I know we discussed this early on in the blog's infancy, but it's time to broach the subject again. This time not so much the clothes themselves as just the sense of style. We recently delved into modesty, now let's talk about the teen's individual sense of style, as I've noticed this season they are developing an individuality that in previous years they haven't had.
From the pre-teen pinafores (they weren't prairie dresses as most people call them--the Bates family was wearing the prairie dresses) to the matching denim skirts and polo shirts, in the past seasons, the girls lately have been dressing to their own separate tastes and I'm liking it. Jinger or Jessa (I can't tell them apart anymore) is wearing the baggy sweatshirt every time with the skirt and Jill and Jana are still dressing pristine as always. No longer is the family wearing matching colours so they can be seen as a group--those days of one-colour polo shirts seem to be long gone.
For whatever reason, each child has grown into their own and is deciding what they want to wear. Be it a Season Three anomaly--they are camping out and have one washer so it's wear what you can find and deal with it, or they've just decided that it's time to let the kids wear what they want to wear as long as it's modest; I'm loving it!
I explain this to people all the time. I worship with Chassidic Jews who are far more modest than the Duggars--no flip-flops (must wear at least sheer knee highs with sandals) and long-sleeves year round. But the fashion is still fashion. They shop at the nice stores--I shop where I can afford, but more importantly I buy what I like. I prefer flowing skirts and since I grew up in Oregon, I get a lot of "hippie" jokes thrown my way. But my Rabbi's wife does wear a Duggar-style denim skirt with a tie-dye shirt and she's no hippie! It's just what was in style when she bought it! Like I tell people, there's no rule that we have to dress like Laura Ingalls! And truth be told, I even have sexy (shock and awe) outfits for when we go out for special occasions...but they are still modest!
I've also noticed the hair styles aren't the same for the girls anymore. They seem to have decided they aren't liking the matching perms. One of the girls does have the natural curls--either Jinger or Jessa, I'll have to rewatch that perm-giving episode where they tell which one, or someone who remembers can just note it. It was Jill who said in the interview that they liked having the same hairstyle because "you want to have the same style your friends have." They seem to have drifted into their own unique styles. Jana and Jill have gone to straight styles. Joy-Anna is still the tomboy with the tight-in-the-back pig-tail, and Jessa and Jinger who are close in age and as Michelle says, "almost twins" both seem to have curly hair and as I said one of them is natural. And like I said I can't tell them apart lately--the last few episodes anyway.
They are also asserting some teen independence as well--as with the mountain climbing trip--the teen girls wore flip-flops. Typical teens in a typical family would do that. I wouldn't expect anything less from a typical teen in a typical family. I'm so proud! But did they whine, moan, and complain about it? NO! They made it to the top and were happy when they got there---THAT is the difference between a typical whining teen and a Duggar teen. They may assert some independence but they don't have to be crotchety about it! Good for them!
The older ones are also experimenting with make-up, yet tasteful and modest. They don't look over-done or ridiculous. They look like fresh-faced, happy young teens, twenty-somethings. Even Michelle looks good in her interviews. I will admit, however that in some of the shots of Michelle at the home and hospital she looked a bit pale and less healthy and I do hope she's ok. But in the interviews she looks good.
Anna does seem to have changed since the birth of her child. Her hair has gone straight. Of course you can't get a perm while your pregnant, or breast-feeding. People complain that she's "let herself go" but if she's still breast-feeding that's probably why--people remember, no perms while you're breast-feeding! I think Anna looks fine. She is fresh-faced and always has her make-up done well and has a smile on her face. A smile is all you need! Her wardrobe seems to have gotten even more modest after she has gotten married. I wonder if she's done that on purpose--no longer dressing like a "teen" but more like a "mom." She doesn't have to, but maybe that's her choice. She certainly dresses her daughter beautifully. And when she goes out with her sisters-in-law she always fits in.
I do disagree with those that say it's being on TV that's changed the way the Duggars dress. I think it's growing up. People tend to forget that when they started filming this family the girls were pre-teens and didn't really care all that much. Now that they've grown up, seen the world, developed a sense of style, and developed their own personalities, they do have more of a say in what they wear and it's still modest, but it's their own. I have a feeling it would be that way TV show or no TV show.
I think Josh has also developed a sense of style too. Afterall he's in business for himself and has to look somewhat successfull and he is only 21. Why shouldn't he be dressing similar to his peers. And for those who were complaining about him wearing Aeropostle and isn't that expensive and against their "buy used save the difference?" Well I was in the mall yesterday (first time in 2 years) and saw an Aeropostle store--didn't even know what one was. They had a sign in the window for t-shirts 2/$10 and polo shirts "Buy One Get One Free." I decided to venture in and they had a clearance rack in the back with deals down to about $9.99 to what we've seen Josh wear in shirts. All those sales seem about fair to their bargain-hunting ways to me.
But for me, I'm lucky, I'm from the Sephardic tribe so I do get to wear flip-flops!