That is the question.
But first, a bit of back story…
Last week, Chris and I took a few days to ourselves in Jacksonville, Florida to celebrate our anniversary.
Aside from spending hours on our balcony drinking this,
While watching this,
we rode bikes, sat in coffee shops and laughed endlessly while playing one-rule Scrabble,
(The one rule being that you have to explain your “word” .. bonus points if you make the other person sob with laughter,)
(Words with Friends would be so much more fun if they’d adopt this version,)
and we gloriously shopped.
Because, when we arrived at the Jacksonville airport, Chris surprised me with some delightful news: he had been so busy at work that he had not gotten me anything for our anniversary.
I immediately gasped and squealed with delight.
a) Every year without fail he makes me feel like a gift-and-cards-underachieving-failure with his perfect and overflowing accolades of thoughtfulness,
b) because I knew what he was going to say next.
“So, while we’re here, I’m going to take you shopping, and you can pick out whatever you want for our anniversary.”
Shopping without having to run out of a dressing room to chase a crawling escapee baby,
Shopping without having to answer the “When are we going to Chick-Fil-A???” question 576 times,
Shopping without feeling the unappreciative glares from the employees for destroying their hip young atmosphere with my hyper five year old and baby-actively-pooping-in-a-stroller,
Shopping – just shopping.
As we were on this delightful excursion where I bought many pretty things, I ran across a skirt in the Lucky store.
A Duggar Skirt.
A Lucky Brand Duggar Skirt.
A Lucky Brand Duggar Skirt that was originally $187.
A Lucky Brand Duggar Skirt that was originally $187, but was now marked down to $69.
I grabbed it to try on – more for the humor than anything.
But as I felt it’s amazingly soft denim hugging my legs ever so affectionately, my heart softened toward it.
And I started to fall just a little bit in love.
Then smacked myself upside the head for liking a homeschool skirt.
Then told myself that it couldn’t be a homeschool skirt – it was originally $187, and no homeschooler pays $187 for a skirt.
I got Chris to take a picture of it with my iPhone so that I could see what it looked like.
…and I still kinda loved it. And kinda hated myself for loving it.
I’ve always been drawn to the leg elongating magic of a full-length skirt, and this one was unbelievably luxurious.
But on the other hand, I’m a homeschool mom. I’m also a 12 year veteran of being homeschooled. I can’t go around getting all denim skirty for fear of confirming all the stereotypes.
I was profoundly conflicted.
So, for the first time in my life, I decided to try crowdsourcing my shopping decision.
I tweeted the above photo and asked,
I just found a Duggar Skirt in Lucky. I tried it on as a joke, but I kinda love AND hate it! Duggar or cute? Help!
We then left the Lucky Store and headed onward in our shopping journey.
In the next ten minutes, I got eleven replies. Most were pro-skirt, but a couple were decisively ruling the skirt as severely Duggar.
Now don’t get me wrong, I adore the Duggars and find all of them quite beautiful (my favorite being Jessa). However, I’ve been bucking the homeschool norm all my life and I’m not about to start looking the part now.
(Chris’ favorite is Jill, in case you cared. Nice to know he has a backup plan.)
But I couldn’t stop thinking about The Skirt.
I had a vision for The Skirt – a Sheryl Crow look with a long tank top, a wide belt, lots of jewelry, and some funky shoes.
In my head, this was no homeschool skirt.
So I decided to go back to the store and “stage” it properly, hoping to win over the anti-skirt voters.
The Lucky employees were amused at my efforts, and were quite amicable in helping me construct my outfit.
As we chose all of the pieces, they explained the sale price: “We don’t sell this skirt in-store – someone returned it today from an online purchase. It’s still $187 on the website, but we marked it down to $69 since we don’t have any more of them.”
They also told me that it was a final sale item – absolutely no returns or exchanges.
Which greatly intensified my decision-making angst.
Then I tweeted Take Two.
And as I felt it flow around me yet again, my love only blossomed for this denim find.
However, the staging made the anti-skirt votes actually go up, with several tweeters citing that the color of the shirt just wasn’t right.
I was in a quandary. I loved the skirt, Chris loved the skirt, I had a vision for it, and I acknowledged that cream was a bad choice – I look awful in cream.
Surely they’d like it if I had been able to translate my True Vision.
So I decided to buy it, despite the rising votes against it.
As I checked out, my soul was quivering with anxiety, knowing that this was perhaps even more unreturnable than a $150 bottle of shampoo. It took all of my willpower to not check twitter one last time, hoping to find a shred of reassurance that my vision was on trend and I wasn’t stepping into The Pitfall of Homeschool Fashion Abyss.
The next day, I was still feeling the anxiety over my potentially homeschoolcentric wardrobe addition, so I wore my most ridiculously anti-Duggar outfit – you know, to remind myself that I could still pull it off.
Just call me Cousin Amy.
And as soon as we got home from the beach and I had my entire wardrobe and accessories with which to play, I tried several iterations to achieve my Vision.
With a wide belt and flats,
Or a skinny belt and flats…
Or heels, perhaps?
(At this point my camera was saying *cough* narcissist *cough*)
Maybe a darker shirt and heels…
Or back to flats.
So did I achieve Sheryl Crow, or step into DuggarChic?
And will I be paranoid of being identified as a homeschool Mom every time I wear my precious skirt?
I’m not sure yet, but I learned one thing from the experience: if you really want people to be honest about your fashion choices, ask them what they think before you buy.
So yes, I know which ones of you think I look like a Duggar.
And I’m okay with that.
After all, I do adore the Duggars.