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The Modesty Struggle

FaithJessica ScheksComment

MODESTY

I saw this quote on Pinterest today and it really resonated with me. It made me think back to the times where I struggled with dressing modestly and how frustrated I would become when all I wanted to do was slip on a pair of my old jeans on a freezing Ohio winter day.

I only gave into the "desires of my flesh" twice. We were at my grandma's for Christmas in 2010, so only several months since I had decided to always wear skirts or dresses, and there was a lot of family cramped into a tiny house. I was getting a little overheated in my knee-length jean skirt and for some reason I had it in my head that I would really cool off if I changed into the pair of jeans I had brought with me. So I changed. I can't remember how changing affected my temperature, but I remember feeling like a fake. And I just felt depleted; sort of like how you feel when you vow to yourself that you're not going to commit a certain sin in your life, but then you find yourself giving in. And afterwards you have none of the pleasure you thought that decision would bring you.

That feeling I had after changing into jeans at my grandma's was enough to give me motivation to resolve to never do that again. But sometime within the next year or so, I found myself in another situation. I lived in co-ed dorms (but we each had a private bathroom, so it wasn't as sketchy as it sounds) and I had the mindset that the dormitory building was like my house, so wearing  sweatpants around was acceptable. But this time I had to run to the little market directly behind my dorm to get a snack. It was late - I'd already showered and changed into comfy clothes and I fought with myself over whether or not I should go down in sweatpants.

Even though I felt like I shouldn't, I told myself that I'd be really fast, so it didn't matter. So down I went- when I reached the ground floor I went to turn the corner and was stopped with the vision of who I thought was my friend Christa walking by in a floor length jean skirt. She had a green coat on (just like Christa) and brown hair that was cut (just like Christa and rules out many Pentecostal women who do not cut their hair). It was past 9:00 and I was so startled to see her that at first I jumped back behind a wall because I felt ashamed. But then I thought to myself, "It's Christa! She won't care..." So I started walking again and called out her name. She didn't turn around so then I grew very curious of who this skirt wearing person was. I really had to quicken my pace to catch up with her but she walked out the doors before I could. When I walked out I didn't see her anywhere (and you can only turn left or right). Then I felt really convicted.

I am definitely not saying that I saw an angel, or had a vision from the Lord. Maybe I did... I guess I won't know that for awhile. But whoever it was, angelic or not, was enough to convict me for good. Now I know that the desire to dress immodestly at times is not worth how I will feel afterwards. Generally my desire stems from laziness; I just want to wear sweatpants or jeans. But occasionally when I see a girl in real life or on Pinterest with leggings on, the cutest tunic-y top I've ever seen, super cute booties, an infinity scarf, and an adorable vest... I become a little jealous because I know that the outfit could not be pulled off with a knee-length (or longer) skirt.

So this quote captures my feelings to a T! And I'm here to tell you that dressing modestly is sometimes a struggle for me, just like any sin or temptation I have to deal with is. It was not a "one and done" type of decision for me when I decided to dress more modestly. For awhile it was a pretty constant struggle. When I first decided that I was going to wear skirts I felt sick - it was a scary choice to make. And I made the choice publicly so it felt like there was no turning back...was it something I'd regret in a couple years? Could I really see myself for the rest of my life wearing skirts?

To clarify, I am definitely NOT saying that if you are a woman and wear pants that you are sinning. Dressing modestly requires very personal decisions and interpretations that is only between you and God. It is a decision that I think should only be made based on inspiration you find from the Lord. It shouldn't be something that you do to please others, and it should be a personal belief that you hold in your heart. But it isn't something you should ignore altogether, either. I think it is something you should take to the Lord and ask Him what He wants from you. Ask the Lord to guide you and to show you what pleases Him. Even if you have a certain pair of pants or a shirt that you sometimes question yourself when you wear it, ask God.

>> A word of advice, though, I have found that if you are already questioning it, you've kind of answered the question for yourself. And sometimes you have to give something up and say to yourself, "This struggle/question I have just isn't worth it when it comes to eternity." And leave it at that.

So with my "disclaimer" that you just read, I would now like to say something that some may find to be a bit controversial. But I'm going to say it anyways. And really, this is only for those who have already made a decision in their life to dress more modestly than they have in the past.

Choosing to dress modestly is just like choosing to wait to be intimate in marriage, or choosing not to gossip. It's not a one time decision, but one that you have to make over and over again. Especially towards the beginning of your modest journey. If you feel the Lord telling you in your life to dress modestly that's a pretty serious thing. If you vowed to the Lord that you would dress modestly for Him, that's a pretty serious thing. I have felt that calling on my life, I'm not sure I'd go as far as to say it's a "commandment" in my walk with God, but I'm also not going to say that it isn't. I feel very convicted to dress modestly - and to not do what the Lord is telling me to do sounds like sin to me.

>>If you have genuinely sought the Lord about dressing modestly and you have found that you still feel like it's okay for you to wear pants then I think you've done your job (but revisit the subject from time to time - don't dismiss it for life).

It is only sin if you feel or even know that you should be dressing more modestly and don't.

Sometimes modesty has to start on the outside, which means that your thoughts aren't always modest - You hunger for a comfortable pair of jeans or for some comfy yoga pants on a lazy day. But I can tell you from experience, that eventually your thoughts begin to change. You begin to realize how good it feels to dress modestly and please the Lord. And as your thoughts change, that means your heart is changing and your thoughts and mind are being clothed in modesty as well.

If modesty started purely on the inside for you, then you should be praising the Lord. If you just had a desire to give up dressing worldly and were happy to do it, then you should be praising the Lord! Because for me (and for my friends) it was not that easy. It was kind of like we had one foot standing in the world, and one foot standing in the Kingdom; we wanted to please God and we had an inkling that dressing modestly was what we should do... but it was hard to give up. And you kind of have to go cold turkey - you can't wear "worldly patches" to help you wean off immodest articles of clothing, you just have to give it up. It's a sacrifice. You are giving your temple to the Lord to use for His glory, and you should be giving it cheerfully, not begrudgingly!

This October it will be FIVE years of dressing modestly for me! As you have read, it wasn't always easy or fun. Sometimes it was a decision - just like deciding you aren't going to share that really juicy piece of gossip you overheard with your best friend. It can be a hard decision at times, but I have found again and again that there is not one article of clothing on this earth that could possibly come close to compensating for how modesty feels.

16 Fashionable Modest Clothing Sites

Jessica Scheks1 Comment

  When I first started coming to church with Michael (read my story here), finding a cute knee length or longer skirt was nearly impossible. I had one from beforehand, and it was pretty casual, so I quickly set out to look for a new skirt. In the entire mall I found two skirts and they were both expensive, so I had to pick one. I remember feeling stressed and annoyed and I had no clue where else to look. It would’ve been nice to find an article or blog post with a comprehensive list of places to find modest clothing. So here is one I have compiled:

(Keep in mind that the resources listed below are not all solely modest clothing companies and some clothing you may consider immodest.)

{1} Shabby Apple

I have two dresses from Shabby Apple (the Alice Dress and a royal blue dress that was discontinued). My bridesmaids wore the I'm Late! I'm Late! Dress in my wedding and they were perfect! These dresses tend to be a little pricey, I would say the average price is between $80 and $100, but they are perfect for a wedding or special event. When ordering be sure to use the sizing chart as it is very detailed. One thing to be aware of, though, is that every dress tends to be a little different - my bridesmaids' dresses each varied slightly whether it be the lace, color, pattern, or the coverage underneath the sleeves. And even though it's a little pricey, there are occasional sales that I have seen go up to 20% off. You also get a coupon on your birthday!

shabby apple

{2} Mikarose

This company's tagline is, "Reinventing modesty," and I'd have to agree! Their site features adorable dresses, tops, skirts, and accessories. Their website also has a nice sizing chart to help you order. These dresses have reasonable prices considering how expensive some modest clothing sites tend to run. The Alexis Dress pictured below is one of my favorites from their site - I LOVE stripes and this dress is only $49.99!

mikarose

{3} Jen Clothing

I own two different dresses from Jen Clothing and love them both (the Renee Dress in black lace (pictured below) and the Ariana Dress in mint). I am in love with the Renee dress - it is perfect for weddings and around Christmas time, plus it is very comfortable considering how formal it is. Jen, the owner of Jen Clothing is Mormon and gives her testimony on the website. I ordered both of my dresses at the same time because shipping is free when your order is over $100.

jen clothing

{4} Apostolic Clothing Company

The Apostolic Clothing Company is really growing and is all modest! The Leann two piece set pictured below is $58.95 and you have your choice of either a black or mint skirt. This website has several pages of dresses, skirts, jackets, shirts, as well as an ADORABLE vintage section (however most if not all of the items seem to be vintage inspired, not truly vintage).

Apostolic clothing

{5} Corilynn

This is a shop I would own every single piece from if I were rich, but sadly I am not. Corilynn is the owner and designer of this shop and her business is amazing! Everything is made in the USA, which is pretty hard to find these days. The only downfall is the prices of these beautiful pieces - dresses run from $148-$175, skirts are $108, and blouses are $78. But here are a couple of her gorgeous designs:

corilynn capri

The Capri Dress comes in four different colors. ($148)

corilynn secretary blouse

How adorable and perfect is this Secretary Blouse for $78?!

corilynn wendy

I love, love, love all things mint and peter pan collars are the best. So I'm in love with this Wendy Dress, which comes in three colors. ($148)

{6} eShakti - We design, you customize

I had never heard of this website until last week, and after looking through it for only a couple minutes I was excited because there are some amazingly cute vintage and retro-inspired dresses! The coolest thing I have ever seen while shopping for clothes exists on this site - after selecting the dress you'd like to purchase, you pick your size which gives detailed measurements and enter your height. Then you get to pick the length and neckline you want! So you can make every dress modest! There is a small additional fee to customize the style, but it is only $7.50 and not every single dress is customizable. If you choose to, you can enter in your own measurements and they are saved and applied to every purchase. I didn't look through every page, but I looked through many and everything seems to be below $100 on the site. This site also has an "Overstock" section with pieces at a discounted price, however you cannot customize the items in this section.

eshakti

I customized this dress by adding 3/4 length sleeves and I chose the mid-calf length. This dress comes with pockets, as does many of their dresses!

{7} Junee

This modest website seems to focus on skirts (115 in total!) There is only one dress on the site, but the skirts sure do make up for it - there are dozens of simple, classic styles to choose from including theSimple Skirt shown below! I chose denim, however there are 10 other options to choose from for this skirt. I am always on the lookout for cute and classy denim skirts to wear and this site delivers exactly that! There are so many options it would be hard to choose! The prices also seem to be slightly lower than other modest clothing sites. All skirts are under $60.

junee

{8} Metro Style

This site definitely does not contain all modest options, but I saw it advertised somewhere that they have a large selection of modest suites - perfect for the professional working woman or for church! However there are also many dresses to choose from, you just have to sort through the other items. The suit below was originally $59.99 but is currently on sale.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 6.43.25 PM

{9} Rusty Zipper Vintage Clothing

On this vintage clothing website, clothing is organized by the era it's from. So if you click on "vintage dresses" you then choose which decade you'd like to browse. Pretty cool! However there is also an option to view all dresses and choose different styles to view. Everything I have seen is in the $30 range for the most part. There are even vintage wedding dresses (with sleeves) for under $200! Below is this 1970s Hippie Prairie Style Dress for just $35. Can't you just see this in a photo shoot out in a field with tall grass and a flower crown?

rusty zipper

{10} Beautifully Modest

This website has a lot of things to offer, including modest wedding gowns! All of the wedding gowns are short sleeve however, as opposed to 3/4 length sleeve or long sleeve. They also carry modest prom dresses, bridesmaid dresses, dressy casual dresses, and semi formal dresses. One of my favorite dressy casual dresses, the Lorna Dress, is shown below and is $59.99.

beautifullymodest

{11} Beautiful One

This site is all modest and all adorable! So many cute skirts to choose from! Including the two you see below - the Polka Dot Lace Skirt ($45) and the Black/White Striped Skirt ($25), which comes in several other colors as well. The site also offers several cute blouses, "layered maxis," and "layering dresses."

beautifulone    beautifulonestripes

{12} Dainty Jewell's

This website has some adorable dresses! Prices are similar to Shabby Apple, a little more on the expensive side... but from the looks of it, it's worth it. Especially for this striped dress, The Chic Lady for $98:

daintyjewells

But the thing I love most about Dainty Jewell's is their modest swimwear line. Usually modest swimwear and adorable do not go together in the same sentence, but they are best friends on this site! I mean how cute is this Paisley Swim Dress for $74.95?! If I were going on vacation this summer I can guarantee you this dress would already be ordered. The material is quick drying allowing you to swim, but it also looks like a dress so you can wear it pretty much all day no matter what the activity is. The leggings underneath are separate.

daintyjewellsswim

{13} Jade Mackenzie Apparel

Jade Mackenzie is another all modest site with some cute skirts, shirts, and a couple dresses. My favorite dress is this striped number, the 'Kate' Black & White Knit Dress for $78.

jademackenzie

{14} Junie Blake

I am in love with these Junie Blake dresses! Each one is bright and cute! Floral and lacey seem to be their go to designs and patterns, which I'm totally okay with. The Giselle floral maxi shown below looks perfect for summer and is $63.99. The Paige ($59.99) casual striped dress is one I'd love to have in my wardrobe, another perfect summer dress! I will be excited to see their fall and winter lines as it seems like their new arrivals are very season appropriate.

junieblakefloralmaxi

{15} The Virtuous Closet

The blouses on this site are perfect; classy with high necklines! What more could a girl need? There are a lot of skirts and dresses on this site (some really cute maxi dresses that are a little dressier). The Petal Dress shown below is, in my opinion, perfect for summer and is $79. This website is a little pricier compared to others in this post.

virtuouscloset

This Jeweled Tulip Blouse in Blush is so elegant and glamorous and also comes in white. ($55)

virtuousclosetblouse

{16} LulaRoe LulaRoe can be purchased in two ways - online or through a consultant/at a party (similar to Arbonne or Pampered Chef). But regardless, their dresses and skirts are adorable and so versatile because they can be dressed up or down. They are also made out of a super comfy looking material. The dress shown below is the Nicole Dress in black and white chevron dot ($42), and I love it... especially with the chambray shirt underneath!

lularoenicole

Phew! That was a long post, but I am feeling inspired to shop now (when am I not?!) Leave a comment if you've ever purchased something from any of the sites I've listed or if I missed a fantastic site, let me know!

**If you represent any of the sites I have mentioned and would like me to review your product and post a complete review of it on the blog, please contact me: jscheks13@gmail.com**