Sunday, August 15, 2010
Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad by Shari Braendel: Book Review
I was invited by The Blog Tour Spot to review fashionista Shari Braendel's new book, Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad. Several years ago, God put it on Shari's heart to share with women her knowledge about fashion and her eye for the things that flatter a myriad of body types. In obedience, Shari has written a guide filled with information on how to find the right clothing, colors, hairstyle and makeup for your unique body type and coloring. She also addresses areas like modesty, helping your daughter find clothing that reflects her heart toward God, and hangups we face when considering our physical appearance.
For the most part, I really enjoyed Shari's book. I like how she starts out with an encouraging note to her readers, reminding them that the way we present ourselves reflects who we are inside. As Shari says, looks really are important and we must be careful to present ourselves as daughters of King Jesus!
God made us to care about the way we look and that's ok. However, it's also important to remember that looks aren't everything. As Shari says, "If our idea of beauty is based on what we put on, rather than our relationship with the Creator of beauty, we've got a problem. In other words, if you're messed up on the inside, three gold bracelets probably aren't going to make it all better."
I appreciate how often Shari brings up the subject of modesty. I do believe that "modest" looks different on different people (for instance, my idea of modest is a skirt that goes at least past the knee, a neckline that doesn't dip very far below the collar bone, and a sleeved top), but I think that she does a good job of setting some general rules about covering up that apply to all.
I found myself skimming over the section that discussed what to wear for an individual body type. My daughters and I have committed to wearing dresses and skirts for the time being, rather than pants, and our skirts fall below the knee. This type of dress was not addressed in the section describing my body type, but I would imagine that's because it's not a super popular style! Continue on through the rest of the review and I'll list some sites that I enjoy perusing for my style of modest clothing.
There was one issue in the book concerning the chapter called "Curves" that I have to really disagree with. Perhaps this issue was not addressed because that's not the direction she wished to take with her book and that's fine. I don't know how to say this any better so I'm just going to say it. Obesity is not a thing to celebrate. I understand that the idea here is to give women confidence at any size, yet I can't help but wish that someone with influence over Christian women would just say flat out that obesity, overeating, and lack of exercise does not please God. It should not be celebrated and it is not "fabulous". I feel like this chapter, in particular, enables obese women to continue in an unhealthy lifestyle. There has to be a balanced way to say this and to say it with love. Although that message might not have been the one she's trying to get across, I think she missed a big opportunity here to address it with the same love and grace that she talks about modesty later on in the book.
That said, I really think Ms. Braendel's book is an excellent resource and covers a variety of styles, age groups, sizes and ethnicities. I am positive that women will be blessed to read the book and, perhaps, even schedule Shari to visit a local womens' function as a guest speaker.
Please click here to visit Amazon.com and order Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad. I've also included a list of other bloggers who are reviewing the book this week below.
As I said before, there are a few sites I love for fashionably modest dresses and skirts. First off, Etsy will almost always have something folksy and funky that I find perfect! Secondly, it is not too difficult to figure out how to make your own clothing. That is my preference and that way I can style it however I choose! A few sites you may not be familiar with are: