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,

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.

No card,

No present.

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.”

Oh, shopping.

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.

And, hello – denim choices are kinda important to me.

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.

IMG_2881 (2)

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.

121 thoughts on “To Skirt or Not To Skirt.

  1. Honestly, I love this skirt. I think you could go all Sheryl Crow on it!! I really like it with the skinny belt (2nd picture)!

    And I also bought a similar skirt from lucky a couple of years ago…. :) Unfortunately, I out grew it…. :(

  2. LOVE the skirt. You do NOT look like a Duggar (although I love the Duggars too)! I like it with the heels and wide belt. Just to be safe, don’t put your hair in a bun when you wear it, or wear it while on a homeschool field trip.

    1. Actually, I was thinking that if everyone ruled this a Homeschool skirt, at least I finally had something that I could wear to meetings and field trips. You don’t think?

  3. Sorry, but I’m in the ‘no’ camp… no idea what a Duggar is, but I don’t like the cut and whiskering that seems to focus attention just below the crotch.

    Nevermind, as long as you like it – enjoy!

  4. I LOVE a denim skirt but have stopped wearing them when my husband told me I looked like an mennonite girl. It broke my heart. Rock your denim skirt and don’t care what anyone else thinks! Maybe I will wear mine today too!

    1. I think the key is balance – if you wear one piece that is bordering on Duggar (or, in your case, mennonite), wear the other piece very fitted, modern, etc. I will never wear a non-fitted shirt with this skirt, or it would totally swing the other way. So wear your denim skirts – just make sure you put a hot shirt with it!

      1. Will do!! Oh and I love the coral shirt and flats the best! Lots of big/chunky jewelry and you will never be mistaken for a Dugger.

    2. It’s funny because I always liked the look in theory,just not on me. We call them Jehova’s Witness girl’ skirt in my country,because that is all they wear over there. I am afraid to look like one in the sense of looking frumpy.

  5. I like the skirt! I think you make it work. It could potentially be homeschool mom but not the way you do it! I really couldn’t help thinking it would totally work for cute park mom.

  6. Love it!! It has fringe on the bottom, it is the right color (IMO) and I love the belts. I think as long as you do NOT wear opaque tights or tennis shoes with it, you’ll be fine! Nice and cool for those days when you MIGHT have forgotten to shave :)

  7. Silly question: why do you care if you look like a homeschool mom? By all accounts, you are a rock-star homeschool mom, and your kids are awesome and smart, and so are you who was also homeschooled. Sooo… I think you should be very proud of who you are – your confidence will only make the skirt that much more awesome.

    1. It’s not so much that I’m not proud to be a homeschool Mom, it’s that I don’t want to look like what the world stereotypifies as a homeschool Mom. I am out to change the perception of homeschoolers everywhere.

      And thanks!!! :)

  8. First, I love you scrabble rules.

    Second, the only one where I think you border on Duggar-ness is the cream. (I even think the first shirt looks fine). I think the keys are the bright colors and the bold jewelry. I really like how the necklace pops against the dark tank.

    Oh, and I prefer the flats to the wedges. Flats look beach-y and super-casual – definetly more sheryl crowe.

  9. Sheryl Crow definitely. I like the outfits you put together once you got home and I think I like the flats better than the heels. Looks good.

  10. The original pic was bordering Duggar but the rest – no way! I love it! Stay away from flip flops with it though. That might put you close to the border again. And I must add that I love the Duggar’s. And Cousin Amy.

  11. My favourite is the one with the darker shirt.

    Other Rachel: my relatives are all Mennonites and I have no idea what your husband is talking about. Ladies don’t wear denim; I always had to change when going to visit, and even a skirt made out of denim was deemed “unacceptable”. Not sure why my mom cared, since my “Sunday” clothes looked *nothing* like those of my cousins.

    1. I’m not sure what my husband meant by it either……but he has no idea about fashion anyway. I think it was just his way of saying I looked frumpy. :-(

    2. That was thoughtful of your Mom, in a way. I’m sure all of your cousins would have been terribly jealous of your awesome clothes.

  12. I wasn’t crazy about it from the pictures in the stores, but once you got home, I liked the way you made it your own. I don’t think it was “Duggar-ish” once you got home.

    And maybe you’re creating a new fashion niche – hot homeschool mom WITH denim!!

  13. Glad I could help! I absolutely LOVE all your outfits, except for the “staged” cream one. I don’t see ANY Duggar in your outfits at all!

  14. I loved the skirt in the first picture but I have a similar although not nearly as expensive jean skirt that I adore. I didn’t realize it was a Duggar skirt. I was never home schooled but I did spent the majority of my schooling at a private Christain school where girls were not allowed to wear pants so sometimes I still find myself wondering if I look like “Oh you went to a Christain School” person with my clothing choices.

    You look great though! Glad you bought it.

  15. OK, if you keep this up about the skirt, I’m going to start agreeing with your iPhone. **cough, cough** (c;

    1. I agree with my iPhone, too. However, Noah’s pretty upset that his posts of late have gotten so much less attention than my extremely narcissistic post. He’s about to go full-out postal on my blog.

  16. Rachel-“Embrace the denim skirt, Embrace the denim skirt… It is part of your destiny. The homeschool mom skirt is calling you-be one of us….”

    Just kidding. I happen to love my skirts and could care less what anyone thinks about them. Really. There are just too many other things to think about.

    I think you look terrific in all the above scenarios. I could never pull off the tank top but you do it beautifully. So glad you got to go off with your hubby. The coffee and the balcony looks wonderful!

    1. Thanks!! Yes, that balcony was the centerpiece of our entire trip! You guys need to have a few days on a balcony, don’t you think?

  17. As a former homeschool mom who NEVER sported denim — you did wonders with that skirt with your accessory options. Really like it with your flats.

    Oh, and by the way, when you were homeschooled it was denim jumpers that were all the homeschool “rage”. Gag. :)

    1. Yes, in one of my iterations of edits on this post, one of my fears was that it would grow a top and turn into a jumper in my closet. It’s a nightmare I’ll have to live with, I’m afraid.

  18. I love it with all the shirts. It’s gorgeous. But – we have a different kind of style here in Colorado. We definitely have a Sheryl Crow feel around here. So instead of feeling like a homeschooler, tell yourself you are “Mountain-girl-chic” instead. :) Besides – at least around here, that skirt is NOT a homeschooler skirt. Take away the fringe and the cute details, add a thick, elastic, pleated waist – and THEN you would look like a homeschooler. Yikes.

  19. So when I tweeted you (vikki77) about liking it, I totally thought you meant the SHIRT. I am such an illiterate moron, who probably shouldn’t be homeschooling her kids. Duh, the SKIRT is great! And I would live in that thing if I found one marked that far down. Mind you, I’d be wearing my sci-fi and 90s alterna-rock baby t’s with it to offset the Duggar affect. I’m all for keeping the legs covered (less shaving) while allowing adequate ventilation during my FL summers.

  20. I checked the link and I am still quite puzzled as to who these “Duggars” are and why I should care…
    The Homeschool look that I have been avoiding for the last decade or so is the navy skirt and white shirt from ATI. I may be behind the times.
    I love the skirt. I love ankle length, and that shape is marvelous on you.

    1. You are under no obligation or requirement to care about the Duggars. They have a TV show on TLC, which is why they are widely known.

      And, I believe, are quite involved with ATI. So maybe the blue skirt has been traded in for denim.

  21. I’m having flashbacks to the ’90’s….at least the skirt doesnt have a vent in the back and jean styling. *shudder*

    But I think my vote is bright top, skinny belt and flats….and I DO agree that it’s on the cusp of being homeschool Duggar-ish….haha.

  22. Isn’t it funny that although we may find a clothing article in a hip store we still manage to categorize it as homeschool? I think it’s adorable. I love denim skirts. Well, that style of denim skirt. Does it have an elastic waist? If the answer is no then it’s not a homeschool skirt. You look great! Also, there is a difference between being home schooled and being a homeschooler. You can be home schooled and no one would know because you don’t look like a homeschooler. And, my dear, you do not look like a homeschooler!

    1. Definitely not an elastic waist!!

      And yes, I’ve heard that homeschooling differentiation before as well, and it’s quite fitting.

  23. Honestly, I love the Duggars. And I don’t mind their look. If they are going to wear long skirts all the time, I think they do a fabulous job looking cute (compared to earlier footage of them…now THAT was homeschool-esque). I think the skirt looks great on you. It makes you look long. My favorite version is bright shirt, skinny belt, and flats. :)

  24. I actaully really like it and think it only looks Duggar-ish in the best possible way (after all, they seem to have gotten a little more stylish as the show has gotten more popular). You know, though, that now every time you wear the skirt, everyone who sees you who has read this post will be giggling a little bit on the inside knowing that it has caused you this much angst and turmoil. Or maybe just me ;).

    1. Oh you are totally right. And I’ll be thinking that they’re thinking about it the whole time. It’s going to be the most self-conscious skirt wearing experience in the history of woman!

  25. I agree with Eleanorjane. It is very funky looking in the crotch area. Maybe it looks different in person. That is all I kept seeing and was not sure if it was a skirt or huge pants. You always look so perfect in everything you wear. Sorry do not like this look on you.

  26. #1 I LOVE the skirt. Which sadly, knowing my fashion sense, might not be the referral of the century.

    #2 Better it languish in your closet, unworn, than languish in someone else’s closet while you suffer agonies of regret for not buying it! (And then end up buying a kock off later that just isnt’t the same.)

    #3 You totally own it! Very sexy! Although to make it truly Vogue worthy you have to perch precariously on a high stool, wearing stilletos and big Jacki O sunglasses, looking bored, and holding a Latte or maybe a very small dog in a purse.

    #4 What was I saying? Oh. Is there really a whole realm of stereotypes devoted to home schoolers??? It seems like a random thing to hate on. :( Whatever the stereotype, the skirt looks great on you!

    1. I like your photographical setup!!! … except for the little dog. I can’t have a little dog slobbering on my precious skirt, now can I??

      1. True. Hmmmm. Maybe if it was a fake dog…

        Come to think of it *I* have a fake dog in my purse already! A little stuffed Blue from Blues Clues! (Along with a diaper, some wipes, a baby nail clipper… how did my purse become a mini diaper bag?I swear I cleaned this thing out last week…)


        I feel more Vogue-like already. ^o) I think I am morally obligated to go shopping for a nice skirt now…

  27. My 2 cents (which I know you realize mean absolutely nothing) is that the last look is the least Duggar-ish. I definitely think flats over heels. And you must vow to never, ever, under any circumstances wear a denim shirt with it.

    And for the record, I adore the Duggars (it’s one of the few shows I allow my 8 year old to watch), but not for their fashion sense. :)

    1. What if I were going to a costume party? Perhaps a western-themed party? Or even a homeschool-themed party? Then could I do denim-on-denim?

  28. You don’t look like a Duggar, but I think you need more accessories. Like a chunky bracelet. I like the smaller belt with the heels. I was going to say add a lacy top over the tank but I don’t know…. You will have to play around with the look to find what works and what is Duggar. Almost makes me want to get a denim skirt :)

  29. At the risk of seeming incurably ignorant I have no idea who the Duggars on, nor any clue that that style skirt branded one a homeschooler. But I think it looks great on you, you are comfortable in it, have a vision for it, your husband likes it, so wear it with pride!

  30. “Everyday is a winding road.”
    I think it’s cute. I would not mistake you for a Duggar. Plus, your name doesn’t start with a J.
    Good choice!

  31. I am no fashionista but I like the thinner belt with the flats and either color shirt. Nice find! Glad you took the chance :)

  32. Well I must be totally unfashionable because Duggars are the farthest thing from my mind when I look at that skirt! I think it’s great! I love the detailing and the color. It doesn’t make me think homeschool at all, and I know several families that dress in the epitome of ‘homeschool’ fashion. This is NOT something they would wear. Plus, I’m all about comfort, so if it’s comfortable I say go for it!

  33. I love this post so much, and I have so many things to say! I think the skirt looks awesome on you, and looks like it is SO comfortable!
    I was one from the Christian School camp and many did not wear pants so the long jean skirt was the casual clothing of choice. Especially when your other option was ugly culottes!!
    From this “painful” span of my past, I don’t know that I could ever manage to wear this without anguish. It would bring up too many bad memories! You are right though that no hs-er or Christian schooler would pay $69 for a skirt!
    I really love your wedges though! Can you share what brand they are and where you got them? And more importantly, are they comfortable enough to last more than a church service, lol?!

  34. That skirt can be awesome! Layer two fitted tanks or a softer fabric tank that drapes a little with a wide belt lower on your hips (big buckle) heeled boots or wedges big chunky natural wood bead bracelets maybe a fitted short vest sometimes . I wore one very similar to work and either made it boho or a bit more rock depending on my mood and in my job i have to look pretty current style wise.

    1. Thanks!! I have some draping tanks, but I was afraid them being unfitted would make the skirt look worse. I’ll try it and see how it looks!

  35. Obviously I need to read Twitter more often to be able to vote on things! I like the skirt and like it best with either the navy or pinkish tank tops. I’d do the wide belt and flats. Also I tend to do a lot of black and white; did you try either of those tops? I do love the Duggars (Jackson and Johannah are amazing together!) and their more recent style wouldn’t be a bad thing to copy. I’m actually wanting a new denim skirt but my former long denim skirt was not even close to Duggar-approved: walking slit in the front to mid-thigh! Oh! And I think I need to play Scrabble once with your rule! Glad y’all enjoyed your anniversary!

    1. I don’t like wearing white too often, but I’ll definitely try black.

      Yes, I highly recommend one-rule scrabble. I guarantee laughs!

  36. I wonder why the person who purchased the skirt online returned it…? Not sure why I think the back-story would be so interesting, but I bet the previous owner never imagined such conversation over her discarded denim! :) I applaud you for buying it and totally rocking it out! I think it’s awesome and (confession)…I want one!! I think I owe it to Oklahoma before we move to buy a denim skirt and maybe wear it with some cowgirl boots {gasp!}!

    I’m thinking maybe you should start a Sisterhood of the Traveling Duggar Skirt?? ;)

    1. I also wondered that. My theory is the sizing. It was sized extremely large, which also may have influenced my love of it. It was one of those “Oh my goodness I can wear that size?! Clearly I can’t pass up this opportunity!!” moments. So, if the girl who ordered it actually was that size, it might have completely engulfed her.

      I’m thinking you should definitely get a skirt and boots before you leave. And go visit The Pioneer Woman’s ranch, perhaps?

  37. I normally would not like a skirt this length….however, you are totally rockin it with a tank and big belt. Job well done….

  38. Okay girlfriend, I’ll be honest with you, when I saw the first photo, I was really going the Dugger Direction, but now that I saw how you paired it with tanks and cool accessories, I totally think you made a great purchase!

  39. Anuspill? Love it.
    I am so not the one to offer anybody fashion advice (I’m expecting What not to Wear to show up any day.) All the outfits looked great!

    1. Thanks!! I hope WNTW does show up – how fun would that be!! I’ve wondered if I could fake a bad wardrobe and get nominated… even if just for the hair and makeup part!!

  40. wow, quite a lot of comments. i like the skirt. just don’t wear it to a homeschool convention . you definitely pull it off. was this your only anniversary gift?

    1. Nope – I bought all kinds of fun pretties on that shopping trip! Sunglasses, earrings, a shirt, a skirt, shoes… it was heavenly. :)

  41. I was looking for info on long skirts. I always used to wear long skirts, in all kinds of fabric. But then the Duggar show came on, it turned me off to wear long skirts. I miss wearing them. Was looking for a way to wear a skirt w/o looking like a Duggar. I LOVE your skirt! Its doesn’t look like a Duggar.
    I need advice on how to wear skirts again.
    Kathy Young

    1. Just try to find a modern cut and wash – and look in the right departments at the store, too – try the Junior’s department.

      Good luck!

  42. Ok, I hated the skirt ….until you got it home and united it with your wardrobe.

    Will you go shopping with me in 2 months? You see, I’ve lost 30lbs so far this year and expect to lose a few more before fall hit (10 would be lovely) but that means a new wardrobe for Julie, and Julie sucks at shopping. This is why I used to always shop at the Buckle because they’d do the work for me, but they seem to have moved away from the full-service type attitude towards the typical mall store “we don’t care” attitude, so I need help.

  43. As a former k-12 homeschooler why struggles with fashion and denim choices STILL at the age of 31, I was DYING laughing when I read “I can’t go around getting all denim skirty for fear of confirming all the stereotypes.”
    Really, tears are flowing. I love to find those that relate!

    1. Thank you! Fashion is a fine line to walk as a former homeschooler, isn’t it? I’m also now a homeschool mom, and was quite worried that I was going to get kicked out of my homeschool group for taking photos of my butt for the whole internet to see. So far, they’re letting me stay in – phew.

  44. Oh my goodness! I was laughing SOOOO hard at this! Especially, when you said “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’m a former homeschool kid of 10 years (all of middle and high plus some younger years). I can’t count how many times I defied the stereotype to the horror of my mom. Even now polos and long pony tails make me shutter. Soooo glad to not be the only one influenced in the opposite direction. Thanks for posting this! And the red/pink tank with heels is my fav (above the narcissist quote) :)

  45. I’m not a slave to fashion; I wear what I love and I love what I wear. PLEASE sell me that skirt if you don’t want it any more! Providing it’s in my size (8-10).

  46. I LOVED this post. As a new homeschool mom (and homeschooler my self) I have had these SAME thoughts about a skirt or two I’ve run across….
    found you on pintrest and your famous mom jean article but can’t wait to read more…. rock on girl!!!!

    1. Thanks! And best of luck avoiding the more homeschooly skirts. I’ve come to really love mine, but I’m still super careful as to where I wear it and what I pair with it. :)

  47. lol Let me start by saying that I had to look up who the Duggar’s were because apparently I missed that memo. As a homeschooler I only ever saw two or three of them wearing a denim skirt, however I have seen tons of non-homeschoolers wearing them because they were in style when I was in middle school. But I digress, the reason that I am commenting is for an outfit vote. I like your skirt (which btw is totally NOT Duggar because it is slightly fitted on the butt and thigh giving it and you a nice shape) with the peach shirt, wide or skinny belt, and wedges. Also if you are trying NOT to look like a Duggar, do NOT wear that skirt with flat sandals! That is thier combo! They do it all of the time from the looks of it, and I’ve never in my memory seen anyone do that, so it stuck out to me really obiously. Also, to make your day a little less worried about homeschoolers being steriotypical, I would like you to know that I am gothic. :-) How’s that for steriotypes!

  48. Oh, and a nice conservative skirt is a great oppritunity to wear a low-cut bordering-on-slutty shirt. Also the reverse is true, a super short mini skirt can be worn without looking like a ho if you wear a conservative shirt. Oh and, imho, wearing a short skirt/dress with heals or tall shoes just should NOT be done. Ever. It takes the short skirt to whole new levels of short, by elongating your legline and boosting you up higher into the sky, for even more people to potentially see your *cough.

  49. Almost one year later since you posted this. I actually ran across this looking at examples of how to wear a longer denim skirt (cutely yet classy) and you nailed it.

    Oh, by the way.. huge Duggar fan here (Michelle being my favorite!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *