Monday, June 29, 2009


I can't remember if I have talked about plain dress/modesty on here before, but it has something that has been on my heart/mind for a long time. I admit I have been at extreme ends on this spectrum over the course of my years dressing myself. I think that both aspects are important, and both have contingencies that can be very judgemental and legalistic. I see the value for both, but in moderation.

However, moderation does not mean that it does not require a commitment. On many occasions I have fallen into the trap that if I don't feel attractive I can distract by wearing flashy,odd, or trendy clothes, or that if I just buy one more thing I will figure out my style. I also admit that on many occasions I have purchased and worn imodest clothes out of resignation to the state of what was available (i.e. it is easier to buy this pretty dress, even though it is too low cut/tight than to make something myself or wear the grandma clothes that are actually made to cover me up.

While reading the blogs of those who are more judgemental on this topic, I feel both guilty and frustrated. One young woman complained of the hypocrisy of young and older women at a christian women's banquet she attended sayin, "How could a woman not notice the kind of reaction she causes when she exposes parts of her body that should be seen only by her husband? I'm not one to judge another's motives for dressing a certain way, but I am convinced that every woman does know what she's doing when she dresses in a "sexy" manner." Does she really believe that every woman who does not dress to her standard of modesty is seeking approval by showing off her body? While I believe that there is a lot of compromise in this area, and a lot of desensitization, you have to make room for people to have their own convictions.

So this is where I am. I do feel compelled to dress in a more simple, modest, and feminie way. For a long time I have desired this, but have not been willing to make the commitment to do so. Reasons:

1. I am not sure what rules there should be. A lot of things are permissible, but not ideal. Also something may be modest, but not simple and vice versa.

2. It takes a lot of work and restraint. It is not easy to find or make clothes that meet high standards and yet look young and attractive. In Texas it gets hot, and I don't want to have to wear three shirts to cover everything. Sometimes when I feel crappy about my appearance, there is an imulse to buy something new and pretty to make me feel better.

3. Related to two, making a firm commitment requires a support group, and no one I know feels convicted about these things. Even my husband does not think they are important. My mother in law tries to dress modestly, but honestly her standards of what looks pretty and mine are very far apart. If she was my only support I would be encouraged to where whatever long skirts were at goodwill, and whatever wal-mart tshirts kind of matched. I wish I had friends to work through this with.

4. I have always been very interested in fashion, and it is a complete change of mindset to limit my personal style so much.

Here is what I would go to on first thought:

But these are modest too:

This is what I think:

Printed T-Shirts- I like these because they are simple yet expressive, modest yet young, inexpensive and widely available.

Plain T-Shirts- This is the same idea, but can be dressier, also baby doll T-s. Should be loose and long.

Skirts- I am okay with any skirt longer than knee length if it is not clingy. Broom skirts or petticoat skirts are best.

Jeans- I like jeans initially. I think they are very practical, simple, and attractive. They are widely available, and will last a long time. However, isn't femininity an important part of this? A lot of what attracts me to this is that when a woman is distinguishably modest it is a witness that beauty comes from a gentle spirit and that fashionableness is fleeting. I am not sure that this can be accomplished wearing pants. Even though they are modest or simple they are no distinct. I haven't made my mind.

Shoes- Should be comfortable and simple, not flashy or impractical.

Hair- I want my hair to be long again. It is an important part of my femininity that I have missed, and a way to look beautiful and unique regardless of clothes. Hair flowers are excellent.

Make-Up- I don't see any problem with wearing an attractive amount of make-up. I am not opposed to people wearing it liberally because they look whorish so much as because they look plastic and unattractive.

This is a rough idea of what simplicity and modesty might look like for me.
1.loose tee and longer skirt
2.dress like I wear, but with twinset
3.jeans worn when pants are most practical, but with longer top/dress
4.simple shoes, purse doubles as diaper bag, pretty long hair

Please, if anyone reads this, help me think through these things.

1 comment:

NeverEver said...

So I found your blog in a roud-about sort of way. I got on polyvore and they notified me that someone used one of the items that I clipped to polyvore and then there was a link to your blog so I came and here we are!

Okay so I just recently converted to Islam, so my thoughts on modesty are a little bit more restrictive than what you are looking for, BUT there are a lot of people out there who come up with modest outfits for inspiration and all you would have to do is leave the scarf off or wrap it around your neck.

Anyway, I wanted to give you some support for dressing modestly because I think you are right and it is important for our societies AND I like your style from what I've seen on polyvore.

Here is a link to some other women who want to dress modestly, some are muslim and others are christian.

Also if you go to my blog and wade through the blogs i follow on the side you will see a few others.

Please let me know how it goes for you and I will follow your blog so I can come check :-)


OH by the way, the stuff you posted on polyvore is just like the stuff that I wear when I'm at home or with other women and stuff and hopefully i will do some posts about this on my blog soon.