I get questions from you now and again and I think the answers could be beneficial to others and so I have posted them here….I have changed some words to protect anonymity.
Disclaimer: If in doubt with anything I say, please check with your spiritual director. He knows you and your situation and has the grace of state to advise you.
Question: Have you or your daughters got any tips for me on how to have to confidence to wear in college the dresses and skirts which I love to wear, without worrying about how others might look at me as though I have seven heads…. if you know what I mean?
Answer: I reached out to my girls and these are the answers they provided…
Jeanette: Sometimes people may feel judged by what others wear because they feel guilty. So kindness and charity are huge because if she works on that it will make her confident. People will actually respect her more and not think she is doing it to judge or because she is better but because it’s who she is as a beautiful person!
Theresa: I would just say hold your head up high, look beautiful and don’t care what other people think. You will probably end up being very respected. All our lives we can let other people opinions bother us, but it’s just not worth it. There is no reason for people to feel judged or affronted, if you hold yourself with dignity and treat everybody kind. Even those that are unkind to you.
Elizabeth: It’s a personal conviction. You have to just make up your mind to do it. Cheerfulness and kindness will win over her peers. And the haters just need a silent Hail Mary. They have often been raised in ugliness and don’t understand.
Gin: College is a very difficult scene these days. I think the best thing she could do is get on some modesty forums or some sort of group where they uphold and love dressing in skirts and dresses. That way she can have some sort of support group when she has to enter the college scene. It’s good to have back up and a place where she can get support if she doesn’t have it in the people around her….
Me: I started wearing dresses in my early twenties. I had support around me because I was working at a Catholic Shrine. That doesn’t mean it was easy. I still went home to visit and went on a trip with my best friend for a couple weeks soon after I made the commitment. She was very kind but probably thought I had grown seven heads!
Like the rosary in my life, it was a commitment. So, in spite of the naysayers, I didn’t back down. It was very important, though, to surround myself with like-minded people. You need the support. So…like Gin said, get on some modesty forums. If anyone has any suggestions, please leave a comment here.
Question: I just love when you post your family life galleries! Couple of questions…maybe they are for your daughters? Where do they find longer skirts and dresses for their daughters (your granddaughters)? Do they sew most of these items? Finding items like those for my 11 year old girl has been such a challenge! Also, all the females in your family always have the loveliest, feminine hairstyles. Are these from your own inspirations, or do any of you have any resources/tutorials you could direct me to?
Answer: We get most of our clothes from our lovely Coffee Shop/Thrift Store we have mentioned before ~ God’s Storehouse. We are fortunate to have it close by, they make the effort to continually bring in new items so there are always fresh clothing to pick from.
Gin and Margy sew and have made their own skirts and dresses. But most of them still come from the Thrift Store. Gin is also quite savvy at getting clothes off Ebay. So that could be an option, too.
Every once in a while they get a skirt they like, but is too short. So they add material on to the bottom. This is a pain but worth it if they have found something they really like. You can look up tutorials on this.
As far as the grandchildren go, simple skirts can be easy to make. Gin has done some of this for each of her nieces. She also makes them dresses here and there. I know she was sewing like crazy before the Festival to give some of her nieces the dresses she had made. But for the most part, the girls look out for dresses and skirts from the Thrift Shop.
As far as hairstyles….some of my girls are so good at this! I wish I had the ability but I have never been much of a “hair person”. “Wash and wear” is my motto! That being said, I know they have watched some Youtubes and looked on Pinterest. I just asked this question to Gin the other day and she said to look at “updos” on Pinterest.
And then just practice. I know that’s what it takes. I see them whip their hair up so fast and it looks just lovely. You should see when I try to do that…quite amusing…I would give Phyllis Diller a run for her money 😉 !
Each night, before the Shakespeare Festival (and there were 6 nights of it) we went through the routine. I asked Rosie if she could do my hair, went and got all my hair stuff, sat down, braids, curls, waves abounded and then got up looking like my hair should be in a magazine! One of those evenings, when I asked her AGAIN, Rosie said with a sigh…”Mom, you’re SO high maintenance”. I chuckled and replied with a shrug, “I know.”
Anyway, I digress. I will ask the girls for more info on this one and if they have some good suggestions, I will post them for you.
Question: I was hoping you might be able to offer some advice. I have struggled with some serious health problems when I was younger. Through prayer and Masses, I have improved. I entered a convent but, unfortunately, my health took a spiral downward. I still desire a chaste, single life. Any advice?
Let him know you appreciate all the little things he does. It is easy to just expect things from him, with nary a thanks or a smile. This is not the way to nurture a relationship. Go the extra mile….always be grateful…..and let him know that you are!
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Love your posts, so inspiring. I have a question…what is the reason you and your daughters wear dresses vs. slacks? I think it’s wonderful but would like to know the thoughts behind it. Thank you
Happy to oblige, Beth. I will get back to you on this.
Hi Beth, I answered your question on this post: https://finerfeminity.com/2021/10/18/lovely-quotes-teatime-with-finer-femininity-addendum-why-we-wear-dresses/
Wonderful advice! You ladies do have beautiful hairstyles. I’m growing mine and I’ll try to do some of these lovely hairstyles. I’ve not been good at styling previously, but I’m willing to keep trying.
I wore skirts thru college, but it was because of family and not conviction. It was veryyyyy hard. I found the conviction later, but that lovely lady would save herself a lot of sorrow to find her love for it now and then walk in God’s grace and beauty. I would hesitate to join just any modesty blog, as many are based on the wrong ideas and not the church’s. Choose with care, great care. A good quick skirt for girls is Simplicity 8106. The pattern is short, but when you lay it out you just add the extra inches before you cut it out at the size you want. You probably need about 2 yards to be on the safe side. The waist band also needs about 1 1/2 inches added to the length, not width. The manufacturer calculated it wrong. 😉 thank you!
Thank you, Mary Ann! Great suggestions. And I do agree about the forums. That’s why it would be helpful if somebody was knowledgeable on one they are involved with themselves.
Well, by far, the best I have ever found is Finer Femininity! If young girls learn the spiritual lessons here that are the foundation for life and a prequesite for death, they will find the right path in life. If we don’t learn from the past, we will have no future. I see alot of people warning about frumpiness, and this is the last thing you want to put in a young girls mind. It will do more ill than good, and force her into a fashion mentality instead of modest. Build the spiritual first and look at the lovely longer skirts here; there are sooooo many. 😉
I second what Mary Ann said about finer femininity being the best I’ve found.
As a point of respectful disagreement, I don’t think directing a girl in the direction of beauty “forces” her into a fashion mentality. This sounds like a false dichotomy. My own definition of “frumpy” is anything that doesn’t fit right (usually too big), probably of a low-quality material and might be old and stained. Outside of that, there is plenty in the way of individual expression that is neat, clean, modest, fits well and can be found (with some effort) in thrift shops.
The ladies on this blog dress with neatness and loveliness without very much reference to current fashion, and it works. All of us have bad days (or even seasons), but giving up and saying “at least my daughter is all covered” is not good enough for long-term personal grooming. It sets her up to be avoided by her peers and gives reason for our culture to dislike large, conservative families.
I also think that sometimes in our western culture, we have an idea that we must verbalize all things that come to mind. “Dear daughter, please do not wear that, you look frumpy;” those words need never be spoken. What I might say instead is, “Dearest daughter, that shirt is way too big for you and that skirt is worn to threads, let’s find something else to wear that looks decent.”
Maybe maryarc intended some of these things in her comment, but I feel the need to provide a counterpoint to the idea that we can force a child into being a fashion slave by teaching them to dress with feminine decency.
I agree with your here and think it is important to dress with an eye to decorum and loveliness.
We must wish to draw others to Christ. One of the ways to do that is by being pleasing to the eye, as much as is in our power to do so….With modesty and grace.
We are already being countercultural by wearing dresses and being modest. I think the quote by Saint Francis DeSales could be used here, “You must try as far as possible to make your devotion attractive to others; that is true zeal.“
When I was in college over 10 years ago, I wore almost exclusively skirts, except when working. I often couldn’t find uniform-compliant skirts, and when I did, they wore out quickly in a very physical work environment; and, btw ladies, if your employer has a dress code and claims a skirt in the company color is not permitted, your religious freedom to wear clothing that conforms to your beliefs IS protected; push back!
Anyway, I wore long skirts the vast majority of the time, and I was convicted it was the right thing to do, and that it could look nice. Some ladies like a more professional polished look and some ladies like an artsy look. I suggest avoiding the frumpy look. You won’t feel good and others will perceive you poorly.
Sometimes I got questions about it, but it never bothered me, and it never stopped me from making friends AND I it helped me find a wonderful husband who was attracted to my modesty. Don’t worry too much about it, just embrace it and be bold!
Wonderful, thank you for your input!
I have a dear younger friend whose family is “sola skirtura” (I love that phrase- shows we’re not taking ourselves too seriously!). I make T-shirt dresses for her daughters for play clothes from the easy tutorials on-line.
eBay is a great source for vintage patterns for modest girl’s clothing.
The ‘tween years’ are a challenge- it is very hard to find T’s to wear with skirts that do not have objectionable logos. I have begun to re-purpose adult T-shirts in good condition from the thrift store where I volunteer as tops for their dresses.
I’m also experimenting with making large women’s jeans into skirts for them.
Always love the galleries! Thank you for sharing your family with us.
Love it! “Sola Skirtura”…Thank you!
I would like to encourage the young lady who wrote the first question to continue wearing feminine skirts and dresses, and do not doubt yourself. Looking different is a sign you’re doing it right. God will reward you for your faithfulness. A joyful and charitable spirit will help you win others’ good opinion, and by adhering to your values you will earn their respect as well.
Modesty of course does not mean frumpiness. Enjoy dressing stylishly and fashionably!
For me thrift stores have been my best bet. Surprisingly I have also found some nice clothes on Amazon, too.
God bless you.
Wonderful! Thank you, Erica!
There are resources for modest clothing for the 6-12 year olds. My sisters have found lots of nice stuff for my nieces on sheen (be sure to look in a private browser with no boys/men around, I haven’t seen but I’ve been warned).
For older girls (like mine) I go to e-shakti and customize! (My girls know we’re dressing to sell modesty and it does work. We’ve had all kinds of people copy us in their own way.)
As for being frumpy, I chose to wear clothing that’s too big and send my girls to school, it was a financial decision not a fashion decision. (I’m just throwing this out there for people who feel the need to shame women who are dressed modestly but their clothes don’t look right. Maybe it’s all she could find? Be kind.)
I also have a sister who sews like crazy. I’m in awe. It’s wonderful.
Pray for the grace to dress modestly and to find the resources that best fit your family’s budget and tastes. “Ask and you shall receive.”
🙂 🙂 🙂
My father worked in a bakery more than 40 years ago. He was in management and he had hired a lady that was being treated inappropriately and rudely by the male staff and it was getting to be a real problem. My father suggested she wear skirts. She decided to try his suggestion and the bad behaviour stopped immediately and the men started treating her with respect.
What a great testimony!
As a young woman who wears skirts exclusively in every day life, I would like to encourage the young lady who wants to wear skirts and dresses in college. I work a very active job in retail, which involves a lot of movement, lifting, going up and down ladders, etc. and I have never had a problem doing it all in skirts. My coworkers notice that I never wear pants, and some have asked me about it, but none have ever been mean. I do believe that dressing femininely commands more respect from everyone around you, especially men. I have had men hold the door for me in various places, most notably gas stations, and I often think it’s because I wear a skirt! Dressing modestly is so important, and there are so many ways to do it fashionably, in my opinion there is no excuse for looking frumpy. I have found a lot at thrift stores, but I’ve had some good luck in regular department stores as well. Just have a firm determination that all you will wear is skirts and dresses, and pay no attention to what others may think. My best advice is to have fun with it! There’s a real pleasure in looking nice, and with a little effort, you will soon be getting compliments instead of strange looks!
Beautiful comment, thank you Michelle!