We've been talking about modesty on the Traditional Christianity board quite a lot lately. It's something that any religious woman has to confront on a regular basis - the desire to be thought of as a lady, and not as a tart.
But if you start making hard and fast rules for what not to wear, you back yourself into a corner very quickly. Much better to dress, as one of our Jewish contributors offered, as not to incite lust, anger or envy. How that works out is very individual.
I think it would be useful to have some visual ideas of people who dress beautifully for their age and station in life. Since these aren't entries in the Modesty Police, some of their outfits will be immodest, yes. But overall, we're seeing an aesthetic that has something to say that isn't about sexual availability.
First up: Casey, of Casey's Elegant Musings. She's young, petite, and married to a Navy guy. And her clothing *perfectly* reflects that reality. http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/07_07_12j.jpg
Bringing the thought home: What does your clothing say about you? Does it reflect reality?
Next: Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. Heavy-set, works in an extremely conservative office setting, a grandmother with loads of time to sew. http://sewingfantaticdiary.blogspot.com/2012/04/rachel-dress-deux-irl.html
Bringing the thought home: Carolyn nearly always wears the same silhouette. Because of her figure issues, she's worked out what looks best on her, and she makes the most of it.
Couldn't possibly ignore: Erica of DIY Style. A mother and grandmother, she decided to take fashion into her own hands and she works it. A woman in her 40s, she looks her age - but she doesn't look old or out of date. Not always modest, but always put together. http://www.ericabunker.com/2012/07/inspired-by-pinterest-giving-cold.html
Bringing the thought home: Do you completely own your style? How is your accessorization? The little details can take teenybopper style and make them read as appropriate for a woman in her later years - and vice versa, making a perfectly rational dress read as out of place.
Next: Laura of Lilacs and Lace. So feminine, so beautiful. If you need to see how to work vintage into everyday without appearing costumey - check Laura out! http://www.flickr.com/photos/45801735@N03/7383568406/in/photostream/lightbox/
Bringing the thought home: Check her posture - it's exquisite. Anyone can look more modest and more beautiful with a straight spine. Hemlines in balance, and every dress is *beautiful*. A wardrobe full of butterflies, indeed.
I'll update this list as I have time... but hopefully it helps, seeing beautiful women look beautiful without showing everything to the world.