Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My!

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com   Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

Skirt provided free of charge from SammyDress in return for my honest opinions.

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I have a problem. A polka-dot problem. But I just can’t resist them, as you can see! And when I was contacted by SammyDress to do a review, I thought about it for a long time. SammyDress is one of those sites whose prices seem far too good to be true, but that’s not always a bad thing. I have worked with Oasap in the past, and have always been pretty pleased with the things I got from them — their only flaw is usually sizing, in that their Large is the equivalent of a US Medium or Small.

So, after lurking what they had to offer for a while, and reading some reviews, I decided to go for it. And… well, there are pros and cons to this skirt.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

The pros: it looks like the picture, it matches the description, and… guys, it’s really cute. I’ve worn it three times already! It flows really well, and I love the pleats and the flow! I love the straps (which are sheer, so you can see polka dots beneath polka dots), and the elastic waistband, and the big belt loops.

The cons: the underskirt/lining BARELY came down past my butt and was too tight, it only comes in one size (elastic waist), and the material is fairly sheer. So if you have a bust that is anywhere over 40″ you won’t be able to get this on over your head (I feel like I might get stuck every time I put it on), and if your hips are extra curvy, forget the lining! I cut the lining out and used one of my own slips to keep from being scandalous, so I’m not too bothered, but it was a very cheap lining.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

To me, it’s fairly worth buying at its price of $9.83, but if you’re looking for something with really good quality, well… this is probably not the garment for you. Not to say I think this will fall apart right away, but I can’t see it lasting for years. You just get what you pay for. 😉 I would compare SammyDress to Forever21 — inexpensive, quickly made, and good for when you’re just seeking out a trendy piece that won’t be stylish forever. I will probably lurk the site for inexpensive things once in a while, simply  because I have a very small budget and occasionally can’t find things at the thrift store and don’t feel like making them myself.

Although, I would have to argue that this skirt will definitely be stylish forever, because you really can’t go wrong with black and white and polka dots.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

skirt recieved free of charge via SammyDress- $9.83| shoes, belt, shirt, umbrella, and vintage brooch, thrifted | tights, Target | headband, Modcloth.

What do you guys think about buying fast fashion? I have mixed feelings; I like instant gratification and inexpensive prices, but there can be an ethical side to that, and I also don’t like adding things to my closet that are going to fall apart after a few washes.

But… the polka dots get me every time. Sigh.

Happy Wednesday!

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Polka dots, red lips, and real mom confessions

Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com

I always wonder how the lives of other mom bloggers go. What do they do day-to-day; what is their routine like; do they actually get dressed for all day???

Because I have a confession: I am usually not dressed until Asa goes down for his nap. Which these days is around 1pm. I don’t generally feel like putting pretty things on, doing my makeup, wearing shoes, or getting hair all done for most of the morning, when there are two meals to be had that could potentially stain clothes, a toddler to be chased, and no clear sightline to the living room from anywhere in the house. And when you’ve got a 16 month old climber who can get up onto pretty much anything by himself, it’s risky to leave the room. Even if you can hear him.

Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.comI always wonder how other mothers do it. Up early before the baby to get ready? Do they wait like I do for naptimes to get things done (or clothes on)? Given, living with people who are remodeling makes it harder; if it was my own house, I’d probably be able to multitask, as we’d only have one floor and no construction areas for curious little fingers to get into. Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com But naptime comes around and I usually have time to clean myself up, put on real clothes, throw on my usual makeup, and take outfit pictures before Asa wakes up. It’s a nice little reprieve from watching him and attempting to do what housework I can. (And yes, I do wear the clothes I post for the rest of the day after I’ve gotten them on.)

Although, I still haven’t figured out how to get a shower in there. Which is confession #2: I don’t shave daily unless it’s a really fancy date and people might care if my legs have 3 day old stubble. Not to mention armpits. And with the body hair movement going on right now (which, by the way, is pretty great; I don’t think any woman should feel she has to shave uless she wants to. I generally want to. My body hair is not soft.) I’m pretty sure nobody cares anyway. Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com Which brings me to confession #3: I am not an active go-to-the-park, teach all the time, play with the baby type of mom. I know I’m not the only one – I have seen a rash of blog posts about moms who have felt the pressure to be the “fun” mom but just aren’t – and I do play with Asa, and always make a point to put down my phone or computer if he comes up with a book or wants to cuddle or comes over with toys for me — but I have a hard time figuring out what to actually do with a baby this age. Stacking blocks and spreading Duplos around the room and holding paper down so he can learn to scribble with Crayons is only entertaining for so long, and who doesn’t get tired of reading the same book 50 times in a row?

Don’t get me wrong: I love motherhood. Asa is happy and easy and funny and so, so busy all the time, and he’s so efficient at entertaining himself that… I suppose I don’t feel I have to engage him constantly. And of course, being pregnant does give me excuses for not being super active, but still. Mostly, this confession is for those moms out there who are like me, because… it’s okay. Not all moms are super moms. I’m guessing most moms probably aren’t play-with-the-kids-all-the-time moms.

Polka dots, red lips, and mom confessions | www.eccentricowl.com

Dress, headscarf, and earrings thrifted | belt, from this skirt and heels (similar), Modcloth | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I see a lot of pictures of blog moms who are dressed beautifully and post pictures interacting with their children, and I always wonder: is that real life, or is that staged? I certainly don’t have time to take pictures of myself playing with Asa (I tried, it’s hard) but as well on any given day I am either cleaning house or on the couch in my yoga pants while he plays by himself and explores his limited area of reach. (We also go outside when it’s nice, where he explores the yard and climbs toys and I watch and ensure he doesn’t damage himself.) Maybe when he gets older and more communicative, I will play with him more. Or maybe I’m going to be one of those moms who lets her kids play and imagine and entertain themselves as long as they’re not breaking stuff or beating up other kids.

I don’t know. I just know I’m much more laid back as a parent than I thought I would be, and I think it’s okay. And I want other moms to know… hey, it’s okay if you’re not playing with your kid 24/7. They need to discover and learn for themselves sometimes. It’s okay if you don’t get dressed until 2pm when the baby is sleeping and you finally have 30 minutes to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t shower all week, or shave, either. You’re a mom. Do what you need (and WANT) to do to survive.

What are your mom confessions?

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Let’s Pretend

Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysLet's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Do you ever imagine what it might be like if you were a celebrity?

I do. Often, even though I can’t act worth beans and I don’t actually think I would like the life of fame, I imagine walking the red carpet and being interviewed; and mostly, it’s because of the clothes. I would love to be a woman who had access to sweeping gowns made by brilliant designers, to be fitted perfectly to my body; I would love to have someone professionally touch up my makeup — or learn how to do it myself, since I have a thing against other people touching my face — and fix my hair.

It would be an interesting and fun experience, to live that glamorously if only for a day. Of course, as with any profession, there are challenges and hardships. But, you know, it would still be fun!

Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Today I felt like a movie star. This dress makes me feel every bit as glamorous as if I’d had professional hair and makeup done and was styled by a famous designer.

I think, based on one of my favorite fashion-of-the-stars website, I would probably be one of the few celebrities who actually wore nonstop color and pattern. I might be one of those stars who occasionally steps into the world of kookiness with a crazy 1970’s caftan or 80’s dress, but at least I’d be having fun! I’ve always noticed that people in the public eye tend to dress in neutrals, reds, or dark colors, (as well as the crazy-revealing, or those garments that can’t really be classified as “clothing”) and you don’t see a lot of pattern. I don’t know if this is a modern trend, or if they go for simple because they’re told it’s more flattering… I don’t know. But I always appreciate people like Emily Blunt or Zooey Deschanel or Mindy Kaling who wear interesting and beautiful and colorful clothes; people who aren’t caught in the world of nude shoes and black dresses. Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comLet's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Obviously there is a practical side to being clothed, but also… why not have fun with it?

I think I was asked once or saw the question once a long time ago whether Christianity/modesty and fashion blogging are at war with each other; whether it goes against a Christian’s call to be modest to photograph one’s self quite often in order to post those pictures on the internet and garner fans ans followers. (And when you put it that way, maybe it does sound vain.) But the thing is… I don’t do this for attention. It’s nice to get comments, yes, although I appreciate those more for the friendships I have made.

But at the core, fashion blogging is just… fun. I love wearing pretty things and I always have; I love creating something that is beautiful to the eye, whether it be a painting, a sketch, a photograph, an outfit, and sharing it with others in hopes they might share the joy.  I love creating outfits that are physically modest but also truly fashionable to encourage other women who want to dress modestly that you can wear attractive outfits that are decent without having to look like a homeschooler (you know what I’m talking about. And I can say that; I was homeschooled.)Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com I believe that fashion blogging and modesty — of attitude, pocket, and appearance — are not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts. My brother-in-law pointed out once that when it speaks of women being called to be modest in the church in the Bible in one instance, its’ not even talking about modesty of clothing in the sense of being revealing; it’s talking about the fact that these women were dressing outlandishly and elaborately and going to church in order to get attention for themselves, instead of coming to church to worship God.  Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.com So really, it depends on why I do this. If I were blogging only to shout to the world “look how beautiful I am, look at me, I’m so fashionable, I’m so thrifty, I’m so fantastic!” (which, sadly, one or two of my posts have been misread that way) then yes, I would not be blogging in a very modest way. But I do this as a hobby; it’s fun, I like creating art — and clothing can be a form of art –, I love to meet new people, I hope to encourage others, and blogging is my way to journal life. Since I was never very good at keeping a paper journal. Let's Pretend | www.eccentricowl.comBelt and vintage dress, thrifted | heels, Kohl’s | earrings, c/o Oasap | bracelet, Target

And also sometimes I think people in the religious world can get really legalistic with what you can and cannot do, which can go overboard. Obviously I believe there should be limits, as with anything in life; too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. (Hello, chocolate.) But I also believe that you should use your talents to encourage others, which is what I hope I am doing!

What are your thoughts on fashion blogging, vanity, and modesty (of the heart)?

P.S. If you are wondering whether this dress is possibly that bright in real life… the answer is yes. It is. I LOVE IT. Happy Sunday!
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What Would a Hobbit Wear?

What Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysWhat Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.com  It’s finally Hobbit day! Today is kind of feeling bittersweet for me; I am so excited to go see The Battle of Five Armies, but I really, really don’t want Middle Earth to end. And it hit me the other day that this is probably the very last Tolkien movie to come out. At least, for a long, long time. My husband has said that the Tolkien estates won’t sell the rights to any of his other works, so… as far as we know, this is it.

And I’m sad. But, you know, I would be happier if someone decided to make a trilogy (or… double trilogy) of Gormenghast. I love the TV miniseries they did, but MAN there is so much in the books that isn’t in the miniseries!What Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.comWhat Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.com Since we never got to dress as Hobbits or Elves for any of the movies, I decided the next best thing would be this dress. It’s always been a very Hobbit dress to me because of the bright colors and the patterns. The trees remind me of Middle Earth trees, and I think if a Hobbit came to modern times in this world, this would probably be a dress she’d wear.

My only problem styling it for winter is that I don’t really like the way my yellow cardigan looks with it, and I don’t have any others that I’d like to pair with the dress. So I figured that a modern-day Hobbit would also be very farmy (obviously) and that this plaid shirt, which reminds me of a farm girl, would work instead. What Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.com What Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.com And you guys, I have been trying REALLY hard not to keep repeating the same two pairs of shoes with every outfit… but these boots (worn here, here, here, and here) go with everything. Same for the yellow T-strap wedges (here, here, here, here, here, and here… and in one outfit I haven’t even posted yet ). They hold up well, they’re waterproof, they’re comfortable, and they match every single thing in my closet.

And I originally had different shoes on, less practical ones, but I’m going adventuring with a friend today, so… boots it is. I really need to amp up my practical shoe game.What Would a Hobbit Wear?  | www.eccentricowl.comShirt, thrifted | dress, Romy | tights, Target | boots, JC Penney | necklace, gift from husband | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I hope you all have a wonderful day! I am hoping sometime today after our adventures to make Mr. Owl and myself some Christmas stockings, because we can’t find ours from last year… and… we can’t afford to buy new ones. This Christmas really is the Christmas of handmade everything. I kind of love it, actually!

Happy Wednesday!

(Why the heck do movies premier in the middle of the week???)

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Lazy Mode

Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.comDressember DaysLazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com Mondays are for no makeup, running errands, cozy sweaters, and Christmassy scarves.

Asa is teething so hard his gums at one impending tooth are actually black and blue! Poor little guy. But he’s happy enough, and he’s ready for a nap, so this post will be short!

Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com I’m not usually one for wearing a chunky, loose sweater over a dress, but this sweater was way too cute to pass up, especially when paired with this equally gorgeous scarf! I actually love this outfit, even though it’s not traditionally the most flattering on me. The sweater is way too comfortable to even care. Plus, it’s my and Mr Owl’s anniversary so today I’m running around the house trying to clean up and plan a somewhat nice dinner. We sort of celebrated last Friday, so tonight will be more relaxed.

Most likely we’re eating homemade Mongolian Beef and watching extras from the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug while cuddling under the Lord of the Rings blanket I bought him for our anniversary and drinking a bottle of Smaug Stout just because it’s Hobbit-themed.

Because we’re cool like that. Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com Lazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.comLazy Mode | www.eccentricowl.com

Sweater and scarf c/o Oasap | dress and leggings, Target | boots, JC Penney | glasses, c/o Firmoo

I hope you’re all having a good Monday!

(Day seven of Dressember here.)

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P.S. Not to be annoying about it, but the Firmoo Blogger contest is still going! I don’t expect to win anything, but hey… I might as well try, if you want to keep voting every day!