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Friday, July 13, 2012

My Favorite {Modest} Fashion Tips

Like most females, I like clothes.  I'm not obsessed in any way...clothes-shopping is not my favorite thing to do.
I'd rather buy books.
However, I do like to keep a modest, feminine, and attractive-to-my-husband look about me.
I have some friends who are very talented in the way they put clothes together, and I've learned a few things from them as well as developed my own sense of style.
I apologize right now for the deplorable lack of pictures.  My camera and my computer have not been friends for some time, and thus I've been unable to upload any.  If and when the day comes that the electronics reconcile, you will be rewarded by photo-laden blog posts.
Nevertheless, I can describe in words what some of my favorite fashion tips are!

1) Be creative.  Think outside the box.  Look for new ways to put clothes together that you might not have considered.
For example:  Any button-up blouse, long or short-sleeved, can be layered over a t-shirt or tank top.  Unbuttoned, you can gather up the two sides of the shirt just below your bustline and tie the two tails together, 50's-style.  This is great for button-up shirts that are too short because length isn't an issue as long as you have a nice, long tank top underneath.  Wearing button-up blouses this way also works over sundresses, to cover up your shoulders and add a whole new look!

2) Go shopping in your own closet.  Before you head out to the store to add to your wardrobe, take an afternoon and pull out ALL your clothes and put them on your bed, so you can see most of them.  Then start rearranging.  Take a skirt and hold it next to all your shirts and blouses, even the ones you never wear it with.  There's a good chance it will look nice with something you haven't ever worn it with.  Do this with all your clothes--I can guarantee you'll come up with a few new outfits this way, and it won't cost you a thing!

3) When you do shop, start second-hand.  Not only is this the most frugal way to shop for clothes, it can help foster your creativity because you'll see things in a second-hand store that won't be in a department store or any other clothing store.  A lot of items from the 80's and 90's are coming back in style, and second-hand stores are the best places to find those things.  Plus, if you find a cute skirt or sweater that you really like, think about the rest of your clothes and mentally figure out outfits before you buy it.  You may well be able to add several new outfits to your wardrobe with just one "new" item, and will hardly cost you anything.  Look for Goodwill (and especially keep an eye out for their sales and special deals!), St. Vincent de Paul stores, and other independently-owned second-hand stores in your town.  Especially see if there are any that benefit a charity or organization--then you can be contributing to a good cause!  Another option are consignment stores, and there you can sell your old things for a profit as well as finding new things for low prices.

4) Layer.  I have a collection of eight or so tank tops in different colors, and several different white ones.  These are probably my favorite things in my wardrobe.  Not only can I wear them on their own (usually I layer two together for extra coverage), but they work to raise the neckline of a lower shirt, add coverage to a shirt that's too short, provide a cool layer under a warm cardigan (that's handy for winter, if a classroom or building I'm in is overly warm; then I can just take off my sweater and still be modest), and add color and a new look to a blouse.  My tanks are all getting pretty worn out; I've had some of them for quite a few years now.  I recommend Old Navy, especially if you can find their shirts at a second-hand store.  Walmart's brand is also good: they're cheap if you get them on sale, and they fit very nicely.  Of course, there is always a nice collection of tanks at my local second-hand shop. :)

Layering also works with skirts and dresses.  I sometimes put tanks under sundresses for added coverage.  A cardigan or light sweater can go over a summer dress to make it wearable for spring and fall.  And I have a pair of "skinny" (not really) jeans that I sometimes put under my sundresses, with a blouse tied over the dress (see #1), for a really cute winter outfit with a summery look.  Last year I also started wearing tights under my skirts and dresses, for added warmth mostly, but it looked really cute too!  This allowed me to keep wearing dresses through the winter, because my legs weren't freezing.  Tights aren't just for little girls!  I plan to get new pairs in a few different colors this winter, instead of just plain white.  (Also, if you have a pair of form-fitting long underwear, you can put tights on over the long underwear and keep extra-toasty!)

5)  Accessorize.  When you're going through your closet, look for scarves, belts, sashes, shawls and other little things of that nature.  Then go through your jewelry and find necklaces, bracelets, brooches and other decorative items.  Hold up these things to the outfits you've put together, and see how a necklace makes a boring blouse or shirt much more interesting.  A belt, sash, or folded-the-long-way scarf can give a waistline to an otherwise formless dress.  A wide scarf or shawl can turn an immodest dress perfectly acceptable.  And belts do not have to only go through belt loops.  If you want to define your waistline, put any belt there over any shirt.  Not every shirt or blouse will look good this way, but many will (AND you can find lots of belts inexpensively at second-hand stores!).

6)  Don't bring attention to your less-favorite features.  I firmly believe that every woman, as a creation of our wonderful God, is beautiful.  However, some of us have features we would rather not have noticed.  For example, you might have a larger-than-average chest.  If so, don't wear very form-fitting or low-necked tops.  Button blouses higher rather than lower.  Don't buy things that are too small for you.  Wear less patterned tops and more solid colors.  Don't wear big necklaces that draw attention to your chest.
If you have a waist that has held in multiple children over the years, don't fret.  But don't wear bright belts or sashes, either.  Wear shirts that you can leave untucked over your pants or skirt.  Draw attention to your face with shirt that have collars, or pretty necklaces.
If your legs are very long (like mine!), don't wear jeans that have a flare at the bottom (these make your legs look longer).  Try not to wear high-waisted pants or skirts, either, unless you like the look (sometimes it's okay for your legs to look miles long!).  Wear skirts and dresses that hit mid-calf or lower so your knees are hidden.
If you're short, try wearing all the same color from head to toe.  Don't wear anything that's at all too big for you.  Wear skirts and pants that flare at the bottom.  Wear high heels if you can and you like them.  If you like stripes, wear them vertical.

7)  Modesty is always the best policy.  Let's say you have a dress that you just LOVE, but it's a little short and the neckline is a little low.  You really don't want to get rid of the dress, but you just can't bring yourself to wear it as is!  Here's what you do:  find a tank top that coordinates or matches the dress and put it underneath the top to raise the neckline.  Find tights, leggings (which are NOT meant to be worn alone!!), or a fitted pair of jeans and wear them under the dress.  You have a new outfit which is not only cute, but modest.

Do you have a skirt that's too short?  Either pass it on to a daughter or younger sister, or if you're a seamstress (which I am not, unfortunately) you can do one of two things:  find a top that goes with the skirt that's nice and long, and sew them together to make a dress; or sew material to the bottom of the skirt, on the underside (a slip with a pretty bottom edge might work for this!) to lengthen the skirt (or dress) and keep it looking pretty.  I do not, sadly, remember where I read these two ideas, but I think several bloggers have written about them.

These are my favorite tips and tricks for dressing prettily and modestly.  I hope I've included in each section a few ideas that are practical for you.

What about you?  Do you have any fashion ideas or tips that work well for you?  Share in the comments! the Liliesfriday favorite things | finding joy


  1. Oh I am SO not a fashionista! I do wear tank tops under almost everything! But I'm pretty much a jeans and shirt kinda girl!

    Great tips!
    Mary Beth

    1. Thanks, Mary Beth! I am too... jeans and nice shirts most days. :)

  2. We love the second-hand stores! The last time my daughters and I went shopping we found a fabulous skirt and top that matched perfectly but were on separate racks. The knit top has a button placket with little ruffles on either side and could go either casual or to church. We paid well under $10 for both.

    I think the real trick to dressing modestly in the current fashion trends is layering. Even the most appalling sundress can be made acceptable and cute with the right layers.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. That's why I LOVE second-hand stores! And layering. I have several sundresses that I couldn't wear without a tank top underneath, but WITH one, they look great and are modest!

  3. What I like to do is dress in a simple outfit with clean lines, then I do my hair up in a beautiful bun or other hairstyle. Then I wear this gorgeous pink lipstick that makes me feel like a million's a little bright, but it gives me a modern, polished look.

    1. I love how you dress, Alisha. You always look so classy and polished! :)

  4. Thanks for the post. I often blog on Wednesdays about fashion (but from the point of view of a Christian mother / English professor at a fashion design college). I enjoyed this read! I often have one of my fashion students sew me in what we call a "modesty patch" because v-necks dip a little low on this short body.

    (Some of my fashion posts are below.)

    1. Thanks for your comment! What a great perspective you must have with those roles. And that's a great idea to make shirts more modest!

  5. Fashion is something I'm learning slowly over time, and I always love tips like these. One of the easiest and most reliable methods for me is sticking to versatile basics. I have a pair of cultured pearl ear rings (just the "right" size) that I can wear with ANYTHING--casual or formal--and look polished. Quality pearls, dark wash jeans, comfortable flats, and a few patterned, knee-length skirts are probably my favourite wardrobe staples.

    1. I've lost a couple pairs of "pearl" earrings over the years...I miss them because I could wear them with anything! And I agree with you on the wardrobe staples. :)

  6. Thank you very much. This really helped me with my work. I appreciate your help. Thanks a lot. good website

    Nail Lampe

  7. Great tips.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    You should try stylish sweatshirt with cute tops and jeans.

  8. Thank you for your post! I have been looking into tips for fashion but was confused about where to begin. I will definitely keep these advices in mind. Keep the great info coming.
    Agenzie Hostess Milano

    1. Thank you! I'm glad this was helpful.

  9. Great tips--many I hadn't thought of. Thanks!
    Pam at 2 Encourage

    1. Thank you, Pam! I hope you can put some of these ideas to use. :)

  10. This is actually a great way to save money and I like the idea of shopping in my own closet. The problem is I am the type that wears the same thing all the time simply because there are not enough nice clothes that fit me. Here are some plus size fashion tips for people to read and enjoy.

  11. wow!!!
    he wonderful and very interesting blog!!!
    the fashion tips were so good and marvelous.
    the tips can make people stylish and more trendy.

    fashion tips


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