This and the following post were meant to be published this week but our internet went down and since I'm very overdue my ability to do much of anything is at zero. Hoping I'm going into the nesting phase now! :) Also, this post is a *late* contribution to the Modest Panel and there will be a second on Modesty from a Mother's Perspective that comes out on Weds.
I've been meaning to tackle the issue of modesty for awhile now. However, it's an extremely tough one and somehow I have at the same time too much and too little on it to say. What you might not know about me is that I grew up in a very, very conservative Christian culture. At one point we went to a church where it was "evil" to wear jeans, women were required to have long hair, and women were basically told that they should be seen and not heard. Maybe that comes to a surprise to a few of you, since now I happily write about boobs, bras, and lingerie on my blog, but I've decided it's important to share so you understand my perspective. For others who have discussed modesty from being raised as Christian see Boosaurus and contrary kiwi.
I'm going to go about this in two different parts. This first section is for women who choose to dress modestly and later on this week I'll discuss modesty from a mom's perspective. So often I see bloggers go against the assumption that women should dress modestly but then leave a blank spot for women with curves who choose to dress modestly. To me there's an important distinction there. One is being forced into a pigeon hole due to what society, religion, and/or family/friends demand of you, the other is choosing clothes that you feel most comfortable in. If we can be accepting of those who wear skimpy clothes, or have a unique style, can't we also be accepting of those who choose to dress modestly without calling them a prude or assuming certain religious convictions? Hourglassy recently has a post on the tie between a large bust and looking matronly and I think these issues are fairly closely tied together.
Now, I'm not exactly the poster child for modesty. Rather, I choose my clothing items more by what I find flattering on my body vs. what society dictates I should wear. For instance, I've been a fan of bikinis once I discovered bra sized swim wear because 1. they're more supportive, 2. they don't roll up over my rounded stomach, 3. they fit better on my long torso and 4. I can pee more easily in them. That being said, I would prefer more full-coverage bikinis if it was possible. I love the look of high-waisted bottoms and have I no desire to wear plunge bikini tops considering my swimwear is used for working out so stability is needed! On the other end of the spectrum, you'll never find me in a short skirt (well, I will wear one with leggings underneath) because I find that if flares around my large butt and emphasizes it more than I like. I also don't like sitting that "lady like" and in a short skirt that would reveal more than I feel comfortable with. I tend to prefer longer skirts and even the occasional maxi dress/skirts (even though I've been told like I look like a religious fanatic when I wear them!).
But I do think there's a need for women out there to get this discussion rolling. Workplaces can have strict dress codes and Debrahlee Lorenzana was fired from Citibank for looking too sexy (see pictures of her usual work clothes here). I have to wonder seeing those pictures how they expected her to dress?
|Debrahlee Lorenzana seem pretty work appropriate to me...|
Other women choose to dress more conservatively due their own personal preference or maybe because they have certain features they would rather not be questioned about (old scars/stretch marks* etc). Ultimately, it comes down to wearing what you feel comfortable and confident in. That can change over time as you age, and your life experiences change too.
So here's some tips for busty women if they feel the need for more coverage....
- Invest in some Perfect Cami's. Wrap tops can be especially trick if you're buying premade clothes. Often time they are cut too low and end up showing part of your bra or more cleavage than you might feel comfortable with. Perfect Cami's are basically mini-camisoles that stop at your underbust (so they don't add any heat during the summer) and they can also be great for nursing as I talk about in my post
|Urkye Wrap top with Perfect Cami|
- Buy Boob-Friendly Clothes. I always struggled with finding clothes that both flattered me but that also gave me enough boob coverage at the same time. In the past I've struggled with shirts that were see-through (not on purpose!) over my bust because they were pulled too tight, shirts that were too low cut, buttons that gaped, and armholes that were too big. All of these things can be fixed when you start buying clothes that are cut more generously in the bust. Check out stores like BiuBiu, Urkye, Pepperberry, Campbell & Kate, DD Atelierer, AJ Rumina, and Ureshii Designs for button down shirts, higher cut wrap tops, sleeveless tops with smaller armholes etc.
- Check out mode-stye for ideas (their facebook page is here). While I don't see a lot of things on there for large busts there's a lot of ideas on how to dress more conservatively without forgoing fashion completely. Many of the styles are are very beautiful and I have a feeling could be easily adapted using clothes from the boob-friendly brands I mention above.
- Invest in a good nude bra. If you're looking to wear a light colored shirt without your bra showing up then you need a bra that is as close as possible to your own skin tone. I know women of color may struggle with this so I suggest they check out Ewa Michalak because they carry light beige, beige, and dark brown bras. Curvy Kate also carries the daily boost in both nude (their term, not mine) and mocha.
|Curvy Kate Daily Boost Mocha|
- If finding high enough waisted jeans and ones that don't gap in the back are your problem see A Hip Situation, Back Gap, and PZI jeans review.
All that being said...Dress how YOU feel the most comfortable. Ultimately, you pick your own style and should decide how much skin you want to reveal. You're not responsible for others actions and it really sucks that busty women receive aggressive comments for clothes that are considered just fine on less busty women. I wish I had a solution there but the reality of it is you are who you are and this is the body you were given. Take pride in that and dress that way that gives you the most self-confidence possible.
For other posts from the Modesty Panel see:
For more perspectives on modesty, check out the rest of the “Bosom Bloggers” posts. The links go directly to the modesty post if it’s been published, otherwise it links to the blog’s home page:
Boosaurus: Growing up in the Christian Homeschooling Subculture
Braless in Brasil: What if you want more coverage?
Bras and Body Image: What I wear is none of your damn business!
By Babys Rule: Modesty and Breast Implants
Contrary Kiwi: More clothes = more holiness?
Fussy Busty: Why I choose not to cover up
Fussy Busty Pt 2: I’m fat and ain’t no one telling me what to do!
Hourglassy: Stares Bad, Breast Private
Hourglassy Pt 2: Feminism isn’t a four letter word but modesty should be!
Miss Underpinning: Why I like taking my clothes off for the Internet, or on modesty
Nothing Ever Fits: What Modesty means for us
Obsessed with Breasts: A Word Vomit of Thoughts
Red Hair and Girly Flair: It’s not your body
Sophia Jenner: Where do you stand?
That Bra Does Not Fit Her: We have a great selection of minimizers!
The Tit Rambler: Modest Panel Crashing
Thin and Curvy: Dressing Modestly
Two Cakes on a Plate: Respecting One Another Not the Rules of Society
Weirdly Shaped and Well Photographed: On Looking Away
Wide Curves: I Want to be Big and Immodest
Windie Gardie: Modesty
* Just to be clear, I'm not saying you have to cover up scars/stretch marks etc. It completely depends on each women's individual comfort level.