Modest Haus

Browsing through social media you’ll notice lots of things.  Among these things, the most popular being asinine video challenges, food photos, and selfies of scantily clad young women.  To balance that last one, there has been a rising trend in fashion: modest dressing.  


For every exposed derrière, there is an influencer covered from head to heel.  This modest style may be married to a religious belief system for some, but for many, modest dressing just a preference.  As we have progressed through time and become more liberated, we have observed the right to dress as we like without judgement.  Hopefully.  


The Internet has made it possible for us to see each other in a way we were not able to before.  We can see each other in real time, making outfit decisions right in front of our eyes, and we can even give feedback in the form of likes or dissenting commentary.  Thanks to all the diversity, designers have fully embraced a multitude of cultures by referencing style and textile.  


One of my favorite new designers embracing covered-up fashion is Richard Quinn.  His use of bold pattern and full body coverings make a direct break from popular designers like Olivier Rousteing (Balmain) who are known to celebrate the Kardashian silhouette in a very Kardashian way—by exposing it and leaving very little to the imagination.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with this style, but it’s not for everyone.  Not only because everyone can’t afford it (you can if you like bootlegs—it’s called Fashion Nova), but because some people like not feeling a breeze all day.  Some people just like wearing pants.  And sleeves.


Fashion often tip toes the border of cultural appropriation as it broadens our scope of possibilities.  However, it is possible to make reference to another culture’s style of dress without disrespecting it.  For example, take a look at Marc Jacobs’ spring 2018 ready-to-wear.  Every girl who walked that runway show was sporting a gorgeous head covering.  Aside from the twirled turbans and scarves, the ladies were also wearing an abundance of clothing.  Even Cardi B was photographed and interviewed while wearing a Jacobs turban from the collection.  Perhaps fashion icons such as Belcalis are also responsible for the rise in modesty.  As trend setters, we see celebrities as our own style guinea pigs.  We can watch Beyoncé try it out first before we decide to commit.


By embracing new concepts in style we are able to discover things about ourselves we never knew.  Who knew you could wear socks and sandals and not look like a cat lady going outside to fetch the mail?  It is entirely possible to look hot without exposing an abundance of skin—a major key for those who have yet to think outside the box.  I think back to all the uncomfortably cold young ladies I encountered in college, freezing outside while waiting entry to a club.  If only they knew that patterned tights would have looked great under their bodycon dresses.  So many goosebumps might have been saved.  

Sarah Seals