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Modesty and Romance

April 29th, 2010

Two posts ago, I talked about Lolita fashion and its roots from the Victorian age. Even taking bustiers into account, you have to admit that fashion back then was much more modest than today. A friend of mine likes to view dressing modestly as a way to feel like royalty–a princess finely dressed. Centuries might have affected fashion trends, but men’s minds have not changed over the years. This is not to say that men alone are evil. They were made to be visual, and women were made to desire love from men. We just have to cater to our nature of being like this in the right way. Immodesty is like junk food. It satisfies you temporarily and is never good for you. Showing skin to attract men (or even to compete with women) might get you the attention you want, but it is almost never love that you end up getting.

As I like to say, “Keep immodesty within the marriage bed!” Married women can get all the fun they want with lingerie as clothes for their husband’s eyes only! Ironically, I only really took the importance of modest fashion to heart when I got married. I’ve never really been happier with the way I carried myself since I started pushing away my insecurities by not wearing clothes that attracted the wrong attention. I realized that I gave away part of myself to other men through the way I dressed, and essentially stole from my husband what he alone should’ve cherished.

To the single women out there, it is best to start now. I understand how hard it is to even attract men in this day and age, where sexually infused fashion is rampant, but it will pay off one day to be with someone who cares deeply about who you are, enough to protect you from himself. When you incite a man to lust, you do not win him. Lust takes over, and it is greedy. Like any type of greed, it wants more. Do not expect that luring a man with lust will keep him faithful to you. Modesty is not really the end-all to lust, but it certainly helps to keep minds pure.

In addition to its benefits to single men and women, dressing modestly can help couples in a small way by not adding to the temptation that husbands and even pastors have everyday to look at other women lustfully. Let’s not be greedy and steal their minds away. Lust really eats up men, and contrary to the momentary pleasures they might get from it, they ultimately do not like its effects. Doing your part says that you love all men and want to help them see the beauty in you through purity and not lust. Purity goes a long way. It’s not really synonymous with chastity. You can be pure and be sexually active in the context of marriage. Most guys deep down want a girl who will give them everything without inhibitions but only to them. If you give yourself to other men by inciting lust in their minds through the way that you dress, then you are not really saving yourself fully for your future husband. The Bible says that if a man looks at or thinks about another woman lustfully, then he is already committing adultery. In your own small way, by dressing modestly, you really are helping to tame lustful thoughts. It shows that you really care, and in turn, most “husband-material” guys will appreciate this a lot.

Dressing “down” gave me many heartaches. It attracted so many of the wrong type of guys. I’m glad that God was sovereign and landed me with an amazing stud who encouraged me to be modest-fashionably forward (even before we got married).

Check out this video by Jason Evert of Pure Love Club:

Last weekend, before leaving for tax-free Delaware, my mother-in-law told my husband, Rob, that he should take me shopping while we were there. When we got back, she had a confused look on her face when he told her we had gone to Goodwill.

It’s the truth. I fancy shopping at thrift stores. I think I would go to them even if I had the luxury of unlimited money on my side. There’s just something nice about walking through a menial and overlooked place and bringing home treasures of timeless tapestry and vintage has-beens. It just makes me feel fantastic to spend only a fraction of what I know I would’ve paid elsewhere.

If you are already a frequenter of your local Salvation Army or Goodwill, then you will find this post very helpful to keep in mind on your next spree. If you aren’t, I hope to bring out the nifty thrifty in you without compromising high fashion tastes and values.

  1. Keep a general list. Either in mind or in hand, try to remember what you need or want. You need this list to be fairly general because you have to expect that you’re not going to find Givenchy peep toes in beige. This keeps you from being disappointed but also helps you to have an agenda and not spend your entire afternoon at the store.
  2. Do not be intimidated by the size of the store or distracted by the way the clothes are organized. It’s easy to get lost in the ambiguity of the setup of most thrift stores. You might see women’s shoes displayed in every corner of the store or see a lot of misplaced items. The organization varies from place to place, but spending time in these places will help you get acquainted easily.
  3. Sift through patterns, colors, length, etc. It can be fun and adventurous to try to look through every piece of clothing on every rack of every lane of the store, but it can also be very tiring and time consuming. Look through the racks swiftly, and watch out for patterns, colors, lengths, or specific styles that stand out to you. Looking only to buy below-the-knee skirts? Look at the bottom part instead of the top as you slowly walk through the aisles.You can run your fingers through the clothes briskly and maybe even consider the fabric while you do this. Sure, you might miss an amazing spring dress by blitzing through the clothes like a speed reader. If this happens and you find out about it, then don’t be too hard on yourself. Consider it not meant to be, and cherish the prizes that you did successfully manage to dig up.
  4. If possible, wear socks, a tank top, and a slip as undergarments while you try on second-hand clothes and shoes. This is mostly for sanitary reasons. Don’t wear anything too bulky. You will want to have these items fit on your body as if you are wearing nothing but skin. For shoes, bear in mind that the way they fit might change significantly depending on the socks. Basically, try everything on before buying.
  5. Inspect everything about the garment. Keep in mind that you are buying used clothes, shoes, and accessories in a place that does not offer a money-back guarantee. Make sure to watch out for tears, stains, missing buttons, etc. If you are not willing to have these repaired, then put the clothes back on the rack. On the other hand, with a little creativity and hard work, you might just be able to heal a wounded skirt.
  6. Tailor over-sized but worthy garments. If you cannot find the time to do this, cannot sew on your own, or do not want to pay to have alterations done, just use safety pins to taper the sides of a loose skirt or shorten tall pants. I recently fell in love with a skirt that almost touched the floor and was about five sizes too big. These minor setbacks didn’t deter me from buying it for its amazing bright floral pattern. I wanted to transform it into a bubble skirt. It was perfect! If you have the skills in home economics, then you can also try to get cheap fabrics (at a retail store or online at Fabric) and make your own clothes!
  7. Visualize mixing and matching. Since you can’t bring your entire wardrobe with you, visualize how the items you’re getting are going to work with what you already have at home. Looks can be deceiving, so you should always try everything on. Being modest does not completely limit you from buying that fabulous shirt that has a great pattern but a low-cut neckline. Visualize how you can add a shell underneath to cover your chest. Just make sure that you aren’t tempted to wear that shirt alone! To be on the safe side, I would just avoid that type of clothing altogether. However, for the times when you just have to have it and still want to be modest, you can get some great shells online from Kosher Casual and Tabeez.
  8. Look for quality, uniqueness, and sophistication. Ironically, while you always want the thrift store price, you generally do not want to look like you are wearing thrift store clothes. Buy pieces that are truly treasures and not something you could’ve gotten from any other department store. The bad habit to do while shopping in general is to get everything that is cheap. This should not be the case especially in thrift stores, unless you want to buy the entire store and/or consequently end up looking poor with a low-brow sense of style. Ultimately, you should never compromise your fashion tastes and values of modesty for the price of cheap, kitschy clothing. There are specialty modesty shops if you just want to look through a catalog full of modest apparel: Christa-Taylor and Shabby Apple to name a couple.
  9. Check out the accessories. The jewelry section might be less intimidating to look at because it is usually just in one small area. Try and have an open mind as you look through the pieces. Be creative. A necklace can be used as a headpiece, rings can be transformed into pendants and add sparkle to scarves, and pins can be worn on blazers, hats, and purses.
  10. Wash the clothes before using them. Once you get home from your excursion, toss everything in the laundry right away before you forget. You do not want to end up smelling like another woman (or orange juice for that matter) while you are with your significant other!

Did you know that you can also shop for Goodwill’s inventory online?

That’s all for now! More from this saga later. Do you have thrift shopping tips you would like to share?

Lolita Love

April 26th, 2010

I am not sure if I am a fan of lolita fashion, but I certainly admire the classic lolita for its modesty. Lolita is a fashion subculture in Japan influenced by the Victorian and Rococo periods. Variations of lolita include gothic, punk,  sweet, and classic as the main types. Each of the types are somewhat visually self-explanatory, so I will not delve in them at least for now. The origin of this street style might not be fully known, but it is recognized as a diversion away from the mainstream, sexualized fashion by embracing child-like innocence through clothing. Although this may be the case, some view this as a pedophiliac fantasy magnet worn by adult females. I do not doubt that some people are attracted to this style in that fashion much like how a minority of outliers have an odd foot fetish. As long as most of the skin is covered, I cannot speak for its sexual nature.

I obviously lean to the side of less creepy lolita a.k.a. classic lolita. I love Victorian fashion minus the chest popping bustiers (in public). They are great for underwear if you are married; otherwise, just keep it under the clothes.

This post was inspired by the discussion that arose over the April 23rd photo on The Sartorialist.


Sorry. This one is a little blurry as you can see (or not see).


Got this skirt today in tax-free Delaware visiting my husband’s best man and best man-friend. I clarified because supposedly, I am Rob’s best woman-friend.


Made this work as a hair piece. It might look like a bracelet, but it’s actually what lined my jewelry box. I just secured it in my hair with hair pins. It was stiff enough to stay round. It’s fun to get creative with your accessories!

Examples of lolita:


Gothic


Sweet

Frolic Friday

April 23rd, 2010

Despite the frolic nature of these photos, I’ve been feeling blah-nd. It’s probably because I couldn’t get the black dye on my hair to fade, so the result of my color in a box turned out choppy. Once in a while, I dye my hair jet black. Because of my ethnicity, people think it’s my natural color. It really does just make me look Northeast Asian, which I am not. Believe it or not, I am Pacific Islander from Southeast Asia… but an American.

The pin below was from a missions banquet I attended about a year ago at my former church. The event was called “Everyone” promoting not diversity but the spreading of the gospel to all nations. I haven’t done global missions, but I hope that I get to encourage, if not influence, women to dress modestly. There are many reasons as to why women adopt this value, but I believe that merely being told how to dress will not fly with most. It’s human nature to be selfish and stubborn. I know because I was that way with my clothes. My story came from a personal, ongoing, but life changing realization. I’ve never turned back since I made this stand to modesty and will never plan on going back. I hope that through these snippets of encouragement (as opposed to a mouthful) will be a seed in your life. It may not sprout until later, but I myself was a late bloomer even when I had already been a Christian since childhood. Modesty is just not easy to swallow. It’s a sacrifice worth doing and also a joy worth sharing.

Redminscing Plaiditude

April 22nd, 2010

Obviously, I made those words up. It sounds like a great album name that resembles what Weezer already came up with. I am wearing red plaid with attitude reminiscing fall days because spring has sprung a leak with its rainy days. It’s either I was being rebelliously poetic with meteorology, or that the plaid jacket was just the first thing I grabbed on our way to Ihop this chilly morning.

Also, do not order waffles at Ihop. It’s quite the antithesis. Go to Waffle House. They are two of my hubby and I’s favorite breakfast places that each have their own specialty.


Top right: Just one of the many Victorian necklaces and other jewelry I am soon to share with you either as giveaway or for my store.

Purple Rain

April 21st, 2010

Although I am not referencing Prince’s movie in any way, I thought it was the most appropriate title. To set the stage for you- it is raining, and I am wearing purple. A lot of you probably love the color, but I just haven’t incorporated that liking deep into my wardrobe psyche yet. Thus, wearing this hue today was a bit risky for me.

I got the button on my shirt from our honeymoon trip to Poconos. (No, we didn’t get a room with the champagne glass hot tub.) Adding a button on your garment, purse, or hat adds diversity to any outfit. Just don’t overdo it.

I’ve also compiled some pretty paraphernalia for the purple lovers out there. Some of them are reasonably priced.

Clava 9001 Racing Bowler (Women's) - Purple/Green
Clava 9001 Racing Bowler (Women’s) – Purple/Green

FE New York by Fantas-Eyes Malibu (Women's) - Purple
FE New York by Fantas-Eyes Malibu (Women’s) – Purple

Adi Designs 6952 (Women's) - Purple
Adi Designs 6952 (Women’s) – Purple

Michael Antonio Travis (Women's) - Purple
Michael Antonio Travis (Women’s) – Purple

Journee Collection Zen-85-1 (Women's) - Purple
Journee Collection Zen-85-1 (Women’s) – Purple

Steve Madden Tayla (Women's) - Purple Suede
Steve Madden Tayla (Women’s) – Purple Suede

Adi Designs Tod (Women's) - Purple
Adi Designs Tod (Women’s) – Purple

Cuff Rings Giveaway Winner

April 20th, 2010

I am pleased to announce that out of 201 entries, Cynthia Richardson (@hofken) is the winner of 2 beautifully handcrafted beaded cuff rings! Please send me an e-mail to rachel @ alamodest.com (no spaces) with your mailing address. Congratulations! Have fun sporting these :)

To those of you who didn’t win, I should be giving away more goodies fairly often. Stay tuned, and don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss anything!– Twitter | Google Friend Connect | E-mail | BlogLovin | MyBlogLog.

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