Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How Amish & French women, along with Jamie Lee Curtis, inspired me to dress “plain”

Okay, for starters, I don’t wear a bonnet and dress, like the Amish. The only reason though is because I’d look pretty odd, not being Amish. But I do have to admit, I envy how they can just get up in the morning and take an outfit off the peg and, viola, are dressed in no time. No wondering if clothes match, no tripping over the shoes left around the house etc. But I’m not Amish…

Well, I got the opportunity to visit France three years ago. I gawked at the women. All solids colored clothes with colorful scarves. Something clicked. After a week of talking to locals, I found that they don’t have room for many things, living in small flats. They think Americans have too much of everything and make fun of us.

I was so taken by these women in France, as they dressed so stylish, but I needed more advice. I read an article about Jamie Lee Curtis in a magazine about her wardrobe. She is so funny. She opened her closet for the world to see, and she had blacks, navy blues, and whites…all solids. Then she pulled out a purple shirt and said in her signature funny tone about how she does use other colors. Jamie Lee is gorgeous and black definitely brings out her features. For me, I look dead in black or navy blue…Now what?

I’m writing about homelessness in Amish Knitting Circle, and I just can’t ignore my wasteful living anymore. So, I’ve taken the plunge to dress “plain”. My closet is looking more like Jamie Lee’s with lots of solids, but in browns, creams and blues. For my black clothes I need a scarf to tie around my neck so I look alive. I do have a weakness for tweeds and plaids, so I indulge myself, if the colors match my color scheme.  

I gave 2/3rd of my wardrobe to Salvation Army. This awesome ministry helps the homeless in many ways, so I thought it fitting. I have to say, I feel lighter somehow. It’s taken me a few years to figure it out, so I thought I’d pass the info on to you. Now…to get rid of some shoes!
In this picture for the back of Knit Together, I wanted to be in black. My husband, who took the pic, told me to put on the scarf my aunt made me. "You look dead!" he kept saying. The picture's a little too foo-foo for me, but I do look alive...


  1. I love scarves and love making them! I think you look pretty great! I love your Amish Knitting Circle series!

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment, Rhonda! This is so funny. I usually get comments, but when it comes to getting rid of clothes and shoes, it's real quiet in here. ;)

  3. Are you folks having all of this hot weather the last week or so, and I have a feeling that this summer will be a hot one all around. Have a good one Karen. Richard

    1. Very hot in Western PA, Richard. 97 yesterday. Unusual. Have a good one too ;)

  4. I really enjoyed this article. I, too, tend to dress in solids with a limited color scheme: black, white, gray and tan, with occasional splashes of hot pink or bright yellow with accessories such as scarves. Most of my prints are black and white, sometimes with a little gray.

    When I moved to my tiny condo, I gave away tons of clothes and 150 pairs of shoes to the Salvation Army. That was four years ago, and sadly, despite the fact that I have very limited closet space--I still have a love of shoes and probably replaced what I gave away and then some...

  5. Thanks for leaving a comment Tobi-Velicia. Your weakness is shoes and mine is scarves. Have too many, but they compliment my solid color clothes ;)

  6. Karen, I just read the entire Amish Knitting Circle in 3 days. I am an avid knitter and shoe fanatic! I loved reading your series and am about to start the next. Saving the novel for last. Thank you for the books. As a devout catholic they are especially appealing and inspiring.
    All my best,

  7. Happy July 4 to everyone and Id like to invite everyone to my post "Lancaster on 4 wheels part 2 this coming Thursday. Richard