An Unknown Area Of Non-Existent Expertise

When the first book came out, I thought the categories that Amazon assigned it to made pretty good sense. Family & relationships. Christian living. Parenting didn’t even seem like too much of a stretch.

But with the new book, the Amazon categories are a little bit of a mystery to me. Because if you look up the book, you’ll find it listed in the following areas.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.49.07 PM

I mean, where else would you expect to find a book about the life of a Mississippi girl who shares stories about her family and friends?


Apparently Amazon puts some books under not-so-obvious categories so that the book has the opportunity to do well in a specific sub-category, and that is the only way to explain what I saw when I clicked over to Amazon earlier tonight.

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 9.15.18 PM


That is exactly where a book that discusses stirrup pants should be.

And really, I wouldn’t care if Amazon put the book in the How-To category under Assembling Small Appliances. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to write it. And I really appreciate how y’all have ordered the book and sent encouraging emails and basically not grown weary with all the book-related talk. I promise it won’t last forever.

(By the way, if you have ordered the book, don’t forget to claim your prize(s) – pre-orders and orders apply through January 31st.)


My friend Tracey sent me this picture earlier tonight, and I’m excited to share it so that you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I write about wearing bows in college, it is NO JOKE.


Where to start?

The mint green ensemble?

The slightly askew bow?


And if all that weren’t enough, I’m almost certain that I was wearing some white bucks and ankle socks with that sassy outfit.

So it’s made me wonder: what’s your greatest fashion regret? What trend were you ALL ABOUT during a certain period of time – even though it may make you cringe (more than) a little bit in retrospect?

Since my preoccupation with hairbows was somewhat unfortunate, I’m secretly hoping that at least one of you had a deep affinity for Units or a bubble suit.

But if acid washed jeans and denim rompers are the best we can do, so be it.

We’ll take our joy wherever we can find it.


  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. Rompers. I have a picture and would attach it if I could. It is everything Laura Ashley bedding…

  2. Ginny Swindoll says:

    UNITS…yes. I had COMPLETELY forgotten about those. And of course, I rocked a bow whole wearing my units. 😁

  3. That photo and you two makes me think of : the BESTEST time of my life, I learned, loved, got upset, took out frustrations, was made better, let my guard down, learned to be me and grew up. I’d do anything to go back to CIRCA 1988 but, can’t so I’ll deal with the wonderful frustration of my present life and blessings which ya’ll assist with and am tremendously thankful for – done and AMEN. PS – I luv u2

  4. Not by my choice, but in the early 70’s my mom dressed my sister and I in double knit pants, skirts, dresses…..eewww!!!

  5. Catherine Hunter says:

    I am pretty sure that Tracey is wearing my shirt! Wish we all lived close enough now to borrow each other clothes. I loved, loved, loved the book. I am blessed to call you sister and friend. Great job, Soph!

  6. O my word … spiral perm! I got one the day before school pictures my freshman year of high school! Can you even imagine!?! Needless to say, my hair barely fit in the picture … it was horrible!

  7. Denim jumpers with an empire waist, sometimes with a peter pan collar shirt underneath or a t shirt, white ankle socks and white KEDS. Dear Lord.

  8. I’m afraid I wore rompers (made my little girl wear a matching one), then there were the bows with the oxford blouse and of course, stirrup pants. Oh. My.

  9. Margie Hoffman Johnson says:

    I saw your book – displayed fine at the LifeWay in Columbia ,SC but I’m getting the NOOK version from Barnes and Noble so I can SUPERSIZE the print-! We love you in SC , Boo Mama

  10. I remember purchasing an oversized acrylic-fiber Tweety-bird sweater. I’m positive I wore it with a red bow in my hair. That would have been somewhere around 8th grade. Talk about regrets!

  11. I have been trying to remember what the store was called back then and UNITS it is!!!! I loved the Units. Some of the current big shirt with leggings fashion of today is bringing back the units…minus the stretchy belt which today we called the unity scarf😊
    Love your books and blog!!!!!
    Biggest fashion nightmare for me had to be the tremendous amount of purple eyeshowdow I would wear….😳💕

  12. Stirrup pants-but I couldn’t deal with the stirrup under my foot in my keds sneakers, so I would cut them off and the pant kind of just flailed around and the end (I was in elementary school but DESPERATELY loved the fashion of the late 80s). T-shirt rings, splatter paint acid washed jeans, and my “girl shirt.” This shirt….oh, how I loved it. It was a white shirt that had a screen print of a girl/lady/teen (??) on it. She had bright pink lips, rosy cheeks, curly black hair with a HUGE striped teal/black knotted hair bow (this was sewn to the shirt of course for high impact). The girl/lady/teen had big magenta hoop earrings (also sewn to the shirt for some visual magic) and the sleeves of the shirt were teal/black striped to match the hairbow. It was my favorite shirt. My aunt bought it for me and I thought I was BIG stuff. Oh! And, bangs. I don’t know why the 80s (and early 90s) made me think I had to have bangs (that I tried to style like Aunt Becky from Full House), what I really needed to understand was that God does not make all foreheads the same, and the space between my hairline and eyebrows is just not right for bangs. Luckily, any time I start to waiver and contemplate a bang now, my hairdresser confirms, “Girl, that would just look stupid, it wouldn’t look right on you and you’d be miserable.” Where was she back in 1988???

  13. My fashion mistakes have been plentiful. I wore a heavily embellished romper to my high school graduation–I find it stunning that I went into a store and on a rack came upon a romper with shoulder pads, sash, lace collar and decorative (not functional) brass buttons and decided it was the winner! Even worse my next stop at the mall was to buy white pumps to wear with it ;)

    • Sitting at my desk at work giggling while I picture this…. yes I’m taking a short break. Don’t judge me. ;-)

  14. No fashion confessions today, but I just had to comment that the picture of you? That is totally Alex with a blond perm!! Granted I’ve only seen either of you in pictures : ) But the resemblance is so sweet! (He may not think so, don’t share) This coming from someone who can’t go to the store with her daughter without someone commenting that she MUST be mine : )

  15. Unfortunate fashion choices- oh, they were many in the 80’s but must unfortunate was the Leslie Lucks dress. Big shoulders, puffy sleeves, Peter Pan collar, giant bow and your choice of floral print or extra-large polka dots- how could you go wrong? (Side note: these things are being sold on Etsy- yikes!)

  16. Hey you know what was cool about the late 90’s? None of it.

    The overalls. WHY ALL THE OVERALLS. WHY. And those awful Doc Martens in that awful mustard color?! WHY!?

  17. Krysten T says:

    Jogging suits that swished when you walked. Noisy and ugly all in one outfit.

  18. UNITS! I had forgotten about them. Bows and big hair! My Guess jeans overalls…white keds and bobby socks with almost anything. Circa late 1980’s…good times, good times…

  19. Marian Baldock says:

    I started your book last night and, oh my goodness. I grew up in our little town’s First United Methodist Church in Ashland, Ky and to say your church descriptions resonated with me would be an understatement. I am really loving it, thank you. I am older than you, so my perm/hair bow/stirrup days occurred when I was in my late twenties, which was WORSE just because I was older and should have had more sense. So glad to have found you, so blessed by your writing!

  20. Jen Guillory says:

    Has to be the shoulder pads! Those floral dresses with giant collars and shoulder pads?!? Why?!?!?!? Oh, and the homemade t-shirt dresses! My mom and I would buy two cheap t-shirts, cut one in half (where you’re left with a loop of fabric), sew it to the bottom of the other shirt and paint it with splatter and/or puff paint. I would, of course, wear matching colored socks and colored Keds. Classy.

  21. Ok so, mine was wearing purple socks. Yes I did for a while, but since I was somewhat convinced that I would grow up and marry Donny Osmond it made sense. “Oh yes they called it, Puppy Love” :)

  22. Oh, how I loved Units! Especially being able to braid two sashes together to make a belt! Unless I was wearing a T-shirt clip, of course! Oh my. And Guess denim overalls. They were definitely more than our usual family budget would allow, and I’m pretty sure I cried in the dressing room at County Seat when my mom said I could have a pair for back to school. No bows for me, but I did rock some Keds with my Coca-Cola rugby shirts . Sadly, the list could go on and on : )

  23. Units was my favorite place ever! I remember the one at Northpark Mall, I thought it was so cool. I wore my stretchy belt, but only as a belt, because my mom wasn’t about to let me wear it as a tube top. Then, at about age 15, my grandmother bought me a sweater from The Gap, and I discovered that I preferred preppy to stretchy.

    Oh, and now that I think about it, I had a bubble suit. That was the most awful trend, wasn’t it? Mine had a huge collar, and a bow in the back. Struggle.

    I also wore the painted/tie-dyed tshirt and leggings combo. With the matching scrunchie. And earrings that my mom made from this stuff called “friendly plastic”. You melt the plastic in hot water, scrunch it up into shapes, then let it dry and glue an earring post onto it.

    Fashion regrets…I have ’em.

  24. Oh the bubble suit! One of my favorites. My only regret is that I don’t still have them. ;) I have really thick hair and have spent my whole life trying to tame it. I regret that during the Big Hair Years, I didn’t just let it be BIG! It would have been fabulous!

  25. I think I wore it all: parachute pants, stirrup pants, those plaid flannel Cyndi Lauper-inspired pants. But the worst was the bodysuit. Remember those? So uncomfortable and so many close-calls when I’d get to the bathroom stall and realize that I’d have to UNSNAP before I could go potty!

  26. Erin in CO says:

    hahah! I laughed out LOUD when I read Units! I remember making the trek to Dallas to go to the UNITS STORE in the Galleria…oh good gracious. The BANDS that you wore like a belt overtop your shirt and your skirt? And all oversized and baggy…but, like they say, everything old is new again ; ) Although, I really hope the romper (aka bubble suit) doesn’t show up again…that just made people look like clowns who escaped from the circus…
    Thanks for humbly sharing this picture of times past! If I had a blog, or even a FB page for that matter, I’d have to dig up a romper pic.

    : )

  27. Good Lord, the Annie Hall look! Tie, vest and brimmed hat!

  28. Chris of the Woodwork says:

    No, it had to be the jumpsuit.

    The jumpsuit was the definitive article of clothing in my 80’s arsenal.

    Bright blue, worn with heels and a black belt.


  29. Concho belts and shoulder pads! Tres ’80s!

  30. Julie in Michigan says:

    UNITS, I had one of those outfits!!
    I also rocked the freeze it sprayed big bangs and a white sweat shirt with a neon yellow big # 87′ on it, hahahaha.

  31. Kim Clark says:

    I rocked a bubble suit with a sailor collar THAT MY MOTHER MADE FOR ME along with a hair bow for my first day of rush at Mississippi State! :)

  32. I remember my mom making me a Laura Ashley-type fabric bubble suit. I believe the fabric even had a taffeta-type shine to it. Worn with my Reebok high-tops that had hot pink accents. And of course, a bow in my hair. I try so hard to channel my mother’s patience when I see how my daughter wants to dress. I just keep telling myself as long as it’s modest, as long as it’s modest,……

  33. I loved the 80s and the clothes and the hair. Biggest fashion regret: black rayon pantsuit with gold embroidery. Early 90s. Shudder.

  34. Colored jeans. I mean, I had every color: yellow, purple, green, brown, red…Now, the most popular girl in school wore red jeans but I guess I decided that if a little variety was good, a lot of variety was great! #WrongAgain

  35. I will have to say that I hate to admit this but in the 80s, I was slightly obsessed with ‘Hammer pants’ and even got my Mom to make me more than 1 pair… You know, those pants like MC Hammer wore with the loooooong crotch. Yeah, this girl was obsessed. And one of the pairs my Mom handmade for me was green with gold paisleys. Oh yes, I remember it well. I was SOOOO proud of them. And now I’m not.

    I made the t-shirt clip pretty popular too. My 8 year old would bring them back if I let her. She’s always making her own with pontytail holders.

  36. I was a product of the 70’s – that’s probably all I need to say about fashion and hair…
    Maybe you are in Church history etc because of the “My People” phrase… or maybe because a minister somewhere needs to read about your family so he can relate to the families in his church. LOL I try.

  37. oh my, I was in highschool in the 70s. nuff said. anyone remember hot pants? stirrup pants and oversized shirts or sweaters. not a good look—and I see it everywhere now but they call them leggings. not a good look. it will be a future regret!

  38. I went to Baylor in the early 90s, where bows were everywhere! I definitely wore my share of them. My worst fashion trend was definitely the bubble suits! Why? Just why? The super scary thing is I saw some jumpsuits at Target last week that gave me bubble suit flashbacks!

  39. Fun picture and topic! Yep, wore the Units and stirrup pants. Just got your book, started it last night and LOVE!!! Great job!!

  40. Sophie, just got your book today: yay! So much fun. I had to stop after chapter 4 and let you know His story of Grace with your friend has brought tears to my eyes. His redemption over the generations, the strongholds lessened and erased: oh my! Thanks for such a sweet telling of His story. Love the book. Can’t wait to finish it! Thanks so much for putting yourself out there and telling your story; really the story of so many of us!
    God bless!

  41. Shoulder pads. The bigger the better!

  42. I had units AND bubble suits! If you want photographic evidence you will have to break into my house and find the “need to be burned” box of pictures. I was pretty committed to the “flannel button up shirt as a jacket” thing in high school. It is so back and am embracing it 100%, because it almost dresses up my yoga pants. It should be noted, that this means I have found a way to make this look more casual than I did in high school. It’s a talent that makes my grandma sad.

    And I am super loving your latest book on church history. :)

  43. Fashion mistakes? Well, I am 66 so I have had a lot of them! First would be Curly Perm hair. I have a bunch of pictures with my should length hair curly. Little did I know that menopause would give me naturally curly hair. Since it is now short-I am all about the curl that requires me to do NOTHING! Next would be denim overalls. I loved the shorty ones in the summer and the cord ones in the winter paired with a turtleneck from LL Bean. Current fashion mistakes that I am sure some folks think about me is wearing wildly patterned exercise pants. I am a water fitness instructor and live in them along with a hooded sweatshirt. It’s the easiest dress code I have ever had to deal with!! Love your books-BTW! They are also my fave gift for friends and family.

  44. It was all about the shoulder pads for me! Big enough to rival any NFL team’s, too!

  45. AliGirl16 says:

    Bubble suit check, UNITS check, homemade t-shirt dress check. However, I do believe the worst might have to be leg warmers worn over my Jordache jeans. They were purple and I had a lavender oxford shirt to complete my outfit. I thought I was IT in that outfit.

  46. Scrunchies!! I had one in every conceivable color and was anal about matching my outfits. I would make my own scrunchie if need be. I also had lots of bows, but mine were much bigger than yours. I had the perm, and they had to use two bottles because I had so much hair and it was about three times as long as yours. I think they called it spiral perms. I just know my brothers complained horribly when I came home from getting one, how bad it stunk. I do remember the hair industry’s cure for that- the apple perm! I don’t remember it smelling super Apple-y, but maybe just less offensive to my brothers. :) ah, the memories. I remember how sore my head was from all those rollers, and having to hand the tissue to the lady when she was ready for the next one…

  47. Sugar Bostick says:

    Oh, sweet mercy…so many. I rocked the Laura Ashley dresses with my huge bows, white socks and Keds like no one’s business. This was along the same lines I wore a striped romper (and Keds, of course) and then proceeded to have pictures taken in them! BUT-the real winner would have been my corduroy bermuda shorts with my argyle socks, and coordinating Cambridge wool sweater. Because you know-when it’s cold, wear corduroy shorts! Parachute pants were another unfortunate purchase. GOOD.TIMES!

  48. Prairie dresses. Enough said.

  49. 7th grade…my hair was permed, short on one side, with lines shaved around my ear, longer on the other side…and I had a tail! My poor hairstylist thought I was crazy! 1992!