Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tension of the Dance

One of the talented swing-dancers I know read my last post.

His comments inspired me to write a follow-up. He discussed how difficult it is to lead when a girl tries to anticipate his steps and moves too soon. There is necessary tension needed between the man and woman in swing. If she steps first, the tension is lost, and the dance immediately crumbles.

Continuing on the vein of comparing dance to relationships,  there is an interesting corollary. 

I can guarantee I have ruined the tension in my swing-dancing due to trying to anticipate my partner's next move. Sadly, I can also guarantee I have done the same in my relationships with the opposite sex. 

It is very easy to do! You get caught up in the moment and deep down you are terrified of what his next move will be and you step too far, too soon. In your mind everything is going perfectly, but suddenly you notice the relationship crumbling and you are left wondering, "What just happened?" 

We live in a day and age where women are encouraged to be forward and forceful - emotionally and physically. We are encouraged to dress a certain way to draw male attention and we are told to throw ourselves on men and be entirely emotionally cut off from them at the same time. 

The thought of carefully watching his movements and signs and delicately following is foreign to the 21st century woman. Instead of waiting for a text from a guy or expecting him to ask the girl out, girls are told to make the first move every time. 

Recently I have gotten advice such as: "Kiss him!" or "Tell him to take you on a date." followed by shocked expressions when I quietly explain that I do not want to be the initiator. 

Why is it such a big deal? Why should the guy lead?

Because tension in a relationship is a good thing.

Wait, what? I thought tension was bad! I thought everything should be fun and good and happy!

I'm not talking about anger or frustration. Tension. The same tension that allows the guy to pull you forward and spin you in swing-dance allows a man to direct the course of the relationship. What do I mean?

Think about a time when you were spending time with a guy and your feelings were unspoken. Maybe you both knew you liked each other, or maybe it was one-sided - regardless, do you remember how you felt? Perhaps a big awkward, likely very excited - there were butterflies and questions and you were waiting and wondering "What happens next!?"

That is tension. 

It is fun. It is exciting. It leaves you on the edge of your seat. It is what makes being a girl in swing-dancing so fun, and we should savor that in relationships as well. 

So next time you are horrible tempted to take that step. Stop. Wait. Anticipate. Let the butterflies flutter and your heart race and savor the excitement of the moment. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Dance

Swing Dancing.

Elegant Frank-Sinatra-era music floods the room as couples twist and turn among one another.

He pushes her forward and pulls her back. He lets her go and she twirls around, her skirt fluttering as her cheeks flush. He scoops her back up and steps off again. 

Have you ever watched a talented couple swing-dance? They are like one entity, flawlessly floating across the dance floor in perfect harmony. Eyes lock and bodies flow and one cannot deny true beauty in the moment. 

As I admire those couples who have spent countless hours practicing, I reflect on my own situation. As of a week ago I had never swing-danced in my life. I dressed up for a ball at my college and showed up entirely unsuspecting.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I was eager to give the dance a try. I quickly realized the key to dancing - let the man lead. 

In our day and age, those words are highly controversial."Let the man lead? Seriously? Have you not seen how independent women are! How dare you assume they need to be led!" you hear the voices of our culture scream. 

Try swing dancing with an independent woman.

I have to admit, not being in control is terrifying. Is he going to spin me? Turn me? Pretzel!? I thought that was food! What do you mean I'm entirely at his mercy?

However, as soon as a talented man pulled me out on the floor, I realized the beauty in his control. I do not have to contemplate my next move or worry where I am headed - he pulls me out of danger and surprises me with a whirl that catches my heart. I cannot help but giggle. 

Dare I say that today's young women should take the same approach to their relationships with men? 

Yes, I dare.

No man is a perfect lead. Sometimes their hints are not dramatic enough and so we end up twirling when they wanted to shift across the floor. Sometimes they trip on their feet or run out of ways to spice up the dance.

However, the more dances you spend together, the easier it becomes to read his movements. Suddenly the once jerky and awkward steps become fluid and graceful. Instead of two competing partners, you become one. 

That is how relationships should work.

Yes, men can be awkward. We as ladies do not always pick up on their hints. Sometimes they are too gentle with their lead and we are stuck wondering where to go - but there is excitement in the mystery. We wonder what will happen next and are kept on our toes.

He takes a step forward and we step back. We feel him move our bodies to the right and we follow. He lifts his hand and we twirl beneath him, meeting him face to face when our feet hit the ground again. He steps on our toes and we simply giggle. He loses the beat and stops us. We eagerly wait for him to find his place and let him start again while sweetly gazing in his eyes and reassuring him its okay to be imperfect.

The more we dance, the more confident he becomes. His lead is stronger and thus our job of following becomes increasingly easier. The number of mistakes dwindles, but the surprise never ceases. Even with all our anticipation, we cannot guess the outcome. The finished result is simply more beautiful. 

My challenge to you today, ladies, is to let him lead. Remember he is nervous too. Simply smile and reassure him. Tell him when you like what he's doing. Respond to his movements. Forgive his blunders. Watch the dance unfold. 

Classy College Chic

Classy College Chic.

Yoga pants. Sweat Shirts. Sneakers. 

The typical female American college student dons these ever-popular clothing items after rolling out of bed and heads to class in a daze.

It does not have to be this way.

Over the next few weeks I am beginning a series of ways to dress for less and for success. The series will have a daily picture of great ways to look classy (pun entirely intended) and revolutionize your campus.

Worried you will be the only one looking sharp? Dare to be different! Ladylike elegance is never shameful.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Cuddling up with hot chocolate for an in-dorm movie night warrants sweatpants. However, they say if you look good, you preform better. I don't know about you but I could use all the help I can get with college grades. 

Tune in for some great ensembles fit for Audrey Hepburn herself.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Shapely Modesty

So, here another reality of modesty - not all "modest" clothes are modest on all women. Why? Because God made us all so beautifully different! We come in so many shapes, sizes and colors and reality is one size does NOT fit all! So where does that leave us? Here are some tips for keeping covered for every shape! 

Large Chested - It is fairly ironic I start with this because, well, this is certainly not my issue. However, I suppose that gives me a special point of view. I can get away with many tops some of my more voluptuous friends can't. Higher necklines are extremely difficult to find these days. Even so, it is not impossible. My mom once showed me the "backward tank top" trick. Cute colored tanks without tags in the back can be worn backward to give you far more coverage than if you had worn it normally. Cool tip huh? 

Nice Bottom - Have any ethnicity in you? Then you probably have some dazzling junk in your trunk. That, however, might attract a few too many lingering eyes. Focus on flowy, girly skirts! They are fun, they are beautiful, but they do not hug every curve. Dark jeans are also a necessary item of clothing - dark colors add a slimming effect. Feel like your jeans are too tight around your booty? Lucky for you, most stores sell really short really casual dresses (if you want to call them that). Putting a short dress over jeans creates a "tunic" effect that covers up your tush! 

Long Legs - Are you tall and slender? (Ya me neither haha) My sister is and she has gorgeous long legs. Problem? Short dresses. Dresses that my 5'3" frame can wear no problem are thigh-high on her figure. Solution? Maxi dresses! Maxi dresses are "all the rage" these days. They come in a gazillion styles, colors and budgets. They are super feminine and keep the "leg" issue under wraps.

Just a few quick tips on how to keep modest and keep cute :) Enjoy and check back in soon for more tips!

Modest Behavior

What IS Modesty? 

I think most women know that modest is more than just what you are wearing, it is how you act. Even being covered from head to toe does not ensure you act like a lady! 

Acting Like A Lady 

Do you behave modestly? I'm not talking about being humble, I'm talking about keeping the coquette side of you inside - or at least subdued. There comes a time in every woman's life when she realizes that her charm is her great asset. Maybe she struggled with body size or shape, maybe the awkward years of braces and glasses scarred her - but suddenly one day she recognizes that a sweet smile, the biting of her lip and that oh so soft tone of voice can magically give her the upper hand in the battle of the sexes. 

That's where Scripture comes in. "Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30) Ouch! I don't know about you but there have been plenty of times where that verse has stopped me in my tracks. "Flirtatiousness" is not one of the fruits of the spirit!

But what is flirting? What does deceptive charm look like? I would have to say it all goes back to intentions. In your heart of hearts, why are you titling your head, twisting your hair or mildly pouting? Is it to control and dominate the men in your path? To make you feel better about yourself? Is it selfish? If so, you are probably guilty of immodest behavior. 

I'll admit that some of the times I am the most guilty of flirting is when I am most modestly dressed. Why? There is always that sense when I am all covered up that I have lost the beauty war and that I am being overlooked by every man in the room. My solution? Act the way I wish I was dressed. Bad idea? Of course! It is just as bad, if not worse, for me to toy around with the guys around me as it is for me to clothe myself as eye-candy. Have you ever done the same thing? Just because outwardly I'm dressed like a lady, does not mean my mind is thinking like a lady, nor does it mean that my actions are lady-like.

Making it Practical 

So if you know that you are guilty of playing the coquette, here are some practical ways to watch that your actions match your clothing:

1. Position - Sit, stand and walk like a lady. Cross your legs, mind your skirt. Guys may not realize you are doing it on purpose, but every girl in the room knows you purposely left your skirt hiked up on your thigh. Stand with good posture, but never purposely stick out your chest or your booty. Women can strut, especially when in high heels, but don't do it - swaying your hips just doesn't equal modest behavior.

2. Facial Expression - This is my biggest trip - up. Puppy eyes, pouty lips, seductive innocence - you know what I'm talking about girls! It may momentarily get you your way, but its not a lady-like way to earn attention. Treat the guys around you with enough respect that you resist the urge to manipulate with your eyes. Be fun, be friendly, but don't fake the innocence - men know the difference between child-like heart and manipulative grace. 

3. Movement - A piggy-back to position, watch the way you move. Brushing your body past his "on accident", titling your head, stroking your legs - and of course the classic, "I'll bend over from the hips so he gets a good look at my butt" - are absolutely not on the modest behavior list. Its tempting, I know! But do not give in. You may get momentary attention, but its not worth it. 

In the end, don't let the thrill of captivating men's attention cause you to compromise your standards - no matter what the situation! I'll never forget a few weeks back when I left the house feeling absolutely stunning in a dress that I considered modestly elegant. I arrived at my destination to find another girl there looking not just stunning, but sensual in a form-fitting ensemble. As pathetic as it was, it brought me to tears as I stared in the mirror wishing I had chosen something more "playful." Looking back, however, I know the dress was the right choice for the occasion, even if I was not the one with all the attention. Thankfully, God gave me the strength not to be coy despite how overshadowed I felt. Modesty will not always get you the praise of the world, but your Father will look down and smile. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crazy for Old Navy!

Modest Shopping

My goal on this blog is to highlight amazing modest clothing options that I love.

I love giving kudos to stores who actually sell clothing that goes against the trends and Old Navy is receiving a special thank you from MysteryinModesty!

Now, I'm not advocating every item in their store, but there are a few reasons why I want to honor Old Navy.


There is nothing more feminine than a flowy summer sundress. My closet is full of them! Old Navy has become my go-to store for casually adorable dresses. I am short, so most of their dresses hit or cover my knees. Although their options are almost entirely sleeveless or spaghetti strapped, they have a wide selection of sweaters in colors that match their dresses.

This chiffon dress is currently on my wish list. I already own the purple sweater that matches.

It hits about half-way down my knee because of my size and the neckline is very feminine. Act now and its only $25.00 during their current dress sale. Hate to say it but I'm waiting to find it on the clearance rack! 


I plan on dedicating an entire post (or perhaps a series) on the oh so difficult topic of swimwear, but I would just like to thank Old Navy for having some great one-piece and tankini options, along with countless cover-ups! 

Most stores have very limited non-bikini options, but Old Navy has a variety of great swim pieces.

Wanting to avoid the **cling** factor? This is a basic, loose-fitting one-piece. Although it still rings in at $35.00, it may be worth the investment. 

Need tummy-control for a long torso? This ruched design is great! It comes at the price of $44.94.  

I'm not a huge fan of my thighs, so the bikini-bottoms on these can make me feel a little uncomfortable. No problem! Follow this link to check out their fold over jersey-knit skirt (It comes in a million designs and colors!) These skirts even hit below the knee and make great out-of-the-water cover-ups. 

Want something to wear in the water? These shorts are great to add a little cover! 

At only $15.00 the modesty and confidence these add is certainly worth it! 

Check it All Out!

There's my two cents for today! Check out to see what other beautiful dresses and swimsuits they have for the hot summer days ahead!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Modesty Quote of the Day

"Sisters, be careful how you dress. I'm not here to give you a dress standard. Just dress in such a way that if the Lord came tomorrow and called a meeting together and invited you to attend that you would feel comfortable to a be in his presence" -Elder M. Russell Ballard