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Like most women, I have a love-hate relationship with fashion and more style faux-pas in my repertoire than I care to mention. But, for the sake of nostalgia, I’ll share a few of them with you today in hopes that they’ll inspire you to laugh at your own fashion fails. Because let’s face it - who doesn’t have them?

As a small girl, all I wanted to wear was pink clothes with glitter and sequins like the dresses I saw on my favorite Disney princesses. I was convinced that pink was going to be my favorite color for life but little did I know that I’d soon meet a friend who’d manage to completely change my mind on the matter.

It was the first day of school in 8th grade and one of the first friends I made that day let me know in no uncertain terms that pink was a color for baby clothes. I thought about this for a second, considering its ramifications. I then realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously I ought to stop dressing like a little baby, and that was the end of my love affair with the color pink.

Not too long after that, I went through my punk rock phase like most kids my age around that time. This meant wearing oversized gas station shirts (which had someone else’s name on them) and decades-old thrift shop sweaters that looked haunted, to be honest. Worst of all, I decided to go from my natural brown locks to jet black overnight without my parents’ permission in the name of rebellion and trying to find my identity. Ah… the folly of youth.

While I outgrew the grunge look during my college years, I adopted yet another persona. Enter my Dolly Parton-meets- 80s Madonna era. My hair was big and loud, I had siren-red lipstick on, and rhinestones and fishnets were in. So I figured, ‘Why go home when you can go big?’ It’s a wonder my husband married me through all that but I supposed he saw through the loud lipstick to the sensible woman I’d later become. I look back on that moment and think “Hey, I actually looked great here”. I just wish I knew it back then because God knows I was insecure.

Anyways, fast-forward to early adulthood and you’ll see a young and impressionable me, post-college and ready to take on the corporate world. I felt ready to take over the world in my uniform of serious corporate suits (always in dark hues) and my signature briefcase. I still enjoy power dressing which means more dark-hued corporate suits, but now I pair them with tasteful jewelry sans the briefcase.

While it took my husband and me a decade before we decided to add a little bundle of joy to the equation, I for one wasn’t prepared for the fashion challenge that came with becoming a mother. I had my first introduction to maternity clothes and the ever-faithful “mom jeans” towards the end of my second trimester. I’m just glad I kept all my maternity clothes because, in three years, Junior came into our lives to complete our family, and let’s just say it felt good to get back into the roomy crevices of my maternity jeans again.

At first, dressing my daughter was fairly easy. All I did was get her truckloads of pink and white dresses, rompers and leggings and call it a day. But, as she got older things got a little more challenging. As the mother to an impressionable young daughter, you have to walk a fine line between ‘modest’ and ‘cute’. After all, no-one wants to see their daughter looking like a video vixen on an MTV music video, right? But at the same time, you want her to fit in with the other kids and look trendy and presentable.

So I turned to the scriptures for guidance and found a scripture that confirmed what I’ve always known, that clothes have nothing to do with fancy labels and popular fashion.  It’s all about clothing oneself with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." (Colossians 3:12)

As my own fashion evolution continues, I hold these words dear and laugh at my earlier adventures. I now know what I couldn’t see back then, that true beauty comes from within. There’s an inner glow within each of us that shines so bright that no material thing can cover it up.

Or in the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashions fade but style is eternal” and that’s the legacy that I want to impart on my daughter as she grows into her own woman. I hope that she continues to enjoy fashion as I did when I was her age. In the meantime, I’ll do all that I can to help her grow into a compassionate, loving and kind person whose inner light will always shine through no matter what she’s wearing.

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