Friday, 12 April 2013

You CAN Dress Modestly...With Style!


L to R: Weekend Away, So Happy Together, Holly Jolly,
Can't Stop, Won't Stop
, Hostess, White Winter Hymnal, Ray of Light.
All photos by Adam Quirk for What I Wore


Jessica Quirk has been posting pictures of her outfits since 2008 on her blog, What I Wore.  She has attended events like New York Fashion Week, and been featured in magazines like Glamour, and yet her outfits often display a modesty which would befit any Christian woman.

Many people believe dressing modestly automatically means looking frumpy and out-of-date - but that is not the case!  What I Wore is the only fashion blog I read regularly, and, although occasionally her skirt hemlines get a little short for my liking, she by and large wears outfits that I would wear - and looks great doing it!

The principles a Christian woman should keep in mind when it comes to dress are modesty, femininity, and dressing to please her husband, or if she is still under the authority of her father - wearing outfits which her parents see as appropriate.   Our primary goal should not be to look stylish - but to be a ambassador of Jesus Christ.  I like how Jasmine Baucham puts it:
Flesh-and-blood examples of outward beauty like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn may inspire us to carry ourselves with a little more dignity, but what should really raise our chins and straighten our backs is to know that we are perfectly, matchlessly loved by Christ. (Joyfully at Home blog)
So here are some tips for looking both stylish and modest, all of which you can see in action in the above photo:
  • Brighten up your outfit with a bold statement piece. Wear a big necklace, a vintage brooch, a colourful coat, or a cute hat.
  • Layer, layer, layer.  Throw a belt over a sweater to cinch the waist, wear a button-up or a striped sweater over a chambray or denim shirt, keep warm with tights under a skirt. 
  • Wear long tops over jeans.  Cozy knit cardigans, shift style dresses, and flowy tunics all look great over jeans.
  • Look for a long black maxi dress.  I have the same dress as pictured above, and it is a SUPER great piece. It can double as a skirt when you layer a shirt overtop, and easily goes from casual to fancy!
  • Throw on a scarf.  One of the easiest ways to take a blah outfit to cute is to wrap a bright, lightweight scarf around your neck. There are great tutorials for various ways to do this on Pinterest, and you can usually find scarves at thrift shops for a few dollars.

    23 comments:

    1. I love these ideas! I'm aiming for modesty. I prefer to wear skirts in public and I wear flowy gauchos around the house, especially if the skirts are in the wash. :) I use most of the ideas except the scarves. I never like scarves on me. They look overwhelming! Anyways I love it when people have a standard for modesty and I am glad to see those who do! :)

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      1. Great to hear Moriah! I am not 100% positive what gauchos are - are they those really flowey long-shorts?

        Stephanie

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    2. Love your post :)
      Just don't necessarily love the example set by Jessica (low necklines, bare mid-riffs, and at least one bikini instance alert) that I saw in just skimming through some of her outfits

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      1. I understand your feelings, Cecilia. Thank you for being encouraging nonetheless!

        Stephanie

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    3. So true! I know in some circles the word "modesty" almost seems to be code for "frumpy," and it really doesn't have to be that way. Having a modest heart and showing that in our dress isn't supposed to be torture! :)

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    4. Beautiful examples of style! I was your neighbor at Monday Musings :)

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    5. There are a couple fashion blogs written by modern Orthodox Jewish women that I really like. I've also started following some "tznius" pins on Pinterest (I find these tend to be less frumpy than some other boards with the modesty label). You can follow mine too, here - http://pinterest.com/modernishhome/modest-mondays/

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      1. Beautiful board, Amy! I will be following. I'm on pinterest too if you're interested in connnecting! www.pinterest.com/whocanstand1

        Stephanie

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    6. I'm still working on redefining my style after coming out of a phase where modesty=frumpy. It's been multiple years since that phase, but I've discovered my wardrobe and my style is a slowly evolving process as I learn what it means to dress beautifully and modestly.

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      1. Thanks for your honesty! I'd really recommend the ebook Frumps to Pumps. I'm planning on posting about it soon, but it was a super great resource for me!

        Stephanie

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    7. I found you from Monday Musings/What Joy is Mine. I love this post about modesty AND style. So many times style goes out the window when you try to dress modestly. Read my post on learning to sew (then you can really control the hemlines.)
      http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/04/summer-sewing-camp.html

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    8. You might like www.freshmodesty.blogspot.com.

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      1. Wow - I do love it! Thanks so much for the recommendation!

        Stephanie

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    9. I am a firm believer in modesty and I raise my girls that way as well. Great job on showing that it is NOT about being frumpy!! Check out my post on the same subject, as I also have a heart for this issue and am very passionate about it. God bless you...http://buildethherhousewithlove.blogspot.com/2011/04/modest-styletips.html

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      1. Such a great post Valencia! It's great to know other women are sharing their tips too! Glad you stopped by! :)

        Stephanie

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    10. I'm a military wife accompanying my husband overseas right now in Northern Italy. I was sitting outside in the community on a park bench just watching people walk by. Layers, interesting fabric, variety, scarves, jackets, vests and colors - I was just mentally reading this blog post yesterday - only I hadn't found it yet! I was just awed at watching these Italian women walking around being stop in your tracks beautiful and it wasn't about being immodest at all. It was even more interesting to me - that they were wearing more clothing than I felt like the weather allowed, jackets, cardigans, layers and scarves while I had a spring dress with no layers and was sweating. Amazing culture comparison I'm getting to experience in Italy.

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      1. What a fascinating perspective! It has really given me food for thought, and encouragement, about those stylish European wedding! What a wonderful adventure you are on - may God bless you and your family! Hope to have you around here again :)

        Stephanie

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    11. Yes! I love this! I have always tried to wear modest clothes so it's so nice to find support from others who do the same. It's not impossible to be modest and stylish at the same time!

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    12. Love it! I knew I loved your site as soon as I came here! Modesty is so important: it is not only about what we wear, but how we talk and behave. Thank you for recognizing that one can still be stylish and modest! We don't have to choose one or the other. Thank you for supporting modesty in such a fashionable way!
      http://balmtomysoul.com

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