Today we want to share some insightful tips on how to maintain your faith when dressing fashionably.
‘I don’t have anything to wear.’
Those who spend a lot of time around women hear this statement a whole lot. It’s a simple phrase that elicits various reactions— from rolling eyes, sympathetic sighs, and bewildered looks. When a woman says she has nothing to wear, it doesn’t mean she has no clothes in her wardrobe (trust me, there’s tons of them) or that hers are all in the laundry. She might be hinting at wanting something new, or in most cases, something appropriate for the season or the occasion. Not having anything to wear actually translates to not having anything suitable for an event.
The same is valid with dressing up that conforms to religious dress codes. Fashion trends often emphasize skin and sensuality that it’s pretty hard to find clothes you can use for Sunday worship or everyday wear. It is so limited that thrift stores are the only places that offer hope for you to find dresses with reasonable lengths and decent necklines. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of wearing clothes that are not as stylish most of the time.
Being fashionable while maintaining one’s faith has become quite a dilemma for women who want to keep their standards and, at the same time, express their identity. It seems that faith and fashion are extremes that cannot be reconciled.
The Modest Fashion Movement
Then the fashion modesty movement started and changed all that. As opposed to previous fashion trends, modest fashion is all about covering up and showing less skin. It moves away from the sheer, skimpy, and tight to give way for loose-fitting, comfortable, and creatively layered clothes.
The movement began as a desire to appropriate fashion for Muslim women. This served as an avenue for religiously-motivated fashion designers to create pieces reflective of women’s desires who want to be stylish without sacrificing their beliefs. What began as a Muslim-led campaign has now become mainstream. Modest fashion is now inclusive, something anyone can wear regardless of religion or belief.
While women of faith gladly received these additions to their modest wardrobes, fashion attitudes are quick to catch on with the modest dresses they see on the runway and those featured in their latest collection. Now people are shifting their styles towards modest dressing. Social media and a host of influencers now flaunt their fashion sense without using their bodies.
The movement also expanded women’s choices. In the past, you only have thrift store finds. Now you have a more comprehensive range of options. Designer brands and top clothing stores suit their designs to cater to women who want modest clothes for religious functions and, most importantly, going about their everyday duties.
Modest fashion is the answer to the “I don’t have anything to wear’ rhetoric. The only option left is how you can incorporate this style to make faith and fashion work for you.
How To Dress In Faith And In Fashion
- Set Your Modesty Standard
Dressing modestly begins with setting a standard for yourself. This can come from your personal preference or as adherence to religious guidelines. You would need to understand when and how this is applicable.
You can show your commitment to modesty as you choose the clothes and styles that are suitable for you. Modest garments are not meant to be boring and restrictive. Check out fair fashion sites such as Sacred Stitches as these offer a wide range of choices that cover everyday wear and clerical clothing. This shows that wearing the appropriate dress is not only for religious functions but also for everyday outfits.
- Color Power
Some may think that wearing decent clothes are plain and boring. In truth, modesty fashion comes in different colors and hues and in prints and patterns as well. A key to maintaining your standards while being fashionable is selecting clothes in colors in season. For this year, 2021, the Pantone Color is ultimate gray and vibrant light yellow. You can choose these shades to keep your wardrobe updated with the latest fashion trend.
You can also use the color wheel when you’re up for some experimenting. Pick one color and see what’s across it in the rotation. You can select complementary colors to make your modest fashion style more varied and vibrant. For example, choosing the yellow color points to violet as its complementary. You can use this combination as a guide when you pick out your next modest OOTD.
- Invest in Key Pieces
What’s good about modest fashion is that it only requires a few pieces, but it gives you endless possibilities when you mix and match them. You may already have some or most of these. All you have to do is retrieve it from the bottom drawer of your closet. Or, you can always go online or shop from your favorite brands. Most of them now have dedicated lines for modest fashion.
What does modest fashion require? Think classy blouse, plain white tee, detailed long sleeve blouse, and basic striped t-shirts for tops. You can also add in cardigans, an oversized blazer, and a leather jacket for cover-ups. Wide pants, mom jeans, long denim skirts, and a classy black skirt are bottom must-haves. Dresses are definite modesty pieces. Dresses such as midi, spring, shark bite, and maxi dress can complete your modest fashion style. Or you might want to take a break from all the layering and mixes that you can just step into a one-piece suit instead. Pair it with a jacket of the same color, and you’re good to go.
- Dress Up, Down, and in-Between
Covering up is very versatile. It can work seven days a week and help you stay trendy no matter the season. Use layering to make you comfortable under the weather. You can dress up, down, or in-between by mixing and matching the pieces mentioned above.
Give layering a try with the following suggestions:
- Dress Down: Pair a skirt with a sweater when running errands. Or you can use leggings under a skirt or an oversized tee for a quick hang-out at the mall.
- Smart casuals: Match knee-length skirts with leggings and boots. Use long-sleeved tops as inner garments for summer dresses and low neckline blouses. A crisp white button-down shirt also works well with a cardigan or a blazer along with your favorite pair of mom jeans.
- Dress Up. Top dresses with a chic bolero or an embroidered shawl to transform your staples into sophisticated outfits.
The possibilities are endless. It could be tricky at first, but when you’re used to dressing comfortably, you’re sure to master it in time.
Fashion is not only about choosing clothes, as it also says much about your style. You can use jewelry to accentuate your outfit and still maintain your modest vibe. Experts advise choosing gold or silver accessories as basics. Then you can try on a bolder necklace or a classic cocktail ring. You can also use handbags or scarves to complete your look. Just remember that accessories are just that, don’t overdo them so you can maintain your discreet yet sophisticated look.
- Look Online for Inspiration
Social media has a lot to do with the changing attitudes of people towards modesty. Thanks to influencers, women of all faiths and religions can follow real-life examples of modest dressers. They make propriety wearable and accessible for everyone. They demonstrate that women can become subtle with the simplest of outfits. All it takes is a dash of creativity and a hint of color experiments to create a solid look.
You can find inspiration in their style and use these as you develop your own. You can look for the influencer’s media accounts for ideas and even use their tutorials to guide you in your modest dressing journey.
You can even join groups whose members have the same commitment as yours. Modesty fashion is all the rave these days that it won’t be hard to find support from women across all cultures and religions. And while you’re at it, you can even share your modesty journey to inspire other women.
Benefits of Modest Dressing
Faith is an inward expression of one’s belief. Translating this to an outward commitment is possible with modest dressing. Aside from being able to adhere to appropriate dress codes, modest dressing also has the following benefits:
- Modest dressing is all about comfort. Loose pants and long sleeves allow greater mobility that it is convenient to wear every day.
- Boosts self-confidence. Tight-fitting clothes or low necklines can distract you from doing your work. These can make you self-conscious and even feel vulnerable. It may also impede others from knowing your wonderful personality. Wearing modest clothes gives you the ability to focus on your tasks without having to pull down your skirt every time. It also allows you to foster meaningful relationships that go past your cleavage or your curves.
- Enhances your style. Choosing to wear decent clothes can take some effort, but it can be a worthwhile endeavor. Modest dresses can become wardrobe staples that are usable all year round. You just need to get creative in layering pieces and do mixes and matches so you can continue to enjoy both comfort and style no matter the season.
Attitudes about Modest Fashion
Clothes serve the primary purpose of shielding our body from the elements. It is also a means of self-expression. Clothes can convey our personalities, radiate our confidence, and even reflect our spiritual disposition. It allows us to express our more profound commitment to observing moral codes such as modesty.
Long ago, faith and fashion existed as opposites. These left women of faith to deal with the daily predicament of finding something appropriate to wear independently. Given the limited options that could be found in thrift stores or from rummaging through your grandma’s clothes, all you could do was to do DIY projects to make them stylish in a way. Back then, being modest was not as accepted, and people would raise their eyebrows if you wore something that didn’t show skin.
While it may have taken a long time for the fashion world to catch these sentiments, the modesty fashion movement has made a difference in people’s attitudes towards clothing that conceals the body. It is now being accepted as the norm rather than the exception. Thanks to religiously-motivated fashion designers and social media influencers, modesty is no longer a thing of the past. It is now the current fashion trend that is all-inclusive and accessible.
This acceptance makes maintaining faith while dressing fashionably not only possible but all the more enjoyable for women of faith. They now have more options to choose from, thanks to brands that now recognize their sentiments. The extended fashion lines and the increase of modesty shops give women more avenues to appropriate fashion into their beliefs.
Modesty fashion has also allowed women to explore the benefits of this fashion style. It has affirmed their identity as women, not just objects dressed for the male gaze and pleasure. It provides them with the ability to feel confident without exposing their bodies. It helps them appreciate comfort and style as essentials to self-expression.
Modesty fashion makes maintaining faith while dressing fashionably possible. It allows women of different religions to find pieces and ensembles that reflect their commitment to religious dress codes. At the same time, it gives women the ability to express themselves and their spiritual disposition through fashion.
The resurgence of modesty as a fashion statement allows for greater inclusion and diversity. Women of faith are now recognized as more than a potential consumer base, but with legitimate concerns and needs. It has paved the way to make appropriate fashion accessible and approved by most.
Thanks to social media, attitudes are changing. People are no longer raising their brows at floor-length hemlines or shaking their heads at high-cut necklines. They no longer think that such clothes are outdated or restrictive. People now understand and accept that covering up is not only decent but the latest and perhaps a long-standing fashion trend.