Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Designing for Modesty...Wednesday words


photo courtesy stylesbyshaheeda.com



"For some it’s a lifestyle, for others it’s a trend. In the past few months we’ve heard about “Modest Fashion” (dressing with modesty).............. An understated style that doesn’t leave much skin uncovered, does not necessarily mean being unfashionable. It can be very powerful, due to the accurate research behind it that requires a very strong inner awareness. The secrets to this look? A skirt, midi or maxi. Those who love shorter skirts can wear them over pants: it’s a super cool solution that we often saw on the catwalks."....................Gregorio Tosetti on the Blonde Salad, a fashion lifestyle blog

photo courtesy  justicepirate.com

29 comments:

  1. The queen of modest fierce fashion is Sheikha Mozah. If you aren't familiar with her, she's definitely not Little House on the Prairie. She's covered, but edgy and selects only haute couture.

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    1. Wow! She is stunning and positively regal. I love her ever present hats. Here is a link, readers: http://sheikhamozahfashion.tumblr.com/

      Thanks for the heads up. I love this modest look. It actually feels refreshing after years of bombarding magazine covers with the Kardashians. Those sisters tell me just way too much more than I want to know!

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    2. Sheikha Mozah is stunning!

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    3. I think she'd look amazing in a burlap sack! Her head coverings remind me of my conservative Mennonite relates.
      More important than extreme modesty is, in my opinion, being dressed reasonably for your surroundings. Wear your short skirts at the club. Wear your neck to ankle clothes at a funeral. Wear your bikini at the beach. Wear your jeans around town. It's all relative, and not helpful to judge others for good or ill based on their level of "modesty".

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  2. How timely this post is. I have said over and over that what we are seeing today in print and media coverage is pitiful. I am returning to garment sewing after a many years hiatus because what I am seeing in the marketplace is not suitable. I am not a prude but I think that the feminine form is best suited to modesty. Thank you for the link, I will check that out!

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  3. What an inspiring post! For many of us older ladies, modesty is a must. Decades old cleavage and varicose veins are just not pretty and should be covered. But this doesn't mean we have to be unfashionable or dowdy. Sheikha Mohza is great at taking designer clothes and adding length to the skirts and sleeves when needed. Another to look at is Queen Rania of Jordan, she is lovely and always dresses modestly, yet fashionably.

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    1. Queen Rania, yes indeed. When you think of it, all of the "young royals" keep it pretty modest, but stylish: Queen Maxima, Princesses Mette Marit (Norway), Victoria and her sister, Madeleine (Sweeden),and Mary (Denmark). These royals keep it modest, but hemlines are usually way up there: Queen Letizia of Spain and the Duchess of Cambridge. The hemline issue is interesting. I love a short hemline, but when it starts looking too jeune-jeune, I think it's time to lower it just a bit to achieve a sleeker overall look.

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  4. I have a feeling this topic is going to generate some heated discussion--I'm excited to hear what others have to say. Modesty is a fine style choice, but that's all it is--a style, and hopefully an unenforced choice. I spent a lot of time in a community where wearing skirts above the knee were considered inappropriate. It took some undoing for me to come back to the realization that wearing short skirts or low-cut blouses was zero reflection of my character. Modesty is fine and can be completely fashionable, but I hesitate to go as far as to say it's "powerful," because there's a lot of judgement (specifically regarding woemn) that the word can bring with it.

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  5. I don't quite get the statement about power and am open to any interpretations as they are expressed in the quote. I doubt that Paris is designing to make modesty the next big thing. But it is lovely to see how these ladies look without using their flesh as an accessory. I am just as comfortable with a PYT, in her prime, showing her body as a beautiful instrument. I believe there is a difference in that sort of expression and being downright trashy. I think it depends on the whole package being presented and of course this is ripe for personal interpretation.

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  6. I don't think modesty in itself exudes power. The modest woman makes a powerful non-verbal statement in that she chooses to be covered. Current NBA MVP Steph Curry's wife Ayesha received much backlash in regard to her decision to dress modestly. Choosing modesty may be cultural, religious, or personal preference. Western clothing styles range from 'nearly naked' to completely covered and 'socially accepted' norms are somewhere in the middle. Anytime a woman chooses to step outside the 'norm', especially on a permanent basis, she is bound to attract attention, both positive and negative. Unless we're all walking around naked, we all have a modicum of modesty. To what degree is where the argument begins.

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  7. My interpretation on this: "It can be very powerful, due to the accurate research behind it that requires a very strong inner awareness."

    First, "can be" not "is". Forced modesty is only a representation of other people's power, not one's inner awareness.

    Second, in a culture that does its best to convince young women that their main source of power is the sexiness of their bodies, to be able to reject that premise and make a conscious choice to keep to a more modest style does take a great deal of inner strength. The confidence to buck the trend is needed, which comes from an awareness of one's worth as a human, as a woman, and as an individual who has many qualities that are far more important than how many guys you can get to drool over your "girls".

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  8. First let me say thanks for the link to the Sheikha Mozah tumblr...gorgeous!

    I don't give much thought to modesty until I see it played out in extremes. It is nice to see the fashionable examples, as the ones I am familiar with are the Duggar family clothes that they wore before they were famous (clearly homemade muslin dresses, all identical). At the other extremes are the college girls I see once in a while with micro short skirts and no hose or tights trying to be sexy, but achieving trashy instead. Most people in my town manage something in the middle, so I rarely give it a thought.

    I don't get the "powerful" statement either, but I haven't read much on this "fad" (nor did I know it was a fad). I live in a town where most people dress modestly most of the time.

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  9. People can and should be dressed beautifully (or artsy, or sporty, or whatever way they want) in a modest manner, or in a not-so-modest manner.
    That said, I find that so many women and girls who "dress modestly" do so, as a rule, because their family, religion or society teaches them that they are responsible for men's and boys' thoughts and actions.
    I think we need to be careful when ascribing positive characteristics to modest dressing without acknowledging the complexities of where these messages are really coming from.

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  10. Personally, I love the look. And I also choose to dress modestly myself and still look stylish. To each their own though..let's not make things too heated. :)

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    1. P.S. Parameters (such as less skin showing) can produce creativity...so designing for and creating looks for modesty that's flattering and self-expressive is very fun!

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    2. I've always said I've been the most creative when I've had the most limited resources. Thanks for your insight. I never thought of dressing in that way.

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  11. "It can be very powerful, due to the accurate research behind it that requires a very strong inner awareness." What research is this? In which journal was it published? Is the author just trying to justify internalised sexist attitudes with some vaguely scientific nonsense?

    It's interesting that "modest dressing" tends to be a concept applied only to women. Feel free to dress how you want - I'm wearing a maxi as I write! - but portraying "modest dressing" as some sort of virtue or lifestyle choice is just another way of regulating women's bodies.

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    1. Here is an interesting link to an article in the Atlantic on just this subject.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/making-modest-fashion-cool/385789/

      Thanks for your thoughts. That "research" allusion left me a bit mystified as well.

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    2. exactly my thoughts...where is the line between one person's "modesty dressing" and a burka? or any clothes that fundamentalists propose women "should" wear? the clothes pictured are beautiful, but to label them modest is a step backwards in my mind...

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  12. I dress pretty modestly, but have to admit to being wary of the term "modesty dressing," which I associate with fundamentalist religious sects that dictate dress codes to women.

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  13. I must say I wonder about such things because I live in an area with a significant population of Orthodox Jews and the women wear long skirts and wigs. I finally googled it to learn more, thanks to reading your blog post. According to thejewishwoman.org, the purpose is to create privacy for the woman. There are so many different cultures and customs and ways of living. I don't even feel entitled to have an opinion on it, you know? If people feel comfortable dressing that way, then that is their right to do so. It is common to see women in skirts to even when running /walking for exercise. All I care about is whether people can be good neighbors, and since no one is berating me for going without a wig or long skirt, I would say things are fine.

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    1. a little sewing:

      It's men who create and enforce these laws. A common justification for requiring modesty is that men should not be aroused by women, as if it's the fault of the woman.

      I get angry on hot summer days when I see Muslim women and girls bundled from head to toe while the males in the family are dressed in Western contemporary polo shirts and shorts.

      Modesty dress is a tool to control women. As I said above, I actually dress pretty modestly. At times to my amazement I've been asked if I'm a Jehovah Witness because I was wearing a long Laura Ashley dress. But for me it's a choice.

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  14. I was in Qatar two months ago, and noticed several women dressed in this elegant manner. Very impressive!

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  15. Interesting debate. I also bridle somewhat at the concept of 'modest' dressing, as it is so often [in my experience] used as another way to control girls. and women. I have only ever known one young woman, one of my students, who truly embraced the notion, and worked out her own style. She also was tall, elegant, and had a beautiful figure and face, like Sheikah Mozah.
    I've known far more girls forced to the modesty rule, undergoing a dramatic change of style once away from their family, hoiking up their skirts and slapping on loads of makeup.
    Personally, despite all that couture gorgeousness in the twitter pictures, most of those modest outfits would make this short, stout, bosomy middle aged woman look frumpy. I may not want cleavage every day, I definitely don't like the bare-legged look other than on the beach, but I wouldn't want to be constrained by considerations of modesty at all times.
    Nice one Bunny!

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  16. A great discussion on Already Pretty on modesty/immodesty--more food for thought--

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  17. My comment was not allowed - apparently contentious?? - anyway, it was not meant to be pejorative, I must say that I find "modesty" a relative term...with many restrictions and correlations added by fear-based outlooks

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    1. Please feel free to comment. I don't police here unless things get really profane and disrespectful and that certainly isn't what is happening here. All comments I have received on this subject I have published. I will tell you, however, that I have been barraged by spam on blogger lately and much is from Anonymous. I see them first in my email at work and I don't even open them. They are instantly sent to the spam folder. Sorry if this happened to you but it is my privilege to not open anything I might find potentially hazardous to my computer or blogsite. It's just my way of computing safely. I have no idea if you made a "contentious" comment or not as I never saw it. You are my guest here and I would love for you to contribute.

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