Feeling Plain and Modest

What is going on in Anna’s wardrobe lately?

The winter layers are peeling back to reveal springtime cheeriness. But I have issues. With polo shirts.

Last week, when the weather was balmy, I wore a denim jumper with a yellow polo shirt underneath and a light cotton tichel over my hair. As I took my daily walk around campus, I felt really unbalanced. The shirt revealed too much arm for the tichel. Then I obsessed about being able to get enough sunshine to make vitamin D. Oy, the issues!

Kristen then highlighted another recurrent theme of mine: Plainness, or the other meaning of modesty, of not drawing attention to oneself. My current clothing trend is generally ok in regards to inches covered of flesh (except the blasted polo shirt), but the hodge-podgey colors and patterns bothers me. Blend In might be the theme of my clothing purchases this year. Focus on solid earth tones, less bright patterns or stripes. Think librarian.

So how how is your wardrobe these days?

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15 Responses to “Feeling Plain and Modest”


  1. 1 Lyneya March 12, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Just my two cents but I don’t think modesty has to equate to plainness. I recently read Proerbs 31 again and it was an eye opener. The woman described in that chapter shows a womanly ideal in which she can be modest and confident in her position with God and her family. The woman clothes her entire family in scarlet and wears fine linen and purple. But in the end everything she does is to the glory of God and her husband. God loves natural beauty and is not opposed to a woman dressing in bright beautiful colors just like seen in the flowers of nature as long as we remember everything we do is to bring glory to God. It is when we begin using artificial means like the ones spoken of in 1 Peter chapter 3 to enhance our beauty and bring glory to ourselves that we leave the path.

    Of course that’s just my interpretation and whatever you think will enhance your walk with God is what you should do.

    • 2 Anna March 12, 2009 at 7:12 pm

      The difficulty I have with being brightly clothed or bejeweled is not knowing where that boundary line lies. I like my standards clear and understandable and easily interpreted by those around me. Also, your worship surroundings affect how you might want to dress. If you attend a church (I guess you do) which does not have much ornamentation, bells or smells, the only “pretty” things one’s senses might alight upon are said richly dressed women.
      Now if your church is the opposite, with lots of sensorial engagement besides just your hearing, a “floral” clad woman is an uber-distraction from all the other worship activities. Food for thought.

  2. 3 Kristen March 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    I am wearing a lot of shalwar these days. It is nice and modest and I really really love it. I have enough of it now to wear every day. SO that really is my wardrobe.

    The website link I used should take you right to the newest pictures of me

  3. 5 alana March 12, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    My wardrobe? Too small. I’ve gained weight. Booo hooo hooo. Something wrong with my health, to gain so much so fast when I’m trying to eat moderately.

    I”m with you on the plainer earth tones, but have a much easier time with that in my fall winter wardrobe than my spring/summer one.

    I tend to wear floral print skirts and plain linen blouses. Boring and middle aged. yay me.

  4. 6 Kristenmomof3 March 13, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Thank you. They are very comfortable and I feel beautiful in them. It is just a clothing style that lets me be modest and beautiful.

    Hope that you are having a wonderful week.

    Happy Friday 🙂

  5. 7 Dawn March 13, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I like Kristen’s shalwar’s too. Very pretty!

    How’s my wardrobe? Plain. 🙂 Hee hee.

    For what it’s worth, many people fail to realize the colors in Plain dress. Various shades of greens, blues, purples, grays, black, pinks, etc. There are so many different varieties of colors (light, dark, medium, etc).

    At church us ladies just splash a rainbow of colorful beauty in the pews. 🙂

    Anna…

    Next week my hubby has spring break. We are hoping to make a trip your way as he needs to get a new uniform or two. Any plans for next week? I am hoping we can get up there Tuesday or Thursday…we’ll have to see his work schedule.

    By the way…have you seen the latest news on my blog…2 posts down under the ‘wonderful, awesome, news’ post? 🙂

    Bless you!

  6. 8 Dawn March 14, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Anna ~

    My hubby and I will in your area next Friday!!! We have to meet up, even if it’s just for a quick lunch! We are only going to be there for the day.

    Hope you are having a good weekend!!! 🙂

  7. 9 goldilocks March 14, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    I’m thinking lots of floaty, full skirts, sandals and tee-shirts for me. Been sewing a lot lately. yay!

    Ordered some plain tees for the whole family to have a tie-dye party next week. We’ll look like a bunch of feral hippies this summer. LOL. Also ordered a plain rayon scarf to dye for myself. whee!

    So I guess I’m going in a LESS plain direction myself, and after a winter spent in dark shirt-dresses, grey and black cardigans, and dark tights with black shoes, ’tis a welcome change.

    Every so often, I go through a phase where I severely restrict my palette, in the hopes of getting to a wardrobe where “everything goes with everything else” but it never lasts for long.

    Aesthetically, the idea of a perfectly interchangeable wardrobe is soooo alluring, so under-control… but in reality, I always break down and buy something orange. LOL.

    But it’s always a modest orange item… summer doesn’t mean you have to get naked, after all.

    Hey, Alana, I’d had the same problem as you till just recently. Maddening. I felt like I was hardly eating *anything*, and still getting fatter.

    Finally I had to cut out bread/flour/pasta/soda/alcohol, etc, and a lot of my weight issues resolved, with much less angst about portion control.

    “Mark’s Daily Apple” was a help to me in that regard– heavy on the evolutionary theory, which would probably bother some of our more theologically conservative friends, but I found it very helpful WRT weight control.

  8. 10 Robyn March 18, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve been drawn to a more plain, solidly-colored wardrobe lately. It seems like wearing a headcovering and a long modest dress calls enough attention to me. Adding bright colors to the mix makes me feel too obvious and *out there*. Restricting our wardrobe colors to brown, navy blue, black and charcoal grey has simplified our wardrobe and the all-matching clothes on the clothesline makes me smile. 🙂

    To save money, I purchased some brown fabric dye and dyed all the girls’ clothes and some of my shirts. Not everything turned perfectly brown, it depends on what color the item started out as, but now everything is perfectly matched in varying shades of brown/mauve/light purple tones. we switched to all black socks and all black shoes, and suddenly my life feels more sane and calm. I feel like we blend into the background better and dirt blends right in on my active girls’ new brown dresses. 🙂

    we went from a mis-matched rainbow of thrift store purchased colors to a perfectly coordinating wardrobe with a few $3 boxes of dye. 🙂

  9. 11 Amber Lee March 19, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I am a bright colored girl. I feel oppressed in my grays, navys, and blacks during the winter. As soon as the warm air hits me, it’s bright blues, pinks, purples, and greens. Long, flowy skirts are always my fav. Long sundresses are in style right now, so you can pick them up cheap at a discount/outlet store. Just wear them with a light cardigan or carrying a shawl.

    This is part of my personal bipolar depression, though. It would be like me living in a house with lots of beige and dark colors. My decorations are simple, usually functional or religious. But they are bright and cheery.

  10. 12 alana March 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Hey goldilocks, thanks for the advice. I actually just recently made those very changes. Hopefully now with that, and some long walks, I can get to a healthier weight. My joints will thank me.

  11. 13 S. Marie March 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    I have finally found a nursing dress pattern that I enjoy wearing and making. I am so tired of wearing these “beachy amish” dresses i have, I feel super frump. I like my thrown together dress and cape and apron (dress kings daughters, apron my own and cape from friends ohio dress with some modifications) problem with it is all the constant unbuttoning, and retucking after nursing baby-pie.
    My new good dress is a modified Elizabeth Lee pattern. It is acutally a shirt pattern, that i have cut short and added a long full skirt to. It has an overlay that acts like the cape, but is not so anabaptist looking. (since I live in amish country, I dont want to cop their style completely) I also love prints. Small calicos, mostly in blues and greens.
    Still working toward my favorite headcovering. Im 4 years into this, and I am still hopping from style to stlye. My bun is so BIG i out grew all of my caps, so im back to scarves.

  12. 14 goldilocks March 31, 2009 at 10:46 am

    That’s wonderful, Alana. Don’t mean to be all food-preachy by any means, but I know too well how frustrating it can be to get weight under control, especially for those of us who aren’t exactly 21 anymore. 😉 =Good luck!!

  13. 15 Kelley July 26, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I do not like wearing bright, outrageous patterns because I feel it draws attention to me because, yes, wearing modest dress and a head covering already draws enough to attention to me. I really like ankle-length skirts but I’ve had to wear one that go below my knee, but above my ankle. I really want to wear a veil in the winter months and kapps of some sort whatever season. There’s even a tie-on veil that drapes down the back a little, but I haven’t asked my Mom yet and I still need to save up a little money….

    Anyway, happened to stumble upon this great blog! 🙂 Can’t wait to read more.


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