Monday, July 9, 2012

Modest Monday: More Than Just an Outfit

Happy start of the week to you...hello, July! It's hard to believe the first full week's already over. Summer is speeding along... 


Just joining the Modest Monday party? Here's the original post. Each Monday, I post a modest, stylish outfit that I wear along with some thoughts on modesty. 

Why? Because I believe you don't have to sacrifice fashion for purity. 
 Modesty does not = frumpy. 
These are outfits I really, truly wear in my day-to-day life. I'm a girl determined to live a life of purity, modesty, and plenty of style. :)

All photography credit: Bernadette Marie Photography - check her out on FB and at her blog!

{The winner of the giveaway is Carolyn! Congratulations, girl! Email me your address and what flavor cookies you'd like (chocolate chip, white chocolate cherry, s'mores, pb & raisin, or chocolate chip hazelnut banana) at raewn83@gmail.com. Thank you so much to everyone who entered - and for reading this little blog! I look forward to the next 150 posts. ;) }
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It's raining again today...my favorite kind of weather. I love, love, LOVE rain. It makes the day feel so cozy and special and brings out my quirky side. Fact: I'm always more productive and creative on rainy days. My affection for raindrops and grey skies is probably why I love England so much.

Rainy days always involve two of my favorite things:



Books + coffee = happiness. 

  Most people seem to feel the same way because bookstores and coffeeshops are always buzzing with activity, the bubble of numerous brews, and sighs of contentment. Regardless, I can usually be found in a bookstore on a rainy day. 



Today's outfit was delightfully casual and quirky. And every bit as comfortable and feminine as I could wish!



Shirt: Xhilaration (Target)
Blue jean skirt: thrift store
Leggings: thrift store
Boots: gift from my aunt
Camisole: Gap
Bag: Aeropostale
Ring: Pacific Sun
Much-needed mocha frappe: Joe Muggs



This is quite possibly my favorite skirt. I wear it at least 5 times a week. Yes, I'm stuck in a rut and proud of it. It's my version of blue jean pants! 



This skirt's so versatile, lightweight, and most importantly comfortable. I can flop around in it, twirl in it, or sit Indian-style without the inhibition of a more narrow, constricting blue jean skirt. But the tiered, ruffle-like structure adds a bit of girlie swing to it that a straight skirt might not have. 


 And the ring! I love the curve of it; it's a fern leaf, but it also looks like a feather. It has a very Greecian feel to it. It reminds me of the Hunger Games whenever I glance down at it. Or of Hermes, the Greek messenger god, with his winged sandals.



Coffeeeeeee. It makes my heart pitter patter. (Not just, you know, from the caffeine.)

(Huh? What is this "buzz" you speak of??? I'm not hyper at all. Nope. Definitely not.

As in, absolutelysupercalifragilisticexpialidociously -

Ahem. 

Moving on!)


This shirt was very thin and airy with lace thread sleeves, so I layered it on top of a camisole for coverage and warmth. (And if you look closely, you'll notice the pattern resembles the fern ring! Ha! *cough* Not...that I just noticed that myself while putting together the post...Of course not.)


I love the delicate look of the sleeves - also very Greecian with the fabric joined at the shoulder, tunic-style.


 I frequently "borrow" this Aeropostale bag from my little sister for books and such; it switches between her and I every few days.


 She uses it to house art supplies, doodling notebooks, and her stuff, while I usually throw my writing notebooks, wallet, phone, and ink pens in it when I want to go write somewhere. It's nice and roomy, but not too heavy.


Hello again, beautiful boots. I like you very much. So much in fact, I've featured you in MM for the second time. You're shiny and crinkly, and perfect for rainy days. And you're authentically Texan. <3 And free! Three cheers for kindhearted aunts who pass on their boots after outgrowing them. 
So next time it's raining, head to a bookstore. You know you want to! It's the perfect place to pass the rainy hours and show off whatever cute outfit you're wearing as you putter around. 

Oh, and don't forget some coffee. 


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Although my outfit above isn't immodest, modesty is so much more than wearing clothes that aren't revealing. Modesty begins with the types of clothes you wear, but it goes so much further!

We're all human...we learn, we judge, we instantly form an opinion based on a visual example. 
Am I going to be deeply moved by a desciption or verbal instruction, say, that encourages me to pray on my knees? Not necessarily. My inner free will and human nature bucks: "What? Why do I have to do that? It's uncomfortable - I'd rather do something else...what will people think of me??"

 But if, for instance, I saw a young man, kneeling, embracing the humility of such an act...offering that action in love...if I saw him bending his head in earnest devotion as he pours out his soul to God, telling him everything - his hopes, his frustrations, his plans-  it would make me stop and  think. 

 "Here's someone who's doing this...and he looks like he wants to be praying on his knees. He doesn't look unhappy, like he's doing it out of duty. Maybe...maybe, if he can do it...so can I."

For me, being modest also means being aware of my actions . It encompasses everything about my external appearance, including how I move, how I sit, how I bend over, etc. 

I know it can be hard sometimes to remember to be modest in all situations, especially in ordinary, daily circumstances. Often, we can accidentally be immodest without meaning to! But modesty is not simply how you dress. It's a state of mind. It's caring and respecting your body in a way that you dress and act with dignity. 

And in today's culture of Jersey Shore, Lady Gaga, and 50 Shades of Grey, isn't that what we need to do as Christians? As human beings who were created in the image and likeness of God?  We need to be living examples of modesty, of purity, of Christ. And it can be as simple as how we physically move around and interact with others.

 Do you dress modestly? That's wonderful! But...do your daily actions completely correlate with how you dress?  

Take for example, bending over to pick something up. It's utterly natural to stoop without bending my knees and scoop something off of the floor or grab a book that's fallen. It takes three seconds and probably happens 6-7 times a day. There's just always some reason to bend over. 

 But girls, let's be honest - when we do that, depending on the shirt you're wearing, whoever's standing in front of you gets a full view of your chest. Even if you're wearing a camisole or something that doesn't have a plunging neckline. Not to mention, if your head is down, your derriere is...up. In a very "bulls-eye target" way. 

 And just like a target, if there are people around, it grabs the eye's attention. It doesn't matter if the person near you is a guy or girl, married or single, young or old. They will naturally look, because it's...in their face, to put it bluntly. 

And no girl wants that! We should try our best to make sure all of our movements are modest and dignified in a feminine way. And honestly, is bending over like that feminine at all? Not really. I didn't think anything of it when I was younger until I read about it in a book on modesty. The author explained that when she began to dress more modestly, she realized her movements began to change also. Instead of bending over in a skirt or dress, she crouched or simply knelt down to retrieve whatever was on the floor. It only took a second or two longer - and it was much more appropriate. I discovered she was right: when I crouch or lower down to the ground, I feel much more modest. I don't worry about any of my guy friends having to avert their eyes for a moment or look the other way. It feels natural. And it's modest.

That's one of the reasons why I love wearing leggings with shorter skirts: if you're like me and enjoy sitting on the floor, crossing your legs or sitting Indian-style/lotus position, leggings allow that freedom when you're wearing a skirt that may not otherwise allow you to do that. 

Boys often get a harsh rep for objectifying girls and paying more attention to a girl's appearance than her as a person. But why are we making it so hard for them to not do that? 

 I've seen so many girls - who are good, sweet girls that may also be modest dressers - bend over or lean forward or jump up and down or cross their legs while wearing shorts/an above-knee length dress or skirt...in the presence of guys! It's happened many times when I'm with my younger brothers, which always makes me feel uncomfortable because I don't want them subjected to that kind of temptation. But it's also happened when I'm in a mixed group of girls and guys. 

 It's even harder when those guys are ones who make an effort to be pure and gentlemen. As girls, we shouldn't make their struggle more difficult, even if we don't realize that's what we're doing!

"But I'm just bending over! How's that immodest? That's their problem if they look at me like that."

 One way to look at it is to think, "Would I be comfortable if a girl bent over or leaned forward like that in front of my brother/dad/boyfriend/fiance/husband?" Suddenly, it's not just 'bending over.'

Modesty starts with the little things. 

With wearing clothes that highlight your personality, not specific parts of your body. 

With taking a moment to think, "Okay, I know my guy friend is standing next to me. My outfit is modest, but will I remain modest if I bend over? Since I'm wearing shorts/a dress/skirt, will I still be modest if I sit down with my bare legs stretched out in front of me - and him?"

With choosing to move intentionally, not carelessly, in a way that exemplifies our natural dignity and femininity as women.

Because modesty is more than just an outfit. It's a conscious choice that should apply to every area of your life. 
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Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday (or Tuesday/Wednesday). Leave the blog post link of your outfit (it can be as casual or dressed up as you want) in the comments, if you'd like.

Head over to check out these lovely girls and their Modest Monday outfits:



Don't have a blog?
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or Tweet (@GracefulEats) 
me a pic of your outfit if you'd like to see it featured on the blog!

{Catching up on Modest Monday? Here's Week 1, 234 and 5}

10 comments:

  1. Rainy days, bookstores, leather boots? Yes please! I felt a little whiff of cool weather from your post... nice on a warm day in an apartment with no air conditioning. God bless you!

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    1. Maybe I can send some of our rain your way! :)

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  2. Hey Grace. This is a great post, I especially love "Because modesty is more than just an outfit. It's a conscious choice that should apply to every area of your life." So true! I'm linking up to my Modest Monday post (=

    http://aheartlikemarys.blogspot.com/2012/07/modest-monday.html

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    1. Hi, Deanna! Thank you so much for your sweet words and for joining me! I loved your outfit. So glad to have met other young women passionate about modesty.

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  3. Very cute outfit!! I love the shirt :). I'd like to participate this time, here is my post.

    http://justme-sillzie.blogspot.com/2012/07/thanks.html

    - Jess from just me sillzie

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    1. Thanks, Jess! So glad you could join me..and very cute outfit of yours also!

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  4. cute boots! I wish I could wear mine here, but that would be uncomfortably hot!

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    1. Other than during rainy weather, it's normally too hot to wear mine either...

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  5. very nice post! and thank you so much for that little essay on bending over--I've noticed that countless times and have picked up the habit of bending my knees instead (it's also better for your arms/back if your'e picking something up)

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    1. Thank you, Carolyn. Nice to hear you agree - and it is indeed better on the knees!

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'lo!

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