How to Dress Like the P31 Woman:
Modest and Put Together on the Outside.
noun “the state or quality of being worthy of honor or respect… a composed or serious manner or style.”
One night a young gal walked into our Bible study late after everyone was seated. As she scooted past the back row to find a seat, she left a wake of double takes and shocked expressions. The offense? The amount of leg showing under her skirt–it barely covered her bottom. Ironically, it wasn’t the men who were reacting, it was the women. The point is, you want your clothes to draw attention to your face, not other parts of your anatomy.
You automatically set yourself apart as dignified when you refuse to be careless about allowing a hint of cleavage or thong to show. As my friend Katie would say, “Modest is hottest.” In a nutshell, why do we dress modestly? God is holy and He told us to be holy. Holy means to be set apart for a special purpose, pure, perfect in morality. A modest women desires to direct attention upward to her face and eyes–not to her dress, braids, and baubles.
One common infraction is the visible bra strap. I know there is a “look at my leopard print or neon straps” style, but no matter what type of intended visible bra strap you are showing, it is doesn’t fit into the dignity category. It will always look like underwear because it is underwear. What was once considered embarrassing (“Your underwear is showing!”) is now flaunted. Consider using double-sided fashion tape to keep those straps from falling out, or if the tank just can’t keep those straps under wraps, a strapless bra. If all else fails, find another tank. Your dignity is worth more than following the trend.
Age and life style appropriate.
If you’re not in high school or college, upgrade out of the sweats/pajamas/yoga pants are my everyday clothes mode. When at work, dress the part. Respect your position by dressing appropriately. People respond to how you present yourself. Man looks at the outside because that is what he can see. I have observed that people are more respectful and courteous when I dress up in daily life. I don’t run errands or grocery shop in sweats or work out clothes unless I am on the way home from exercising. “Dressing up” constitutes, wearing a dress or jeans and a blazer. Dress like a professional and people will treat you like one. Dress like an eyesore and the same will be true.
Well dressed has less to do with money and more to do with fit.
Labels don’t matter. The most important factor in being well dressed is how your clothes fit and look on you. My favorite jeans are a no-name Nordstrom brand. I call them magic jeans because they make me look a size smaller. I typically wear them 2-3 times a week without shame. I know these looked good because two different sales ladies stopped mid-stride to tell me, “Those look really good on you” and “I love those jeans on you,” indicating the authenticity of their compliment. You will get more compliments on fit than name brands. The better your clothes fit and the more comfortable they are, the less you will need.
If you don’t have a good supply of wardrobe basics that flatter your body type you will tend to buy more clothes because you’re not satisfied with what you have. You can save money spending full price on one comfortable, perfectly fitting pair of jeans than on a trendy or discounted pair that don’t fit or look just right. Waiting for a sale is advisable, but the point is: be strategic about what you buy and where you invest your $$. The magic slimming, comfy items are the ones you will put on day after day and not fear wearing them multiple times a week. (Even this week I wore the same LBD, little black dress, on Monday and Thursday.) Invest in your staples, by spending more $$ on well-constructed and well fitting garments.
Consider investing in a tailor. This concept is probably foreign for most of us. But, not too long ago, say the mid-1920s, clothes were primarily made by a family member or professional tailors. Yep! Needless to say people had much less clothes, but better fitting, higher quality garments. Impeccably fitting garments off the rack are hard to find for most, if not all, women. Often a slight, inexpensive alteration can turn something from ok to amazing. I recommend budgeting a little extra money for alterations on your staple investment pieces—jeans, blazers, trousers, shirts, LBD, etc. Remember, too tight just ain’t right! While slim fitting shirts can help enhance your silhouette, tight fitting garments tend to accentuate pudge—especially tees and stretchy fabrics. You want your garment to subtly cover bumps (and we all have them let me assure you—some of us just hide it better than others) not make you look like lumpy bratwurst. It’s best to avoid the “muffin top” with added frosting look.
What do you think is the purpose of being modest? What are our favorite garments? Why do you love them?