Discovering Modesty: Mary-like Mystery
Modesty is a topic I thought very little about when I was in my teens, twenties and thirties. It wasn’t until I got serious about my faith and actually began practicing it again (I am a Catholic revert who returned to the faith at the age of 38.) that I realized how important this virtue is. Like many young women, I wanted to attract the opposite sex and be fashionable at the same time. The idea of modesty never really entered my mind. However, when I returned to my Catholic faith, I became aware of the impact my dress on others and how it could create an occasion of sin and lead others to commit serious sin.
I also began to discover the true meaning of femininity and how wonderful it is to be a woman — a pure, chaste, woman — who possesses a certain mystery that is very attractive. When something is kept secret and guarded it is considered too unique for common knowledge or benefit; it is reserved for the benefit of the select and privileged. The secrecy both conveys the intrinsic worth of what is being hidden and challenges and directs the outsider to prove himself worthy of being privy to it. This is why a concealing manner and modest dress is so attractive and alluring.
As I became more devoted to Our Blessed Mother, I wanted to imitate her and to be beautiful, pure, chaste, tender, and gentle like her as I began to discover that she is the essence of authentic femininity. I went through the clothing in my closet and asked myself, “Would Mary wear this?” I eventually stopped wearing about half of the clothes in my wardrobe, replacing them with more modest attire.
I believe that dresses and skirts make a woman appear more dignified and feminine. They express self-confidence and contentment with one’s sexuality. And, isn’t is great to feel comfortable with the sexuality with which God has blessed you?
Below are some fashionable outfits which look feminine and fashionable, not dowdy. Yes, it is possible to dress modestly, without looking frumpy.
In the photo below, I wore this white suit for Easter 1993 – the first year of our marriage.
While dating, I wore this blue silk dress to a wedding. My future husband (the good looking guy in the tuxedo) was in the wedding.
Here I am with Jamie — no “frumpiness” here.
Not a very flattering photo below, but you do get a full length view of the outfit I am wearing.