Fall & Fashion: What We Learned

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Three months ago, Jess and I set out on a mission to investigate one theme each season here at Sweet Athena. We brainstormed a million and five ideas and settled on “fashion,” a little intimidated and quite excited. Now that we are at this season’s end, we are happy to say it’s been a blast. We tried out ahandfulofapparelre-fabprojects, attended a fashion show, interviewed a fashion designer, and even performed a makeover!

In selecting “fashion” as our theme, we knew that we’d have fun playing dress-up. More importantly, however, we were reminded of the value of trying new things and putting a little extra love into our appearances. It’s tempting to relegate such aspirations until everything is perfect–for when life is less hectic or when those extra pounds are gone. I struggled with this idea even while I was working on this theme. But what’s the point of always living for later? Spending a few extra minutes on myself makes me feel more confident throughout the day. From trying out a new color combination in an outfit to succeeding with a t-shirt craft, this theme was both fun and motivational.


When deciding what theme to make for our first “season”, Linz had suggested fashion and she actually had to talk me into it. I was opposed to starting with fashion. Why? I thought it would be too difficult to start with, I thought I did not have a voice of my own for it. I was not really sure what fashion meant to me.  As we worked our way through the next couple of weeks I really enjoyed what I discovered about the world of fashion and how I see myself fit in it. 

A few times during the past three months I have thought, what are we doing, does fashion have a point in a world of overconsumption. But the truth is I sometimes question myself about life when I am enjoying things (maybe it’s learned Catholic guilt or white privilege guilt or a good ole combo). What I often come back to is that life is a balance and enjoying it is part of finding that equilibrium. I worried that our theme of fashion would come across as vain. What I discovered is that fashion is like everything else in the world. It is not good or bad. It is a double edged sword, that can be about overbuying and ignoring inner beauty to focus on looking “hot”. It can also be about being more confident, as my brother was after a clothing pick me up, it can be about an expression of art, as the Portland Fashion Show and an interview with Lisa Silveira showed us. It can be about creativity as I had fun re-purposing t-shirts. It can also be about discovering how you enjoy expressing yourself, as I did in helping to create a dream dress with Dress of the Month Club.

I recently learned of another blog which I think sums up the positive sides of fashion and celebrating oneself well. Already Pretty is a blog by Sally McGraw about one woman’s honest quest of learning to love herself and enjoy a passion of hers, fashion, at the same time. Check out the greatest hits section of the blog, for wisdom on body image and discovering your style. For me, that is what fashion is, one more tool to be used to celebrate life. 


We are announcing our next theme tomorrow, so be sure to check back for that and December’s freebie background.

You know how fashion blogs are always taking pictures to show off their cute outfits?
Here Linz and I trying out the pastime, each wearing one of our favorite fall get-ups.

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