I had a conversation with a friend the other day who happened to mention she liked the outfit I was wearing. “I wish I could pick out clothes like you” she said. Obviously, she had no idea how shopping-impaired I really am. I thought I would repost this from the WordPress Archives just for her….Here you go, C. :)

I went out of style in the Spring of 1989. This is when I graduated high school and the last time I was confident I was still “all that”. Let me be clear that my style was cutting edge. You would never catch me dead in “sweatpants”.. Oh no, ma’am, I had paisley pants because that is what Prince and his entourage wore and everyone knew they were chic – pronounced the French way. Tennis shoes were also out of the question. I wore pumps, in every color, with blingy shoe jewels attached all over. Oh yes, I had it goin’ on.

Four children and a Suburban will just suck all the coolness out of a girl. I am also completely sure no one in our church would appreciate having a pastor’s wife who wears paisley pants and shoe jewels and yet I still gravitate toward funky clothes. The problem comes for me in balancing funkiness with age and vocation appropriateness. At one point in my preacher-wife life, I began wearing little sweaters with birdies and kitty kats embroidered on them because that is what other preacher wives I knew were wearing at the time. Nothing wrong with this except I was in my early 20’s and looked like I had raided an elderly school teacher’s closet. Since this look did not work out for me, I have been on a continuing quest ever since to find my own signature preacher-wife style. This ongoing conundrum most often leaves me in Kohl’s (’cause Hello?!…It is the best store EVER) with my head ticking and a little sliver of drool running down my chin. Hence my new shopping strategy: I stalk women who appear to have keen fashion abilities.

I hit the jackpot on this last trip. I saw an adorable girl about my age who had on a fetching denim jacket with some print pants and a silky shirt a la John Travolta. (The shirt? ToDieFor). It passed both the age and appropriate-for-a-preacher-wife test so, I zoomed in on her with my cell phone and took a photo of her from behind the makeup counter I innocently took a mental note of the elements of her outfit. I returned to the clothing racks, retrieved the ingredients and voila! Masterpiece! I made sure she did not see me check out with her outfit in my hands because really, ya’ll, I just didn’t want to go home in a police car.

You should also know I suffer from Limited Imagination Syndrome. If I find something I like, I buy the same thing in different colors. Which is what I did Friday. Two Jackets. Two silky shirts. Two colors. Oy. So if you see me this week and I look strikingly similar to a previous day, that would be because I am dressed the same, except not. Just consider it my new preacher-wife uniform. And if it happens to look like one of your outfits – just receive it as a compliment. I promise I won’t hurt you.

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