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Modest Doesn't Have to Be Frumpy


Ralar

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I just saw this on my Orthodox (hasidic) cousin's FB page.

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I'm not sure about the middle pic above, because although it covers all the required parts it is tight and could be defrauding.

I just went to Lev Collection's FB page, and it looks like they make modest knockoffs of designer dresses.

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Modest clothing can be pretty nice, our area has a lot of Muslims, and their outfits are often really pretty as well as being modest.

Fundies seem to like clothes that are both super modest and really really ugly. Its another way to suck the joy out of life, who could feel confident in themselves if their only clothing choices are unflattering frumpers that look awful on all body types.

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I think that part of it may be 1) no matter how dressed down a woman is, a man is likely to find her appealing. I think that if a man sees a woman wearing an old gunny sack and a scarf, and still feels a tingle, because women and men tingle around one another, the woman is encouraged to dress even less attractively to keep from tempting her brother in christ. Well-- that will never work. Men who like women like them... and if their only option is women dressed in mumus, they will find women attractive any way. and 2) there may be something to the idea that unattractive dresses in those groups are deemed more holy than attractive modest wear--and dog ugly dresses would be an outward sign of inner purity.

I will say that decades ago, when I lived with 3 tv channels and was insomniac, Dr. Gene Scott (weird tv minister) had a song that included the lyrics "you can go to hell all ugly" the gist of which was that no makeup and ugly dresses weren't enough to save you.

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I remember reading a Christian fundie site that said that large-breasted women shouldn't wear sweaters because they're clingy. Er, how about I wear sweaters because they're warm? That's the only reason I wear them.

Plain-dressing Christian groups have a particular kind of dress because it's a kind of uniform for their social groups, linked to the groups' histories and the time and place the groups were formed. Kind of like a nun or monk's habit - when monasteries were started, monks' robes were normal wear for people and it was tonsuring that marked them out as monks, along with the particular colour for each different group of monks. In the same way, Amish dress was just normal everyday womenswear in early modern Europe, it has only become distinctive over time.

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I remember reading a Christian fundie site that said that large-breasted women shouldn't wear sweaters because they're clingy. Er, how about I wear sweaters because they're warm? That's the only reason I wear them.

Plain-dressing Christian groups have a particular kind of dress because it's a kind of uniform for their social groups, linked to the groups' histories and the time and place the groups were formed. Kind of like a nun or monk's habit - when monasteries were started, monks' robes were normal wear for people and it was tonsuring that marked them out as monks, along with the particular colour for each different group of monks. In the same way, Amish dress was just normal everyday womenswear in early modern Europe, it has only become distinctive over time.

That's also true about the sacred garments Mormons that have been to the temple wear as underwear. At the beginning, they looked just like regular underwear people wore in the 19th century. As underwear styles changed, those garments are now distinctive, even if they're 2 pieces and the bottoms are more like bike shorts.

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Guest Anonymous

I don't think any of those dresses are vaguely modest, in the sense of being humble and unshowy, they are simply designed to fulfil particular religious requirements while meeting certain women's purchasing requirements.

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Modest clothing can be pretty nice, our area has a lot of Muslims, and their outfits are often really pretty as well as being modest.

Fundies seem to like clothes that are both super modest and really really ugly. Its another way to suck the joy out of life, who could feel confident in themselves if their only clothing choices are unflattering frumpers that look awful on all body types.

Back from a hazardous journey to The Bay, where me and several other women were trying on the clearance shoes and offering constructive critique to one another. A niqab-wearing, modestly-bordering-on-frumily dressed Muslim woman was trying on the cutest shoes: royal-blue pointy-toe booties and several pumps in shades red and hot pink (I told her I loved the booties and the red pumps were nicest, IMO). I saw her at the checkout, paying for her patent-leather red pumps. Not a look I could see on a godly wife or SAHD.

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I like those dresses too, except I would want the sleeves a little shorter. I dress modest, but it's because of body image issues I have not because of religious beliefs.

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My big issue with the whole "modesty" thing is that the word means something different to everyone. Take the dresses here: a Jewish woman adhering to tzniut might think they're Okay modesty-wise; however, many a hijabi wouldn't be caught dead in one of them. And an Amish woman might be genuinely surprised that anyone would find them in any way modest.

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anybody know if the creators of the website "shabby apple" are specifically catering to the (christian) modesty crowd? they call their selections "retro and vintage-style" but, save some length/cleavage issues, they seem to just skew fashion-foward modesty. plus they are linked all over on blogs like olivia's "fresh modesty," but a quick glance doesn't uncover an open "modesty" viewpoint. most of their stuff is super cute, too. i would about die if i saw a j-slave in anything they sold.

ETA: i just revisited the website, and i take back what i said about christian modesty. some of these dresses show knees and barely cover the shoulders, or otherwise require some alteration for "modesty." there is even a *gasp* halter silhouette option (that conveniently has no choices) so it looks like whatever pinged my radar before has been pretty thoroughly scrubbed. their "about us" section lists that their purpose is to "flatter a women’s figure and maintain her mystery" which is pretty generic stuff. i'd still like to see a j-slave in something from that site, though.

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Also some women dress modestly because they prefer plain and simple over hot and sexy out of sheer personal preference and no other reason.

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anybody know if the creators of the website "shabby apple" are specifically catering to the (christian) modesty crowd?

The founder of Shabby Apple -- a Mormon, unsurprisingly -- started the company because she saw a need for "clothing options that make women feel beautiful and allow them to feel spiritual."

http://www.mormonwomen.com/2011/06/09/d ... r-success/

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1. That white dress in the middle is modest. And I'm the Queen of England. Srsly, I don't give a shit about modesty (hence my handle), but let's not kid ourselves, Orthodox girls.

2. I am very disappointed in my fundie-dar for not catching that Shabby Apple had a fundie bent! I never ordered from them but I have at least ten of their dresses on my Pinterest and was planning to buy one for the summer. I love the vintage look, and they have so many lovely, curves-flattering cuts. Oh well.

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2. I am very disappointed in my fundie-dar for not catching that Shabby Apple had a fundie bent! I never ordered from them but I have at least ten of their dresses on my Pinterest and was planning to buy one for the summer. I love the vintage look, and they have so many lovely, curves-flattering cuts. Oh well.

Some of their stuff reminds me of ModCloth. They don't seem to be fundie. Maybe there's something similar there?

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I just have to say this thread led me to search for other modest/fundie brands out there and I stumbled across this comment re: walking by things like Victoria's Secret at the mall: I try to gently explain to her, without judging, that not everyone believes the same way we do about keeping their bodies covered (We actually say "keeping our present wrapped.")

vom vom vom vom vom. I was raised to think like that but holy hell seeing it in print is just so absolutely vile. Yes, you, young female, and your body that is the property of someone other than you. keep that shit under wraps. Oh my god.

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Those dresses are beautiful. They are definitely not what a "good modest girl" ala fundie-Christianity would wear though because they're flattering.

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Some of their stuff reminds me of ModCloth. They don't seem to be fundie. Maybe there's something similar there?

Sadly, no! They sort of have a similar idea/vibe/whatevs, but ModCloth is more like an Urban Outfitters take on vintage - their stuff is less fitted and more shabby chic or otherwise trendy. I am a big fan of multitasking dresses* - can I wear it to teach? can I wear it to a conference? can I dress it up for a night out? If so, I buy it. Shabby Apple has a lot more of those types of dresses.

*I cannot tell you how many sleeveless or cap-sleeved knee-length black dresses and black pencil skirts I own.

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Are they putting their dress next to the Marc Jacobs number in their advertising? Because they shouldn't. I really liked the dress until I saw the side-by-side, then the Lev dress instantly looked cheap (as in poorly made with low quality materials cheap*). But the other two dresses I still really like.

*Sez the girl who knows nothing about sewing or fabrics and next to nothing about fashion. So maybe I'm way off.

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I personally wouldn't call the one on the left or the one in the center "modest" - but everyone defines that differently. The one on the right, kinda.

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The one of the right is cute, it's something I'd wear, for a party or wedding in winter, for instance.

Th others and esp. the central one aren't really modest to me, sure they cover everything but are so clingy.

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