I have never been one to wear the newest and latest fashions ... to be honest, who is? I have always gone for smart, casual and what I'm comfortable with, not something that I'm told I should be wearing 'this season'. I don't think too much in my wardrobe warrants a visit from the fashion police either ... I guess I'm more a middle of the road kind of girl!
When I met Mark, I was 28 and had returned to the student lifestyle again. With the lifestyle came the fashion ... back in the jeans and t-shirts of my student days. It wasn't really my style but was a lot easier and cheaper when the focus was on the study ... I hadn't set out to hook myself a guy in the process ... thankfully he looked past the outward appearance!
One thing that you will have to look very hard for in my closet/wardrobe are skirts or dresses of any variety. For some reason they have just never been high on my list of priorities when I've been out clothes shopping. The only dress I'd worn since I knew Mark (until a friend got married and I was a bridesmaid) was my own wedding dress.
The last time I really wore skirts on a regular basis was back in 1999-2001 when I was living in Tanzania. Out there fashion wasn't a high priority at all, there were more important things in life and as a missionary teacher being culturally appropriate and accepted was much higher on my list. It's funny to think that soon I'll be back there again ... sporting a wardrobe on a daily basis that I wouldn't even consider here in the States or in the UK but that will feel totally normal, comfortable and not the least bit strange at all when I'm in Dodoma.
I joked with Mark a few weeks ago that the wife he now knows will soon become 'another woman' clothes-wise once we move to Dodoma next year. He won't recognise me walking down the street. To us it's much more important not to offend local people though ... we want to build friendships not drive people away before we've even started.
As the summer has recently come to a close I have made the most of all the clearance sales ready for the new stock in the clothes shops. We will need a more substantial (and appropriate) summer wardrobe and the stores are trying to clear out 'last seasons' stock ready for the jumpers and coats to fill their racks.
It has been perfect! I have bagged swimming costumes for the girls at $3 (£2) a piece and summer dresses for them that were almost $30 (£20) for just $4 (£2.75) or $5 (£3.25) each. Of course, when shopping for myself the item highest on my list of priorities, because there were absolutely none in my wardrobe, where long floaty skirts and I now have myself a little collection of them (see above) at a fraction of the original cost. I don't think I paid more than $15 (£10) for any of them and originally some were $50 (£35). (By the way the price conversions are very rough ... don't quote me on them!!)
I don't think I've ever gone quite so crazy at 'sales time' in my life but it couldn't have been more perfectly timed as we get ready for our new lives in Tanzania. I'm definitely all set skirt-wise anyway ... and if the fashion police want to come and get me, that's their problem!