" of the past.

Feminine accessories, such as scarves and belts are back.  Belts are even worn on the actual waist, and jewelry is feminine and includes details like roses, cameos, pearls, and lockets.

Lace is not just for underwear or trim.  We are seeing many pieces made entirely of lace, such as t-shirts, dresses, skirts, even pants.

Pretty pastels are back too.  We are seeing peach, mauve, rose, baby blue, and even sage green.  All of them are back--and they brought their friend "cream" back too!

So, revel in being a girl.  Cherish being a woman.  Seek the soft and the beautiful--with just the slightest touch of sassy...Feel great to be a girl!

All of the items pictured here are available at SisterMissionaryMall--it's not just for sisters!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The blouse is back!

Pirates, Peasants, and Poets
Anyone who grew up in the 70's and 80's remembers the blouse.    Even though this item of clothing has its roots in menswear (think pirates, peasants, and poets...) they are primarily womenswear now.

With its updated 1970's fashion, the blouse was the quintessential clothing piece for a polished woman in the corporate world.  The 70's and 80's were the "dress for success" era, where if you "dressed" like you were upper management, you were more trusted and could move up in the company.

1970's pattern
(Which, by the way, is still how perceptions of success are perceived today...and also the reason that it matters how sister missionaries dress!)

The blouse basically became a woman's version of a men's dress shirt.  We wore them in silkier fabrics, with feminine details (like lace collars, and bows) and they were cut to flatter and drape on our shapelier figures.  They were so popular and durable, that for years, every DI, Salvation Army store, and Saver's was full of these polyester blouses.

Well, guess what!  The blouse is back!  It has actually been back for a couple of years now, but we are finally seeing the trend here in the conservative west.  (What that means is that we are finally gutsy enough to wear them even though our eyes have been telling us we are wearing what our moms wore...)  Anyhow, there are a lot of advantages to the blouse that make it very popular again today.

Here is a list of why the Blouse is a great addition to your wardrobe:

1.  Many of the fabulous styles can be found in washable fabrics that are easy to wear, and easy to care for.  So, the runways feature the blouses done in silk, while we can find them done in polyester.  Polyester has become so well done these days that it is hard to tell often if it is silk or not!  The fibres actually have to be tested with a "fire test" to see if the burn or melt--burning meaning it it is silk, and melting being polyester.  So, wear that polyester with pride!  You look fabulous!

2.  The cut of the blouse is more appropriate for real women.  Going the way of the Dodo bird are the fashions that highlight the "yoga" body that most of us don't have.  (that is of course, unless you are actually on your way to yoga, which apparently I am all day everyday when I'm at home in my yoga pants...) The blouse is not as fitted as the tailored "mens" style clothing we have been packing ourselves in for the past 15 years.  We have lumps and bumps as women, and the blouse drapes more comfortably over them.  You can actually look and feel thinner because you aren't wearing some little knit ditty that makes you look like...well, a stuffed sausage.

3.  No more busting buttons!  One of the best things about a blouse is that often the style doesn't button up front.  It is hard to have a great fitting blouse that buttons over the "bumps" of the bust!  Nothing like playing peek-a-boo with your top because you can't keep your placate closed on your shirt.  Unless a shirt is tailored just for you, it can be tough to keep things "locked and loaded."  A blouse solves this, and all the while letting you enjoy the cool comfort of a woven fabric.

4.  The fashion trend now allows us to dress down our nice blouses by pairing them with jeans.  This is a nice departure from the buttoned up, corporate, Sunday best version of the blouse that makes them fun to wear.   For Sister Missionaries, of course the fashion choice is clear.  However, that means that the blouses you take on your mission can be repurposed a little while later at home!  (and believe me, these blouses will survive, despite your best efforts!)

Here are some great blouses we are carrying right this minute at our store!  

We designed these babies ourselves, and carefully chose the fabric and construction to make them comfortable and durable for Sister Missionaries.  They fit well, are easily altered, and built to last.

This top comes in a nice Rose, Sky Turquoise (pictured), Smoky Taupe, and Berry Red.
If the elastic in the sleeves bothers you, we can take it out.  

This blouse has coordinating cuffs on the short sleeve under the blazer.
Currently this blouse is only available in Cream with black trim.  

Here is that same bow blouse under one of our favorite blazers.

There are more to come!  Just keep in mind that "The Blouse is Back!" We are so glad!  You will not only feel better in a blouse, you will look better too.