Help - Modesty in Dress


For a while now, I have been feeling the call to adjust my outward look in order to reflect Godly things and so, I am slowly starting to assemble a more modest wardrobe. I’m also contemplating covering my hair - though am still too chicken to do it anywhere other than in private prayer.

Anyways, I’m really drawn to the look of Moslem women. The wide leg pants, and tunic tops look so comfy, and they are still stylish and discreetly sexy. Here is the store link for those who don’t quite know what I’m talking about…

Now, keep in mind that I’m an uber pale redhead who lives in Vermont…and I definitely wouldn’t be leading people to think I was anything other than a Catholic

What is the general consensus about a woman wearing things that are traditionally associated with other faiths?

God Bless



I think if you don’t wear a hijab, you won’t be mistaken for a Muslim. Of course, there are Muslim women who don’t cover their hair, but most of the ones who dress similarly to the photos in your link also wear the hijab.

Personally, I think the clothes are rather lovely. I see a lot of Muslim women in my area wearing those styles and they do look elegant. If you want to ease into the look, you could start with some of the long tops that seem to be coming back in style this winter.


Personally, I wouldn’t want to give off the wrong impression. I can find modest clothes that suit my taste and not dress like a Muslim.

But if that style really appeals to you, maybe try it out by buying one outfit and see if you are comfortable with the reaction you get.



There was thread on this awhile back this year. The general consensus at that time was that modesty is a good thing, but dressing like the women of another faith might not be the best (the example at the time was Amish).

Personally, you have to wear it, so if you’re comfortable with it, go for it. I saw some very nice pantsuits there on the site that I would spend real money to buy.


Oh my, those clothes are lovely! The next time I need something new, that’s the first place I’ll go.

Also, those clothes are good for women whose figures aren’t perfect and/or stick thin. Very flattering for those of us carrying a few more pounds than we should.


Some lady swing dancers are noted for wearing a certain chic style of wider pants. You might want to look into that sort of thing. Both modest and hip as well as allowing for freedom of movement.


What an interesting site! I love some of the skirts - they are just my taste. Sweet names too…“serenity skirt”…“peace skirt”…“contemplative skirt”. :slight_smile:

Do you mean that you want to cover your head all the time or do you mean just in Mass?


Just as an fyi, that may not necessarily be true. One of my closest muslim friends is a redheaded, blue eyed, freckle faced girl. If I saw another girl like her dressed in traditionally islamic attire (specifically with the hijab/ head covering) I would probably think she was muslim too. Come to think of it, on campus (when I was at school) there was a pale blonde American looking girl that wore islamic looking attire and everyone assumed she was muslim (and I really don’t know if she was or not, I never met her).

Anyways, like Feanaro’s wife said, there are other ways to dress modestly. I do agree that it is important to dress modestly, but it can be done in an elegant, fashionable/hip way without resembling someone from another faith. With that said, I also agree that you may be able to incorporate some of the pieces of clothing from that site into your wardrobe without looking muslim.


Just in Mass. Not one single lady veils, or even wears a hat. It is very intimidating to be the only one who would.

Chicago - good tip about the swing pants, I didn’t think of that!

I appreciate being able to toss this idea around with you all. Never having really put much effort into modesty cough, I’m seeing how tough it can be to find appropriate clothes that aren’t frumpy or “old” but still reflect my love of unique styling and different cultures.

God Bless



Hi Jessica,

Try doing a google search for “clothing” along with some of the following other keywords: frum (orthodox jewish), lds, sikh (punjabi) … since those traditions also encourage modesty.

Here are a few links I found that might be of interest:

Best of luck to you :slight_smile:


You need to dress the way you feel God is calling you to dress. Certainly the clothes on this website are modest and still lovely. I had to laugh, though, as some of them reminded me of the habit I wore as a Benedictine novice years ago. I like to dress modestly, but I don’t want to wear anything that makes me look like a nun!:smiley:

On the other hand, I loved the cut and color of some of the skirts. Simply lovely!



I like the clothing at that site so much that I bought several skirts and tunics. If anyone’s interested, I can report back after I get them.


Which skirts did you choose? :slight_smile:


As a guy, I won’t go near telling you what to wear.
Modesty in dress is variable. Slacks can be very modest or not.
As for a head covering, in my slanted male opinion, the mantilla is one of the most beautiful things a woman can put on her head.


This will be my first week covering my head in Mass too. I don’t really feel intimidated because we attend a Tridentine Mass, but only about half the ladies actually cover their head. It is not required and is left up to each lady to decide.

We have been going to this Mass for about 6 months now and have decided it will be our main Mass. We do still occasionally attend the new Mass.

I didn’t rush into covering my head because I wanted to be sure of my reasons for doing so. I didn’t want to wear a veil just because some of the other ladies do. I now feel comfortable with my decision to cover my head simply out of reverence for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament; and because it is a beautiful ancient custom of the Church. As a convert I want to embrace all that the Church offers.

I am actually quite excited about it and have picked out a beautiful antique lace to make the mantilla. :slight_smile:

The only thing I am nervous about is wearing a veil to a new Mass - which I will be doing whenever we attend there. It would seem weird to me to wear it only to the Tridentine Mass and not the new Mass - being the same sacrifice in Latin or English! I will certainly stick out there wearing a head covering - and I hate to draw attention to myself. But then we are always the only ones at the new Mass genuflecting, bowing during the creed etc etc etc. And the only ones with three young children :frowning: so we stick out anyway.

I am thinking I will wear something more like a bandana or scarf rather than the mantilla to the new Mass…might blend in just a little more! What type of head covering were you considering Jessica?


You might like to google “tznius” which is Hebrew for modesty. There are some lovely things made for Jewish dress standards…

A site that has a nice variety of headcoverings is:


Ooh, yeah, I personally would love your opinions :slight_smile:


I would love to find something somewhat stealth, like a nice shawl that I can have around my shoulders and easily bring up over my head when I enter the church (though, I’ve tried that with the ones I’ve got, and I look like a little Jewish Grandmother grins). I found some nice headcoverings (and some snoods! Yay!) on some Jewish clothing sites, but they look sort of complicated to wrap.

All that said, I asked for a mantilla for Christmas, so we’ll see :slight_smile:



As for covering your head in Mass, I’ve been wearing a mantilla for about 2 years now…both to NO and Tridintine Masses (and Holy Hours…when I remember to grab it…mine is at 1am though so usually I’m stumbling out the door bleary-eyed)

I have darkish brown hair, and I wear a black lace mantilla that is longer, so I can wrap it around my shoulders. I chose black because I felt it blended in with my hair color and was less conspicuous. That said, my sister’s hair isn’t much lighter than mine, and she wears a white one. No big deal. Personally, I’ll never go back to not wearing a veil, because I love it. :slight_smile: I would avoid crazy colors and stick with white, black, cream, etc. Keep it simple :slight_smile:


I have to agree with you on the look of some Moslem women. I also feel the same way about the look of Indian women (not the modern day Bollywood version which is very revealing). I had a boss who was a Scottish red head and was always a bit on the heavy side. For years and to this day she wears beautiful tunics with matching pants. While she wears these things to flatter her figure, her way of dressing would be considered kind of like Moslems.

Anyway on another note, I recently became friends with a young Moslem woman who does not wear the traditional wear. She was telling me that on a recent trip back to Iran to see family (she hadn’t been there in about 5 years), she found the traditional look her cousins and aunts wore to be a little hypocritical because while they cover their hair and wear the loose tunics and pants, she said they have heavy make-up on, get things like laser hair removal done as well as have lots of plastic surgery on their faces to perfect them (especially nose-jobs). She said it’s the only way they feel they can express their beauty and that they were actually quite vain (her family is upper crust in terms of social position). I thought that was interesting and something you never hear about.

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