À LA MODEST :: Conservative Indie Fashion Style Blogger - a la modest - a la mode st. - conservative indie style blog blogger

I call this the “potato sack” outfit, because I am wearing an XL-size Alfred Dunner sweater, which I couldn’t resist getting for the gold nautical emblem, and a thick crochet shawl around me with a pair of oxymoronically loose “skinny” jeans! I was worried that this outfit was going to look frumpy (the #1 dreaded word for modesty), but I think the shawl, the belt, and the wedges really helped make everything still look chic. By the way, I don’t always wear sizes that are bigger than me—I just manage to find one-of-a-kind pieces that happen to not be in my size! I was originally going to pair this sweater with tights or leggings, but the sweater wasn’t long enough to look like a dress. Wearing anything tighter than these jeans would’ve been too revealing. Tights under tunics or short (and tight) skirts have been such a fad lately, and I honestly think they should be tossed out the window. Girls are always coming up with crafty ways to show form even in the coldest of seasons, sacrificing themselves and justifying the lack of warmth they are getting from these types of clothes. I must agree, though, that knitted tights really keep the legs as warm if not warmer than wearing pants. I think it’s because the friction that knitted tights give to legs creates warmth all over your legs. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should be wearing knitted tights in place of pants when you have a tunic on! I must say, the title of this entry was inspired by a friend’s comment in an e-mail about how she believes her husband would still get turned on by her presence even if she had a potato sack on! How many women would love to get this reaction from their (future) mate? I think it’s such a beautiful thing to be appreciated for your beauty and personality without having to try too hard to please. When you constantly and intentionally wear something sexy (in the presence of men other than your husband in private), your clothes just make you look desperate for men’s attention. As much as sexual attention is so gratifying to us, you really don’t want to be treated and thought of as an object. It should be enough to draw attention to your pretty smile, your well-groomed hair, and the put-togetherness of your outfit instead of your lady lumps. Placing emphasis on your womanly curves and your skin just causes trouble for yourself and others—is that worth the cloud nine feeling you get when somebody is checking you out (even the guys who shouldn’t be doing so)? To think so is just completely selfish. You know that you can still feel good about yourself by drawing other people’s attention to the cleverness of your outfit instead of the curvature of your body.I was born with the “classic” woman body type, so it’s kind of difficult to conceal some of the areas of my body. I believe I own more dresses and skirts than pants now because dresses and skirts seem to work well toning down my shape without making me look like a tomboy. Just last weekend, I was a bridesmaid at my dear friend’s wedding. They ordered our dresses without getting our correct sizes, so they ended up getting an extra small for me. The extra small dress was so tight on me that it looked like I was wearing a bodysuit where every surface on my body was emphasized more than it should have been. I guess I normally do such a good job concealing my curves that they thought I was an extra small! Although I felt really good and confident in that dress knowing I work out from time to time (note to self: make it a habit!), I just had to switch dresses with someone else with a size higher up—but that was still too tight. Perhaps what too “tight” is is a matter of opinion, because I could still breathe in that dress, but what is too tight for me is anything that clings to your body and shows your silhouette. Overall, I think that our bridesmaid dresses were generally modest—it helped a lot that the wedding was in the fall, too! It was just the cotton and lace material that made the dress cling to the body more than any other material, and the fact that I had to keep stretching my dress down to the actual length every so often was not a good sign. Following most girls’ train of thought, I don’t think that they are just ignorant about how they dress. I really believe that most girls just pretend to be aloof when confronted about it. I confess that I used to play dumb when I wanted to wear whatever the heck I wanted. I wanted to get away with how sexy (apart from beautiful) I looked in my outfits without hearing about modesty so that I didn’t feel guilty. I hope you can see how selfish that kind of thinking is. It should be enough to show your beauty through the parts of your body that aren’t generally sexually tempting to men. It is a true sign of maturity to know that you are beautiful and express your creativity through clothing, accessories, and even makeup without needing to show off your curves to prove that you are a woman.

Speaking of weddings in general, I don’t understand what goes on in people’s minds when even the guests pick out showy outfits around a time when marriage and purity should be celebrated. What makes weddings a time to wear midriff tops for even people who usually don’t wear them? I don’t mean to criticize so harshly, but I just say this out of love because revealing outfits are really distracting to guys. Prior to the wedding, I had been contemplating for weeks whether I should have accepted being a bridesmaid fearing what type of dress they’d pick out for us. Out of love and support (and excitement), I decided to continue being a part of the wedding party, but I compromised by wearing a shirt underneath the area where my cleavage would have been visible. I risked looking like an idiot, but I couldn’t let go of my standard of not showing the area around my cleavage. In the end, it didn’t seem like a lot of people really noticed that I had a shirt on—except up close, but only to the point that they were less distracted due to a lack of flesh being shown, which was the goal, and not to the point that I stuck out like a sore thumb. Plus, I still received loads of compliments on the other elements of the outfit I put together uniquely for myself (DIY belt, shoes, pompadour hair). It’s amazing how God works when you honor Him even in clothing!

I love celebrating the love between two people who both love and fear God, and my friends the groom the bride are no exception! Their wedding had a mix of Victorian and Rockabilly feel. I will have to post photos when I get my hands on them.

By the way, if you don’t know yet… I tumble.

60 Responses to “Quit Wearing That! You Can Still Look Good in a Potato Sack!”

  1. Anthea

    Love your look. It definitely did not turn out frumpy. Those shoes are awesome!

  2. La-Mina

    You rock! loved this article. Love the belt. The shawl with the shoes was genius! <3

  3. Noelle

    Rachel, you are such an inspiration to young women like me … sometimes it seems as though creativity and modesty do not mix well, but you are positively brilliant at it! I aspire to dress just as uniquely and elegantly as you do … bravo once again! xoxo

  4. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    BAGISM should totally be the new fashion. ;)

    I agree with you on bridesmaids outfits. I didn’t have a wedding party (because they were all fighting since some were still in high school when I got married so I just cut them out completely) but I think they were really modest considering how I was back then! hehe. I have never been in a wedding other than my own, but that is a good thing to think about! I have a friend that I know I’d be in her wedding if she had a boyfriend and got married. . .but thankfully she is VERY into modesty! Otherwise I don’t think I will have to worry about it. That is good that you would rather look “dumb” for modesty’s sake. Hopefully the bride wouldn’t be mad or anything, but I think you would stand out a lot by being different and modest and I commend you for that!! hehe. This outfit looks great on you that you are wearing in these shots. you have a gorgeous smile. definitely.

  5. Polka Dot

    Cute outfit!
    And I totally agree about the wedding clothing thing–what is it about weddings that makes people think it’s suddenly okay to strip? seriously. It’s ridiculous.

    WAY TO GO keeping your standards! That’s inspiring to me. :) Most of my friends have at least similar modesty standards as I do, so hopefully that won’t be a problem in the future for me. :P

  6. H

    I agree with most of your points you made about modesty. I really can’t say I agree with what you said about girls really knowing and understanding what they are doing when they dress like that. I know that when I used to dress immodestly, I thought it was the normal way girls were supposed to dress-and that was considered beautiful. I think these influences can come from influences such as celebrities who dress immodestly and various magazines will call them beautiful for that. In my experience, I knew I was not dressing the same way as I would when I went to church-but I didn’t realize the extent of what I was doing. I sincerely don’t believe that I understood, until I had to learn the hard way. I think it’s a problem in how girls are raised today and what kind of influences are around them. Anyways, I just wanted to bring up that side of it. I really do like your blog and enjoy reading what you have to say. I also really appreciate you trying to be a good influence on people who may other wise be only influence by immodestly dressed women.

  7. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Thank you very much for pointing that out. I should’ve said “some” girls instead of “most” girls because I really don’t know for sure how much of the population I am representing with that statement, but it was of course, a generalization from observation and also from personal experience from how I used to reason out. I definitely went through the stages of not knowing how much clothing affected men before I heard about the dangers of this, but I must admit that when I learned about this, I didn’t want to listen to it and kept rationalizing to myself that I was fine. I remember my parents bought me a book about modesty for teens when I was in high school, but I gave the book away without telling them. I feel like not knowing about modesty is like not knowing about the bible—knowing and hearing about it should make people informed enough to make a decision. The problem with the issue of modesty, is that not every church teaches it, so I do understand that some girls just are really unaware of it. I was at some point like that, and then later because I was stubborn, I rejected it—then now, I have embraced it :)

    Thank you for appreciating this blog! It helps to hear what you are thinking! We are all together in helping each other out.

  8. Krystal/Village

    I don’t think this outfit looks frumpy at all! I like it lots :) And you have such good words about modesty..love it:)

  9. Laura Connell

    I love this post! It’s exactly what I need to read while I pursue a more modest approach to dress. And I like the way you call it what it is. Of course a revealing mode of dress is designed to attract men. Of course it is.

  10. Claudia

    i love love love your shirt! and i really love it with that belt too- i think this outfit is very late-60’s inspired and eclectic- i love it!

  11. Je M’appelle

    Gorgeous outfit!

  12. Sarah

    Cute! I always wear my skinny jeans oxymoron-ly like that…lol. A lot of times they look better that way. =D

  13. jemina

    Oh girl, you look stunning, definitely a very fetching ‘potato sack’ :)

    Enjoy your day dear


  14. Sarah

    I used to think it was corny to wear sandals with socks, but you’ve definitely convinced me the opposite. Kudos to a totally innovative outfit!

  15. Heidi

    Too cute! You look so chic! :)
    I should of kept at least one t-shirt or sweater before my weight loss. Although I could probably fit two of me in it now! LOL
    I think it would defeat the purpose then trying to achieve the oversized look.

  16. Lyddiegal

    It’s hard to look frumpy in those wedges!
    and when you find awesome things that are too big you can always try to alter them (or just belt, hehe)

  17. ML

    It’s pretty fantastic how you put together your outfits. Your hair, your eye make-up all beautiful!


    Come say Bonjour at:


  18. cherie

    i agree with your thoughts in weddings and proper attire in general. i think that the spotlight should be in the couple getting married and not “showing off”.

    p.s. really loving your eye makeup! how do you do it? :)

  19. Jovana

    gorgeus! :)

  20. Cho

    like it:)

  21. Jacqueline

    you are very cute!!

  22. sweet

    you look amazing despite of your flaws and no need to cover those areas…those flaws makes you perfect my dear!!!

    I am loving your shoes…


  23. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Flaws? I don’t have flaws :P Just kidding. My upper body is probably my favorite part of my body lol. :)

  24. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    Most of my best friends are Christians. My two closest ones both have recovery porn addict husbands so that’s why they see eye to eye with me on modesty and its importance. One of them is the Co-owner of R-EO with me, while the girl mentioned who is single who is one of my best friends has written a few entries on there as well. I think I’d have a hard time having friends who weren’t understandable about modesty and knowing how important it is. I have a couple close friends who aren’t Christians and we just don’t even get into those types of conversations because one of them hates hearing anything about God. One of my other best friends (I have a lot of them, I know. . ) who is a Christian wasn’t always too modest at all but she understands it. When I told her a bit about my Rob’s issues she never thought about how she would be held accountable for why a man might lust. So I opened up her eyes on it. She understands it now and has made a big effort of dressing better in general but I never told her “you shouldn’t wear this” I just told her why I am so into it. Do you have a lot of non-Christian friends or do you have a combination of the two? They agree with you about modesty at all?

  25. Marella

    Love the shoes!

  26. H

    I definitely agree, I think that not realizing how immodesty affects men is very similar to not knowing about the bible, or caring enough to look into it. Thats how I used to be, but not anymore :) I am very blessed to go to a church now that openly and frequently talks about the subject and to have a husband who was raised by parents who highly valued it. anyways, really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work.
    p.s. I really like the baggy skinny jeans, cool look! did you just get skinny jeans that were a few sizes too big?

  27. Rachel @ à la Modest

    The jeans definitely appear that way, don’t they? I think they were only a size bigger, so not really much bigger; although, they were for some reason already loose on me to begin with. Perhaps the sizing on them was wrong. The pair was also long, so they got bunched up around the knee area even after cuffing the ends. Worked out fine!

    I’m glad that you are surrounded by people who value modesty! I wish I did because none of my friends or family really seem to find importance in it, sadly. I guess if I were surrounded by people who already believed in modesty and sexual purity through clothes and media, then this blog wouldn’t have been much of an outlet for me and wouldn’t have been able to encourage and inspire other people :) So despite my lack of support from people around me, I am glad that I find other people like you who understand! Thanks so much for your comments!

  28. Shey

    It is a true sign of maturity to know that you are beautiful and express your creativity through clothing, accessories, and even makeup without needing to show off your curves to prove that you are a woman.
    <—– I love that quote, you are totally right, and I agree on the leggings worn as pants, they are not modest, at the gym I'm mortified of how much immodesty there is, and then women get annoyed by men lusting over them when they leave nothing left to imagination. Maybe that can be another post for you? =) The other day I saw this two guys entering the cycling class because of the cycling instructor, since her bike was facing us and there were mirrors behind her the two guys kept looking at her behind whenever she got up and down for different moves, I was annoyed by them and I could see she was unconfortable, and I'm not saying that women should be disrespected in that way just because they dress a certain way, but one puts themselves on the spot to be lusted after and that we can't deny.

  29. Shey

    Oh and thank you so much for your encouraging words about my moving to another church, I felt really bad about it but I know it was for the best. =)

  30. meredith

    i agree. as a woman who’s been modest her whole life, this is so true. you can attract the right kind of attention by wearing the right kind of clothes for you and the situation you’re in at the moment. you go girl! modest are hottest!
    Yours Mine and Ours

  31. Brittney

    I want that shawl. Better yet, I want it in blanket form–it looks ridiculously luxurious and cozy and warm and all things good. Love it.
    I just started my own mdoest fashion blog over at http://adayinlifetoo.blogspot.com I’d love it if you came to check it out!
    Have a good one.

  32. Cheryl

    That sweater was a steal! I like the gold anchor on it and the crochet shawl wrapped around it. :)

    Midriff tops and lots of cleavage on weddings? I think wedding outfits should be elegant and not cheap looking and yes, my hubby still finds me sexy even if I don´t bare my skin. ;)

  33. Jammie Chasteen

    LOVE the outfit and the blog! :) Are your shoes ASH? I think I have those in black! Super cute…

  34. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Thank you, Jammie! The shoes’ brand is Qupid, but the retailer where I got them from is UrbanOG.

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  38. WendyB

    I wanna see pix of the kind of people who wear cropped tops to a wedding!

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  40. H

    No problem :) That’s great that you are going against the grain and have a blog about modesty when it’s not a value thats highly supported in your environment. Very encouraging. Growing up I was never around anyone who talked about it or valued it that much so I think it’s very cool that you realize how important it is and that you do what you do. Like I’ve already said, keep up the good work. Look forward to seeing what you write about next :)

  41. Marina

    I completely agree about dressing modestly, yet still appealing. I hope to pull it off as well as you do.

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    I’m sure this is a great post, however, please paragraph more as I could only bear to read half…

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  48. Linda

    this is the first time i came across you blog, and …well… it is making me so mad i could scream so loudly my wallpaper would come rolling right off my walls. your approach to dressing and “modesty” makes me cringe. for me, it almost equals with putting women under a burka, or making turkish women wear headscarfs. why would any women have to run around thinking constantly about the best way to conceal her body just because men cannot control their thoughs? that is the same reasoning every culture has been using for centuries as an excuse to hide and constrict women. would it not be way more logical to kick guys in the arse if we got the impression that they see us as nothing but a walking vagina just because we are wearing a dress that reveals something of the shape of our body?
    and seriously: are you dying your hair red because you don’t want to be noticed? do you really think men are not going to think of you naked just because your jeans are a bit on the baggy side? how naive can you be? i am sorry if i come across as a harsh bitch. i don’t necessarily advocate slutty dressing – especially in really young girls, mostly because i am very sensitive when it comes to being classy and because i think that most of the young girls are not aware of the aggressiveness of the signals they are sending out.
    i don’t know,i am sorry, i am just sick and tired of women having to pay for men’s dirty thoughts. and hey, i have dirty thoughts too, and seriously, i don’t see anything wrong with a healthy little daydreaming about the nice shoulders of my co-worker.

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  50. KANI

    love te poncho!

  51. jed

    you look amazing! you pulled this outfit really well. i absolutely love the nautical top, the shoes and the sweater! =)

    I Am DollParts

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  54. TSF New Fashion

    I love your outfit!. The colours, textures, pattern and shape all work together really well for an interesting look.

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  56. Krystal/Village

    marks favorite outfit on me is tshirt and jeans. sadly, because i don’t like to wear those. but i like that he’s not turned on by skanky outfits when other girls are wearing them!

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  59. Mafalda C.

    Oh dear. Last wedding I went to, a girl wore the shortest skirt in history – I tried hard not to look as no one made a problem of it but it didn’t feel too right. I think this is why we need a dress code for occasions – much as I think everyone should be free to choose their style, some people are too caught up in their own ideas and aesthetics to understand this may pose a problem in such an occasion.

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