Oct 152010

Glamorous I am not; moreover, my sartorial sense lacks sophistication. Any words I bring forth must be utterly unequal to the praise of my weighty subject. Praise, however, I must try. For no contemporary fashion phenomenon exceeds the gentle elegance of the Muffin Top. Reminiscent of home-baked treats, in both cause and effect, the sightly bulge billows above the waistband of the chic.

Born an Australian colloquialism, progeny of a protean pelvis and hip huggers, Muffin Top’s meteoric rise to celebrity extends to all English-speaking countries. Indeed, except for the woman falling into either deficiency or excess regarding modesty, Muffin Top has swept the globe! Could the 1997 Seinfeld episode entitled “The Muffin Tops” have foreshadowed the birth of our auspicious champion?

As to the glory of our hero’s early years, Muffin Top was crowned “Word of the Year” by Australia’s Maquarie Dictionary in January of 2006; concurrently, The American Dialect Society, in its “Word of the Year” vote, recognized the expression as one of the Most Creative. Only a year prior, literary luminaries William Safire and Hadley Freeman had profiled our protagonist in The New York Times Magazine and The Guardian, respectively. Safire praised Muffin Top for filling a “lexical void” and elucidated the term’s etymology: “As every baker knows, a muffin is a small cake that rises above its metal container. When removed from the pan, its shape is round, with the top hanging over the base of the cake like a small, harmless mushroom cloud.”

And like the mushroom cloud, Muffin Top has the ability to bring about an amiable end to conflict. What but Muffin Top has the courage to war and bring peace in the modern woman’s struggle with freshly-laundered jeans? And what else embodies the wisdom of abandonment, like the bra burning of yesteryear, as well as the justice of impartiality? Indeed, Muffin Top embodies temperance in female modesty: keeping the pants from falling off, all the while revealing delicate, cake-shaped curves.

To what can Muffin Top be compared? The inelegantly-phrased “Love Handles” bears the nearest resemblance, yet Muffin Top clearly surpasses Love Handles by describing not only hip rolls above the waistband but also belly bulges and those – ahem – behind.

Verily Muffin Top transcends other stylish phenomena. We should all be so accessible, so well-rounded, so unrestrained!

A blessing on your head,

Muffin Top, Muffin Top,

to see your midriff spread,

Muffin Top, Muffin Top.

And such ubiquity

the likes we’ll never see

when tailored pants come in style!

Sep 152010

Picture this: at youth group, all the students are directed to turn around, face their chairs, and kneel on the floor to pray. Student has worn out his jeans at the pocket corners; young ladies’ eyes are now directed down, in that general vicinity. He’s commando!

Conclusion: this is not a turn-on, but a gross-out.

If you must wear jeans with holes in delicate places, for style, here’s a sensible suggestion: Wear something really obvious underneath. Black leggings, magenta shorts, or even bright red boxers will do.

Aug 142009

The short answer is: it’s Biblical.

Often, as young people move towards finding their own personal style idiom, they either experiment or rebel. While rebellion can often be avoided (IMO most rebellion can be avoided by not forcing kids to wear polo shirts), I consider experimenting to be rather a normal part of this stage of life.

And experimenting can get into some androgynous looks: men wearing makeup, women with short hair, and so on. The dangers in these things are, as I see them:

  1. people really not being able to tell if you are a boy or a girl.
  2. portraying the wrong idea regarding your *interests*.

So, while I encourage experimenting to develop your own style, it seems best to take care to maintain your God-given gender identity.  In other words, make sure that it is obvious you are female.

Some ideas that might help:

  1. Carry a purse.  (This works for all kinds of things – like being able to distinguish between the workers and the shoppers in a store.)
  2. If your hair is short, wear girly earrings.  Or a scarf.
  3. Buy girl fit shirts, rather than wearing men’s.

More suggestions?

Jul 102009

Mom wondered what we’d tell Sarah Palin about the length of her skirts.

Did anyone watch the resignation speech? We couldn’t find a good picture; Mom, I think, thinks her skirt was much too short; I think, at minimum, her ensemble offended the golden mean proportion, looking boxy (as explained by Imogen at this link).


What would you like to tell Palin about the length of her skirts?  Which of the four shown here do you like best?

I’ll leave my answer in the comment section.

Apr 282009

No, I haven’t lost my mind.  The following suggestion was sent in by new reader Amanda:

… going back (or forward?) to the “V-necks are out” post, I agree, except in the case of white V-necks. Last year, all I could find in the way of basic tops were tube tops (I bought four or five from American Eagle for a total of $20) and have started wearing them under a white V-neck. The tube top provides a little more coverage than a regular tank or cami, but it’s still a cute pop of color.

My younger daughter has worn a variation of this theme: a mid-thigh length strapless dress, topped by a belted white blouse, with leggings under. Ordinarily I would just pass by short strapless dress when thrifting, but combined with the other pieces – she’s fully dressed!

Apr 222009

davidsbridalt9251ivory.jpgWhere would you look for bridal gowns if the consignment shops, thrift stores, and craigslist all turned up nothing? 

My daughter, who had every intention of buying her own wedding dress for around $200, thought to head to David’s Bridal.  When asked the upper limit of her budget, she truthfully told the consultant that she would not go over $400.  And look what she got!

Now a word on modesty.  See the little cap sleeves?  This dress came with them, but it’s good to know they can be added to any strapless dress!  

Nov 252008

Chatting with dcrmom about accessorizing with her new boots (Ugg – Swell Tall (Brunswick) – Footwear), I realized an observation about scarf styling which may be helpful.

A young lady who tends to be tall, modest, and busty (like dcrmom) is flattered by a scarf worn like this:


I, on the other hand, generally wear my scarves, if I wear one at all, lariat style:


Since I’m not an accessory person, I’m not sure why this works.  Thoughts?

If you’ve posted on scarves – tying and wrapping, please let me know and I’ll add your link to this post.

Nov 122008

Speaking of conversations, you may have noticed that the comments aren’t always about the topic of the post. Like in this previous post, where the comments ended up being primarily about the blog girl talk (which, by the way, has no comment form, a blog characteristic I am not fond of).

As I was reading through their very thorough treatment of the subject of modesty, I came across this statement:

Now let me set your mind at ease. Adorning ourselves in “respectable apparel” doesn’t mean we must restrict ourselves exclusively to cheap, out of style, unattractive clothing. Paul is not saying that gold or pearls or braiding are forbidden. In fact, you will find other places in Scripture where godly women wore fine clothing and jewelry.

The reason this post is called a A Sad Little History is because when I first became a Christian, as a young mom in my 20s, I immediately pulled out all my out of style clothing and began wearing it again! Where did I get the idea that a Christian must necessarily convey a dowdy appearance?

The good news is that God isn’t like that.

Nov 042008

Admittedly this is a lengthy article, originally from the Washington Post and then condensed for the Spokesman Review. But I think it especially worth reading for parents (both fathers and mothers) of young ladies. Allow me to rephrase that, I mean girls. When you still have control over what they wear is the time to help them develop their own discretion.


Parents lack confidence in their instincts and in their judgment. Previous generations had no trouble making hard and fast rules. Parents in those days looked like and conducted themselves as adults and role models; kids and teenagers wanted to grow up and get the perks of adult life as soon as possible. Therapists see the inverse today. There are lots of parents who are uncomfortable with their grownup role and want to be young again; their kids don’t want to grow up, or wish to postpone it as long as possible.

I have found it helpful in training two young ladies, who are actually more modest than I am, to give them the tools to enhance their natural beauty artistically, rather than provocatively. My daughters truly exhibit a quiet confidence, a different kind of glamour (1 Peter 3:3-4).

Particularly in this day and age when both the culture and the church work to keep older women and younger women separated from one another, what can be done to encourage parents to be parents?  And what do you see successfully influencing young ladies to dress modestly?