Fashion is not my jam. For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt uncomfortable in most of the clothes in my closet. I have a few pieces that I love, that make me feel amazing, but most of my wardrobe… is kinda “meh.” I have to get dressed in the morning, so I put some clothes on, but I wish I had more money or better taste or something to make me look the way some of my friends do when I walk out of my bedroom door in the morning.
Worthy of Wearing caught my eye because so often, I don’t feel worthy of wearing. Most of the clothes in my closet were bought either when I was in university (and had friends to shop with and more disposable income to spend on clothing) or on a whim as I was passing through a store (possibly shopping for my kids) and saw something that caught my eye. Some pieces are hand-me-downs from other friends or my mom or my aunt. I often look at my friends and envy their style or how they’ve paired particular items from their closet.
I received this book for review courtesy of the publisher; all opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Unlike me, Nicole Caruso loves all things fashion—makeup, clothing, jewelry, etc. And while she’s worked the New York fashion scene, her perspective on style is deeply practical. Nicole doesn’t have a list of “Top 10 Items You Must Have in Your Wardrobe.” She doesn’t recommend particular brand names or styles. Instead, she points out that each of us needs to find our own style, a style suitable to our profession, our stage of life, our body type, and other factors. She talks about giving ourselves grace during pregnancy and postpartum, instead of trying to squash our changing bodies into what we wore before or what’s fashionable right now.
Worthy of Wearing is a mindset, a thought process that reminds us (including me) that we are precious in God’s eyes and that we are worthy of wearing the things that make us feel beautiful. We owe it to ourselves to dress in what fills us with joy, suits our body, and matches our vocation and lifestyle. ~ Nicole M. Caruso
What is Worthy of Wearing?
Worthy of Wearing will show you:
- how to find your signature style
- why and how you should create your personal first impression
- the keys to cultivating your femininity
- why self-worth is not narcissism
- the difference between fashion and style for a Christian
- why modesty and beauty go together
- that what you wear and how you wear it is not price dependent
- how to find nice clothing on a budget
- why editing your closet is a good idea
- tips for an effortless daily skin-care and makeup regimen
Worthy of Wearing is like a breath of fresh air in today’s world. So often we are bombarded with conflicting fashion advice. Catholic churches remind women to dress modestly during the summer. Evangelical Christian literature accuses women of wearing clothing that causes men’s lust. Instagrammers show off perfectly put together outfits with complimentary hairstyles, jewelry and makeup. And in the middle is me, a normal mom, who wants to look nice and feel comfortable without being judged for being too something to someone.
Nicole brushes all that aside. She shares her own story—her love of fashion, yes, but also her struggles with her own body during high school, university and as a new mom. The first chapters of Worthy of Wearing are not about fashion or clothing, but about accepting ourselves as we are, women made in God’s image. She says, “Worthy of Wearing is a movement to teach you how to show up for yourself so you can carry out the mission God put on your heart at your Baptism. … Worthy of Wearing is a mindset that gives you permission to embrace and celebrate your inherent beauty.”
The last chapters in Worthy of Wearing are where Nicole shares just how to curate your own wardrobe—a wardrobe that makes you feel comfortable yet beautiful, a wardrobe tailored to your vocation and stage of life and body type. She also shares stories from other women—mini interviews about style that showcase how we are each so unique. I really liked these examples of beautiful, confident women who were each rocking their own unique style, and so different from each other.
My thoughts on Worthy of Wearing
As I read through Worthy of Wearing, there were times I wanted to cry. Times I wanted to holler “amen!” Times when I nodded along with Nicole’s words and thought of my own experience. At the end of each chapter, Nicole includes journal prompts to help us think about fashion, self-worth, the messages about ourselves that we’ve internalized, our role models, and more. She’s the big sister I always wanted to come alongside me and steer me towards the right clothing to make me look and feel smart and confident and myself, and steer me away from the pieces that just aren’t me.
One thing I would have liked in this book was more pictures. I’m not a fashionista by any stretch, and some of Nicole’s terms went over my head. She’s descriptive and knowledgeable, but it would have been helpful to see some pictures to get a better idea of the styles she was describing in some parts of the book. For example, she suggests uncovering your “signature aesthetic,” such as Americana, beachy, demure, etc. I realize one picture can’t capture every aspect of a particular aesthetic, but it still would have been helpful to see some of these.
Nicole Caruso offers a fun and lovely look into the connection between fashion and a woman’s soul. Worthy of Wearing helps every woman carve out her personal style while also offering the spiritual permission to look our best every day. ~ Carrie Gress, author of Theology of Home
Applying what I’ve learned
I read this book quickly in order to write a review. I also wanted to get to the end to find out how to shop for myself. Now that I’ve finished Worthy of Wearing, I want to reread it, more slowly and thoughtfully, giving Nicole’s beautiful words of advice time to sink in. I want to make time to actually answer the journal prompts she provides.
I’m starting her 30-day action plan, to help me work through the ideas and steps in her book. Some of these are simple, like trying a statement earring, while others involve more thinking or planning, like choosing five words that describe my style or creating a digital inspiration board.
And slowly, I want to revamp my wardrobe. I’d love to plan a few shopping trips with some friends who have better fashion sense than I do, but Worthy of Wearing has definitely given me some food for thought as I think about what I need for my wardrobe, what I want to wear, and what I like to wear. Previously, I would have walked into a store with little planning other than “find new clothes.” Now, I’m starting to create a plan for that shopping trip, thanks to Nicole’s style, wardrobe, and budget tips. Currently, my typical go-to outfit is a pair of jeans with a nice top—but I’d like to vary that a bit with different trendy jeans and nicer tops that fit better and reflect my taste better.
“Worthy of Wearing is a fascinating read that threads beauty, fashion, self worth and dignity together. Nicole offers practical how to’s regarding fashion and beauty without neglecting the interior beauty of the soul. Worthy of Wearing will revolutionize how you look at fashion and yourself. And if you’ve ever said, “I don’t know how…” about fashion or beauty, Nicole gives you the step-by-step answer. I loved every page of this book!” ~ Leah Darrow, author of The Other Side of Beauty
My 11-year-old’s opinion
When Worthy of Wearing arrived in our mailbox, my older girls took turns sniffing the glossy pages. Apparently they like that new book smell as much as me. Then, to my surprise, they actually sat down to read it. Here’s what 11-year-old Lily has to say about the book:
Worthy of Wearing was lying around a month or so ago, so I picked it up and finished it before my mom (the person supposed to be reading it) did. I liked Caruso’s writing style, and the many pictures in the book. I really liked the book itself, and although it addresses an older audience, a lot of it can also apply to a younger one. I’d like to see a Worthy of Wearing for preteens/teens.
As a mom of girls, I see them starting to develop their personal styles. Sunshine (age 13) likes anything pink and purple. She currently has several skirts (straight, knee-length) she pairs with leggings and a T-shirt. She’ll wear a dress for Mass and usually has a headband in her hair, which she wore in a long braid until cutting and donating it recently. Lily (age 11) avoids most pink and purple, and prefers black or grey tops paired with jeans. Jade (age 8) likes dresses, while Pearl (age 5) prefers leggings. And while hand-me-downs are possible among four girls, they each have their own opinions about the clothing offered them and whether they’ll wear it or not.
As my girls get older, and develop their own style more, and head into high school and all-too-soon university, I hope that Worthy of Wearing can help me guide them to accept themselves for who they are and find clothing that suits them, no matter what their friends are wearing or what’s trendy. Like Lily said, I’d love to see a teen version of Worthy of Wearing help them learn this without making the same mistakes (or suffering the same self-doubt) that I did.
More About Nicole M. Caruso
Nicole M. Caruso is a professional makeup artist and beauty consultant, former Beauty Editor of Verily Magazine, and homeschooling mother of 3. Nicole’s mission is to inspire women to invest in their self-worth with her movement #worthyofwearing. She wants women to live an integrated life where faith and style meet. On her website, she shares expert style and beauty advice, tips on healthy living, and reflections on marriage and motherhood. She and her husband are raising their family right outside Washington, DC.
For more about Worthy of Wearing, drop by the website. You can also follow the Worthy of Wearing movement on Instagram and Pinterest. Check out #worthofwearing or #wowthebook to see what other women are sharing and saying.