Modesty and Fashion: Women of Faith 2013

Given the slew of topics on modesty recently, I happened to watch the Women of Faith Conference from April 2013, and though Brenda Sharman of purefashion.com gave an excellent talk, especially with her background as a lingerie and apparel model.

They have a set of guidelines on their website, posted below, and I am curious what people think about them.

affiliate.purefashion.com/about

affiliate.purefashion.com/modesty
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In our modern culture, which sometimes promotes an “all about me,” “look at me” mentality, Pure Fashion promotes balanced self confidence with a desire to love, serve and respect others. The Models are also given opportunities to love and serve others through outreach and mission projects, which cultivate the virtues of love and generosity of spirit. In addition, the young women will be taught how to sit, stand, and walk with grace and elegance as we realize that sometimes our actions speak louder than our words. And finally, they will be taught to think critically about the choices they make, the merchandise they buy, and the overall way in which they present themselves to the world.*

Always and Anywhere:

Shirts

Necklines are four fingers below the collarbone.
Material is opaque, not sheer, very thin, or spandex.
Shirts draw attention to the face, not the bust line. They can be ruffled, be-jeweled, patterned, etc, but the bra is not seen in the back (if visible, the shirt is too tight).
The back is covered: no strappy backs, halter, or backless garments.
Tank tops are worn with a shirt, jacket, or sweater over them.

Pants

Can be form-fitting but not too tight, especially in the seat or thigh area.
One should be able to pull pants away from the leg—and not just because the material is spandex (that doesn’t count).
When the arms are straight down at the side, the bottom of the shorts is below the longest finger.
Panty lines are not visible. If necessary, pantyhose or a “thigh shaper” can create a smooth appearance in the clothing.

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Skirts**

Skirts are four slender fingers above the top of the kneecap.
Be attentive to see if a slip is necessary.

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Dresses**

From the waist up, dresses follow the shirt guidelines.
Dresses need sleeves or two-inch wide straps. Wraps go nicely with dresses that have straps.

Note

Undergarments should never become outer garments.

More Clothing Guidelines

On the runway

When modeling on a raised runway, hemlines appear much shorter, so skirts and dresses should be no shorter than at-the-knee length.
Care must be taken when entering or exiting the stage in a skirt or dress.
The brighter the better is a good rule for runway clothing. The audience is coming to see a show and bright clothing adds pizzazz.
Heels are best on a runway. Ballet flats or wedge shoes do not show as well. Practice is needed to walk elegantly in heels. Heels that are too high detract from the overall impression of the model.
First impressions are important. How do you want the audience to remember you? Dress accordingly.
All clothing is always crisp, clean, and stylish in a Pure Fashion Show! Accessories can be colorful, flashy, extravagant, or tailored. Accessories add an important component to the overall impression of the outfit on stage.

On the job

When buying clothes and dressing to express your personal dignity as a young lady, remember to consider what you will be doing in them! People sit, stand, lean over, walk up stairs with others behind them, and sit at tables facing speakers, bosses, or teachers. How do your clothes or lack of clothes appear to someone seated alongside, above, and below you in all of your daily postures?

Some pitfalls:

Blouses and shirts that are too loose can be as immodest as tight ones. If the neckline droops from the body when a woman bends over, everyone can see the body parts the blouse was designed to cover.
If the armpit is too loose, think about the view of the person standing alongside.
Blouses that button sometimes have see through gaps between the buttons, so if there is a side view to the inside, this may not be the blouse to buy or wear.
Is the blouse too tight and comes unbuttoned easily? Wear a slip or tank top underneath.
With arms lifted overhead when looking in the mirror, does the back or belly show? If so, a longer look or a layer underneath is necessary.
Many of today’s V-necks have plunged to all new “lows.” They can even become more revealing when worn by young women of short or medium height. Layering ensures that private parts remain private.

Summer fun

Undergarments can do a good job of protecting modesty during the warm summer months.
Try an extra lined bra for the months when it is too warm to dress in layers.
Choose a bra that has a little padding in the event of a chill.
White jeans or shorts require a selection of undergarments in a nude shade.
Pure Fashion recommends one-piece bathing suits. Cover-ups can be a nice addition to add mystery.

At the mall/everyday dressing
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Let the clothing be a testament of your dignity as a young lady. What you choose to wear can affect your behavior.
Be careful about dressing “grungy” even if it is modest. It can be perceived as a lack of self-confidence.
Attend to the current trends in clothing, but don’t allow yourself to become enslaved by them. Fashion-forward dressers usually select one or two items from each season to coordinate with their existing wardrobe.
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Shoes

Not all shoes are modest. Some speak a whole language: extra platform or overly strappy heels might be sending the wrong message:

Make sure that heels reflect elegance and classiness and not “sexiness.”
Be sure that the shoes match the occasion—casual shoes with casual occasion and classy shoes and pumps with classy or elegant occasions.

You wanted to know what we think, right? Are you sure?

I think the guidelines are fine for those who want these guidelines. For women who already dress like this because they like it. Or for women who have no clue how to dress because no one taught them or because they missed that phase. It’s can be a good starting point until they figure out which “rules” they want to break. Except maybe the pitfalls; everyone should consider those. As far as the rest: this sort of thing ends up being some kind of standard that many will cite as though it has some kind of authority when it, in fact, does not.

Three slender fingers? Why not 3 chubby ones? :rolleyes:
Don’t dress grunge even if it’s modest because it might appear that I lack self-confidence? And I’m worrying about what others think because…?
For a job interview there is a formula but there is actually some leeway depending on the field the job is in.
And even a padded bra ain’t gonna reign in my NHOs.

There doesn’t seem to be even a little room for being creative or adventurous. Nice and cookie-cutter.

Makes me want to show up at one of these conferences when my hair is blue or pink and sprinkle glitter on everyone.

The guidelines are to help young women who want to be fashionable and look nice, but maintain their sense of modesty and dignity. The woman who started oure fashion is a former Ms. Georgia and lingerie model, and wasn;t even Catholic when she met her future husband. The guidelines are simply that - just guidelines to help girls who want to strive for purity and modesty, They are not doctrine of any sort.

I like their goals, especially in light of girls getting plenty of messages to the contrary everywhere else in society. Here is their “About Us” section:
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Pure Fashion is an international faith based program designed for girls 14-18 to help young women re-discover and re-affirm their innate value and authentic femininity.

Pure Fashion is a character formation program that enhances not only a young woman’s external appearance, but more importantly, her interior beauty and balanced self confidence.

Our goal is to emphasize a young woman’s inherent dignity and therefore create in her a desire to dress and act in accordance with that dignity. We understand that many young women today are losing their sense of innocence at a very young age, and Pure Fashion aims to reverse this trend by offering a fun, exciting and effective virtue formation program that can impress the hearts and minds of young girls at a very critical stage in their lives.
The Training Program

The Pure Fashion Model Training program spans the course of 7 months and consists of monthly training sessions designed to help young girls develop into young ladies.

Through the monthly training sessions, Pure Fashion Models are taught the foundational skills of becoming confident, competent leaders in their schools and communities. With training sessions focusing on topics such as table manners, social etiquette and public speaking skills, Pure Fashion Models will learn the basics of growing into distinguished, capable and respectful young women. Pure Fashion models will also be taught the art of makeup and hairstyling, all the while remembering that grace, decency and dignity are our greatest adornments.

In our modern culture, which sometimes promotes an “all about me,” “look at me” mentality, Pure Fashion promotes balanced self confidence with a desire to love, serve and respect others. The Models are also given opportunities to love and serve others through outreach and mission projects, which cultivate the virtues of love and generosity of spirit. In addition, the young women will be taught how to sit, stand, and walk with grace and elegance as we realize that sometimes our actions speak louder than our words. And finally, they will be taught to think critically about the choices they make, the merchandise they buy, and the overall way in which they present themselves to the world.

Why? Because they strive to help youung women emulate a pure, modest sense of style? That’s the sort of thing pro-gay lobbyists do to Christian speakers all too often.

It’s still possible to maintain modesty and dignity without dressing in the manner described. Like I said, it’s place to start and some women admit they don’t know where to start but various rules can be broken and the clothing/style can still be modest. Maybe not your view of modest. It’s a little too “safe” for me. Too neat.

Why? Because they strive to help youung women emulate a pure, modest sense of style?

No, because there is a hint that if a woman doesn’t dress this way they are not pure or modest.

That’s the sort of thing pro-gay lobbyists do to Christian speakers all too often.

It’s been done? I’ll have to come up with something else.

I am a 66 year old woman, on a very limited income. If I carry a purse I have become prey.

I wear men’s cargo pants, everywhere. My tops are whatever the good Lord provides.

I do not care what anyone thinks about my limited wardrobe.

The Lord gives us all the right to choose. I pass this right on to everyone .

I thank God every day for all things.

I love the look of cargo pants. Very punk rock ;).

Why would you jump to it being about hating modesty? I thought she made it pretty clear it was because of the cookie-cutter way these guidelines present themselves. Some people just can’t stand everyone and everything being the same. They need variety and difference. And, while I recognize that there can be all kinds of differences even within the guidelines set above, they do kind of come across as a strict rule of conformity, so I can understand the reaction, even if I think its over the top.

Also, while I think a lot of the guidelines are good, I’ve got to say, their shoe one is definitely off. I mean, come on, strappy shoes are immodest?? They are elegant and formal, not immodest.

Reminds me of my Catholic School handbook :smiley:

I think there are still plenty of opportunities to be creative in dress even following these guidelines. It’s helpful advice for many women who don’t know things like what color undergarments to wear under white clothes … or the fact that they need to take into account movement when choosing their blouses.

There are immodest shoes. I don’t think the description given referred to just moderate heels with straps. I think it’s referring to platform shoes with really high heels … anything over 3 inches is pretty tall and “flashy” and even more importantly, dangerous for walking and bad for the feet. Plus, what if you had to get away from someone quickly?

I understand what the poster who mentioned wearing cargo pants and eschewing the purse due to fears of becoming a victim of a thief, or worse. We women have to take care to always to be aware of our surroundings and discern if we are calling attention to ourselves when out in public.

This is why I’m very careful about where I go, when I go and to be vigilant about where I park and keeping an eye on the people around me. Choosing our clothing for it’s modesty, style, comfort and to minimize unwanted attention is a good idea all in all.

I like cargo pants, though I wear alot of shorts, capri pants, tees, and tanks. And I’m not much younger then you are (66 next month). :smiley:

If the 3-inch heels are also worn by someone who wears a head covering are they still immodest?

Oh, I absolutely agree. :slight_smile:

There are immodest shoes. I don’t think the description given referred to just moderate heels with straps. I think it’s referring to platform shoes with really high heels … anything over 3 inches is pretty tall and “flashy” and even more importantly, dangerous for walking and bad for the feet. Plus, what if you had to get away from someone quickly?

flashy doesn’t mean immodest, and you can have elegant non-flashy tall strappy heels. As for the rest of the reasons you give, none of those are about modesty. I’m sorry but a nice pair of black strappy 31/2 inch heels just is not immodest. Sure, some styles of shoes are, those that look like hookers would wear them, but apart from that? Not really. Just because they are elegant and make someone look more attractive doesn’t mean they are immodest.

I wanted to make sure you and others note I didn’t disagree with this part but suggested that these are good guidelines for many women who may not have considered these things.

There are immodest shoes. I don’t think the description given referred to just moderate heels with straps. I think it’s referring to platform shoes with really high heels … anything over 3 inches is pretty tall and “flashy” and even more importantly, dangerous for walking and bad for the feet. Plus, what if you had to get away from someone quickly?

I agree that heels are not good for quick getaways but why is this a concern? There is something wrong that women even have to think about making “accommodations” like this and continue to promote this idea as though preventing assault is a woman’s responsibility.

See picture #13: are those shoes immodest?

I understand what the poster who mentioned wearing cargo pants and eschewing the purse due to fears of becoming a victim of a thief, or worse. We women have to take care to always to be aware of our surroundings and discern if we are calling attention to ourselves when out in public.

See above.

This is why I’m very careful about where I go, when I go and to be vigilant about where I park and keeping an eye on the people around me. Choosing our clothing for it’s modesty, style, comfort and to minimize unwanted attention is a good idea all in all.

“Minimize unwanted attention” sounds like a euphemism for “minimize the chances sexual assault.”

:rotfl: I have to laugh at the dichotomy of Muslim women who covered their heads, necks and all hair but simpered along in tight skirts or pants and perched on the most AMAZING high heels. As you know, wearing heels makes for an elongated leg and for a particular gait…not at all modest if you know what I mean.

Lisa

As with most modesty threads, there’s some good advice here. The key, IMO, is to simply be a little more aware of ways to have consideration of modesty without bordering on scrupulosity.

Now, if I make poke a little fun at the advice:

I have it on very good authority (another man’s confession ;)) that if a guy doesn’t see any panty lines he’s immediately thinking "oooooohhhhhh. . . . . .she wears thongs!)

Darned if you do, and darned if you don’t.

(Not to mention if a guy’s noticing panty lines at all, his eyes already travelled south of what’s appropriate and spent a little too much time lingering there)

And they are often wearing silks and other beautiful fabrics with bright colors or have some sparkle or shimmer. Some people don’t think those are modest either.

I love the juxtaposition of the gorgeous shoes and the woman in prayer. Dichotomy, or my preferred term, incongruity captures my interest.

Unnecessary jiggling? Fear not - there’s a remedy for that, too.

The pictures in the link were stunning. What beautiful women! I agree the contrast provides interest and intrigue. I really despair the “baring it all” fashions in America. There is too much focus on being “hot” or “sexy” when in reality, a bit of mystery and nuance is more provocative.

As to the guides, I think they are modest without being frumpy. Quite honestly, I think the current uniform of both sexes of jeans and tee shirt is far more frumpy and unattractive than a modest skirt and blouse. I wear dresses for work and for Mass and sometimes I’m looked at as an alien. Not sure where “pants are great for everything” came from but even the older ladies are frequently in slacks when attending Mass.

Lisa

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