It’s that time of year — both the weather and style gurus demand it: a thorough closet-cleanse and at least a few new outfits and accessories to welcome the new season.
But so often my budget and my scruples keep me from wholeheartedly embracing a revamp of my wardrobe with each new season. Even if I did have the money to buy new tops in each of this season’s hottest colors along with that must-have accessory and those new shoes everyone’s gonna be wearing — could I actually embrace current fashion trends and still retain some modesty and decency?
It’s a question anyone with scruples eventually faces: can one be stylish AND modest?
I believe the answer is YES, because, as daughters of God, we are actually called to be both. Called to modesty in our dress, but also called to express the beauty our Creator instilled in each of us by embracing our own unique style.
See, our God is an artist, and one of His most brilliant achievements is that He created us each uniquely different. Embracing our unique style and expressing it in what we wear is a way to joyfully give Him glory.
I would propose that following hard after seasonal trends and ending up looking very much like the girl next to you is not the way to embrace your uniqueness. On the other hand, putting some thought and time into tastefully adorning yourself in clothes that express your personal style is a worthy endeavor that gives credit to our creative, artistic God.
Finding Your Personal Style
If you’re like me, though, you may struggle to actually define your personal style. Here’s some great news: a gal named Hayley Morgan has written a book, The No-Brainer Wardrobe, that walks you through defining your personal style using the virtual pinboard, Pinterest. I followed her tips last fall and for the first time I began to gain a clear picture of my own unique style. Solidifying my personal style statement has given me clear direction as I shop and dress, saving me time and money and restoring the joy of getting dressed. I highly recommend the book and the exercise of defining your style.
Now, everyone’s body type, personal style, and modesty standards differ, but I firmly believe each of us is capable and called to embrace the task of being stylish and modest. Here are my favorite tips as you face the fall fashion changes.
Favorite Tips for the Modestly-Minded Fashionista:
…are a girl’s best friend. A good tank top will redeem almost any blouse and leggings can really help a wayward skirt. Cardigans, with their various textures and colors, are a great place to express individuality and they can take a dress from ‘risque’ to ‘okay!’ without losing style. Don’t neglect to maintain some shape and line with all those layers, though — try a skinny belt over that cardigan to accent your waist! And don’t tuck it all in — let the layers show, creating a dimensional look to your outfit.
…forget the list of this season’s trendy colors — it’s time for you to finally define your personal color scheme, girlfriend! Hint: the colors you love to be surrounded with (ie. your bedroom walls or craft supplies) may not be the spectrum that works best for your wardrobe. After years of only wearing blues and greens, I recently realized I actually prefer warm shades of purple and even orange. I feel so much better now that I’m not wearing the same color as my couch! A personal color scheme (say, two or three complementary shades and a favorite neutral) will guide your shopping and ensure that your wardrobe actually works together!
…a well-crafted outfit always includes some contrasting elements. Try it with textures — pairing something silky or shiny with that denim, or layering knits with wovens. You also want contrast in fit: avoid wearing loose styles on both top and bottom. If your blouse is fitted, try the long, flowing skirt. Going for the jeans today? A soft, draped blouse or t-shirt makes for lovely contrast.
Operation Closet Cleanse
So, are you ready? Let’s tackle that closet! Throw out the frump and the stuff that just isn’t your style. Commit to building a wardrobe that is modest and uniquely you. For more help and fun inspiration, check out:
- Elisabeth Allen’s “What’s Your Style?” Post
- Elisabeth Allen’s “Myths About Mystery and Modesty” Post
- Trina Holden’s “Mommy Gets a Makeover” Series
- Gretchen Louise’s “Frumpy Fashion” Post
- Gretchen Louise’s “The Rhyming of Comfy and Frumpy” Post
- The No-Brainer Wardrobe series at The Tiny Twig
- The No Brainer Wardrobe eBook
Join us in the comments! Describe your favorite outfit you’ve worn to celebrate the crisp fall days this month. How did you make it uniquely you?