Modest Dressing Mommas - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-01-2008, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Modest mama here. I'm a Christian and I feel convicted to dress modestly. No sleeveless, cleavage showing shirts. I mostly wear skirts longer than my knees. At home only, around DH and my 2 year old would I dress in sweats and maybe tank tops (jammies). Not much of a jeans/pants type person.
Welcome. I do occasionally wear sweats. You know hen you have those days and you're inside all day? Tank tops I wear inside as well because let's face it, when it's hot it's hot. Where is your fave type of skirt?
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Old 05-01-2008, 10:02 PM
 
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I consider myself a modest dresser but I rarely wear skirts or dresses. I prefer pants with a long top. I buy maternity and plus sized tops for the longer coverage. For me showing my shoulders in public is a "big deal."
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Old 05-01-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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slightly off topic, but do you dress sexy/less-covered when it's just you and DH or just at home or is covering something you do always?

A friend of mine who is Christian says that she covers when she is "prayerful" and since she's always supposed to be in that state, she even (mostof the time) covers her hair at home too..
Me, on the other hand, anything goes at home (well, not the really revealing stuff around my kids)

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Old 05-02-2008, 12:10 AM
 
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I wear less indoors but not a whole lot less. I have a just below knee skirt I sometimes wear indoors, but not outdoors, and I often wear tank tops in the house, but don't outside unless it's broiling hot. Even then I avoid it/ .

I really don't know my reasons... I don't like attracting attention and I feel if I dressed the way a lot of women do (tight jeans, revealing tops, heels) I'd get attention I don't want.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I cover except while in the shower and in bed. But, you know sometimes I will dress a bit sexier for the hubby. Nothing wrong with that, sexy is even in the Bible.:
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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It does get really hot here and so I will wear sleeveless. It can get up and around 120 degrees!
I hear ya, mama! It has been known to push 130 here :

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Thanks!

Luckily I don't have to worry about heat. If it's under 75 degrees out, I'll wear three sweaters and still be shivering. Where I live it's about 65 on average year-round. Dressing modestly is very easy for me.
Lucky! *pouts*
And hey, Jessica!

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I also dress modestly. After becoming a Muslim, it was a slow conversion from wearing short sleeves to head covering and overgarment. I absolutely love it and feel very empowered by it.
This is probaly way OT but the Muslim mamas here have been talking about their "overgarment" and a light went off in my head. Some LDS wear an undergarment that is sacred to us and I find it so interesting how we all of all faiths and walk of life have such similarities.

Totally random, I know! Sorry.

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slightly off topic, but do you dress sexy/less-covered when it's just you and DH or just at home or is covering something you do always?
This is another thing I love about dressing modestly- it reserves so much of me just for DH! I dress modestly all the time (excluding the shower and swimming although I would like a much more modest swimsuit than I have. I went from hating one pieces as being too frumpy and now feel they show waaaaay too much!) except for DH. But that's between us.


I seem to remember someone talking about daughters and modesty here. When do you think we should start dressing our daughters modestly? I have 3 little girls and I have a hard time with this. We live in the hot hot desert and it seems so harsh to cover them in such extreme heat. For my oldest (4) who can regulate her temp a bit better I think cap sleeve and shorts to the knee are ok but my two babies (1 and 2) I worry about. Thoughts?

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Old 05-03-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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I'm considering dressing more modestly, i've never dressed sleazy, but i have always thought that it was ok to dress a little sexy. I wear alot of spagetti strap t's, alot of my shirts show some cleavage, but i'am beginning to have different opinions on it! Though where i live theres not alot of modest dressing going on, (Cali) especially with young and middle aged women!

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Old 05-03-2008, 12:03 PM
 
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Welcome. I do occasionally wear sweats. You know hen you have those days and you're inside all day? Tank tops I wear inside as well because let's face it, when it's hot it's hot. Where is your fave type of skirt?
I love jeans skirts and gypsy, bohemian type skirts (especially when it's super hot )
What about you mama??

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Old 05-03-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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I dress modestly.. i am a recent christian (mennonite) convert.. so i dress in cape dresses and wear a head covering even at home... My dd wears dresses that are modest as well 100% of the time..

it wasn't always like this... when i was lost i was dressing in pants and shorts and would show cleavage... my dd now believes modesty is best and i am soooo glad because she is 9 yrs old and the children at her old public school would wear pants with words on their bum and short shorts.. it was just terrible...

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Old 05-03-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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OT but Tricia your daughter is so gorgeous!

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Old 05-03-2008, 10:09 PM
 
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Oh, wow, Tricia! I didn't know you converted to Mennonite! I was just at a Midwife Day celebration with lots of Amish and Mennonite midwives. Some were "granny" midwives (there was one very old Amish women. She looked rather severe but Daniel loved her. She would pick him up and they would just beam at each other. He was trying to pull the pins from her dress ) and some were CPMs.

I do dress modestly. I mostly wear skirts (I like "hippie" skirts) and knit tops for nursing. I love dresses, but don't find them to be very practical for nursing. Tricia, I love the cape dresses with the nursing pleats. For some reason they work so much better than any nursing dress that's manufactured.

I used to dress my daughter only in dresses. My premise was that if she grew up wearing dresses, she would just be used to it. I did let her where pants around when she was 4 and she asked for them. I realized that I was operating out of fear, and "God did not give us a spirit of fear." Since I don't believe there's a specific command to wear skirts and dresses only, and it's just a personal conviction, I decided it was unfair to hold her to a standard that I had set for myself (does that make sense?) I do only buy modest clothes for her, although it's getting more and more difficult to find things new. Luckily, I am the thrift store queen.

I will say that I find it's fairly easy to find modest clothes in the regular stores. I've looked at some of the "modest" shops online that seem to be targetting a specific audience, and they seem to have confused modest with ugly.

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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Please hear my gentle tone as I give my opinion...

My mom made such a big deal about dressing modestly when I was a DC that I grew to hate the word. I felt like my body was dirty, and needed to be hidden. I feel much differently now, though, especially after one too many men talked directly to my breasts and not to me. I should say that I know this is the way God made them. I don't hold itagainst them, but I on't encourage it either!

I've wondered if too much emphasis on modest dress too early can be just as sexualizing as no emphasis, cheeky shorts, etc? When would you start? And how do you say it in a way that makes a girl feel special and like a treasure?



I do prefer modest dress for myself, I have an issue because it's hard for me to find shirts that don't show my boobs. Because I am a ministry candidate now, I've askedmy (female) pastor/mentor to alert me if I am dressed at all inapropriately. So I do support modest dress, but how early is too early?

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Old 05-03-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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I think those are great points, and you said much better what I was trying to vocalize. For me it's a great decision, but I don't want my daughter to stress out about it.

Since kids don't buy their own clothes (at least not mine) I think you just buy what you're comfortable with. And then deal with things on a case-by-case basis. I have no problem with my seven-year-old wearing a sun dress with spaghetti straps now. I don't know how I'll feel when she's older, but at some point, I have to trust her own judgment on these things.

You really make some great points!

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:11 AM
 
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Growing up I hated modesty as well. I kept thinking "why should I be ashamed of my body and hide it away?" Now I have a different perspective and I wholeheartedly plan on sharing it with my girls (and boys if we ever have them ). I am not in any way a "because I said so" type mother. I will make sure my daughters understand that their bodies are sacred and beautiful and deserve to be treated as such. When we share too much of something it can lose it's sacredness. Of course this is all individual but this is my personal experience- I am not trying to speak for others. This actually brings me to my other worry- I am worried that my kids might think those who don't dress as modestly as we might are less than us or "sluts" or whatever. I want them to know that that is just not true. That a person shouldn't be judged by what they wear. That a persons worth isn't in their attire. I'm really concerned they will become holier-than-thou about it. But all we can do is talk it through and be open with our kids and lead by example. They won't ever hear such judgments out of my mouth. Hopefully that will be a big influence.

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:11 PM
 
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Wow those are so beautiful! I admit I wouldn't mind wearing one....and I'm not of the Muslim faith.
I've thought that so many times - they look very classy and comfortable! I'm also a Christian and a modest dresser (sleeves, no cleavage, shorts/skirts at least to the knees and generally longer, etc.), so I doubt I'd ever wear a jilbab or abaya. Well, unless I moved to the Middle East for some reason... then I definitely would!

Current fashion frustrates me a lot (although I'm glad longer shirts have come in!). It's already difficult for me to find clothes that fit my body well (apparently my thighs are disproportionately big ), and trying to find things that are modest on top of that is often impossible. My favorite skirts are homemade, from a pattern someone introduced me to when I was a missionary (for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)... they're mid-calf length, wide, and flowy. No one can tell you have fat thighs in a skirt! I'd like to make some summer ones, though, as the ones I currently have are way to heavy for winter. (In case anyone's interested, it's Butterick 4136.) Anyone else have good patterns, or cheap sources for modest clothing?

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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Please hear my gentle tone as I give my opinion...

My mom made such a big deal about dressing modestly when I was a DC that I grew to the word. I felt like my body was dirty, and needed to be hidden. I feel much differently now, though, especially after one too many men talked directly to my and not to me. I should say that I know this is the way God made them. I don't hold itagainst them, but I on't encourage it either!

I've wondered if too much emphasis on modest dress too early can be just as ualizing as no emphasis, cheeky shorts, etc? When would you start? And how do you say it in a way that makes a feel special and like a treasure?
I think it depends a LOT on how you go about it. When kids are really young, you pick their clothing anyway, so they'll wear what they have, and that's that.

Once they get old enough to start noticing other types of clothing and to ask for them, then you need a new strategy. I don't have children yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think that's a great time to start teaching them about how special their bodies are, and who gets to see them and who doesn't. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is also important so our kids can learn to recognize and report s*ex*ual abuse. I plan on trying to accentuate the positive in every possible way, though - telling them how wonderful their bodies are, instead of how bad it is to reveal them.

I really do think, though, that dressing modestly (whatever that means to you) should be taught from a very young age. It was hard for me to understand why I'd been allowed to wear things (like tanktops) my whole life, and then, suddenly, I couldn't any more. (This happened when I was around 10.) JMO.

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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If a skirt is just a tiny bit too short (like, it hits right AT the knee instead of just a little below, which is where I like mine to go), you could jazz it up a bit with a pretty patterned fabric or thick lace. On The Purl Bee there was just a really cute pattern for a wrap skirt. Here's the link: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/...rap-skirt.html

Layering things helps a lot, too. I just bought two tank tops, one with spaghetti straps, that I wear over and/or under other shirts or sweaters. Boleros/"shrugs" are great too. This is where being a knitter comes in very handy! If a shirt is too short, they have patterns for knit or crocheted 'corsets' (they aren't really, but that's the closest image I could come up with). Or you could get something like this ( https://www.downeastbasics.com/index...PROD&ProdID=32 ) to wear under shirts.

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Old 05-04-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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I dress modestly! *To me* anyway.

I do wear pants, but not if they accentuate my butt too much, and they can't be too tight.

I think spaghetti straps are ugly, just MO.

And I've tossed all of my super high heels. Just don't have it in me to suffer like that anymore.

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Old 05-04-2008, 06:18 PM
 
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I'm considering dressing more modestly, i've never dressed sleazy, but i have always thought that it was ok to dress a little sexy. I wear alot of spagetti strap t's, alot of my shirts show some cleavage, but i'am beginning to have different opinions on it! Though where i live theres not alot of modest dressing going on, (Cali) especially with young and middle aged women!
I think I'm very much where you are right now. I've decluttered my closet and have given up so many things but, I have a few dresses and tops that aren't very modest that I just can't seem to give up. Although, I've been noticing how much more comfortable I am when I'm dressed modestly.

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Old 05-04-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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Where is your fave type of skirt?
I like A-line skirts best.

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Old 05-04-2008, 09:43 PM
 
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I have a few dresses and tops that aren't very modest that I just can't seem to give up.
You might be able to alter these. For instance I have a few gorgeous sleeveless dresses that i love. What I do is I wear a cap sleeved shirt underneath them. You could even wear a sweater or shrug if the sleevage is the issue.

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Old 05-04-2008, 10:48 PM
 
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I consider myself a modest dresser compared to the mainstream. I do not wear low cut tops. I never show cleavage. I really don't like to wear shirts below the collar bone, but they are difficult to find. I do not wear spaghetti straps or sleeveless. I do wear short sleeves that go half way to the elbow, though. I do not wear my tops tight. I do wear pants, but not jeans. And I do not wear pants tight/form fitting. If they are low rise I am certain to wear a long shirt that does not allow any skin to show when I scoot down or bend over. The skirts I wear are at least knee length, and not tight/form fitting. I do sometimes wear shorts but they are knee length. I usually avoid shorts b/c I am short and wearing long shorts looks silly on a short person. I do not wear high heals or strappy sandals, or boots with heals. I do not have an elaborate or sexy hair style. It is butt length, all one length and straight. I wear it in a bun, pony tail, or braid.

I am Catholic and supposed to dress modestly, but I was never taught what exactly is or isn't modest, ya know? I try to avoid things that are "sexy". I think its ok to be stylish, but not sexy. I don't really dress stylish, though. I am more of a bland dresser. DH says that I dress "frumpy". He wants other men to oogle me, b/c then he feels like I am a catch.

My goal is to NOT look like I am trying to attract men, or cause a man to lust after me causing them to sin. For me to dress sexy, and a man to look at me lustfully, is not only his sin, but my sin also for not covering enough. If a man looks at me lustfully and I am not dressed sexy, that is not my sin, only his.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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I have a few dresses and tops that aren't very modest that I just can't seem to give up.
You could wear a longer skirt under the dresses if they're too short.

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Old 05-04-2008, 11:30 PM
 
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I'm a Muslim mama who dresses modestly...I've worn hijab (head scarf and modest clothing) since 1999! So quite a long time.

I must say, I am totally a fan of ShukrOnline...they r a bit pricy but the quality is FANTASTIC and ALL is very very modest yet classic/stylish. I LOVE their stuff. I used to pretty much just wear long thin/lightweight coats called manteau (montoo) or Jilbab, but now since I had my son I have moved to long tunics and baggy jeans and sometimes skirts. Hence my luv for Shukr. I travel to Iran frequently and so like to stock up on scarves and the shorter style manteau.

I keep trying to get myself more into skirts, but just am having difficulty doing so...I don't feel as comfy in them as I do a baggy pair of pants, eh...we'll see whether I can ever move more into them. Eventually I hope to move back into the longer manteau/jilbabs...but only after my son is a bit older (I always worry about tripping, etc)
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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I don't understand or like current fashions that seem to be all about showing off as much skin as possible, and wearing things that look like underwear. I'm not at all religious, but I just don't see how it's empowering to women to walk around half-naked while men wear clothes that reasonably cover their bodies.
I agree with you entirely...I know it's not just religious folk who dress modestly but many sensible people do so as well...and honestly, I don't understand fashion nowadays either! It's almost obscene...really, sometimes I blush! And I'm a female! I pity the guys. Plus I find it depressing how some women feel they need to show off their assets to get attention from men and hence feel good about themselves...frankly, I never thought self-esteem was linked to how many times a guy scopes you out. *yuck*. It's a very twisted sense of self-esteem.

ugh
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Old 05-05-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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I don't understand fashion nowadays either! It's almost obscene...really, sometimes I blush! And I'm a female! I pity the guys. Plus I find it depressing how some women feel they need to show off their assets to get attention from men and hence feel good about themselves...frankly, I never thought self-esteem was linked to how many times a guy scopes you out. *yuck*. It's a very twisted sense of self-esteem.

ugh
ITA Needing to be checked out to feel good about yourself is sad.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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This is such an interesting thread! I haven't met very many people who purposefully dress modestly, so I'm really enjoying reading all your posts. It's really making me think about WHY I choose to dress modestly. I think for me it's part comfort and part principle (female empowerment, to be specific--same reason I don't shave...)

I really appreciated the comments from heidirk about dressing our daughters. I agree that (for me, at least) a large part of how I dress her is that I want to avoid her seeing herself as a sexual object (at least as long as possible, in this culture). And like she said, that means I don't want to emphasize modesty when she's young, either. There is definitely lots of clothing out there that I would consider inappropriate for little girls, though, and I'm definitely not going to dress her that way. There is also lots of clothing that is pretty without being inappropriate. It may seem silly to be thinking about this now, since DD is still an infant, and yet... DH and I have chosen to never dress her in pink, because we don't like the "girly" associations. In a way, that's a modesty issue. I've been thinking about what modesty means, and I'm thinking it means, at least in part, dressing appropriately. This means different things to different people. But in our family that means that it is fine for everyone to be naked at home as long as everyone is comfortable with that... I grew up in a family like that, and I think it really contributed to the positive body image I had as a teenager, which in turn meant I didn't feel the need to affirm myself through sexy clothing. I don't consider that immodest because, well, there was nothing that needed covering. Outside of the family, on the other hand, why should I show strangers what I'm not doing them or myself any good by showing?

By the way, I also make my own skirts and divided skirts--full and ankle-length, the way I like it.

DD 7/07 DS 1/11

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Old 05-05-2008, 01:46 PM
 
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oooh wow! I was pointed here! YAY!!

I am currently transitioning to modest/simple dress. I've already taken pants entirely out of my wardrobe (with the exception of when I go to births - I just haven't found a skirt that works yet, and I wear 3/4 length thai pants, so they've pretty baggy and modest). I'm currently working on making all of my clothes. I have 4 dresses that I've made so far, and although I've made some compromises to help DH deal with the transition (such as using funky prints on my simple dresses - the last one I made was a black top with a hot pink skirt that had skulls and stuff on it), they are a plain design that works for nursing AND maternity. My goal is to have clothing that will work for all seasons of my life so that I don't have to spend excessive money to have a seperate wardrobe for maternity and nursing and neither.

When I'm not wearing the dresses I've made, it's usually a skirt from Goodwill and a t-shirt that is loose enough not to hug my curves. I also headcover. My outfit for the day often shows a lot of how I'm feeling spiritually. If I'm feeling strong, I can cover with a bandana and wear a skirt and t-shirt. If I'm feeling spiritually weak, I can put on a simple dress and a traditional covering and it's like dressing for success. It's a constant reminder of my faith and will often help me get through a difficult day.

I'm so glad to have found you mamas!

Momma to DS1 4/5/06 nursed with IGT to self-weaning at 27 months, DS2 1/20/09 still nursing, DS3 due late November - planning to tandem with IGT and SNS
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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i've been reading and thinking about the things i've read in this thread since y'all started it. i don't dress particularly *sexy*, i don't think, but i'm not as *modest* as many of you are either. i wear pants (usually jeans) or capris, but rarely, if ever, wear shorts. if i wear shorts, it's only in the house, cuz it gets hothothot in summer! all of my skirts are knee-length or longer, and the 2 i wear the most are ankle length. i do wear tank tops, but not usually spaghetti strap ones, or super low cut ones. i don't cover my hair (which is almost to my waist and orangy-red!) but i do wear it up 99% of the time in a bun or a braid. i hate swimsuits, i can never find one that feels like it covers enough, so if i swim at a friends pool or lake i wear long cutoffs and a tshirt. the only makeup i wear is light mascara and lip gloss.

i went through a period of time where i tried to dress provacatively and do my hair all down and everything, but it was rebellion, pure and simple. my mother hated those clothes, so i wore them every chance i got. it took me awhile, but i realized that the male attention i got was really not worth it AT ALL, and i got myself into pretty bad trouble a couple times.

now, it just seems both easier and more comfortable to dress more modestly. a lot of my friends still "dress to impress" if you know what i mean, but... it's just not that appealing anymore. we aren't either christian or muslim, so it's definitely not a religious thing (hope i'm not insulting anyone, just that those are the 2 religions that i know of that sometimes have rules about modest dress). my husband sometimes presses me to dress sexier when we go out, he likes when other guys check me out, but i'm really not into that anymore. we have our unconventional little family and that's quite enough!

"give me life, give me pain, give me myself again" - tori amos
30yo SAHM of 4 DS's: 10/98, 6/01, 2/03 and 11/04, wife to DH, 33
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heidirk View Post
Please hear my gentle tone as I give my opinion...

My mom made such a big deal about dressing modestly when I was a DC that I grew to hate the word. I felt like my body was dirty, and needed to be hidden. I feel much differently now, though, especially after one too many men talked directly to my breasts and not to me. I should say that I know this is the way God made them. I don't hold itagainst them, but I on't encourage it either!

I've wondered if too much emphasis on modest dress too early can be just as sexualizing as no emphasis, cheeky shorts, etc? When would you start? And how do you say it in a way that makes a girl feel special and like a treasure?
I agree with you! I'm taking a moderate approach with my DDs. I "tell" them to cover shoulders and just to the knee (above the knee is ok) and that anything else IMHO is sort of like being naked in public, which around this house is considered rude. But, it's more of like I "strongly suggest it," I don't go overboard. One problem I've found is that with so many girls sharing clothes, some things will be much shorter on one girl than another. So the "just to the knee" rule seems to work.

However, if they reach teenagehood and decide to go nuts and dress in a way I find inappropriate, I will not make a big deal of it. I'll tell them my honest opinion of how they look, but never in a shameful way or in a way that makes them feel less than beautiful. "I wouldn't wear it, and I think it shows too much skin, but if you're determined to wear it I'm not going to fight you..." something along those lines.
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