Modest Monday: Pretty Dresses Make the (Formal) World Go 'Round

Monday, September 17, 2012

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. :)

Photography credit - Cameron Durham (all but the Instagram pic). He's also a good family friend and a fabulous photographer to boot!


I love dresses. 

There's something so delightfully feminine and beautiful about them. What girl doesn't play dress up as a toddler or 8 year old? You know, rummage through your mother's closet and trot around in her heels with her long shirt masquerading as a dress on you,a dangling necklace, and lipstick smeared all over your mouth...

Loved those times! I thoroughly enjoyed dressing up then and I still do (even more) now! So I thought I'd put together a post about how I deal with modesty when it comes to formal attire for weddings, parties, or dances.

This is a gorgeous strapless dress I found at Ross's last year. I'm not a strapless, bare back dress person, so I decided to add a slightly avant-garde Parisian twist to the outfit with black leggings, camisole and a black cardigan that I wore buttoned under the dress. The leggings and cardigan added a level of comfort and ease to the dress; I was able to freely move around, sit cross-legged, and whatnot.

(Side note: waist of said dress is absurdly small; it's one smaller than I actually wear, but it was the only size I could find. So fastening the back involves a second pair of hands, exhaling deeply, and something reminiscent of Elizabeth Swan in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl - "I can't breathe!" 
But I digress.)

I wore it again for my graduation party sans cardigan and leggings for a different look - but my best friend (who happens to be a wonderful seamstress) offered to sew straps on. She managed to find material that matched the sash, added straps, a ruffle at the neckline, and voila. Previously a strapless, lowcut dress -  now something I can wear without worry. 

I wore this lovely cream and black tulle dress to a dance...
Oh. My. I felt SO glamorous. 
The skirt...words don't even do it justice how much fun it was to twirl in it. I think almost every person I saw that night told me they loved my dress and asked where I'd gotten it. A kind family friend lent it to me as well as the small black shrug which her mother had made. Again, the neckline came very low on me, but I merely added a camisole and all was well. 

Senior prom.
 'Cause when you go out, you have to go out with a bang. ;) My best friend (the one that added straps to my other dress) and I went for vibrant hues. Not reflective of our personalities at all... (cough)

We both ended up altering our dresses. Hers was strapless like my butterfly one, so she added the shoulder straps. My dress (also lent to me by the same friend who owned the cream and black one) had spaghetti straps. I didn't want a black cardigan or shrug, which would break up the dress. Instead, I found a piece of red lace sewn together like an infinity scarf (or pillowcase open on both ends) and arranged it around my shoulders. 

Just thought I'd show you with a bit of thought and ingenuity, you can put together some dazzling outfits for any fine occasion and never sacrifice modesty. 

Or style. :)

Your turn! Show me your Modest Monday. Link up your outfit (it can be as casual or gussied up as you want).

Don't have a blog?
 Email (
 Instagram (raewyn83) 
or Tweet (@GracefulEats) 
me a pic of your outfit with hashtag #modestmoday if you'd like to see it featured on the blog!

{Catching up on Modest Monday? Check out all the previous weeks here.}


  1. I just found your blog and I love it! I'd love to start doing Modest Mondays on my blog - would you like me to link my posts in the comments here when I do them?

    Thanks, and keep yo the good work! :)

    1. Hi! Thank you for your sweet comment. That makes me so happy that you enjoy it. :) I would absolutely love to have you join Modest Monday. Yes! You can leave your post link in the comments for now; I'm having some trouble with the link ups, so it's comment box for now.

  2. Hi Grace! I decided to join you in Modest Monday today. I am over at Thanks for the awesome idea! I look forward to joining you in the weeks to come :)

    1. Hi, Chely! Thank you so much for joining! I'm so happy to have you. :)I love the outfits you've been posting - keep it up!

  3. You are so beautiful! :)
    Oh, yes twirly dresses are the best! However, I have a hard time finding them though (usually end up with an A-line -flattering but no where near the fun!) Have you ever attended a formal dance in a skirt & shirt? I really enjoy my twirly skirts but have not been able to wear them at a dance due to the challenge of finding a top (passable formal material, is high enough, stays down, does not look frumpy...)