Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 2

Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 2

A Frank Commentary on Why I Hate The Term

We left off in Part 1 of Why Modest ISN’T Hottest having established that in all practicality, modesty isn’t hottest (which is just fine!). Modesty can be the outward sign of virtue, it can be a vehicle for fabulous fashion or a way to identify oneself as part of a religious or ethnic group, but it is definitely not the “hottest” when it comes to being sexually provocative.

In fact, being sexually provocative should be the last thing on a virtuous woman’s mind. While it is not our responsibility as women to prevent men’s minds from wandering, we should be helpful in their quest to keep their thoughts pure.

So where’s the balance between inner and outer beauty, and where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty whilst disregarding the faulty notion that modest is hottest?

The first question is the easier to answer. Both our inner and outer selves need basic, daily attendance, such as brushing our teeth, combing our hair, praying, reading the scriptures, journaling or meditation. My advice would be that any surplus energy we have should be at least evenly split between who we are on the outside and who we are on the inside, with preference paid to our inner selves.

In other words, if you have enough time to give yourself that pedicure, take the time reflect on your character, uplift your spirit with music or stop and enjoy that gorgeous sunset.

Our second question posed was, where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty, having let go of the idea that modest is “hottest?” Well first, ladies, we really have to let go of the idea that we’re going to be showing ourselves off. Really let go. We have to ignore what the media says about how women should be hyper-sexualized and picture perfect 24/7.

Next, if you feel uncomfortable wearing it, don’t. Even if an item of clothing passes your “checklist” for modesty, if you don’t feel comfortable wearing it, don’t! It is possible for certain items of clothing to cover up what needs to be covered while at the same time doing it in such a way that it is still incredibly provocative. Embrace the spirit of modesty, not simply the do’s and do not’s.

Lastly ladies, don’t feel shame in the natural beauty God has blessed you with. Just because you choose to keep certain parts of your body covered up doesn’t mean they’re bad or evil or wicked – it just means they’re not for everyone to see. Seeking to cultivate our natural beauty doesn’t make us vain, it makes us good stewards of gifts from our Heavenly Father. Just be sure you’re also being good stewards of your inner beauty as well. ❤

In the words of Grace Kelly, “Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to show you’re a lady.”

Grace 2

 

Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 1

Why Modest ISN’T Hottest – Part 1

A Frank Commentary on Why I Hate The Term

I remember the first time I heard the phrase “modest is hottest.” I was still taking the missionary lessons and the elders had been trying, in their sincere but fumbling way, to explain the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint’s modesty standards.

Having a discussion with any`one (besides perhaps your parents) about what parts of you need to be covered up is awkward, but at the time I was 23 and the elders 19 and 20 and, as we delicately tried to discuss the Church’s standards, there were so many euphemisms flying left and right it would take me YEARS to understand exactly what modesty meant as a Latter-day Saint.

I had just begin to get the gist of things when I was sitting in Sacrament, waiting to give a talk, next to our Stake President. When standing, my dress hit about knee-length. When sitting… well, let’s just say it was quite a bit higher. I was so thankful that at least I had dark nylons on.

During my meandering course in figuring out modesty, the words “modest is hottest” stuck in my head. I’ll give whoever coined the phrase this: at least it’s catchy.

My first LDS boyfriend tried to help get me on board with the concept of Church-approved modesty by just telling me, “modest is hottest.” Modest is hottest. Over and over again. Well, if he thought it was hot… I was still scratching my head over the concept, but at least he seemed happy.

Fast forward a few months… we went from talking about being sealed in the temple to his confession that he had battled a pornography addiction for about a decade. I was crushed on so many fronts, but I felt betrayed in the fact that he had tried to convince me something was hot when it was clearly, at least, to him, NOT. I never looked, but I’m pretty sure none of the center-folds or websites he visited featured women in maxi skirts and cap-sleeved tees.

As women, we want to be beautiful. We want to be desired for our inner and outer beauty. And that’s just fine. In fact, it’s more than fine; it’s part of the way God designed men and women to work. After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, as part of Eve’s punishment, the Lord declared to her: thy desire shall be to thy husband (Genesis 3:16).

How clearly apparent is that truth? As women, one of our greatest driving forces is to be loved and admired. We desire the adoration of a husband. In the (slightly altered) words of Cheap Trick:

We want you to want us
We need you need us
Yeah, we’d love for you to love us.

Part of how that happens (in no small part to how visually wired men are) is that we as women cultivate our outer beauty. Don’t get me wrong – inner beauty should always be the priority, for, as Proverbs 31 reminds us, beauty is fleeting and a woman of great value is one who has cultivated the beauty of her inner self through industry, kindness, creativity, innovation, etc.

Trying to ignore our outer beauty and simply writing it off as shallow and vain, though, is (in my opinion) an affront to a God who is so clearly aesthetically minded. Anyone who has seen a beautiful sunset or stopped to observe the wealth of beauty in spring flowers will recognize this without a doubt. God created a beautiful universe. He created beauty all around us. He created beauty in his daughters. Should we not care for ourselves and tend our beauty just as we would tend and care for any other gift of beauty from our Heavenly Father?

Flower

(photograph courtesy of bpease photo)

So where’s the balance between inner and outer beauty, and where are safe parameters for embracing our beauty and modesty whilst disregarding the faulty notion that modest is hottest? Hold tight for Part 2 of Why Modest ISNT Hottest!

Your Perfect Prom Dress – Part 4

Not quite sure what looks good on you? Still trying to figure out what compliments your figure and your coloring? Here’s your very own guide to finding your perfect prom dress.

The finishing touches…

We just had a few extra notes we wanted to add to finish off this series; tidbits of this and that.

Corsets

Corsets (lace up backs) create BEAUTIFUL waistlines, even if you already have a rockin’ waist. They just create a gorgeous look. They require a friend to help with, but they are so lovely and have a wonderful fairy tale quality to them.

Embellishments

Don’t be afraid to play around with embellishments or go a little (or a lot!) outside of your comfort zone. There are so many different ways to accent a dress, the possibilities are nearly endless!

Some of our favorites are the asymmetrical skirt (see Le Fleur, Violet and Avril, below).

Le FleurVioletAvril

Another very popular option is a gathered skirt, such as Destry, Savannah and Amy, pictured below:

DestrySavannahAmy

There are also a myriad of other skirt style options, including tulle over sequins (Paige), multi-layered, multi-colored skirts (Giovanna, one  of  our all time favorites!), or ruffled skirts like Joli. Sky’s the limit, ladies!

PaigeGiovannaJoli

Bling. Could we ever say enough about bling? Probably not! You can add bling virtually anywhere, whether it’s all over (as with a sequin dress like Valerie), on the shoulders (like Twilight and Crystal), on the bodice (as with Jeanette), on the waist as with Avril and Joli (pictured above) or on the neckline (as with Amy, also pictured above).

ValerieTwilightCrystalJeanette

Beading is also another lovely, very sophisticated option, whether it be on the bodice, skirt or both (our favorite examples are Starlight, Sidney and Ella)

StarlightSidneyElla

Waist accenting can be a fun way to add in some sparkle and at the same time help create an hourglass figure, such as on Rose, Emmeline, Bella and Gabriella.

Rose EmmelineBellaGabriella

And the options don’t stop there… there’s always ruching at the waist (ruching is great at camouflaging “trouble” areas, as can be seen on Giovanna, pictured above), floral motifs (like Claire, pictured below), lace (like on Sidney, pictured above and Calista, pictured below), gathered bodices (like Hydrangea), ruffles (Camellia), pleating (as on Elisabeth, also pictured below), modest knee-high slits (Bailey)… the list could go on and on! But go on ladies, shake it up, try something new and you may just find a style that is exactly “you!”

ClaireCalista in Vivacious PinkHydrangeaCamelliaElisabethBailey

Why Virtuous Prom and Not Modest Prom?

I once read a Rabbi call modesty an adornment for life – what a wonderful truth! Modesty is an adornment for life. It is the outward sign of virtue as it is expressed in a woman’s culture – whether that means covering her hair, her collarbone, her shoulders, her knees or even her face.

KimKim

There are almost as many definitions for modesty as there women in the world, and all of them are important and have their place. Modesty is an instant (though not foolproof) way to identify what sort of person a woman is in her culture and community. But let’s not confuse the outward expression (modesty) with inner virtue.

A woman can – and unfortunately some often are – modest without being virtuous. You can have all the outer trappings of virtue (modesty), but as a wise man once said, all it makes us is whited sepluchres.  We may look good, moral or righteous on the outside, but if the inner virtue – the light and radiance behind modesty – is missing, all we have something that looks right but isn’t

When it came time for us to decide on a name for a company, we knew that modesty would instantly convey exactly what we were about – modest dresses! But we felt that this fell short of the real mark. What we really wanted to do was encourage virtuous women to express their inner virtue through modesty. Even though it made Google a lot harder to find us (it took almost a year for our page to even come up in search engines for modest dresses!), we are so glad we stuck with our instincts and became Virtuous Prom.

Anyone can be modest. All it is the right amount of fabric in the right places. It takes a woman of true value to be virtuous, and out of that virtue will always spring modesty, no matter how exactly that modesty may look.

Virtuous women of the world, we salute you, we respect you and we honor you! We hope to make your journey towards finding fashionable and modest clothing easier and more affordable and we very much look forward to meeting you and serving you along all our journeys.

Your Perfect Prom Dress – Part 3

Not quite sure what looks good on you? Still trying to figure out what compliments your figure and your coloring? Here’s your very own guide to finding your perfect prom dress.

Picking the perfect silhouette…

No matter what your body type, there is is a flattering dress out there for you!

The Neckline…

It may be a bit surprising, but the neckline of a dress can make a HUGE difference on everything from how your face appears, to your shoulders and of course to your bust line. The right neckline can help you accentuate your figure’s graces and help conceal your “trouble” areas. It can even make you appear taller and slimmer – who knew!

Selecting the right neckline for you is a crucial part of finding your perfect prom dress. Here’s a quick guide to the different styles out there and what will work best for you.

The Sweetheart Neckline

Our dress, Emmeline, is a perfect example of a traditional sweetheart neckline (sweetheart necklines are so called because they look like the top of a heart). Wearing a sweetheart neckline shows off the collarbone and decollete without revealing too much. Sweetheart necklines flatter most body types, are also great at creating the illusion of curves. They additionally draw attention up to your face and make you look longer and leaner, especially in your upper body! Sweetheart, indeed!

A great example of a sweetheart neckline!

Scoop Necks, V-Necks and Square Necks

Like the sweetheart neckline, these other three necklines show off the collarbone and decollete (Elisabeth, with a square neckline is featured below), help make you appear longer and leaner, draw attention to your face, and elongate your torso.They also work well on almost all body types. Scoop necklines are especially good at creating the illusion of curves, but watch out if you don’t want to look curvier there than you already are!

A great example of a square neckline!

Crew Necks and Boatnecks

Both these necklines are great for drawing the eye to the shoulder, helping to detract from a smaller chest or sloped shoulders. By drawing the eye out to your shoulders, crew necks and boatnecks help balance out your figure, making your shoulders seem squarer and your bust line more ample. These two necklines are especially great for pear-shaped women (women whose hips are proportionally larger than their bust). Conversely, if you’re already bustier than you’d like to be, these two necklines (especially the crew neck) can definitely accentuate that “problem” and can also make your shoulders appear wider that perhaps you’d like  (our dress, Evie, is pictured below).

Evie

Cowl-Necks

A cowl-neck is a neckline that has a slight drape to it at the chest – like our dress Valerie. It is a great choice for anyone wishing to add a little volume at the bust and at the same time create vertical lines that elongate the silhouette.

Valerie

Higher Necklines

Higher necklines, like mandarin collars are GREAT for creating the illusion of a bigger bustline. The downside is that if you already have a shorter neck, this neckline can make your neck pull a disappearing act! Like most things in fashion, it’s worth a try and ultimately what works for you comes down to what you like! When in doubt, a trustworthy friend is the best shopping companion (Jeanette pictured below)!

Jeanette