Spring is Nigh

Many of you may still be up to your necks in snow. Those of you on the West Coast are just days  away from the flowering cherries showing up to mock the rest of the country still waiting for the spring thaw.

The stores may have been selling longer shirts and higher necks this past fall but, predictably, all hope maybe lost as spring arrives. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but I can’t understand why a long-sleeved cotton T-shirt is only for winter!

I stopped in Smart Set on a run through the mall yesterday and their cotton Ts are all cap-sleeved and deep-necked. Ugh. I love spring but I hate that I’m going to be unable to find any shirt sleeve to approach my elbows for a good six months.

Well Spring, do your worst.

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Marketing’s Chump I am No Longer

‘Tis the Season to make consumers feel like they don’t have enough and wont be cool enough until they have it all. Can  modesty extend to our purchases and consumer habits?

Modesty(Dictionary.com)

–noun, plural -ties.

  1. the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.
  2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.
  3. simplicity; moderation.

     

This holiday season, I’m aiming for #3. No over-buying, no over-spending. No useless chotchkie and doo-dads. And I don’t want them either. This Christmas I will embrace a season of simplicity and rebel against consumerism. Away goes the VISA or MasterCard. One well-chosen gift for the few who count.

But before that, I’m going to go and write some final exams.

Merry Christmas,

~CUC

Stay tuned for the post about my upcoming job interview.

Awesome Headscarf Wrap

Wholy crap it’s December. Finished your holiday race, elbowing through the others in the herd yet? Ah well, there is still 20 days left I guess. Personally I usually attempt to be out of the malls for the entirety of December. My risk of being trampled is significantly decreased. But there are always a couple of last-minute candies to pick up. I have a sweet tooth and they’re the only things worth buying.

Enough of the rant. On with the Urban Wrap. This is also a good one for you ladies wanting to try covering without drawing unwanted attention. You’ll more likely get a, “Nice head scarf!” than scary questions.

Cold Weather Survival

Winter is either here, or fast approaching. It is always a bit easier to find something conservative to wear in the fall and winter but here are my essentials.

Boots

  • Kamiks. Knee and calf length. If you have to deal with rain, these will get you through.
  • Sorels. I don’t see a lot of snow but when I do these things keep me warm and toasty. I can walk anywhere and be comfortable.

Long Johns

Silk-weight, boot-cut long-johns.  Worth every penny. Why silk-weight? They fit underneath my cotton tights. You could go for the merino ones. I haven’t found them in the shorter length and since I wear boots while wearing my long-johns I went for the cheaper, shorter alternative.

Woolies

You’re likely not allergic. You might have sensitive skin. There is also a good possibility that you’ve only ever touched the crappy stuff. Embrace it.

  • Hand-knit, knee-high wool socks. These are my number one survival item. If you don’t know how to knit but know someone who does go suck up – now. A pair can take 20-45 hours. If you’re a beginner knitter, socks aren’t that hard.
  • Sweaters or cardies. If you can get a hold of a vintage wool cardi they’re awesome. They’re very thin and light but very warm. I can fit mine underneath my blazers.
  • Toque! Get one or two in wool.
  • Mittens of course.

Outer Wear

  • Heavy, woolen overcoat. I have a hip length one and one knee-length one. The most useful one is the knee-length coat I picked up at the second-hand shop for $30.
  • Pashmina. Not “pashmina styled” scarf. Pashmina. This would be my number 2 item. Pashmina is another word for cashmere. Look for deals. Pick them up at the end of the season with all the sales. When I was Greater Vancouver I got 2 for $40. I wrap these up over my toque and around my neck, similar to hijab, when it’s cold and blustery.

So get out there and embrace the weather!

My Scarf Wrap

Yes Fashion Friday has had a distinct head wrap theme as of late. And today will not be different.

This is a great style to try covering. It really just looks like a classy version of a bandana to the casual observer. It’s my all time favourite. This woman wraps her scarf almost exactly like I do. There are two major differences.

  1. I don’t use bobby pins. I keep my scarf in the same position by putting a bit farther forward to start. It covers my hair-line and the line of force is such that it isn’t slipping back. This is helped by using cotton instead of synthetic scarves.
  2. I too have a miniscule bun when all is said and done. I don’t use the scrunchy. I’d never thought of it. I find that if my bun is wrapped less flat and more out, with a cotton scarf this can usually be enough to keep it put the entire day. If I’m worried or it’s a slippy scarf, a long hat pin will fix your problem. Weave it in and out of your wrap and make sure to get under your bun hair tie. You’ll never have an issue.

Scarf at Curch

Well church went far better than expected. Grandpa didn’t even mention the scarf. I’ve been wearing them all week so maybe he figured he’d better save his breath. He’d say something like that too.

The real surprise came when I went to visit my maternal grandma again. “you know, I hope you don’t mind ms saying so, but if you keep wearing bandanas you can make your hair fall out.”

“Well Grandma, no one will see it anyway. But given mom’s hair and your hair I’m doomed anyway. Both of you got thinner hair as you aged. And there wasn’t much to start with either!”

Good natured chuckles and a humorous conversation about wigs and what style I’d wear ensued.

Now I’m feeling a bit paranoid that I’m going to make myself bald by wearing a headscarf all the time. Oh well, I’ll get over it. Either that, or I’ll check my head obsessively each evening to make sure I’m not getting patches.

I’m hoping to get back to a regular posting schedule by next week.

~CUC

Take Your Hat Off and Stay Awhile

Ok, it’s been too long. Way too long. ( this post brought to you by my iPhone and Jet-lag).

I’m currently visiting family in Southern Ontario. After getting picked up at the airport and arriving “home,” my grandpa, dear man that he is, bruskly tells me to ” take off [my] hat and stay awhile.”

“I’m fine.”

Excited chatter continues for less than five minutes.

“Take off your hat and stay a while.”

“Really, I’m ok. Thank you.”

The next day I figure to eliminate the “Hat Issue” I would grab one of my scarves and cover up that way. I should have known the issue just wouldn’t die. Grandpa made some comment while his wife ( I should give her her own title, for now GW) was around.

Now, GW, is on of the kindest, sweetest people with a good sense of humor I ever had the pleasure of meeting (and now we’re related!). Driving the three of us after work, she’s got an over sized srunchy-esk thing in her hair. She pipes up, “Well I’ve got my hair covered up.”

“That’s just your bun. CUC has all of it covered. And why do you do that anyway?”

I’ve gotten good at dealing with my mom and my friends but my extended family I have nearly no practice with. I’d barely been covering a year the last time I came to visit. So the only flustered reply I could muster was, “Why not?!”

Not one of my most confident moments. Church is tomorrow. We shall see if grandpa tries to make a stink. I won’t leave without my hair uncovered and I’m sure as heck not setting foot inside a church without being properly covered.

This could get unfortunately and sadly interesting.

Hijab for Earings

The non-Muslim hijabi shows how she wraps her hijab to show her earings here.

Third Way Style – Featured Blog

It’s time for a new monthly feature: Featured Blog. Once a month (fingers crossed) I’ll be bringing you some awesome blog.

This month, for your reading pleasure, I bring you Third Way Style.

This blog is unbelievably fantastic!

I am a Mennonite, and as a family we attend Rockway Mennonite Church. I am a member of the Mennonite church because I believe in the Mennonite Confession of Faith. There is a false belief out there that in order to get along, we must all water down our beliefs to some lowest common denominator. Peace comes when we can allow others to come as they are, and accept them as different, without trying to change them to our way of thinking. I have found my faith as a Christian constantly deepen through conversations with people of other religions. I hope this blog will foster that very sort of dialogue

I was specifically interested in her posts on head covering. You can see all the entries she’s posted under the head covering category here. Below are three of my favourites.

Niqabitches

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I am not a fan of the ban of the niqab in France, or the similar proposed ban in Quebec. Every argument for it has been pretty effectively squished. . . . .In France, two students (one in poli sci, one in communications) has decided to create a tongue in cheek critique of the niqab ban. They’ve donned the niqab, leaving only their eyes visible from the waste up, but are wearing miniskirts with bare legs exposed down to their high heels.

You can see the video below, but seriously, go read her awesome blog.

Bonnets and Burqas

Christians actively work toward mutuality with our Muslim neighbours. Mennonites, perhaps more than most other Christian denominations, can relate to Muslims. Both communities identify themselves outside of the mainstream, and both have earned the term “radical.” This is most visibly represented in their attire, in that both Mennonites and Muslims have a tradition of covering their women.

Christian Women’s Prayer Caps and Veilings

To begin with, while those who cover their heads now are the exception, this was not always so. Women in European traditions wore head coverings up until very recently (think of ladies in the ’50s always going out with hat and gloves). It is really only within the last fifty years, or so, that this has gone out of fashion (much to my chagrin – I love hats).

Simple Head Wrap