Where to find modest clothing for women?

Hi, I have a female friend who is discerning a vocation and is soon to be a postulant with a traditionalist order. I’m helping her to comb the internet with her search to find a decent dress to wear to mass. She has som knee-length dresses, but would like to find ones that go down to her ankles.

Are there any websites for more conservative dresses? Everytime we only find either backless, or straps, or sleeve less.

She’s looking for something that is covers the shoulders possibly to the wrists or half-way between elbow and shoulders, nothing less than the neckline, a black dress (since she is to be a postulant soon), and simple with not much lace or ornamentations, not too poofy (like a dress from the civil war or victorian era), ankle-length, and probably made of wool. Something traditional, but not over the top.


For modest clothes in general, the Modest Clothing Directory is worth investigating if you have not done so already. Their Catholic section is disappointingly sparse, but there are many sources listed that would be able to offer a modest, plain dress.

In the “Plain Simple Christian” category they have links to people who will make modest clothing to order, so that might be worth investigating… especially when it comes to the “made of wool” clause, as many will offer you the opportunity to send in a fabric of your choosing for the garment to be made from.

Finally, the site has a pattern section. It might be worth finding a suitable style, choosing your own fabric and then taking the whole lot along to a local dressmaker… or a willing friend with a sewing machine.

I hope that your friend finds something suitable.

I’m very curious. Why is she supposed to dress dowdy, can she not be modest and dressed attractively?

I feel like I sometimes dress like a postulant. :smiley: Not on purpose, mind you, but I just select modest tops and skirts, often in black, from regular stores like Macy*s.

Why shouldn’t the bride of Christ be dressed more lovely than all the rest?

"Let not your adornment be merely external - braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on apparel; but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which iis precious in the sight of God."

I would watch for people who wear clothing of the sort I was interested in and ask them where they got their clothes.

I find that it is MUCH easier to do a skirt/blouse combo than finding longer dresses. If your friend is short to average height, she might look for “Tall” proportioned skirts. They will naturally hang longer on her. I wear long skirts and 3/4 sleeve length blouses 95% of the time. Black skirts are very easy to find.

Modest clothing is here!

Modest clothing is here for women and girls. Not only will you find long dresses and long skirts that don’t have slits, but you’ll find women’s clothing that’s simply beautiful. Ladies are thrilled to find modest clothing that’s not frumpy, but stylish and attractive.

Our clothes are selected to meet our (and your) high standard of modesty and quality. But even more than this, quality to us means outstanding customer service. There’s no waiting for your purchase. All of our modest clothing is in-stock and ready to ship. Orders are typically processed and shipped the same day they are received.

Check out our 100% satisfaction guarantee as well. If for any reason you are unsatisfied with your buying experience at Hannah Lise, we will do whatever it takes to change that experience to a good one, including the full refund of your purchase where required.

High quality, beautiful, modest clothing, high quality customer satisfaction and shopping from home. No wonder we’re the number one online source for modest clothing for women & girls.:shrug:

Modest Clothing for Christian Women

Down at the bottom are links to sites.

Excuse me while I go eat red meat and grunt now…:blush: :stuck_out_tongue:

It depends on her build. Some of us who would be petites need only shop in the “regular” section to find skirts that hit about two inches above the ankle, when they were intended by the dress designers to fall just several inches below the knee. If your friend is in the opposite boat, she may have to buy a size up and re-do the elastic, if she can’t find anything on the “tall” racks. If she’s truly tall, she might have to buy long dresses to get something that hits a few inches above the ankle.

I’ve found jacket dresses at JC Penney that work, and at a decent price, but keep in mind that this can require wearing a little something like a nice light turtle neck or tee under the dress to address the cleavage area. If the under-shirt has a fabric that compliments the dress though (either ivory, white or black will usually work, depending on the dress), then it can look as if it was sold as a layered set. I’ve gotten lucky a few times.

Also, look for business and daytime dresses, not the stuff in the “dressy” sections or the “juniors” sections of the stores. The cut and the colors are much more conservative…and they’re much less likely to have “DRY CLEAN ONLY” on the care tag!


especially look at the skirts… not only simple and modest, but affordable!

Thanks, Jennet and AlwaysAsking, for the links you’ve posted. I think they would definitely be worth looking into for lady who’s considering joining a traditional religious community.

I may even order some of these clothes for myself.

The lady I bought my mantillas from sent me some business cards-not just for her veils-but one for a “Christian Family Outreach.” That site is http.www://christianfamilyoutreach.com/ They have some links to some of these sites that have modest clothing.


You can also find modest clothing at some regular retail clothing stores and via catalogue.

Coldwater Creek - expensive unless you find something on sale. Lots of long skirts. I’m
5’4" and their regular length skirts drag the ground on me, so I order petite.

Appleseeds Clothing catalogue - Very expensive unless you find something on sale. High quality skirts and dresses.

Blair catalogue - skirts and dresses. Fairly inexpensive, but sometimes the fabric isn’t good quality.

Willow Ridge catalogue - Same info as Blair.

Northstyle and Serengeti (same company, 2 catalogues) - Have nice skirts and jumpers, frequently on sale.

[LEFT]You will find re-owned handmade modest cape dresses at the link [/LEFT]below[LEFT][/LEFT]


What you are looking for is a belted, long-sleeved shirt dress. This is what my grandmother and my aunts used to wear. Something similar to this, but maybe longer. Maybe find a Catholic thrift store (St. Vincent de Paul) and have the volunteers help scope out dresses for you.



These sites have great looking long skirts and dresses. The knit ones wash and dry like a dream, especially the Travelsmith ones!:wink:

It is hard for me to find modest clothes, I think you can be modest and pretty. We have a sewing group at church for work on vestments and liturgical items, but the skills taught would be fine for making our own clothing. It’s a wonderful time of working for the Church and socialising with other ladies and learning skills that are useful to make our own clothes too.

There are a lot of modest clothing websites to be found, depending on how modest she wants to be. They are typically connected to the protestant groups where women don’t cut their hair or wear pants, “gothardites”, if you will.

But if she’s just looking for inexpensive but modest stuff, I know that Old Navy has tons of almost floor length dresses and skirts . The dresses are often sleeveless, but a light cotton sweater solves that. Wal-Mart also has them. The super long maxi dresses and skirts are very “in” so she shouldn’t have a difficult time finding them. Thrift stores (my personal favorite) are great places to find simple, classic items. I always see what I call “kindergarten teacher jumpers” in mine for 2$ or less. :slight_smile:

With all of those specifications, you would probably have to make it yourself or contact the order that she is looking into and ask them.

It shouldnt be too hard right now. Maxi-dresses have been in style for over a year…Google “maxi dresses”


Check under muumuus

(Old Navy )


With ALL of that, including made of wool, you are going to have to make this yourself. Google “Seamstress” in your area, if there is one available to make it for you. YOu will pay OUT THE NOSE for it though…

I think you need to re-assess the extreme specifics. You are not looking for “modest clothing” you are looking for something VERY specific

(I just realized this is an old thread. Sorry)

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