Holding down my skirt as I walked so it didn’t ride up and flash my knickers became so much of a skill it should’ve really been noted on my CV. Looking back at the fashion choices I made in my twenties, most were driven by what magazines were telling me was in style and what I was seeing on The Hills; none of them were driven by practicality, what suited my shape, what made me feel good and what would be comfortable to move beyond desk-to-printer and back again three times a day.
Driven by a desire to wear the most figure-hugging, leg-flashing and boob-boosting garments I could find, my 20-something wardrobe was an amalgamation of disasters and impulse purchases – many of which were made following the realisation that skirt really was too short / I could do with a cardigan.
Modest fashion wasn’t something that ever slipped into my consciousness, but as I transitioned into my 30’s and finally came to understand that you always feel your most confident when you’re comfortable, it was a natural progression my closet made and a movement I subconsciously became part of. For dressing modestly is now, as a 37 year old who still loves to shop, totally my thing…
It’s reported that modest fashion accounts for 40% of luxury sales, while Pinterest reports search for the phrase have increased over 500% in the last twelve months. But what is modest fashion?
It may have started with an affinity to religion, and women choosing to dress more modestly due to spiritual affiliations, but this growing movement is one that’s full of people like me who are simply drawn to the aesthetic of covering up. Whether its subconsciously linked to the growth of feminism, the desire to be treated more equally in the workplace or simply to enjoy fashion in every way it was intended, it’s never been more on-trend to dress modestly. Fashion has always been a reflection of wider cultural conversations, and right now the catwalks are overflowing with maxi dresses, statement sleeves, luxurious layers and simple necklines – making way for the high street to follow suit.
I used to find it so hard to find decent outfits to suit my curvy shape, always compromising on fit and finding myself constantly fiddling with fabrics, but now it’s honestly a breeze (at the detriment of my bank balance.) Thanks to the growth of midi and maxi length garments and the popularity of elegant shapes, higher necklines and flowing fabrics, you can look and feel fabulous in whichever way you choose. There’s now an accessible mid-point between ‘body con dress’ and ‘hoodie’ – and women are here for it.
The success of last year’s cult Zara dress is the epitome of this movement, becoming a staple for women across the country because it made them feel great without flashing their skin: midi length, three quarter length sleeves, room for moving around and ample space to fit a large lunch. That’s what I’m talking about. I resisted for as long as possible until I caved and bought it in red (which you can see in this post.) Every time I wear it people comment, and this week I turned up to a meeting and we were both wearing the same dress (with very similar accessories too!)
Midi skirts are also having an absolute surge in popularity thanks to their universally flattering fit and multi-styling opportunities. I adore them to the point where I probably have far too many, but their an effortless and super comfortable way to help you look and feel put together whether you wear with a tee (like here) a chunky knit (like here) a statement sleeve (like here) or a simple cashmere sweater. I chuck them on for a brunch date, style them up for an evening out or wear them with trainers when I need to be charging around the streets of London for meetings – and I don’t ever have to worry whether I’m flashing something I’d rather not.
You only have to look through my fashion archives to see my love for all things modest – so much so that you might call me a modest fashion blogger – and that’s not changing any time soon. I’ve never enjoyed shopping for clothes as much as I have now, purely because there are things I actually want to wear and pieces I know I’ll feel good in; that’s always a good thing for someone who spends her time posing for pictures and putting her outfits on the internet for your enjoyment!
I’ve come to learn that fashion is about making you feel good, that the best outfits are the ones you don’t have to think about, and that you don’t ever have to flaunt bits you’d rather not. Get your legs out if you want, push your boobs up if you fancy it, show off as much skin as you feel inspired by Love Island to do – but if you’d rather keep it all under wraps too that’s totally cool. Zara said so.
What are your thoughts on modest style and the growth of modest fashion bloggers?
SHOP THE LOOK
New Look Khaki Pleated Midi Skirt | £11.00.00 (Was £22.99) | LINK
Pure Collection Ombre Cashmere Jumper* | £125.00 | SIMILAR HERE
Sam Endelmen White PomPom Trainers (C/O Brand Alley)* | £29.00 (Was £119.00) | LINK
All Saints Moss Versailles Shoulder Bag (C/O Brand Alley)* | £79.00 (Was £198.00) | LINK
Buckley London ‘I Can’ Necklace* | £25.00 | LINK
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