Friday, August 29, 2008

Hope for Modest Brides Down Under

This season all bridal suppliers are stocking a MODEST range. This means that even if the website or store hangers don't show any covered bosoms and shoulders, if you ask the staff, they'll show you what can be ordered in for you. (If this is true of New Zealand, it will be true of Australia.)

I was in Bridal Salon in Palmerston North's King Street, and Raewyn, who shared this exciting news with me, showed me a classy publication with a whole section devoted to beautiful modesty. This same Bridal Salon's website, which featured a half price sale in July, hadn't given me any hope they could provide anything modest. (I was in the shop to purchase storage bags for my concert gowns.)

Jacket Possibilities

I went across the street to Simpsons Original Suit Hire & Bridal Sales and asked what they could do for a girl wishing to be beautiful and modest. I was assured they do have a few gowns with sleeves, or bolero or shrug jacket options that could be worn on top of a "regular" gown. Here are some examples from their website. The above 3 gowns are for purchase, and those below are for hire.

In short, the good news is that if you want to buy locally, get personal service, and a complimentary fitting, go in to the store and ASK what they can do for you.


On all New Releases

Friday, August 22, 2008

Spring Trends

I find it helpful to see outfits pieced together in store windows or catalogues. It shows me what can be done with their stock, and gives me ideas of what I can do with garments I already own. Let's make use of the Farmers spring catalogues.

Farmers describe themselves as NZ's foremost fashion department store.

Remember, it's easy to pop a camisole underneath those not quite high enough necklines.

Skirts may be shorter, but the look is feminine and there are options that cover.

I can't imagine what inspired the costume department to give this model dark yellow leggings with a red, blue, and white top, but let's ignore the glare and imagine what could be done with the dainty tunic. Perhaps a navy skirt, red sandals, and a white long-sleeved t-shirt? White trousers, white denim jacket, and a red hat?
Layers continue to be the theme, not so much the long camisoles and short shirts, but long tunics and short jackets.

The Warehouse recently upgraded their sales brochure to almost a fashion magazine. Page after page of the August catalogue offers style tips.

Add a camisole or t-shirt underneath, top with a jacket, and you'll be blendy with the trendy if you need to be.

Don't despise the humble scarf -- it can cover clefts, fill gaps, and add pizzazz and good cheer. Have you tried one tied to the handle of your handbag?

Ezibuy are running what they call their 'Last Chance Clearance" with garments up to 75% off. A quick look through their catalogue shows some tops down to $20 each, several offered at 2 for $30, and there's even a long-sleeved satin piece with a choice of 5 colours for $10. Take a look online at or

Friday, August 15, 2008

Celebrating Being Feminine

Do you love being a girl? If you are a girl, that's a good thing. Many people in our world today are confused about whether they're feminine or not, which is very serious if you're actually masculine.

This week I spent a day in the city and while waiting for my lunch order from a Turkish kebab café, I saw a very pretty young man behind the counter.

His sleek black hair was held back in a perky ponytail. A neat kiss curl rested in front of each ear. One earlobe sported a large, pale pink diamante stud and he wore a chunky silver chain around his neck. I watched as he preened in a mirror while waiting for food to heat, fussing with his already immaculate curls.

The religious book of his Muslim employers promises a dire judgement to homosexuals, so it is unlikely that he would associate himself with this sexual persuasion and gain a job there, but his androgeny (gender confusion) was painful to see. It set me to thinking on the importance of gender distinction and the value of our femininity. God created women in the female mold (no half- or part-masculine females) and declared that it was good. We should view it likewise.

Right click on image and choose Save Image As

In honour of this post, I've created a poster celebrating our femininity. I have not placed copyright on it, so you may copy and distribute for free. Why not print it as a postcard or use it as your desktop wallpaper or screensaver?

By all means express your individual taste in your appearance and surroundings, but do it whilst rejoicing in being a girl! Dare to thank the Almighty God for choosing to make you a woman!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Great Shirt Hunt continued

First, we revisit Carolyn Ballinger’s Easterfest outfit. I asked her how she pieced it together, and she said, “I specifically went out looking for an outfit - I found the black halterneck top and kept looking to find something that would cover all the bareness. The black camisole I wore underneath was an oldish one I had in my cupboard, so it was a bit faded - but I didn't mind because it helped to break up the dark blackness, if that makes sense.”

Abomination of Perspiration

If you are conscious enough of your health to eschew the poisons in antiperspirants, this can leave you with an embarrassing problem. Modern fabrics tend to display underarm moisture rather exuberantly. I have 3 suggestions for this:

1. line the garment,
2. don't wear close fitting sleeves,
3. or be very particular about the fabric you choose.

Contrary to my expectation, I discovered that dark colours frequently don't hide wet patches. Sometimes they magnify their presence. I recommend busy patterns (like the Spotlight polyester advertised in the previous post) or pale colours. Best of all is white – convenient this season because the white shirt is trendy in a big way, billed as ‘fashion’s best blank canvas’. We know that white is cool, but could there have been another reason why Colonial ladies of the Orient dressed completely in white?

The above 3 options are from Shukr USA.

Long-Sleeved Cotton Shirts

I had a friend who had a limited but extremely versatile wardrobe – she wore her long-sleeved cotton shirts no matter what the season. This might seem reasonable in spring or autumn, and maybe in winter with a cozy fleece on top, but who in their right mind wears long-sleeved shirts in summer? The less clothing the cooler you'll be, right?

Un-right. I found out just how practical they are.

A long-sleeved cotton shirt can form your very own air-conditioning tent. (1) The body produces moisture which soaks the fabric, (2) air passes through the fabric, (3) causing evaporation, which takes heat with it and lowers your body temperature. Having wet under-arms or under-anythings is actually not anathema! A girl just has to learn it’s not disgusting and get used to it.

This BN Punjab suit of cotton voile (below) makes a perfectly air-conditioned tent, as I discovered last summer.

Three of the Simplicity patterns in Part 1 of this post illustrate patterned fabrics that would hide those sweat marks quite nicely. I don’t recommend satin [Simp3838] – it marks easily and doesn’t breathe in the heat. If you want to use satin, line it.

Annie Lantz excel at creating pretty pictures. These floral cotton shirts are from their Spring catalogue, bringing with them a price beyond my pocket but an inspiration and delight I hope to share with you. These fabric choices are dainty, feminine, and ideal for hot weather. However, a modest wearer of this particular style would need a camisole underneath to compensate for the missing button.

Remember, click image to enlarge. These are really worth seeing up close.

Rolled Sleeves

I found a key to being comfortable in a long-sleeved shirt is the ability to roll the sleeves up or down according to temperatures changes. Exposing the inner elbow in humid conditions seems to be a significant cooling device. If you are the owner of sensitive skin or wary of UV rays, long-sleeves are peace of mind under the blazing sun (note: sunscreen lotions are known to encourage skin cancer). If your midday summer temperatures drop significantly with the onset of evening, long sleeves, rolled up during the day, can be rolled down to prevent those nasty goose pimples.

Sleeve Tip: roll them scientifically, not higgledy-piggledy! Unbutton the cuff. Fold up the cuff so that it is the width of the cuff. If the shirt has no separate cuff, fold the end of the sleeve up two or three inches evenly all the way around. Fold the sleeve again, using width of the first fold as a guide. Repeat as many times as necessary. This should form a firm cuff that will sit nicely and won't tumble down at inconvenient moments.

The following 4 images are from

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