Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ballentynes Winter Sale

Ballentynes start their winter sale on Monday, 1 August 2011. You can shop online or pop in to one of the 28 stores between Auckland and Nelson in New Zealand.

A quick browse online turned up this poly/cotton long-sleeved, crew-neck tee for NZ$9.99. There are other modest styles available, but I can't vouch for the fabric being non-transparent.


Need some layering help for those trendy tunics and dresses that don't cover your shoulders? This cute tie shrug is reduced to NZ$14.99, down from $49.99!

And check out the price reduction on wool-content garments! I hope you find something to meet your needs.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bare Bosom Teacher? No Thank You!

When Frances* retired from teaching, she became a student again, learning to play the cello.  She loved her teacher Marie's skill and knack of inspiring her. She also appreciated her ladylike standards.

After two years' collaboration, Marie announced the bad news. She would soon be moving to another city. Frances and the other students would have to find a new teacher or else travel 5-6 hours per lesson.

Shortly after this devastating news, Frances attended a regional cello day attended by 45 cellists and their teachers. Frances used the opportunity to survey the one teacher who would live closer than Marie. She was not happy with what she observed and came home with the despairing conviction that she would have to travel for lessons.

In discussion with one of her accompanists
What do you think it was that swung her opinion against the teacher? Any guesses? It was something that would be easy to fix and yet seemed insurmountable. The teacher was sharing with the world a vast expanse of her bare bosom.

Frances shuddered at the thought of the woman leaning over her to correct her finger positions or bowing technique. She did not need that distraction.

She remembered Marie's other students in search of a teacher. Would the parents of the several 11 and 12 year old boys be happy with their sons studying bare breasts along with their music?

Getting into the maestro mood
You might ask, What's wrong with a male getting an eyeful of public breast? You will find an answer to that in this letter from a Christian male who longs to honour women in his thought life but meets with continual obstacles placed in front of him by the very women he wishes to honour.

Sharing the joy of music with people who had never seen or heard a live cello
Wondering what to do about preventing public eyefuls? Set an example with your own dress, by being consistent in this, then share with other women what immodesty does to the men we profess to care about.

Cello teacher Marie has grimaced over a particular high school who would not permit female students to change out of their A-line uniform skirt into sports trackpants for cello lesson and so they have to hike their skirt way up in order to get their cello between their knees.

What should a modest girl wear when playing cello?

I've viewed footage of world renown cellist Jacqueline du Pre', of actress Emily Watson who played du Pre in the biopic "Hilary and Jackie" (I do not recommend the movie), and of Keri Russell who plays fictional Lyla Novacek in the movie "August Rush". These concert cellists wore full skirted dresses, usually floor length but sometimes knee length, which allowed them to get their knees apart but still kept them covered.

We don't all wear an evening gown when we make music, so how do we handle our everyday situations?

Marie recommends that her female students wear dress trousers, and was stunned to learn that Frances doesn't own any. This is because her shape doesn't make this sort of trouser a comfortable option. She usually wears skirts, but she discovered that her petticoat created a problem. Her solution is to choose skirts made of non-cling, non-transparent fabric and to remove the petticoat before playing cello.

Whether you play cello or some other instrument, or make music with your voice, take a pause and consider: Is my appearance as well as my music to God's glory and man's benefit? If it isn't, what do I need to change?

May God bless you as you walk the narrow path.

*Names changed to protect privacy.

"You are beautiful; yes. That much I can see without you doing anything to convince me. But please do not entice me to notice you. Is it not enough that God endowed you with the beauty you possess? And that He has made you a gift to your present or future husband? Please help me to rejoice with him rather than tempt me to steal from him."
From "A Godly Man Comments on Modesty", Pure Life Ministries Free Resources

Friday, July 22, 2011

Modest Tees from Innovations

I'm always delighted to discover tee shirts with sleeves that cover shoulders and armpits and a neckline that won't expose cleavage even when bending over. Hurray for Innovations, they're offering colours with something to suit every palette and a price reduction incentive.

Yes, this garment is from the Victoria Hill label, but the VH website hasn't caught up with the fact they're selling it. At time of posting, it's available from parent company Innovations: and This isn't unusual for Innovations clothing. What's in the mailed bit-of-everything catalogue takes a month or so to appear on the dedicated clothing websites.

2 Simple Steps to Find a Modest Fashion Bargain

Are you a modest lady with a tight grip on your purse looking for low cost but good quality clothing that actually covers you?

I know how that feels. For months I've been working hard to solve my own drastic wardrobe situation (I had just one winter-weight skirt!).

Clothes wear out faster than most people can make them, so my best tip at this time is to get yourself on the e-mailing list of your favourite stores. They're doing their utmost to get people to buy, offering huge and frequent discounts to loyal customers.

How do you know which shops provide the kind of clothing you're looking for? Use our Modesty Mall to browse your region for online stores that stock modest garments.

Add your email address to their list via their website, and all you have to do is keep an eye on your Inbox (or mail box) for sales promotions. Reductions are frequently 50% or greater. Stores like Ezibuy offer weekly discount specials, and even high end fashion stores send out 'secret mailers' to preferred customers offering up to 70% discounts for 2-4 days prior to offering what's left to the general public.

THE TWO STEPS YOU CAN TAKE NOW to get your next bargains sooner than you may think:

1. Browse for modest fashion stores using BN's Modesty Mall.
2. Subscribe to the shop's email list or catalogue mailer list.

Every dollar counts when you're trying to save money!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Tall By Design now in Oz as well as NZ!

Tall Women's Fashion
This week Tall By Design announced the launch of their new Australian website, The prices are calculated in AUD $ and the freight charges have improved.

The New Zealand website is here. If you enjoy browsing real racks and you live near Auckland, you can find the Tall By Design store at 416 Sandringham Road, Sandringham, Auckland. Tall By Design travel the country with clothing twice a year, so if you don't live near Auckland but want a chance to try on the clothes, grab bargains from the sale racks, and meet other gorgeous tall women, sign up for their website newsletter and keep up to date with the whens and wheres of the popular TBD biannual clothing tours.

You can also find them on Facebook.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Undercover: The Right Bra for the Job

Here is a page from Bendon's official leaflet on what you should know about getting the perfectly fitting bra. Boutique Narelle explains the leaflet in illustrated detail in Bra Has Fit in Dressing Room (or, What I didn't know about getting the right bra size)

The rest of the leaflet advertises various bra types, but it doesn't tell you which bra is right for what job.

I recommend that you start by getting the right fit, and then if that doesn't provide sufficient support for your activity, ask for advice at a lingerie store that provides fitting attendants. You may need extra support, better ventilation, or a smoother shape. There are bras designed specifically to provide you with these things.

Apart from the right fit and appropriate style for your chosen activity, there's one other factor that will affect your modesty: the colour you choose. If you're wearing a sports uniform, make sure your bra is the same colour as your shirt, or one that won't attract attention to itself through the fabric. Where modesty is concerned, the more invisible the bra the better.

If you're like me and don't have the income to pair a particular bra with a particular outfit, you'll want your bra collection to be in adaptable colours. If you're dark-skinned, this may mean you need to choose black, navy, or nude coloured underwear. If you're light-skinned, you may need to choose white, ivory, or nude coloured underwear.

The pretty colours that catch our eye in the lingerie store are most often worn by women who want to attract attention to their body. If your aim is to direct attention to our face, flamboyant lingerie won't be useful to you unless it's covered by opaque fabric. If you need modest and adaptable underwear, go for neutral shades.

Female upholstery doesn't come cheaply. Ensure you get the longest life out of yours by following these tips in Caring for Your Bras.

Bra Lingo

Underwire Bra: has a wire built into the underside of the cup intended to lift, separate, shape, and provide additional support for your breasts. They're not famous for their comfort or health properties, and you may not need any of these shaping or support aids, so if you're not sure, ask the fitting attendant if it's the right style for you.

Soft Cup Bra: a bra without an underwire. Use the tips in this BN article to find out what kind of cup connector is right for your shape.

Sports Bra: provides additional support to breasts during physical exercise; is not limited to lively activity. Sturdier than typical bras, sports bras minimize breast movement, alleviate discomfort, and reduce potential damage to chest ligaments. A front-closing style with a compression, seamless cup is often worn by women following breast surgical procedures. (Tip: You'll need a comfortable, supportive bra to wear immediately after breast surgery. Hospital staff won't necessarily tell you this. Minimizing drag on the stitches reduces pain levels.)

Shelf-Bra: a close-fitting camisole or cropped tank top made of stretch knit. The bust is lined with a layer held under your breasts with a band of elastic.

Stretch Undershirt or Camisole: extremely comfortable because it doesn't press or alter your shape; provides an extra layer under transparent shirts. The shape of your breasts and how your nipples respond to air temperature will depend on whether this garment meets your modesty requirements.

Make sure today that you've got the comfort and coverage you need!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Should We Let the Show Go On? (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1 of "Modesty in Theatrical Productions"

One of the first dance theatricals I witnessed was in the final concert of a creative Christian youth conference my brother attended. I don't remember the creative outpouring that he was involved with, but I do remember a bunch of girls who depicted a "good morning, time to wake up" scene, spread around the stage perimeter slumbering in their sleeping bags. Birds chirped, the sun rose, and they awoke and flitted and floated around the stage to this song:

Thank you, Lord, for such a beautiful day.
It reminds me of the love you gave to me.
I want to reflect your love to the people that I meet.

In a scene like this, would you expect the actors to be wearing pyjamas or nightgowns? That's what 12-year-old Narelle expected to slide out from all those sleeping bags. But no. What came out? Shiny neon unitards. My enjoyment of the song was spoiled as I pondered the bizarreness of it.

Nina Donkin and the crew of "Psalty and the Take-Your-Time Machine" ensured that the costuming told the story and kept the cast modestly covered.

Tips for Choosing What You Wear on Stage

First, is it appropriate? Does it tell the story?
Second, is it modest? What does it look like from where the audience is seated?

Then you can get more specific...

Will you be seated on stage?
  • Keep your knees together!
  • Does your hem come below your knees when you're seated?
If at all possible, do not sit directly facing the audience. Remember that lounge style seating shortens your hem more than dining chairs do. If you're required to sit on the floor, practice getting up and down without exposing yourself. There are ways to do this that are modest and elegant. Have someone sit in the audience to tell you how you're getting on. I recommend sitting with your knees together, turned sideways. If you're sitting on steps, turn your knees sideways.

The cast of "Psalty and the Take-Your-Time Machine". Psalty on the right. Time machine on the left.

If you're dancing, wear layers that keep you covered when you're flapping your legs about. Bulkiness created by piles of petticoats actually looks really good on stage.

If you're spinning, test that the fullness of your skirt is not so great that it reveals as much to the audience as it would without the skirt (but with more titillation). Again, if fullness is required, petticoat layers are brilliant.

If you don't want bulk, another trick is to weight the hem by sewing lead pellets into it (or anything similarly small and heavy) and applying a rim of gathered netting to the hem of the skirt lining.

Check that your movement doesn't expose your bosom either by the neckline drooping or the sleeves gaping.

Check that your movement doesn't expose your midriff. If the shirt is tucked in, ensure it will stay tucked in. If it's an overshirt, ensure that it's long enough to keep you covered when you raise your arms.

If at any point you are backlit, check that your outfit is opaque.

I close with an anecdote warning of when the telling of the story overpowers appropriateness.

A Christian teacher who supported modesty at school won the part of Mrs Potiphar in a theatre production of "Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat". I hoped she would give the role a decorum that had not been present when I saw a high school production of it. I heard that she wasn't happy with how tight her costume was, but I wasn't prepared for the full revelation. She sashayed on stage in a gold lycra coccoon that left little to the imagination and earned for her the drooling accolade of 'svelte and sexy'.

I wonder what reasons she gave herself for portraying this role and dressing in this manner. It tells the story? It's only acting? At least I'm covered?

Remember that our Creator does not excuse 'any means toward an end'. He has given us a standard, and He promises to judge each of us for every thought, deed, and intention of our heart. Ask yourself: "Will the Lord Jesus Christ be honoured by the way I am dressing? Am I seeking to please Him in everything I do?" I urge you to let this be your guideline.

When they say "Let the show go on", let it mean for us not that we continue to show our bodies to the world, but that we are displaying the glory and beauty of Christ through our humble, gracious conduct.

During downtime backstage, the children of the cast made scoobies for Psalty director Nina. Narelle watches Nina's efforts to wear all 44 scoobies at once.
Nina poses for photographer Steven Sandbrook, by whose generosity you're getting to see these production photos.
What sort of show are you putting on?

Signed photographs courtesy of Steven Sandbrook of Steven Sandbrook Photography.
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