Sports Skirts: Exercising Modestly

March 15th, 2012

Working out while dressing modestly? It can be done! A sports skirt with attached black leggings, yoga pants and long-sleeve workout shirts are coming to the rescue!

Workout clothing is usually associated with lots of bare skin. But perhaps the idea of “modest workout clothes” conjures an image of running on a treadmill in a long, floral robe. Fret not—there is a happy medium! A wide range of stylish and oh-so-functional workout clothing is available for the modest dresser. If you haven’t tried an athletic skirt, you are missing out!Running_Skirt_with_Leggings

As modest clothing evolves, it has started to cover (ha!) all aspects of our lives. Modest clothing extends beyond longer skirts and shorter V’s. Women want to dress modestly not just for the office or a night out, but when they run, jog, climb and stretch.

Lots of great products are on the market now, solving the problem of how to exercise in something other than a tank top and biker shorts.

For example: the athletic skirt. This is generally a skirt/pants combo, giving you the comfort and flexibility of workout pants, while modestly covering you in a skirt of the same stretchy fabric. Athletic skirts that are slightly A-line give you room to move and—just as important—look super cute! And because the athletic skirt looks like a regular skirt, you can wear it to run an errand without drawing strange looks. Also a must-have: A crewneck workout shirt that extends to your elbows or wrists, made out that awesome keep-you-cool material.
Sports Skirt A-Line

Yoga pants are another great option. Generally, yoga pants are slightly looser and not as form-fitting as regular black leggings, but still allow you to move and stretch. Yoga pants or leggings can also easily be worn under a comfortable knit skirt. Exercise easily, without compromising your high fashion standards.

black yoga pants

I have found that these athletic skirts have actually changed my life. I no longer have to fashion my own uncomfortable skirt + pants combo, or sit out an activity because I can’t find a way to dress appropriately. These easy-fitting, stylish, covered-up options allow me to participate in any exercise activity—indoors or out—that my heart desires.

Sports skirts and modest sports shirts go beyond fulfilling my desire to dress modestly—they allow me to participate fully in all of life’s great adventures.

Modest Clothing Shopping: Don’t Do It Alone

February 13th, 2012

Shopping for modest clothing with a buddy isn’t just fun—it could save your wardrobe. You could be one layering shirt or modest accessory away from total fashion disaster, but not if your trusty shopping buddy is there with you.

Most of us know that it’s helpful to have a friend when we hit the mall. For example, I’m a hemming-and-hawing shopper, so I need my sister with me to give me the push to actually buy something. And a good SB (Shopping Buddy)—will always answer honestly when you ask, “Does this look good on me?”

But shopping for modest clothing is extra tricky. Often, we modest dressers are creating outfits of our own design. We see an amazing sleeveless dress, just perfect for [insert name of occasion, or just day of the week, here] and we decide to “modest-ize it” by pairing it with a layering shirt underneath. Or, hmmm….would it look better with a cute cardigan on top? SB to the rescue. And because that sleeveless dress was meant to be, well, sleeveless, we’re never quite sure if the colors coordinate, if we’re “pulling off” the look. But your SB—she’ll tell you if you’re rockin’ it…or not.

Then there’s the adorable V-neck sweater with a plunging neckline. Would the black tank top look better underneath? Or the white tank top? Your SB can help you decide.

Long Tank Top

Long Tank Top


There are more and more websites out there that cater to the modest dresser. You can buy an adorable sweater without a plunging neckline. Or an amazing dress with sleeves. But we don’t want to confine ourselves to only “modest clothing” stores, wonderful as they are. We want the freedom to buy clothing from any store in the world and turn it into something we can wear, modestly and confidently.

So we stock up on bolero jackets, tank tops, cardigans and layering shirts of all shapes and sizes, to create our own “modestly modern” wardrobe. A good SB helps you find those perfect layering pieces, or a hey-I-never-would-have-thought-of-that-but-it-looks-amazing outfit.

Saving your wardrobe, one tank top at a time.

What about you? Are you a go-it-alone shopper? Or do you believe, like I do, that two shopping heads are better than one?

Sleeve Lengths: The Long, Short and 3/4 of It

February 6th, 2012

Quick—how many types of sleeve lengths can you name? If you can only come up with “short” and “long,” it’s time to update your slee-vocuabulary. Worn as layering shirts, shell tops or on their own, you can play around with different sleeve lengths to expand your wardrobe options.

Walk into many stores today, especially stores that specialize in modest clothing, and it’s like the Baskin Robbins of sleeve lengths. So many choices!

Let’s take a look, starting with the shortest and working our way down the arm.

1. Sleeveless. This is your classic spaghetti strap shirt. Not overly modest, but it can work beautifully as a layering shirt, like underneath a V-neck sweater. Spice up your sleeveless shirt collection with the addition of a Bolero SleeveOn® mini shrug. SleeveOn_Sleeve_extension_triple_smallThe bolero is a comfortable, light accessory to cover those arms and shoulders without sacrificing style. A long tank top is also a perfect addition to your sleeveless wardrobe and looks great under a shrug or cardigan.

2. Cap sleeve. Ahhh, cap sleeve shirts bring me back to my youth. Those cute little shirts with fluttery sleeves that j-u-u-u-st cover the shoulder! But cap sleeves don’t jive with a more modest wardrobe. For modest fashionistias, try wearing your cap sleeve shirt as a shell top under a jacket. Or, whip out your oh-so-fashionable-and-functional bolero to cover up your arms while letting your shirt sparkle.

3. Short. The classic length, usually ending right below your shoulder. But no reason to write them off because you like something covering your arm. A classic short-sleeve shirt can have infinite uses: It can play shell top to a jacket, or layering shirt over a long sleeve shirt (play around with different colors and shades if you’re feeling bold.) With a short sleeve shirt, the bolero can function as an over-the-shirt jacket, or an under-the-shirt layering shirt. In the summer, when you want as few layers as possible, Sleevies® come to your rescue. A pair of Sleevies® under your short sleeve shirt creates a modest sleeve length.

4. Right above the elbow. Eureka! My personal favorite, especially for summer. It covers the arm between the shoulder and elbow, but stops right above the elbow. A modest look that lets you stay cool.

5. ¾ length. Different stores and different manufacturers have differing ideas about what makes a shirt “3/4 length,” so you definitely want to try it before you buy it. A shirt of this length could end anywhere from right below the elbow to right above the wrist. Go for the below the elbow length if you want the right fit. Modest and so super-easy, 3/4 length shirts are a must-have for your shirt wardrobe.

6. Long. The other classic length, which comes down to your wrist. (Tall shoppers beware: Make sure the sleeve covers your wrist. I have had one too many occurrences of buying a long sleeve shirt without trying it on and seeing that it ends just above my wrist, a fashion no-no.) A fitted long sleeve top coordinates with any skirt and is an easy, modest fashion choice.

What are your favorite sleeve lengths? Do you prefer the ease of a simple long or 3/4-length sleeve, or do you love to layer?

Modest Clothing For Kids (Or; How to Be Modest AND Matching!)

January 26th, 2012

You want to dress your little ones in cute, modest clothing. Your kids just want to dress themselves. Encourage their independence AND guarantee a matching, modest outfit. We’ll tell you how.mismatched_clothing

To pretty much guarantee your children can pick out their own clothes all by themselves AND look presentable and modest, I have two words for you: Neutral bottoms.

This is a great trick I discovered years ago. With plain bottoms—knee-length denim skirts or jeans are a great example—your kids can spice it up with colorful tops, but still coordinate. (Though my daughter does have an interesting habit of pairing neutrals with neutrals. “If I wear a brown skirt, I should wear a brown shirt.” Yes, if you are dressing up like dirt.)

Tips for Easy Self-Dressing

1. Avoid “outfits.” Stay away from any skirt+ shirt or pants + shirt combo. I dislike “outfits” because the colors and patterns are designed to look good only together, so you can’t pair them with a different top or bottom. This is limiting! I protest! And it’s a morning fashion disaster waiting to happen, because you just know one of the pieces will be AWOL. (Tip: It was used as a blanket for a stuffed animal, fell behind your child’s bed when they were “cleaning up” and is serving as the local community center for a population of dust bunnies.)

2. Knee-length denim skirts. Many schools require modest length skirts for girls. Or maybe you just hate the child-in-a-miniskirt look. Either way, there are plenty of knee-length denim skirts (or longer lengths) to choose from. Denim, truly, is a girl’s best friend—it goes with anything, and during the colder months, it looks great with a cute pair of leggings underneath.

3. Sport skirts. For a change from denim and a softer feel, go for a versatile and functional knee-length “sport” skirt. Sport skirts are made of a soft knit material and move easily. In shades of blues, brown, black or gray, your daughter can pair it with a brightly colored shirt and be ready for an action-packed day.

4. Jeans. Like the denim skirt, a good pair of jeans is a must-have for boys. It’s easy to coordinate with shirts and very comfortable. A dark wash of jeans could even be appropriate for a more formal occasion. (Really! Try pairing a dark pair of jeans with a button-down shirt and see how debonair he looks. Sunglasses not included.)

What are your tried and true kid-dressing tips?

Holiday Presents: To Have and to Clothe

November 27th, 2011

The gifting season is upon us, and with it, the endless list-making and hand-wringing as you try to find that perfect gift for all the special someones in your life.

Clothing is always a popular gift option. But also a tricky one—is the size right? What about the style? Can it be returned easily? Does he/she have this already? And if your special someone prefers modest clothing, it can get even trickier.

First, some easy advice: Increase your chances of success by skipping over the entire printed-seasonal-designs section. NO reindeer sweaters, NO dreidel cardigans. Even for little kids. Please, let’s respect their fashion integrity, even at a young age.

So you want to find modest clothing that’s fresh and functional. I mean are you really going to buy another necktie? Or pair of gloves? Come on. Get your giftees something they can really use, day in and day out. A gift that will elicit the sought-after, “Oh, that’s JUST what I needed!” reaction.

(But keep the receipt. Just in case.)

Five clothing gifts that are 99 percent guaranteed to make the clothes-lovers in your life happy:

1. A pretty flowing cardigan. Fashionable (check), modest, (check), functional (check) and fairly easy to figure out what size to get. Remember that the giftee will probably wear this over another article of clothing, so don’t get it too small or tight.

2. A silk scarf. I once received a beautiful silk scarf as an end-of-year present from a student, and it’s one of my favorite items of clothing. A silk scarf is a versatile, fashionable item that can be used to cover hair, folded in a headband style or worn around your neck. A multifunctional, well-made gift is always welcome.

3. Sleevies®. Spice up a friend of family member’s wardrobe with a set of Sleevies. Your giftee can mix and match Sleevies® with a simple t-shirt to create dozens of modest wardrobe options. Go for the always popular black and white Sleevies®, or a colorful set for the truly daring fashionista in your life.

4. Pajamas! How many of us are using ratty old t-shirts and old pants we’ve had since college as pajamas? Treat your family—and yourself—to a cozy pair of new pajamas that actually match!

5. NFGC (Never Fail Gift Certificate). Yes, a present you picked out yourself and lovingly watched the store clerk wrap is always preferable. But let’s face it—there are those picky people in our lives that no matter what we do, it’s too small, too dark, wrong color, soooo not their style or it’s all those things AND they already own it. So you can never go wrong with a heartfelt gift certificate as well—watch their eyes light up with excitement at having FREE MONEY to spend however they like!

So good luck with your holiday gift shopping. Let us know how it goes! And please, share your clothing gift ideas with us!

(And if anyone wants to know what to get for me, I’m still wearing a ratty old t-shirt and pajama pants to bed every night….)

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Don’t Forget Sports Skirts on Your Camp Shopping List!

June 13th, 2011

The school year is about the end, and summer is just around the corner. Hooray! No more rushing to prepare school lunches and waking up at the break of dawn for carpool! Now it is my time to relax. No wait, I almost forgot that it is time for summer camp! Usually during this time, I panic about the preparations for my kids‘ summer camp. My eldest kids usually go to sleep away camp for nearly 2 months, so I have many things to organize and buy. I have to be especially prudent and plan ahead of time, so I don’t wind up in the same unfortunate situation as last year. Last year, I left buying all the summer camp clothing at the last minute, which resulted in not finding everything and my kids throwing fits. This year, I’m very proud of myself. I put together a list with the help of my kids, listing all the things we need to buy for camp.

At the top of my summer camp clothing essentials were casual and sports skirts. Camp is all about casual and comfort is the key. Knee length casual cotton skirts are great for summer camp as they are very cool and comfortable. Playing sports can be tricky while wearing modest clothing, but there are athletic skirts that are comfortable, flexible, and modest.

I originally forgot to include sports skirts on my list. Luckily, my daughter reminded me to about getting a couple sports skirts, since laundry is not done that often in camp. The mesh sports skirt is fun as it looks just like mesh basketball shorts. The French terry Lycra one has some stretch and is great for running, walking, and sport. Modest running skirts are also on the list, but hard to find, so start looking early. I bought a running skirt with built — in leggings which is super comfortable. Now my daughters can enjoy rock climbing and playing sports without any fear of being exposed!

Enjoy an active summer!