How To Dress Modestly with These Ten Essential Pieces

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(This is a guest post from Heidi, mom of six girls and blogger at The J Crew)

Hello! My name is Heidi (but you can call me Dee). I am so excited to share with you something that is near and dear to my heart and that is modest fashion! I grew up in a very conservative Christian church and I am so thankful for the principles that I learned there. However it was not until many years later as the girls kept coming and coming and coming (no seriously we have 6! and yes, God smiles at me, the tomboy, many times per day) that it became a real burden to make modesty truly beautiful, practical, attractive and inspiring for my teenage daughters. I love clothes and piecing together outfits…isn’t it perfect that I have 6 daughters to dress?? The coolest part is that they actually beg me to put together an outfit for them (did someone forget to tell them that I’m their mother!!????); the worst part is that I always have girls ransacking my closet!

Modesty is going to look different for everyone and that’s the beauty of it! We are created as individuals not robots off an assembly line! Variety is the spice of life and God has made each one of us with our individual tastes and preferences to add a little bit of “different” to the world!

I have been asked to share my top 10 Essential Pieces for the modest woman so I am going to go ahead and get started. Don’t forget to add that special bit of you!

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10 Essential Pieces for the Modestly Dressed Woman

1. halftees

These things top my list. You MUST HAVE THESE!!! MUST MUST MUST! Throw away that little v-shaped scrap of cloth and safety pins… that pack of three with the snaps you picked up from Walmart?…just go throw them all away! trust me! Halftees come in a variety of colours with many sleeve length options. They are reversible and you won’t even know you have one on! promise! They give you coverage up top without the added bulk.  I really missed the boat on this one ladies….I’m always kicking myself for not thinking of these genius things myself ????

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2. Tank Tops

Cannot survive without them! Tank tops add another layer to keep you warm, they help hold up your skirts…just kidding! They help to keep you covered when you bend over and  your bottoms part ways with your tops…we want no flashes here ladies! ???? Tank tops add a pop of colour and/or a layered look that creates a more interesting and attractive outfit.  I wear a tank top most every day…layer one with your favorite shirt or sweater and see the difference!

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3. Denim Skirt

Jean skirts are my go-to every day! The tomboy in me likes sporty and simple so I basically live in my knee length jean skirts during the week. They are a great basic. You can do so much starting with a jean skirt. You can dress it up with a blouse or dress it down with a t-shirt or keep it in the middle with a comfy sweater. In the winter I just love adding tights and tall boots to my shorter skirts and in the summer Toms and Converses are my thing! If knee length is not your thing never fear! jean skirts come in all different lengths AND in many colours. Coloured denim skirts are just about the next best thing since slice bread!

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4. MAXI SKIRT or maxi Dress

Ever wish you could wear your pajamas to Sunday school?! yeah me too! and so my next item you must have is a maxi skirt or dress. Seriously these things are beyond comfortable, you WILL feel like you are wearing your pajamas! I resort to one of these options on those kind of mornings when your hair just won’t cooperate and everybody needs mommy all at the same time and there is no time! These can also be dressed up or down. I will often wear a graphic tee with my favourite maxi skirt for kicking around the house, or a simple blouse/t-shirt with a cardigan for church. They even look good with your favourite pullover!

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5. Jean jacket or chambray shirt

Once you invest in a good jacket you will incorporate it into so many outfits! My most favourite way to use my jean jacket is with my maxi dresses. I usually add a belt to my dress and then a pop of colour with a scarf or keep it simple with a beautiful necklace. Wear it to church, shopping or on a date with your man! I also love wearing a chambray shirt or jean jacket with maxi skirts. Try it you will not be sorry!

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6. dress

Dresses have taken me a while to really get into, but now that I have I LOVE them! Every modest woman needs a beautiful dress to wear to church and any other special occasion but I have really been enjoying adding them to my everyday wardrobe. I prefer knee length (no surprise there!) and currently pairing it up with some nice tights and boots. They are really comfortable, simple and cute! There are many options out there for everyday dresses. My favourite ones are striped!

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7. Basic bLACK SKIRT

If I could wear my denim skirts everyday for the rest of my life, I probably would. However I would be missing out on some other great looks. Your closet should contain a basic black or blue skirt at the very least but other colours especially a good tan skirt will come in handy. As you start to mix and match I guarantee you will branch out into other colours (you should see my skirt collection!)

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Another necessary item for my modest wardrobe is a sweater or sweaters in my case ???? Cardigans can be used to add a bit more coverage to a dress or top depending on your personal standards. As I am generally always cold even in the summer I tend to hoard more than my share! Boleros are the  cutest style to add to your Sunday dress as it will give you coverage without covering your beautiful dress. I have recently gotten into the chunky boyfriend style cardigans and I absolutely love them! Pair these with those super cute day dresses and you have a gorgeous stay-at-home-baking cookies-dancing-around-the-kitchen look!

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9. boots/shoes

Hello, my name is Dee. I have a boot addiction…. In my opinion you can never have enough boots and shoes! You must have tall boots and I like to have a pair in black and cognac. You will need them with a heel and without! See what did I tell you!!??? One pair is just not gonna cut it! Then we have the ankle boot. I have these in black but let me tell you that I am always wanting a pair in brown and grey. I am currently in the market for those(shhhh…don’t tell my husband!) As for shoes, well I am a firm believer and stand by my initial thoughts that y’all need one of each! My favourite summertime shoes are flip flops of course….but Toms and Converses are just darling and my go-tos!

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10. Accessories

Again this is a hard one to narrow down but let me give it a try anyway ???? Topping my list of accessories would probably be scarves. These things not only add interest to your outfit but they provide coverage as well. I also know some stylish mommas who use them for a nursing cover! Next on my list I am going to go with long statement necklaces. I love my vintage style necklaces  and I wear them with my dresses. I recently gave those chunky bubble style necklaces a try and I’m really liking those ones also. I wear these with my blouses and skirts to tie it together or add a pop of colour. You never know for sure until you try something and I’m so glad I ventured into the unknown!

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You’re never fully dressed without a smile!

With six girls you can bet I am always on the lookout for pieces to add to their modest wardrobe. Good thing I am addicted to thrift shopping! Late night fashion shows and early morning closet sessions are all part of my days as we work together, sharing laughs and finding each others personal styles. We learn very quickly that we may be family but we were not cut with the same cookie cutter ????

So now it’s your turn! Now comes the most important part of all…adding you! Whether you love pops of color, flowers, stripes or polka dots….it’s all up to you! Maybe you prefer a simple, elegant style. Maybe you like ruffles and lace. Maybe you like the old-fashioned styles or what my girls refer to as modern modest. It doesn’t matter! Go ahead! Mix and match and don’t be afraid to try new things. Who knows?! you may be pleasantly surprised! Last but certainly not least, add that smile!

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Dee Jones

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