We all know that the fine arts from centuries ago featured women in modest dresses– but did you notice how stunning those dresses actually were? That is even the case in the paintings that depict religious scenes.
As you can see in the collection below, there was a lot of variety in styles, shapes, colors, textures and more. We have to give credit to the artists for managing to capture such details with vivid colors, despite their limitations.
We hope you like the slideshows! We made them easy to enjoy!
There are many contrasting opinions on what qualifies to be considered modest clothing. That is mainly because some religions have rules and guidelines on it that are far more strict than others. Furthermore, it varies between different sects of each religion, and between congregations as well. Modest clothing styles also tend to vary between individuals that don’t necessarily have religious affiliations. In their cases, it has more to do with culture and personal preferences.
In general, modest clothing refers to clothing that obviously covers the most private parts of the body, and is also relatively loose-fitting and doesn’t cling to the contours of the body. For most people who choose to dress conservatively, they opt for the types of colors that are more natural and earthy- the blues, greens, blacks, whites, and browns. When it comes to brighter colors such as the vivid pinks, oranges, and yellows- it varies between the wearer. There are many ultra Orthodox women who refrain from wearing bright colors and/or patterns, for modesty purposes.
There are also the matter of dimensions of each garment. In many religions, women are not permitted to wear short shorts. There are some in which women aren’t permitted to wear fitted pants at all, and are advised to wear modest skirts. But how long is a modest skirt expected to be? Well, in some cases it is expected to reach the knee. In others, it is expected to go below the knee. Then there are those that require skirts to reach the ankles. Women are generally also told to avoid see-through clothing, skirts/dresses with long slits, revealing bathing suits, and in many sects even tops with revealing necklines.
Rules of modesty aren’t limited to clothes. There are also restrictions on the wearing of makeup and jewelry. In some faiths, women aren’t allowed to cut their hair. Although it may appear a bit much to some, there are also strict rules of modesty that apply to men as well. The guiding principle behind the rules of modesty and modest clothing is to project humility and not spark sinful thoughts and actions on oneself or others.
What do you think of when you think of orthodox fashion? Instinctively, most people would think of loose, long, and frumpy pieces that are a far cry from being trendy. This is especially the case for women who are expected to cover their collarbones, knees, and elbows for modesty. While the perception of unflattering clothes worn by orthodox women may have been true for a long time in most places- times are changing. Little by little, orthodox fashion is becoming high fashion. That is mainly because many clothing brands, both large and small, are designing apparel that is (finally) modern and trendy.
The current trend, which is likely here to stay, didn’t just come out of nowhere. Religious girls and women worldwide kept facing difficulties in finding modest clothes that met their needs. For example, the long denim skirt would have been perfect if it weren’t for the slit in the back. The long white tunic would have been perfect if the fabric could have been thicker to not make it see-through. And the dress would have been perfect if it weren’t for the cut-outs, peep-holes, and low neck/back. These women had to settle for whatever they could find, and make adjustments by layering up when possible. However, that often led to them sticking out like a sore thumb, especially in areas with warmer climates.
Little by little, major retailers started offering a few modest pieces. Orthodox women flocked over by the masses to purchase the goods, which were finally the perfect mix of modest and stylish. They were beginning to wear outfits that actually gave them joy, confidence, and helped make them stand out. The fashion world began to take notice.
Slowly but surely, trendy modest dresses for women began to emerge to much fanfare from orthodox and nonorthodox women alike. There were ensembles popping up that featured unique color blocks and patterns that made the wearers look and feel more majestic. Neutral colored dresses started coming out with long and flowing designs, making the wearer feel like a goddess. Asymmetrical dresses came out, making the wearer feel like the world was her catwalk. Then there were the dresses with romantic themes, bohemian themes, and more. Women began to rediscover themselves through these dresses, and they are continuing to love every second of it.
We’re currently living in great times in terms of fashion. For most women, it is no longer particularly difficult to find a modest dress that is trendy and made with breathable fabrics. When they step out in their modest gear, they can now do so with full confidence, knowing they look absolutely amazing and in style.
Are you thinking about going on a cruise this summer, but worried about staying modest? Have no fear! We’ll give you some pointers you can keep in mind as you start planning.
For starters, you have to think about the luggage. Most cruise lines don’t have luggage limitation, but then again, most of the cruise cabins have limited closet space. Also, if you’re going to fly to the cruise port, you will have to pack based on the limitations that are imposed by the airlines. Although you will likely bring more than one bag of luggage with you, we highly recommend you pack some essential change-of-clothes with you in your carry-on, just in case your larger bags get misplaced. It happens.
When it comes to deciding what to pack- think about the destinations, and the season/temperature there. If you need additional assistance, cruise travel agents can offer good tips. Common sense plays a big role here. If you’re going on an Alaskan getaway, don’t pack for tropical weather.
Here are some basic things we recommend you pack:
- Modest skirts of varying thickness. Extra points if some of them have deep pockets to secure your phone and wallet.
- Comfortables walking shoes, formal shoes, sandals, and slippers. Please make sure the shoes are already “broken-in” to ensure maximum comfort.
- Sports skirts
- Loose, breezy modest tops
- Modest undergarments
- Casual accessories (sunglasses, hats, shawls, etc)
- Modest dresses for visiting holy sites, or prayer gatherings. You can read more about dressing for tourist destinations in this blog post.
- Elaborate skirt/dress for formal nights on the cruise
- Layering pieces
- Exercise clothes
- Rain gear
Frequent travelers know to pack interchangeable pieces of clothing that can be used for multiple outfits, to save time and luggage space. That will allow more room for souvenirs and other purchases from the trip.
Things will get challenging if you’re looking to completely avoid scantily-clad women during your trip. The best that can be done on that front, is to opt for an Alaskan Cruise (to lessen the numbers of scantily-clad women) and look into Kosher Cruising companies. Bear in mind, Kosher cruises are actually arrangements where the organizers take over a percentage of larger cruises. They reserve rooms and a dining hall for the Kosher program, but the rest of the facilities will be shared with everyone else. It will cost a pretty penny extra, but will be worth it for those looking to take part in prayer services, lectures, and gourmet Kosher dining. Most cruises offer Kosher food anyway, but it would moreso be along the lines of airplane food, which isn’t bad- but not great either.
Do you have some other recommendations worth mentioning? We for sure didn’t cover all there is to be said- so sound off in the comments below!
Please bring these modest suits back!
They’re so stylish, elegant, and timelessly chic! From the photos alone, you can tell that they’re also high quality. The world needs more modest suits like these!
Then again, fashion does have a way of coming back in waves. It’s a good thing that modest fashion in general is faring well across the globe. Maybe these modest suits stand a chance of coming back in style.