9/21/2016

Finding Beauty: Defying Normality pt. 1












Let me tell you a story. 

When I was in middle school, everyone wore jeans to church on Sunday. And when I say everyone, I mean the cool girls that I desperately wanted to like me. Naturally, I wanted to wear jeans. I begged Mom to let me, but she stood by her Baptist-mother mentality and said "no." 

When my Dad started a church plant and we met in apartment complexes and coffee shops, Mom changed her outlook on Sunday dress code. Finally, I could wear jeans! 

But something differed in this new situation: I had no peers around me at church off of which to gauge my fashion. There was no "cool crowd;" there was only me. It was then that I discovered that, when there was no one to please, I preferred dresses. I liked getting dressed up and feeling the swish of a skirt, the flair of a dress. 

That was the turnaround point for my fashion choices. Ever since then, I've dressed according to who I am and how I like to dress. I wear pink. I wear skirts. I put on lipstick and pearl necklaces. And I love it. (See my Creed of a Girly Girl article that I just wrote for Odyssey.) 

With this lesson I learned about personal style, I am gladly aware that not everyone dresses like me. That's a good thing, because I'm pretty happy with their being only one style like mine (although my younger sister is quickly taking my style, aka borrowing all of my clothes). Some people wear t-shirts and Nike shorts, and that is great! Others wear cowboy boots and buttons ups. I love that too! 

What I desire in everyone's style is for them to be themselves. When there's no one to please, what do you like to wear? What makes you a bit happier when you wear it? Find your style and live it out gracefully. Experiment and wonder a bit at what your style is and what it can become. Defy normality for a bit and try on your unique fashion sense. You won't look back. 

I hope you enjoyed this little post that's been on my mind for a while. Stay tuned for the next post: Finding Beauty: Defying Normality Pt 2, where I will write about the struggle of dressing cute, a struggle many would never imagine existed. It's a bit uglier than you think too, full of pride and insecurity. 



How do you dress to show your personality? Have you ever struggled with wanting to conform your fashion to look like those around you? 

Have a fabulous week, 

Princess Hannah 

37 comments:

  1. Hannah! I'm so glad you wrote this. I've had a similar experience growing up, except it's a little bit backwards from yours.

    I've grown up in a super conservative baptist church, and it's always been the norm to wear skirts and dresses. When my siblings and I were little and still in the kids' program on Wednesday nights, we'd have to scramble to find a skirt to put on for church. We were the only family in public school, and I wore shorts or pants to school because anything else was impractical for an energetic little girl. As a result, I really didn't have that many shorts or dresses to choose from, but, even on Wednesdays, I felt pressured to wear one. I remember the first Wednesday night my sister and I showed up in pants. It was one of those days when nothing seems to go right and you're always in a rush. Everyone was flabbergasted, to say the least.But after that, the other girls started to show up in pants, too. The same thing still happens to me today at the same church. Sometimes I can't find a dress to wear or I'm in a hurry and I'll wear jeans, and I still get a few stares.

    Anyway, so sorry I rambled. I just wanted to let you know that I know exactly what you're talking about! :) It was such a blessing to read this today -- I can't wait for your next post!

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    1. YOU UNDERSTAND!!!!!! This comment made me so excited because it was long and I could tell even before reading it that it was a story. SUCH A GREAT STORY TOO!!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I'm with you, Hannah! I tend to dress more formally than most of the people around me, and I'm so okay with that. I love a sharp pant and a beautiful shoe, and I feel much more like myself in an amazing dress than a t-shirt. That's just me. :)

    You look darling!
    Cheers,
    Carmel xx

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    1. Your style always inspires me, Carmel!!!! And yes, I love wearing something nice, even if it's shorts and a floral tank top. Just a little something extra goes a long way. But a lot something extra makes me feel like I can fly.

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  3. Hannah you are so cute and beautiful!! I love these pictures :)
    Your story sounds a lot like mine. I use to be so self-conscious of wearing dresses, because the places I went were casual and nobody wore them. Now, I've grown to like wearing jeans and a T-shirt, but I still love my dresses and skirts, and if I want to wear one, I do, no questions asked (whoa that sentence had a million commas thrown in there).

    I really loved this post and hearing you thoughts :)

    Elizabeth
    http://whimsicalthoughtss.blogspot.com/

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    1. Aw, thanks! I like wearing shorts and jeans too and wear them frequently, but dresses and skirts are more fun. I completely understand. And you mastered those commas!

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  4. I loved this post so so much, Hannah <3 It was so inspiring to hear your story and the pictures are so lovely too :) I personally love wearing skirts and dresses, but I'll always pick the most comfortable thing for me. One thing I love about my church is that jeans are totally fine, but skirts and dresses are fine too.

    I loved this post and can't wait for your next one!

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    1. In my opinion, skirts and dresses are oftentimes more comfortable. Although sometimes the wind proves challenging when wearing them...

      But thank you so much for the comment Autumn!

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  5. Your style is so cute!!! Love the pearls and the skirt and I especially love the fact that you're comfortable being yourself when it comes to fashion x) I personally am the t-shirt and Nike shorts girl, but I LOOOVE skirts and dresses too.
    Love this post and can't wait to read more <3

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    1. THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE COMMENT!!!! The fact that you know your style and aren't afraid of branching out, though, is so great!

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  6. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this, and I'm already looking forward to part two! :) I think it's important to not be altering how we dress to suit those around us.. To be honest, I'm still figuring how to dress to show my personality. I don't fit into any categories: girly, country, minimal, bohemian, etc. I guess I'm just a blend of, well, everything I like! And I'm learning to be okay with that, but it isn't always easy. I also try to keep in mind that I'm representing God to people who don't know Him by the way I dress.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this subject. Thanks for encourage us to step outside the norm and explore our tastes. xx

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    1. I love how you are experimenting with your style. And your focus on representing God... that's convicting to me, in all the best ways. Thanks so much for the comment!

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  7. Haha, well, I'm not allowed to wear just whatever I really want to when I'm in public, because I want to wear my favorite pajama pants. And I understand my mom not letting me wear PJs out in the real world. And things I wear around the house when I don't care about how I look are a little too...insane. Haha, but I love the message here, nonetheless!

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    1. TBH, the first thing that I do upon arriving home from anything is to take everything off and exchange it for PJs, so I feel you completely! Thanks for the comment!

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  8. Beautiful post, Hannah!! I totally agree. Dresses and skirts give you such a feminine feel and ah! it's very fun to wear them. I'd love to get some more that I can wear more everyday. :)

    I wanted to ask you what your take is on modesty? Just wondering! =)

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    1. Thank you so much Hannah! Casual dresses and skirts are really fun. The skirt above is from Old Navy, a great place for affordable classic dresses and skirts.

      As for modesty, I am for it, but not to an extreme. I don't show cleavage, stomach, rear, or things of the like. I also don't agree with leggings and yoga pants. I don't go so far as to wear only Bermudas and tea length skirts. I have skinny jeans and tank tops and shorter shorts. I don't know where I draw the line, though. That is definitely something I need to think and pray about. GREAT QUESTION!!!!!!!!!! How do you view modesty?

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    2. Ok, neat!! I'll have to check out that store. =)

      I know what you mean! I think Modesty is extremely important for us as women, but some people do get a little carried away with it. My view is when we truly want to honor God in our dress and we try our best to understand how guys think in terms of dress we will do our very best to honor them in that area. I would say that I'm struggling a bit to understand modesty and the sort of "how short is too short" thing, but I definitely think it's an important area to think about! I definitely don't agree that when we start dressing modestly we give up being stylish and cute. I think you would appreciate this video by Girl Defined (I love it!) that gives a bunch of practical outfits/ways we can dress modestly and still be cute and stylish. Here's the link if you want to check it out. =) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MODGcx_K6sY

      I personally try to wear shorts that are not too much above the knee and shirts that you can't "look down into" if you know what I mean, but I also have a desire to be fashionable and stylish so I definitely understand where you're coming from. This is such a hard topic, but I think a very important one for woman! =)

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  9. Hey Hannah! How are you doing?

    I honestly think that everyone, at some time in their life has wanted to conform to worldly fashion and dressing like others. I personally like dressing up for church on Sundays, it's more fun that way! I've also learned that hand-me-downs and clothes that are not necessarily "in-style" can be remixed and revamped in so many different ways.

    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day! :)

    With love and all joy,
    Allie D.
    www.alliesblogdesigns.blogspot.com
    www.friendlovesatalltimes.blogspot.com
    www.sincerelyallied.blogspot.com
    www.spreadingmyjoy.blogspot.com

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    1. I am so busy that I don't have time to read blogs, but other than that, I'm swell! Thanks so much for asking!

      And oh my, I had so many hand-me-downs, and I loved revamping them. I still wear clothes that I've had for years because I choose classic styles and wear them wisely.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

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  10. It's kind of funny, because the story of how my fashion sense popped up is a bit reversed engineered, somewhat. When I was younger, everyone was forcing me to dress up more girly, with skirts and hair curled, with makeup pricking my lips and eyelashes, but it wasn't something that I particularly enjoyed because the way that people presented the idea of dressing up was forced in the sense of saying, "Hey, you need to look nice because you need to impress some people," and that made me SUPER uncomfortable.

    It took awhile to splinter from others' bohemian and chic fashion choices, but it's easier for me to dress the way I usually do: horizontal striped shirts, vests, colored pants, wedges, and the occasional graphic tee. Ultimately the same conclusion is stumbled upon: we should dress the way we feel comfortable dressing in, not dress to impress. There are some days where I would feel like dressing up in a skirt, or in some yoga pants and flamboyant flannel, and that's okay. It was super interesting reading your thoughts on this, Hannah (also, DEFYING GRAVITY SHIRT!!!)!

    xoxo Morning

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    1. Thank you so much for the comment! I loved hearing your story so much!

      And yes, I too believe that we should wear what we feel comfortable in, not things that will impress others. I applaud you in your fashion story!

      The shirt is one of my favorites. I usually pair it with green.

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  11. "When there's no one to please, what do you like to wear?" I really really really like this point. that made me think.
    I dont really have a concrete style, and I love that about myself. some days I wear tutus and lipstick, other days its ripped jeans and half worn out Converse. some days Im in band tees, other days its blouses. and Ive learned to accept that. Ive been wanting to blog about my fashion for a while, so maybe I should get around to that.

    thank you for this post.

    also, those pictures of you are just stunning. you're a gorgeous young lady, inside and out <3

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    1. THIS MAKES ME SO EXCITED THAT I GOT YOU THINKING!!!!!!!

      Go for the everything style. Wear it all, and that's okay, as long as you like it. I too wear different things. Sometimes I'm in a t-shirt and tennis shoes. Other times I wear all black and white. Skirts. Blue jeans. Maybe not quite so scattered as yours. I'd like to try a couple of things out though!

      YOU SHOULD TOTALLY POST ABOUT FASHION!!!!! I can't wait to read it!

      Thanks bunches!

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  12. I love this post. You look absolutely stunning, Hannah. :) <3

    xx Mackenzie

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    1. Why thank you very much beautiful Mackenzie!

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  13. This post was beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart on your blog, Hannah!

    XOXO,
    Abbey Noelle

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    1. YOU are beautiful!!!! Love seeing your posts on Instagram!

      Thanks bunches!

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  14. GO YOU. this post was awesome, Hannah. Be that declaration that it is OK and in fact AWESOME to dress like and BE YOURSELF. There is beauty in our diversities. You rock.

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    1. Katie, you are a fire of inspiration on being yourself, so THANK YOU!!! And thanks so much for the comment!

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  15. ASDFGHJKL THIS POST. I LOVE THIS POST. I want to inscribe this on my heart and always remember this. :''') There is so much pressure to be like the next person but gosh, why would we want to be like the next person when we can be one-of-a-kind?? THIS IS SO TRUE. ALL OF THIS. I CAN'T EVEN BRING ANY THOUGHTS TO THIS DISCUSSION BECAUSE YOU NAILED IT. <33333

    lotsalove,
    abbiee

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    1. YES YES YES!!!!!!!! Yes, there's only one style like ours. Why would we rob the world of it?

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  16. I'm a jeans and plaid shirt and very large sweaters kind of girl. I feel that I've been very lucky in my life to avoid being pressured to change what feels true to me, but I love your story! I love your look of confidence in the pictures, and I aspire to have the same sense of self as you.

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    1. I'm eager to buy a good plaid shirt myself! Go you and your sense of style, even if it wasn't challenged. And gah, your compliment makes me blush!

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  17. You are so beautiful!! I absolutely adore your shirt;)

    My style is kind of a funny thing- it basically includes everything under the sun. XD I love the girly look, with dresses and skirts, but then I love the skinny jeans and t shirt look, as well. Some days I'm super minimalistic, others I'm the most colorful person in the room. And sweats, leggings, and gym shorts will always have a home in my closet. ; ) SO I guess that I just love having freedom to dress however I like. But I have to say, I always love your style, Hannah. ♥♥♥

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    1. I totally feel you on this. I have a variety of clothes too, but my favorites are kinda like the one featured above. But I wore a tshirt and shorts today (although I regretted it later). GRACE, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

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  18. This is great! I think we all go through a bit of not knowing what we want our style to be, especially when we're younger. I remember a time in my life where I definitely made sure to shop at the "cool" stores and try to follow trends, at least a little bit. Now, I just like dressing in what makes me feel most expressive: a lot of black, band tees, striped shirts, Converse, ballet flats. AND CARDIGANS - so many cardigans. <3 Learning to be comfortable with who you are, and showing that through your style is one of the best things! Thanks for sharing this! :)

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    1. ERIN, your comments always give me so much insight. GAH! But yes, this stage of figuring things out is crucial. I like your style girl! Sounds pretty cool to me. And question, where do you get your cardigans? I'm looking for a good one.

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