22 December 2011

Wardrobe Essentials | post 03

Wardrobe essentials for the modest woman

So you want to be modest but you don't know where to start? All of the clothes you've ever owned were never modest and now all of a sudden you find you have nothing to wear.  That happened to me {Ashley} and I remember getting so frustrated trying to put outfits together because none of them were modest.  The surprising thing is that although you may own clothes that aren't modest individually, when paired or layered it can become a wonderful staple to your wardrobe....




In the photo above, are what I consider the nine essential tops {besides the tee shirt}.  These tops are very important to have, they make dressing modestly very versatile.  The first top is a classic button up blouse. Most of these blouses can be found with sleeves and since they have the buttons you can wear it opened {with another shirt under it}, or buttoned all the way up.

2. The second top is a halter top.  Halter tops usually tie behind the neck.  With these shirts make sure the collar comes up high enough.  They are great paired under a blazer or even the button up blouse.  

3. The third top is a vest.  While it may not be everyone's style, it's a nice element to layer over a dress shirt. 

4. The fourth comes in handy quite often, it's a bolero.  Boleros are fitted and cropped and are one of my favorite items to have because you can throw them over a spaghetti strapped dress or shirt.  They also make jackets in this style to wear during cooler months.  They are found in a variety of sleeve lengths that are very modest.

5. The fifth is a cropped shirt designed to wear under clothes that are immodest.  They can come in short or long sleeves.  

6. The sixth piece is a cardigan, or long sleeved shirt.  These are great to wear over dresses in the spring or if they're tight you can layer under a short sleeved shirt.  Cardigans are wonderful for looking 'put together' really fast, without being too dressed up.  Great for the park, mall, or going out to dinner. 

7. The seventh shirt is a spaghetti strap- or any type of strap.  Although they aren't modest, they are great to layer over a short or long sleeved shirt.  They are an easy way to dress up your outfit without wearing additional accessories.

8. The eighth is a draped waistcoat.  I like the one in the picture because you can wear a colorful long sleeved top under this neutral color.  Many times these are sold with long sleeves too and depending on the material can be very comfortable in the fall when you aren't ready to wear a jacket. 

9. The ninth and last shirt has a cowl neck design.  Many women who are pear shaped or rectangle shaped can use this style top to add volume and even out their proportions.  I especially like the style and again you can layer ones like in the picture above that are really low cut.  The alternative to this is a v necked collar, great for women who are apple or wedge shaped. 

These tops are a great staple to your wardrobe and you can buy the same style in different colors and patterns, to add variety to what you already have by mixing and matching. 



Being a modest woman, it may seem like we don't have too many bottoms to choose from but from the picture above, you can easily see that's not true!

For skirts, there are many different styles to choose from (just make sure it isn't too tight).  There are above and below the knee lengths, knee length, calf length, and floor length.  You can even choose high waisted ones like the top right two.   You have the same length sizes available in shorts and pants.  The pants can be straight, boot or even flare styled.  Also you can wear jeggings or leggings under a longer sweater with tall boots (as long as you aren't trying to flaunt you assets).    All of your bottoms can be worn in different material depending on the season and you can add belts or boots to accessorize.  Choose the style you want depending on how casual you'd like to be or professional you need to be.  For example, the gauchos {second from the right, bottom} are very comfortable and I enjoy wearing them on a hot day.  On the other hand the gray dress pants are a more professional look.



There are many dress designs that are modest but if you are going to buy a staple for your wardrobe I would highly recommend the 'little black dress' or 'little red dress'.  These dresses are timeless and will always be fashionable.  They are meant to be a statement dress worn with not too many accessories.  My favorite accessory with a LBD or LRD is my wedding ring.  There are different length sleeves, collars, or skirts to choose from and to personalize it to your style.  If you have a favorite dress that is spaghetti strapped or sleeveless, then use an under shirt or bolero jacket to make it modest.  I suggest buying one of each, or even buying a classic black & white (top two right) or mixture of red and black (bottom right).  If you own a black dress make sure it doesn't look to morbid, try dressing it up with a red or white belt or ribbon over the waist, vice versa, with a red dress.  You can even dress up the LBD with red pumps or red lips.


modest swim wear

The last piece of clothing that you'll need for your modest wardrobe essentials would be a swimsuit.  There are many different styles to choose from to fit your personality.  There is the sporty/ athletic one (top left) or even a more flamboyant one such as an animal print.  Patterns can help to camouflage areas that you may not want to have others see.  Many swim suits are made with ruching such as the bottom left one, to hide certain areas and show off others.  If you have a small bust opt for swimsuits that are padded or that can have silicone inserts.  If you are pear shaped choose one such as the bottom right, pink and if you are apple shaped then go for a style such as the middle light blue one.

I compiled this list of clothes so that you can start building your wardrobe, and see that when you learn what clothing staples to buy, modest style doesn't have to be frustrating.  With just a few shirts in different styles & colors, you can create many outfits.  Have fun shopping!

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20 December 2011

Perfect fit for you body | post 02

Before we get into depth about dressing modestly, you need to know how to dress yourself, not just what is popular, but what really flatters you.  You need to choose clothes to help accentuate your assets and cover your problem areas.   There are many things to consider when wanting to make the most out of the way clothes look on you: your body shape, height, age, bone structure, face shape, neck length and circumference, shoulder width, leg length, skin tone, hair color, and even eye color.  Knowing these basics will help you to be able to shop for the right style, color, and accessories....

{Determining your body shape}
There are some easy ways for you to know what shape you are.  You can use a tape measure and find out what your measurements are, get a photograph and using a marker outline your shape {like above}, or even look it up on websites such as this one.  A good tip is to look at celebrities whom have a similar body shape as your own and learn how they use their clothing to proportion their figures- **but remember that they often use photoshop and other camera illusions to alter the way we view their figures.

apple shape

Apple shapes want to wear v necks or wrap around tops to help visually 'break up' your torso. Long tops, long and simple necklaces, flared pants or fuller skirts will even out your proportions.  Wear belts on your smallest part of your body, not your hips, to help distinguish your waist.  Don't wear empire shaped tops or baby doll tops.  Apple shaped women usually have larger bust lines, stomachs and or arms than their hips; sometimes considered 'top heavy'.   A few celebrities who are apple shaped are Sigourney Weaver, Queen Latifah, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tyra Banks and Jennifer Hudson.

pear shape

Pear shapes want to add lots of attention to your top half.  Choose medium to high neck lines.  Layering your shirts and using chunky necklaces, scarves, and even shoulder pads will help to even your proportions and draw your eye up.  Cowl neck tops help to exaggerate the bust line and padded bras add volume.  Wear boot cut, straight, or flared bottoms to help even out your waist to bust ratio.  Avoid wearing baggy clothing, tapered skirts and clothing that draws your eye downward.  Pear shaped women have large bottoms, hips and or thighs with smaller busts, waists and shoulders.  Celebrities who are pear shaped include Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Serena Williams.

wedge shape

Wedge shapes {or inverted triangle} should avoid wearing clothing that draws attention to your bust or shoulders.  Do wear flared or boot cut jeans and avoid straight or skinny jeans.  Tops that help to divide your torso are essential, as well as flared tops {in picture}.  Accentuate your lower half to distract from the top. Wearing bell or circle skirts are your best bet.  Long and simple necklaces will help to draw your eye down.  Women who are wedge shaped have broad shoulders, a large bust, or both.  Your waist  and hips are slim and your bottom is small.  Celebrities that are wedge shaped are Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Victoria Beckham, Charlize Theron, and Audrina Patridge. 

rectangle shape

Rectangle shapes need to wear fitted clothes that define their waist. Use belts and ribbons on your smallest area to create a waist.  Chunky jewelry or scarves will help to emphasize your top.  If you have a small bust then wear padded bras to add volume.  You can also wear boots and bold shoes.  When shopping, look for horizontal patterns or wide bands that go across your hips or waist.  Rectangle body types tend to be boyish or athletic & muscular and are usually on the slim side; with bust, waist and hips around the same diameter.  Many times they have smaller busts.  When gaining weight, it usually tends to hang on your waist or back 'love handles'.  Celebrities who are rectangular include Keisha, Fergie, Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz, and Hope Solo.

hour glass shape

Hour Glass figures are one of the easiest body types to shop for but have to be careful not to accentuate the bust or hips too much, other wise it will become immodest.  You need to wear the perfect compliment of fitted and loose.  One way to do that is to use layers.  You can also use flowy  fabrics and feminine touches such as flowers and pastel colors.  Avoid skinny jeans or leggings unless wearing longer, loose shirts and tall boots.  Don't put too much emphasis on your waist.  Women who have hour glass figures are around the same diameter in their busts and hips (no more than 3 inches apart).  They have slim waists and gain weight equally in their top and bottom.  Often considered curvy, or thick and don't have defined hip bones or ribs.  You could also be an hourglass figure and be petite *see below.  Celebrities include Jessica Simpson, Sofia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Heigl, and Scarlett Johansson.


woman need to wear items that will add length to their body.  Wearing fitted clothing that isn't too tight is essential so that their body does not get lost in the fabric.  Flowers in your hair and headbands are ways to enhance length.  Wearing tall sandals are also ways to give the illusion of height.  Avoid wearing chunky jewelry or busy fabrics because that'll add the illusion of weight and shorten your appearance.  If wearing outer wear make sure it is fitted and cropped- not long!  Pinstripe pants are another way to lengthen your image.  Avoid skirts that go pass your knees because that'll only shorten you more.  Don't use oversized purses, opt for clutches or wallets.  Petite women are short and thin. They most often have hour glass figures, occasionally wedge or rectangle shaped, with the rare apple figure.  Petite celebrities are women such as Keira Knightly {rectangle}, Jada Pinkett Smith {hour glass}, Lucy Liu {pear}, Natalie Portman {rectangle}, Eva Mendes {hour glass}, Jessica Alba {hour glass}, Shakira {pear}, Rachel Mcadams {pear} and Dolly Parton {apple}.

maternity & postpartum

Maternity wear is something to consider when choosing clothes that fit your body.  I like to break it up into three stages.  The first stage is when you are just barely showing.  You can wear tops that are rouched, and comfortable bottoms.  They now sell maternity pants that have a spandex top to grow with your belly- or you can simply loosen your top button and keep a belt on.  Wearing wedge sandals elongate yourself as you gain weight.
During the second stage, your stomach is pronounced and you can no longer conceal that you are pregnant.  You should wear fitted maternity clothes NOT baggy clothes.  Baggy clothes will give you the appearance that you are fat and not pregnant.  Wear empire tops so that they are fitted in your bust (remember no cleavage) and loose over your stomach.  Cardigans that are wavy help to conceal weight on your back/love handles while being open for your stomach.  Wear flats to be most comfortable and safe- you'll be waddling!
The last stage is postpartum.  Your baby has arrived and you want to be seen in photos and in front of friends in more than just sweats.  Wearing layers will help to conceal gained baby weight until you return to your pre pregnancy figure.  Wear a wide belt that fits across the middle of your abdomen.  Tops should be loose but not baggy and having ruffles {like the green dress, above} will help to disguise weight in your mid section.  Outer wear should be cropped and fitted, not loose.  A comfortable wedge sandal will add height while walking around with that heavy car seat.

The journey to modest style begins with knowing what your body shape is so that you can accurately purchase clothes to emphasize your greatest features.  Your body shape may change with weight gain or loss, surgery, or pregnancy so it's always good to review all of the different shapes.  In upcoming blogs we'll help you to apply your knowledge of your body shape into your own personal style, while keeping it modest.

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15 December 2011

Welcome! | post 01

Welcome to The Modest Wardrobe! 

This is a collaborative blog with helpful tips and ideas encouraging women to dress modestly, according to our fashion beliefs.  While we
 are not experts, we hope to inspire women of all ages, backgrounds and heritages to feel confident in modesty and to see that you CAN be fashionable while dressing in this manner.  Many times in our society, modesty is looked at as dull, drab, and old fashioned but we at The Modest Wardrobe think otherwise.  Modest fashion can be fun, trendy, stylish, elegant and sophisticated during any event or situation....

In The Modest Wardrobe you'll be able to see before and after photos, guest bloggers, read personal struggles & triumphs, tips & tricks, and DIY.  We'll also include many examples for dressing during pregnancy & post partum, swimming, sports, date nights, and church.   We hope you may gain modest fashion ideas and apply them to your own personal style and personality.  Have fun viewing our blog and come back often!

We will officially be up and running January 2012, thank you for your patience!  We gladly appreciate input, sponsors, guest bloggers and reader requests!

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