Modest Clothing Choices Impossible to find? Nonsense!
"Our public schools allow young girls to dress like tramps, and more than a few weenie pastors allow young female lectors to wear their skirts halfway to... well, kingdom come. The desparate-to-be-hip major retailers give little choice for modesty in casual wear, as any set of jeans worthy of fashion must have a waistline that delves ever farther below the navel. "
Predictably, a reader chimes in, citing the imposssibility of finding modest clothing in department stores today:
"I'd post a suggestion of where to get decent clothes for girls ... If I had one ..... if I hadn't just spent two weekends looking for an outfit for my daughter that didn't make us both sick! She's going to play the harp for an Art Therapy reception and I've been reduced to making the stupid outfit myself."
Mr. Alexander's suggestion? You guessed it:
"I'd recommend getting in touch with Colleen Hammond, author of the book "Dressing with Dignity," as well as a weblog of the same name:http://dressingwithdignity.blogspot.com
Lately, it seems as though every Christian blogger on the 'net is bemoaning the impossibility of finding tasteful, modest clothing in today's retail market, and many are linking to Ms. Hammond's website, to which I say ,
Come on, folks, you don't need a ten or twenty-dollar self-help book to teach you the difference between tasteful and trash-full, and, plenty of decent garments are being manufactured and sold today, at every price level. And many of them are also FASHIONABLE!If the pants, sweaters, skirts and shirts on the market this season are closer-fitting than seems ladylike, first, stop whining about how "immodest today's fashions have become", and then, use your noodle!
Think now: what did you do ten years ago when you tried on an outfit and found that the fit was a bit tighter than you'd like?
That's right... you put your vanity in your pocket, hung the too-small item back on the rack, and bought it a SIZE LARGER than you would normally expect to wear!
This still works today, and, the waistline will ride higher too, if the item is low-waisted and you'd rather it were less so.
Are those jeans too tight?... too low-waisted... too ANYTHING? Put them back on the rack, turn around....... and look on the next rack. Try another style, another brand, another store, if necessary. Finding properly fitting pants and jeans CAN be a hassle, Heaven knows, but the results are worth it, and the result of NOT making the effort to do so is....... well, NOBODY needs to see that!
If all else fails, you can always stick to skirts... or a good reducing diet.
Don't want sweaters with low V-necks that show cleavage? No one's forcing you to buy them! The last time I checked, most stores, even Walmart and Kmart, still carry a full selection of turtlenecks, mock turtles, and crew necks, just as they did in the 80's and 90's. And companies like Lands' End and LL Bean are still very much in business. Preppy is alive and well, and as tasteful as ever!
Sleeveless tops and dresses show too much? That's because of poor tailoring and shoddy manufacturing. Once upon a time, dressmakers knew how to design an armhole that concealed a lady's brassiere. One solution is to look for a better quality garment, or, you can buy the top or dress a size larger than you would normally wear and tailor it, snugging up the armhole by adding darts in the armhole-to-bust area.Another tack is to shop the misses department rather than the junior department. Misses size fashions tend to have a fuller fit and more conservative styling than do their junior department counterparts. And thrift and consignment stores offer still more options, often at incredible savings.I applaud writers like Ms. Hammond for wanting to bring back modesty, but the trouble is, Colleen has an agenda. She seems to also want to revive a lot of other rubbish: the phoney, frail, fluttery Victorian image of femininity that is better off GONE. (Hammond even goes so far in some of her lectures as to advise women to feign helplessness, in order make men feel more manly! One woman who attended a recent lecture claims to have heard Mrs. Hammond say that that whenever she travels by air, she always gets a man to fetch her bag down from the overhead rack for her, even though the nearest male may be several seats distant!)
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm certain that Colleen's intentions are quite good; and her goal, the reawakening of men's sense of chivalry through reawakening the femininity of women, is, in theory at least, an admirable thing.
But some of her methods, such as advising women to feign helplessness, etc, are manipulative and leave a bad taste in my mouth. For centuries women have been portrayed as conniving and crafty -- sly temptresses who use their feminine wiles to dupe poor honest males into doing their bidding. Colleen's recipe for eliciting chivalrous, protective behavior in men seems to me to be just one more example of that unfortunate stereotype, albeit for a worthy cause.
Personally, though, I'd rather emulate the woman in Proverbs 31:
Proverbs 31:25 "Strength and honour [are] her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."
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12:37 PM, Jan. 24, 2007 .. Posted by Anonymous Hi! You make some really good points. I will say that it is hard to find nice dress-up clothing in regular stores (especially if you are a small size). However, everyday clothing (as long as you are OK with women wearing pants) is easy. I think the big thing in a lot of conservative circles is that they think any kind of pant on women is immodest. If you are in this camp, you are going to have a problem. I am not in that camp, btw. I never heard of Mrs Hammond and went and checked out her sight. I love the fashions she promotes, but could never afford to make them my everyday clothes. -Zan