Have you been enjoying Fine Linen and Purple's What I Wore Sunday outfit linkup as much as I have over the past few months? Inspired by all the amazingly original, modest, and feminine outfits I've gotten to admire every week, I'm so excited to introduce a new feature here today!
The woman in the Song of Songs is described "like a lily among thorns." The entire poem just pulls on my heart. When I was younger, I remember being so surprised by the Song of Songs' overt sensuality, as well as by the idea that lines like "Your hair is like a flock of goats!" were considered turn-ons. Now, though, having been graced with a deeper, much more integrated view of sexuality, I see nothing but purity in these lovers' passion. As human persons, we are more special than we could ever fathom: no other being on earth is made in God's image and likeness, as a body and soul. And as women, we're the crown of creation. Our bodies express who we are and express the love between man and wife in such a visible way, so what I've come to realize is that sensuality, in the literal context of having to do with the senses, is such a beautiful thing. Sensuality, eroticism, and sex itself...these goods have been so twisted by the world, but when they're untwisted and placed squarely back where they belong, in light of nuptial love, they're nothing but good, pure, and holy.
So, in the spirit cultivating beauty, inspiring love, and expressing who we are as women through our bodies and our dress, I've asked some of my fellow bloggers to share a peek inside their style and their closets, and to pick out a bridal look as inspiration for you! For this inaugural edition of Like A Lily, meet Deme from A Fresh Coat of Paint! She blogs about making over her family's new home (check out these incredible Before and After shots!), life with her three adorable peanuts, and lately, fashion! Today she's dreaming about an elegantly simple wedding day blooming with peonies (my favorite!) and a soft, neutral palette with pops of pastel.
Here's what she has to say about it:
My own wedding was an evening affair on a cool evening in early spring. My bridesmaids all wore black dresses (of their own choosing, so all were different) and it was an almost all black and white wedding with a few touches of green. So this time around I felt myself drawn to a much warmer color palette, with warmer weather on the brain. I love the simple elegance of the dress and the soft pink bouquet. I love a neutral and natural setting so I ran with the pink/white/nude color story, with a little bit of mint thrown in the mix.
Read on for Deme's take on what makes a woman most beautiful, a reverse approach to dressing and accessorizing, and the best shoe risk she ever took.
Describe your personal style in 5 words. Classic with a nod to eclectic (okay, that was 6 words).
What's the secret to punching up an outfit on the days when you're tired of everything in your closet? I tell myself I'm not allowed to wear jeans (at least not my go-to blue jeans). It forces me to think outside of my daily "uniform". Jewelry and accessories are my other weapon for punching up an outfit that feels blah. I set aside the usual suspects and go for earrings or a necklace I haven't worn in awhile. Sometimes adding a statement piece of jewelry or a great scarf can completely change the look of an everyday outfit. It's also a great place to start when you're stuck. Instead of trying to come up with a great outfit and then accessorizing, grab your favorite accessory first and then go to your closet. That piece might inspire you to put together something totally new.
Name a few of your wardrobe essentials. A good pair of skinny jeans (I go up a size or two so they aren't too tight), riding boots for fall and winter, and a wedge sandal for spring and summer, a great pair of trousers, a maxi dress or skirt (so versatile for every season!), and a white 3/4 sleeve blazer. Cozy basics to mix and match.
Favorite Shoes: Ankle boots! I wavered on taking the plunge on these for awhile. I finally bit the bullet this winter and got a camel suede wedge ankle boot from Target. Love. Them. So comfy, and I feel like they take a ho-hum outfit up a notch every time!
Favorite Nail Color: Perfect Plum by Sally Hansen
Signature Fragrance: Pink by Victoria's Secret. Fresh and not too overpowering of a floral punch.
Every girl has days when she struggles with her looks and her worth. What do you do to remind yourself you're a beloved, beautiful daughter of the King? One of the best compliments I've ever received (evident by the fact that I remember it so specifically and clearly) was from a friend who said, "You are the most beautiful when you are talking about the things of God". It was a reminder that no matter how I look and how much time I spend on it, nothing is more striking than the Holy Spirit at work in us. Whenever I feel tempted to focus on my physical attributes or the ones I wish I could change, I ask for the beauty of "a gentle and quiet" spirit. Even if my heart is not in that place, by praying those words (sometimes again and again), it helps to lift my eyes off of my physical appearance and all my insecurities, and onto my Creator who sees me without flaw.
Items you can't live without: I'm a huge fan of Aveda hair products. They're not the cheapest, but they have worked the best for my thick, unruly hair. And a little goes a long way, so I'm not replacing them as much as other products.
How can a bride reflect her everyday style in her wedding day style? This can be easy to lose when you're faced with all the options out there! When it comes to the dress, go with your gut and what flatters your body type. When trying on dresses for my wedding I spotted a really beautiful dress with subtle lace details, a simple silhouette, and...it was a Mother of the Bride dress. I tried it on anyway and It just felt like me. I couldn't get it out of my head. Friends and family encouraged me towards another dress - one I really liked, but didn't love. I went with the wedding gown they suggested, but always thought about the first dress. So go with what you love and with what makes you feel great. When it comes to your hair, don't deviate too much from the way you normally wear it. If you have great natural curls, find a style appropriate for the day that shows those off. If you hate your hair in your face, don't wear it down. Overall, if you have a quirky style, throw in a few unexpected twists, like a pop of color or bold pattern in your shoes. If you're a lover of classic style, then go with timeless options and classic color schemes, leaving the trendy for another day.
Fashion, evangelization, and the Feminine Genius: your thoughts? As much as it's easy (and fun!) to get caught up in all the wedding planning details, don't lose sight of the Sacrament of your union. You are about to enter into a relationship that will literally be a picture to others of how Christ loves His church. Everyday we get dressed we have the opportunity to give the world a walking, talking picture of God's beauty. It's our unique gift as women, and the way we present ourselves each day can speak to how valuable and loved we are by our Heavenly King. Or it can speak a much different message - that our bodies are for others' pleasure, and should be the focus of attention. Or that our bodies are something to be ashamed of and hidden. The truth lies in the middle: our bodies are an incredible gift, intended to be given fully to our spouse only as a full expression of marital love. The body should therefore be dressed and treated with dignity and respect. To dress modestly does not mean you have to sacrifice style. To celebrate our femininity in a stylish way that also honors our bodies is a powerful way to evangelize. Your wedding day is no different, and perhaps one of the greatest opportunities to show that within the Sacrament of marriage, love and beauty flourish like no other.
"A walking, talking picture of God's beauty..." I just adore her, don't you? Such wisdom.
Want to share your style picks with Captive the Heart? Email me at stephanie.captivetheheart@