Hello everyone! Just as a little disclaimer before I begin, I believe that my true source of confidence only ever comes from Jesus Christ, and the saving work He has wrought in me, and not in material things like clothing. Having said that, though, I also know for a fact that God gave us clothing to cover us, and we can use our creativity to select, make, and style articles of dress that will help us to feel lovely, pretty, and, dare I say, confident. The kind of confidence I’m referring to is not the kind that makes us feel that we have a strength all our own; a sort of proud, “I’m better than you” kind of confidence. No. As I said, my strength comes only from God, and the confidence I am talking about is the kind that makes us feel that we are expressing exactly who we are, and we feel comfortable in our own skin, so much so that we can forget ourselves, and think of others.
Years ago, in my early teens–that time when you feel so confused about who you are and what you’re turning into–I used to wonder if there really was such a thing as a confidence boosting outfit. I would take hours to get ready in the morning, because the clothes I thought I liked really weren’t doing me any favors. That was before the the girls and I really started paying attention to how fashion works, and how silly standard sizing is, and how satisfying it is to make your own clothes! Years later, I found myself wearing dresses like this:
This dress was actually a hand-me-up from Charlotte, who at one point was exactly my size, but promptly passed me up. She gave a lot of her dresses to me. Some suited me better than others, but the Summer Polka Dot Dress was my favorite, and here’s why:
- I have broad shoulders and average hips, so I am always looking for tops that will pare down my shoulders, and bottoms that will broaden my hips, so that I don’t look top-heavy. This dress, although it has the capelet around my shoulders that would seemingly broaden them, it does not, because it fits them just right. The free-flowing A-line pleated skirt takes care of my hips, but that’s only because the skirt starts exactly at my waistline and falls away, and the waist is belted to create definition.
- When it is Summer time, I love to match the myriad of colors blooming outside, so oranges, reds, pinks, and bright blues are in my line of focus during the warm months. This cheerful orange polka dot print makes me feel cheerful and happy. When paired with the contrasting aqua blue polka dot head wrap, it is like looking at bright hibiscus flowers near a tropical ocean. Who wouldn’t be happy with that?
- Accessories. I am a girl who likes few accessories. So I don’t bother with them if I don’t need to. I would normally be turned off at the idea of wearing big beads around my neck, but this the aqua blue necklace made my outfit look so fun, that I didn’t mind them at all. I liked them a lot, actually. Plus they mirrored the head wrap beautifully. As for shoes, I always keep a bright pair of shoes in my closet, and these just happened to be of the same shade as the dark orange of my dress. A perfect match. But the thing that I love about these summer wedges is not their look, but their comfort. I step into these treads and my feet say “ahh” immediately.
Do you see what I’m getting at here? If you combine things that you love, structuring them around your own unique and beautiful figure, you will be able to build a confidence-boosting outfit. The only thing you need to keep in mind when customizing your wardrobe is your body’s shape, and then your natural coloring. Some girls would look washed out in full on orange. I do! But because the color is printed in dots all over the clean white fabric, there’s nothing for me to worry about.
I wanted to give you all a decent spectrum of my confidence boosting outfits I wear throughout the year, so I decided to pull past outfit posts from the Summer, Winter, and Spring. The last one was obviously Summer, and this outfit from Two Old Beans definitely says Fall/Winter. And since we are all about vintage fashion around here, I wasn’t going to walk away without showcasing one of my most favorite vintage purchases–This adorable 1940s suit from Two Old Beans vintage clothing shop. We get updates from their shop on a regular basis through social media, and it was through one of those updates that I found this suit. It was exactly my size, and exactly my style. Here’s what I love most about it:
- First of all the color. That wonderful khaki color that, just like a pair of blue jeans, goes with just about any color you can thing of. So practicality won out when I saw this suit.
- The condition was also very important. We three have invested money into multiple vintage purchases in recent years, and one thing we’ve learned when buying something you can’t readily feel or examine yourself is: make sure its in perfect condition! Otherwise, you might end up with a load of work on your hands, or the garment will inevitably fall apart on you. (No, it has never happened while we were wearing it, only when we’ve cleaned it, thankfully!) This suit passed the test when I read that it was in perfect condition besides some stains that are not noticeable.
- Vintage lover that I am, it is so hard to find an authentic 1940s suit that fits my small person. Being only 5’2″, that makes it very hard. Even the slightest inch off can and will affect the way a well tailored suit will hang on you. I always have to ask for the waist, shoulder, shoulder to waist, bust, and sleeve measurements before I can safely purchase a tailored garment online.
- The aesthetics of this suit were too good to be true. This suit was very well made, and truth be told, I feel “smart and pretty”. You want to feel that way when you wear a suit, be it vintage or no. You don’t want to drown in your jacket, and you don’t want to be busting out of it either. You want it to fit just right, so that you can focus on the things at hand for the day. That is what we call being well dressed.
This suit is one of several outfits that I really like having in my closet for the winter time. Most of my best outfits are church outfits, and the every day outfits are still getting there. I don’t know how it happened that I got my “nice clothes” in order before my everyday clothes, and if I were you, I wouldn’t do that. Get your everyday clothes in order first, and then think about your nicer attire. You wear the former a lot more!
This dress here, is my favorite Spring outfit! Not only can it be worn in the Spring, but it is light enough to be perfect for Summer, and practical enough to be layered up a bit for Fall weather, too. It is the best, brand new addition I’ve made to my wardrobe in a very long time. I love it because:
- I really dislike restrictive sleeves on any bodice, but in when it is warm outside (and inside), and I’m in a cranky mood, I certainly don’t want to get cranky over not being able to reach for something because my dress won’t give. Thanks to the open petal sleeves, and elastic waist, I don’t have to worry a bit.
- The color of this dress is perfect. It also comes in a nice red, but I know that green is far more becoming on me. Remember, color can be just as important, if not more depending on the garment, as fit. You may find something that fits you marvelously, but don’t buy it if the color washes you out too much!
- Again, this dress is ridiculously practical! I can wear it plain around the house, or I can dress it up with a nice pair of shoes, dangle earrings, and a hair clip if we’re going out somewhere special.
With all of those things in mind, I think that I love this dress most of all because of how quintessentially “Jessica” this dress is. In fact, I don’t know that I can think of any other ensemble that says me so furtively as this one does. That is the third tip you ought to keep in mind when selecting clothes to add to your closet, or wear for the day: making sure that the outfit communicates who you are as a person. This dress says that I like green, I might like nature a great deal, I don’t like to be restricted in my movement, and I like to look nice on an everyday basis. Do your clothes tell a story? If they don’t, and you’ve often wondered what that one key element you’re missing in your wardrobe is, then it might be the fact that your clothes, however nice they look, just don’t communicate your style, passions, and loves in life. If you know what they are, then begin crafting your outfits around those loves, and before you know it, you will be wearing confidence-boosting outfits, too!
What is your confidence boosting outfit?
Did you learn anything new from reading this post?
What is one thing you absolutely cannot stand in a garment (ex: restrive sleeves)?
Blessings to you all!
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer