How Do I Make These Modest??

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Admit it. Sometimes my blog and Facebook page can be quite frustrating.  Don't think I don't know it. People ask me all the time, "Why do you post beautiful clothing without knowing where it's from?" or "Why do you post such expensive pieces? Where can I get similar looks for less?" And I always answer that I post only for style inspiration. I post so you can go to the store and put looks together using your own creativity. Maybe you'll try something you wouldn't normally think of because of something I posted. Or maybe you'll just know what's in style this season so you have a mental road map before you go shopping. Or maybe you'll decide to dress a bit more modestly because you know you can, and still look fabulous.

But ultimately, we'd love to take those gorgeous street style and runway looks that aren't all that modest and figure out how to wear them modestly and stay consistent with our personal standards. And believe me, living amongst so many chic and fabulous orthodox women has shown me many creative ways of pulling off that 'divine and refined' look we all try to achieve every morning. At the simplest level there are shells and pencil skirts to slip underneath just about anything. But come on, we know that's not the most attractive look. To take fashion to the next level you have to become your own designer. You need to be confidant and creative.

So in this post I decided to show a few of the NON-MODEST looks I fell in love with recently, and how I would make them modest, without losing the uniqueness of the designs. But keep in mind, my opinions are exactly that: opinions. And that's the beauty of being able to take a gorgeous piece of clothing and customizing it to your needs. There are no wrong choices. If you dream it, then do it. Get yourself a great tailor and the sky will be your limit in what you can wear (with a few exceptions...see my personal dilemma *below).

Look # 1 - The Oscars
 Aah, the Oscars. Like any other fashion loving American I drool over the fabulous gowns that go down the red carpet; but as a modest fashion blogger, it's a totally different story.  I actually cringe at the minimal amount of (usually ugly) modest choices that show up in dribs and (literally) drabs. But a gown like this one worn by Zoe Saldana, is so beautiful. Let's figure out how to make it modest, without losing its fabulousness.

Let's face it, aesthetically, to the average human eye, very little can beat shoulders topping a gown.  Yet when covered, the focus moves up to a gorgeous face, sparkling eyes and the essence of a woman. The dress should be a reflection of that inner beauty. For this dress I would add fabric to create a simple neckline and 3/4 sleeves and, because the floral embellishment around the bust is so fabulous, I'd move it to the shoulder area and have them drip elegantly down the upper arms of the dress. Can you visualize that? (In my opinion, the bow belt and the flowers are too close to each other anyway.)

Look # 2 - The Runway
Although there are plenty of modest runway looks, I always feel a little cheated when I can't include in my posts many of the beautiful designs that can be simply modified to fit our needs. They should not be left out! This dress is an updated version of a color blocked classic and something most of us would wear. Of course you could always just add a shell underneath, but that's just a really uninspired way of losing the integrity of the style.  Let's look at this dress from an artistic perspective and get creative. I would build up the neckline with the white fabric and add 3 taupe bands that mirror the belt to the added "V" inset. Doing that would prevent an 'added-on' look, while the bands keep with the integrity of the graphic style of the dress. I would add simple sleeves, but I would end them with elegant points that would mirror the triangular shape of the shoulder. What do you think of that?

Look # 3 - At a Premiere
Okay I love this Gucci dress. It's insane and a bit strange, but that just makes me love it more. The length is easy to fix. I would just extend the bottom. But what would you do with that bold mesh top?? Well, I would stick with the futuristic vibe of this dress and simply line it with a metallic silver. And then I would add over sized silver cuff bracelets on each arm. Fabulous, don't you think? What would you do?

* Look #4 - The Dilemma
 And here's where I always run into my biggest modest fashion dilemma. The full mini skirt presents a problem I have not been able to solve yet, and maybe you have a solution that can help me. There are so many times I find a skirt that I absolutely love and there's just no way to make it longer. With a pencil skirt it's not really a problem because you can always add something (fabric, trim, lace...etc.) and create a whole new look. But what do I do with a full or pleated skirt? Zippers and hips wider than waist create issues with adding a panel at the top.  So if you have any creative ideas about this dilemma please leave a comment below and let me know!

I hope you liked this post. If you have any pictures you'd like me to "modest-ize" for you send them to me at @ and we can do this again!

Wishing you all wonderful week!



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  1. Oh, now this is a good point. Like you, I see beyond the photo and look at the possibilities. But I forget that not everyone has a "visionary" style of looking at things! Colors, textures, lengths and styles speak to me in pieces, and I am then able to put anything together that I want. But this is a good point. This IS the challenge, to find those affordable sources to get the look for the every day shopper. This is were collaboration with other fashionistas is a good thing! Happy day Sharon! Anita

  2. I love hearing your take on these dresses and how you would fix them to your style. I would never wear anything low cut and nowadays everything is so it was nice reading your fix.


  3. The desire for something more modest is a quest for many women - some because of respect & religion, some because of age.
    I'm more comfortable when I don't have to worry if too much is showing.

  4. I love your photos and inspiration! Just keep on! xo Caroline

  5. I don't have your creative vision when it comes to clothing, so I really appreciate this post!

  6. Well done Sharon:) and I like the way your focus is on face, eyes .. colors, textures. The mini is a tough one. I'm a pencil skirt fan and, in my fifties.. I still enjoy a more tailored look but keep things gracefully covered. Affordability is an issue. As we mature, focus should be on quality over quantity in my opinion.

    sorry for being away for a while. I had problems with blogger which resulted in a blog re-do :)


  7. Hi Sharon! I LOVE how you solved the problems of making these gorgeous clothes more modest. :) Thanks for sharing! I would love to be able to style a modest woman eventually so I'd LOVE to see more posts like this one to instruct me on what is appropriate attire. Thanks lovely! Xo

  8. yeah, there's a big difference between wearing what's on runway and everyday looks. Usually I wear tights when I think there's a skirt a bit short haha

  9. Sure,we can be friends! I'm following you via GFC and I hope you do the same!


  10. in any design whether fashion or home, a gorgeous look can be created for less if you have less...if you have more? flaunt it...if you don't accept it and let your imagination be your best frock

  11. I want that Gucci dress!!! I need it. Ok, maybe that's extreme but it is gorge!

  12. Hi Sharon :) I just came across your blog recently and really enjoyed reading you blog. Therefore I nominated you for the Liebster Award. It's a great way for bloggers to connect and you can check out my blog for more details about the blog.

    Thanks for writing such an amazing blog!

  13. Hi Sharon, great design ideas for these fashion pieces. Dilemma #4? Would very opaque tights, almost a legging fabric work to seamlessly close the gap between skirt and fab boots.


  14. Love your pointers and you are a great stylist for any woman who can afford to hire you!! You get it(: Sharon, this is a lovely post and great talk but I have to admit you are always good like this or great! I am a fashion stylist AND YOU inspire me with your posts!!!
    Xoxo Z

  15. you know i never thought you could moedst ise something! ithought it was a take it or leave it proposition...i justthought one nips in at waist or takes out at the hips...really interesting post Sharon! xx