Fashion-isha It-Girl Abby Klein of Alamodesty

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Don't judge a woman until you've walked a mile in her Louboutins.  Some people struggle with challenges that are hidden on the inside.  Others have struggles that we wear on our sleeve, literally.  I find it a good practice to leave the judgements to Hashem. " -Abby Klein, Alamodesty

She first caught my attention on Instagram. And then just like that she was going. She left a note that her blog would be shutting down and I was shocked and disappointed. Why would such a beautiful and stylish modest fashion blogger shut down her blog?

I quickly left a comment that she should not shut down her blog…that we needed her and loved her style. She emailed me immediately to thank me for my support and that was the beginning of our friendship.

I won't get into the details of why she was going to shut down her blog, but I do have a message for the trolls, gossipers, and cyber bullies out there: your negativity is simply a reflection of your own character. Why not for once turn your judginess inward and work on fixing yourself before you try to fix everyone else. You may see someone's glory, but you really don't know their story.

Thankfully, Abby Klein is blogging in full force these days, and I am truly grateful, not only for the sartorial creativity she shares in putting together the most fabulous modest looks, but mostly for the gift of her friendship, for she is truly one of the kindest most sincere people that I have ever met.

Abby is the second in a series of Fashion-isha it-girls who are passionate about what they believe in and beautiful both on the inside and out.  (See the first post in this series HERE.) I strongly believe in mutual peer support and find that connecting with other like-minded women like Abby is one of the most rewarding aspects of blogging. I've only known Abby for a short time, but I am glad to call her my friend.

Over a fashionable lunch at the chic Day 5 in Brooklyn, Abby shares her story and philosophies with us. Take a moment to eavesdrop into our conversation while getting to know the woman behind Alamodesty:

Fashion-isha: Tell us a little about yourself and your background..anything you want to share with my readers!

Abby: I was born in Miami and lived there until I was 16, when my family and I moved to New York.  I felt like I had a unique opportunity to reinvent myself and my style, being that nobody knew who I was, and I was the New Girl.  My new High School did not have a uniforms like we had in Miami, so I felt like I was able to actually express myself through my style in that setting.  In my Senior Yearbook I was cited as the girl with the "Funkiest Outfits" (interesting choice of an adjective, I know), and I attribute this to my creativity in my daily ensembles.  I wore IDF military jackets, used boatloads of safety pins for embellishment, and I reconstructed pieces I already had in my closet; it was an exciting and fun time for me.  As the years have gone by, I have definitely evolved in my fashion sense, but I always look back on that time as my initial experience with personal style and expression through my wardrobe.  It was my platform into other realms of Fashion and Style.  Sartorial evolution is inevitable, but I always remember where it all started, and the road I took to get here.

F: What inspired you to start Alamodesty?

A: Honestly, I've been following so many fashion blogs for so many years (Fashion-isha included!), that it was inevitable for me to start one of my own.  These blogs were either modest or not, but regardless of the style or religiosity of the blogger, they gave me incredible inspiration and an outlet for my passion.  The pool of modest fashion bloggers is a small one, and for Orthodox Jewish bloggers it is even smaller.  So I felt I had something to offer, and a gap to fill.  I also felt my experience with transitioning from jeans and tees to skirts and long sleeves was a common one, and if there was someone out there who could relate, then I would have executed a worthwhile vision of fusing the world of fashion and tznius together, coupled with the opportunity to inspire.  For some girls it is just not that easy to dress "modestly", and they struggle with it every day.  I went through that, and I am still conquering it, so I know what they're feeling.

F: So what would you say is your personal fashion style?

A: I yoyo a bit when it comes to my personal style, and I like to encompass different styles and trends, but I think one thing remains consistent.  I maintain a pretty minimalist aesthetic, and I am faithful to the classics.  However, while I like a more clean and chic style, I also have a love affair with rock n' roll and I like throwing it into the mix.  Leather details, booties, fringe, these tough girl accents sell me every time.  I just want to be a rockstar.

F: Tell us a little about your life and fashion philosophies?

A: Getting dressed should be an opportunity to create a story, a character for yourself.  The outfit you choose has an element of projection to it.  The way I clothe myself is the way I am being viewed by the general public, and it speaks volumes.  In return, one ends up feeling a certain way about themselves.  I can be anyone I want that day, with a simple change of my clothes. The luxury is that the choice is all yours.  I think that's why fashion blogs can be so valuable; they lend you their creativity and their story with every outfit.  If it evokes a feeling in you, then all you have to do is recreate the look within the parameters of your own closet.  I love Coco's quote "Every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway. So always dress your best and walk with confidence."

F: Who is your favorite designer and why?

A: I can't imagine any girl picking just one solitary designer.  I have a lot of favorites!  I love A.L.C., Isabel Marant, and IRO for their cool-girl-off-duty style.  Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Tom Ford give me my rockstar fix.  Alber Elbaz for Lanvin is unequivocally the master of marrying elegance and whimsy, and I love his pieces for more formal events.  Stella McCartney is my go-to girl for simple, yet sharp and feminine tailoring, that can be dressed up or down.  I could go on and on, but I was really just supposed to give one :)

F: What are some of your dreams and goals for the future of your blog. What do you aim to achieve?

A: I hope that someone visiting my blog could walk away with a little more confidence, or inspiration.  Or even just giving someone the knowledge that I walked that road of uncertainty when it came to fashion and modesty, and that it's OK to be where you are, and that personal growth is possible.  I never imagined I would be where I am today in terms of the way I dress.  Even covering my hair was not  a simple matter for me, and I have grown in ways I never knew I would or could.  I now cover my hair even when I am alone in my home with my small son.  I know, for me, that is like I climbed a mountain, and I can almost see the peak, albeit from a distance.  Maybe I can give that over to somebody else.  Or maybe I could simply be that cool place you can go to when you want to see a little bit of modest fashion every day.  Either way I will be happy.

F: How do you feel about modest fashion?

A: Modest fashion.  If you would have asked me that question 5 or 6 years ago I would have probably scoffed at the thought of those two words coming together.  It was completely oxymoronic in my mind.  Baruch Hashem I have definitely grown out of that juncture, and I've come to appreciate what modest fashion has to offer.  The point is to focus, not on the limitations it presents you with, but on how it can add to the magic of getting dressed every day.  Having these stringencies placed upon us presents a divine challenge that forces our creativity and passion to shine.  I need to find a way to express my personal style, yet practice restraint at the same time.  The only way to do this is to get innovative.  It is deeply satisfying and rewarding.  Coming from where I was and how I dressed, it is a personal daily triumph for me.  

F:  If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

A: Marrakech, Morocco.  My mother was born there and grew up in Casablanca, and I would love to see the beauty and culture in which she was raised.  I would love to experience shopping in the Souk, and getting my hands on a couple of the caftans and the babouches (leather slippers).  The shops of the Souk boast colors like the rainbow and the goods are a veritable feast for the senses.  It seems like a faraway dream, this place where my mother was born, and it would be a remarkable opportunity to experience it for myself.  

F: If you could send one message to the women in the world what would it be?

A: Be kind to one another, and judge favorably.  I grew up frum, and attended Bais Yaakov, but I didn't feel accepted, and they let me know it, regularly.  The rejection I experienced made me feel like an outsider amongst my own classmates, in my own community. Because of this, as soon as I was out of there, I disassociated and stripped myself of the dress code.  For years I wore jeans,  little dresses, even littler skirts, and nothing really too modest.  And I was happy with that.
But when I married my husband, I made a decision that I wanted to have a frum home, with all the trappings.  And that included a change in my mode of dress.  Why I made this decision, I'm not sure.  I just wanted to create a "kosher" family and strive to give of myself whatever I could to foster the ruchnius of my children.  It was not easy for me to toss my jeans.  Even after I stopped wearing them, I couldn't bring myself to throw them away for a good year.  But slowly, over time, I let go and moved on.  I have grown exponentially in the area of dress.  I know there are those who point at me and say "This is not modesty".  But this is my modesty, where I am today.  Nobody knows my journey to get here.  I struggled with myself for years.  Every inch I cover; I fought for.

Don't judge a woman until you've walked a mile in her Louboutins.  Some people struggle with challenges that are hidden on the inside.  Others have struggles that we wear on our sleeve, literally.  I find it a good practice to leave the judgements to Hashem.  

F: Do you feel it's possible to dress fashionably on a limited budget?  What brands/stores would you recommend for the fashionable girl on a budget?

A: Absolutely!  I find this a point of contention on my blog.  I garner quite a bit of feedback regarding the cost of the items I post on the blog.  Many women voice their concerns and are interested in budget-friendly fashion.  Thank goodness for the myriad of stores that offer beautiful, fabulous items for a lower price tag.  I think, for the modest shopper, that ASOS is paramount.  They are constantly coming out with new modest skirts and dresses, in so many different fabulous styles, and most are budget-friendly.  They sell a plethora of skirts in different fabrics and colors, maxi and midi lengths, full or pencil, and shipping is free.  Of course, I love Zara, and Topshop too.  For discounted designer items, my main destinations are TheOutnet, and Yoox.  They are incredible, and you can really find treasures on these sites.  I have found some of my most prized items from these two sites alone, and they are worth taking a look at regularly.  I am also registered with Gilt, MyHabit, RueLaLa, HauteLook, and Ideeli.  They have daily sales and they range from high to low end.  There is something for everyone.

F: What are some of your favorite easy styling tips for the girl who wants to look great but doesn't know how?

A: I imagine every stylist would answer this question very differently.  My personal opinion on the matter is to remain faithful to the classics, and throw in a little edge when you feel comfortable enough to dare a little.  Get yourself a sharp blazer, some tailored button-down shirts, pencil skirts, full midis, an LBD, and anything in leather.  Leather is your best friend.  It consistently exudes style and allure, and you don't need a whole leather outfit to reap the benefits.  Items with small touches of leather have the same effect as a full jacket or skirt in the fabric.

Once you have the basic bones of your wardrobe, then you can have some fun experimenting with the details of your outfit, like statement jewelry, fabulous shoes, belts, and incorporating color and print.  Whenever you're in doubt as to how to execute a look, just check out the street style on the internet.  There is a wealth of styling  knowledge and creativity on the web, and you can learn so much just by checking out other girls' looks.

If all else fails, a great pair of oversized sunglasses can do wonders.
See Abby's blog Alamodesty and follow her on Instagram and Facebook too!

Love Abby's style? Here are two winter holiday looks I've put together for you that can easily share the same accessories. Which look do you prefer? Does monochromatic simplicity move you or do you prefer bold pattern mixing in your outfits? 

Until next time, 



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  1. Such a beautiful woman...inside and out!

  2. She's ever so beautiful and I love the things she had to say too xx

  3. Your depiction of Abby and the interview are absolutely wonderful, beautiful, sincere, and heartwarming.

  4. Thank you for a meaningful and touching interview. I thought Abby was eloquent and very insightful.
    Makes us appreciate her more

  5. I like her message. Dressing modestly but adding your own flair is perfect. In the land of Madonna, Miley, and other so called rock stars it is important to know modesty is a higher form of sexiness than what they are showing. One thing ANY outfit can look fantastic with a pari of unwearable 4 inch stilletos that she wears in many of her photos. If she could show her style with shoes that one could actually wear in real life would be a great help.

  6. What a pretty lady - I love her style. Everything she wears looks great.
    It was a really nice feature that you wrote, I'd like to see more like this.

    And - your profile picture is so adorable.

  7. I have to say that Abby's honesty and candor is so beautiful. I think she should be so proud of herself for growing in the ever-challenging area of tzniut. life's a journey and we should only look to take steps in the right direction.

  8. Thank you ,that was wonderful. You are such a warm ,wonderful person it shows through your blog. Thank you for that lovely piece and for convincing Abby to continue her great work through her blog alamodesty.

  9. It all boils down to jealousy, and people just dont know how to be happy for others when they are not happy with themselves! I wish I could rock her outfits... elegant lady for sure!

  10. Hi Sharon
    Thanks for this post
    The truth, find people who live what they believe is really valuable
    I loved it!

    My blog By Joyce ♥ // Bloglovin ♥ // INSTAGRAM ♥

  11. Abby you moved me to tears.So proud to be your sis