Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Beautiful Pleated Skirts!

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

A favorite fashion of mine is the pleated skirt: its flowy fabric, especially chiffon fabrics look really feminine and graceful! I’m glad they’re in style now in many stores such as H and M and Forever 21 to name some. Burlington Coat Factory also has a great selection of pleated chiffon skirts too at times. The style is great for being more modest as it is not too clingy to your form, and many come in midi and maxi lengths. The only con is in most cases, you need to find a shirt you can tuck into the skirt, as it looks more frumpy or odd to have the shirt tucked in an A line pleated skirt, or a shorter shirt. Also, be very careful washing pleated skirts, or any pleated thing in general in the dryer! I’ve learned the hard way that the pleats can come out and somewhat ruin a nice pleated outfit 😦  Overall though, a chiffon pleated skirt is a great feminine and modest edition to your wardrobe! When we can embrace ourselves as feminine women, and dress the part, it can show the world we stand for traditional femininity and are not afraid to be women in a society that pressures women to become radical feminists and emulate men all the time.

Here are some gorgeous midi-styles!

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And here are some fun and elegant maxi styles!

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Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Inspiration or Appropriation?

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

For many of us, it is cool to be inspired by other peoples and cultures in our fashion. From what was once an innocuous Halloween costume, to cornrows, hoop earrings, tribal prints and more, are now deemed politically incorrect by the radical liberals. While many see it as innocuous fun, they feel it has a more sinister undertone. To them, it’s “cultural appropriation”. The idea is in essence, white people are “appropriating” or “stealing” another culture’s or country’s material culture and treating it condescendingly as “exotic” and “foreign”. Also they feel it sends the wrong message of “we’re entitled to use and enjoy your cultural assets, but not face the hardships and struggles of your people. We can just take off the costume when we feel like it…” whereas real people of that marginalized group cannot and have no choice in facing discrimination. For example, it’s “cool” for white people to act hipster and have cornrows, but when black people do it, they’re thugs. Or, you can pretend to be from the Orient, all reinforcing Orientalism and Western supremacy by treating their objects as exotic, as some examples.

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Now, it’s true we shouldn’t be mocking or condescending another culture and what is important to them, but the question is, is that the intent of many who use other cultures’ styles today? The issue I have with it is, first of all, cultures have been borrowing from other cultures for centuries. In the ancient world, places like Ancient Rome, for example, were very cosmopolitan and they borrowed plenty of ideas and items, especially from the Greeks. Now, one could argue, then, as they argue for today’s cultural borrowing, or “cultural diffusion” in scholarly terms, that it’s a power imbalance for us, as the dominant group, or even Ancient Rome as the conquerors. They argue, minorities have to mimic us to be seen as valid and taken seriously, whereas we can simply choose what parts of their culture seem “cool” and imitate it without acknowledging the cultural context of it. That’s also why the liberals don’t see it as a double standard that many have adopted our way of life.

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I argue, however, that imitation can be a form of flattery too, or simply innocuous. In the historical example, Rome conquered the Greeks, and did in modern terms, “appropriate” much of their culture and ideologies, like philosophy. However, the Romans admired Greek culture, and thought much of it would help enhance Rome and make Rome better. Ancient Greek, like Latin is today, for them was the language of scholars and the well-educated. Greek slaves were prized as teachers and scholars. While there was a definite power imbalance, that did not mean the Romans looked condescendingly when they imitated the Greeks, quite the contrary, they wanted to emulate them. Now, we may not be trying to model our culture after others we borrowed stuff from time to time, but borrowing certainly does not mean condescension! I think much of the hoopla over it hearkens back to resentment over past colonialism when we were imposing our culture on theirs. Nowadays, many have a knee-jerk response to anything Western crossing their “turf” so to speak as they feel they have to be guarded and territorial over what they feel is “theirs”, like a dog guarding its food as it’s been taken away in the past. Emotion, not logic rules much of this debate. The stewing resentment of past colonialism.

Most people don’t think much of when they dress up in a cultural costume for Halloween, or decide to wear a cultural thing as a fashion piece. Condescension and Related imagedisrespect never even cross the minds of many at all, and would be horrified to think they did something disrespectful.  Sometimes, the idea to borrow something from another culture is because it looks interesting or they admire the craftsmanship, or the look. It’s something new and different, which aren’t bad things, like the snowflakes say. “Exotic” does not have to mean foreign in a bad way, or in a condescending way. It can simply mean something different, unique to what you’re used to. After all, what’s exotic is relative. Hamburgers and fries are quite “exotic” to the Bedouin nomads of Africa and the Middle East, wouldn’t you agree? 😉 Sometimes a little difference adds some flavor to life. As they say, if we were all the same, it would be pretty boring! Why not incorporate and be inspired another culture’s style sometimes? Cultures have exchanged looks, materials, technologies and ideas throughout history, why not us too?

A last point to make is also, who says certain items only “belong” to a certain group? what makes a group have the right to claim ownership of an item, such as hoop earrings for example? They’re not religious items, or some sort of medal, or even tied to one group! It’s not like a bindi dot for Hindus, or some native country’s traditional dress. Even then, there’s the hypocrisy of anyone can appropriate native European stuff, like Lederhosen, even if you’re not Germanic for example. You can dress up like a French person, or Italian, or English! It’s only for non-white peoples you can’t appropriate, but plenty of European groups faced ethnic prejudice in this country and towards each other in Europe! Why can we celebrate St. Patrick’s day if we’re not Irish when the Irish were caricatured as brutish apes by Americans only a century ago? African Americans haven’t been slaves in over a century, yet we’re not allowed hoop earrings? Or cornrows for that matter? Who said they own the concept of braided hair? A sombrero on Cinco de Mayo does not mean you’re bigoted and wish to subjugate Mexicans! It’s simply having fun sharing another culture’s tradition. I can see how some items may be best left alone if you’re not an insider, like religious-wear, ceremonies of deep significance, and such, but many things, like a fun Halloween costume, or hoop earrings, or braided hair, can “belong” to everyone. I think the key is intent: are you trying to mock another or be disrespectful? If the answer is no, I’d say it’s probably innocuous. Whatever happened to being able to laugh at yourself and letting others join in the fun? History has shown cultures can be inspired by everyone, why can’t we?

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Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Problems with Prom

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

Prom season is coming up for many young women around the country going into May and June! I remember my prom vividly. I didn’t go with any date, but it was a special occasion to get all dressed to the nines and do my hair just so and wear a dress that made me feel like a princess! Prom is a special time where you can celebrate the end of High school and look forward to a night of fun and having fun dressing up. Unfortunately for many young women though, prom is an excuse to go crazy and throw away one’s values in doing things like underage drinking, drugs and hook ups. The innocence of what prom is supposed to be is often subverted for more nefarious activities and worry many parents. Some families even go as far as forbidding their children from going due to those reasons, however, one does not need to go to such extremes!

Of course, the whole popular hook up culture associations with prom night doesn’t help much. The expectation of spending the night with your date and “doing it” and losing your virginity on prom night than your wedding night is obviously detrimental, but you don’t have to succumb to the pressure to “do it”. nor do you have to succumb to the pressure to drink so much you’ll forget the entire evening, or go to wild after parties and get in trouble. Many of my classmates during my prom drank and got busted, and had to be picked up early by their parents and missed the whole rest of the night! As with most peer pressure, peer pressure on prom night can be resisted in favor of your true values. One night is not worth the feeling of knowing you weren’t true to yourself and your values.

Another major pressure point for young women is the dress. Many prom dresses are very immodest and skanky, more appropriate for a Vegas showgirl than a high school prom or other classy event! Excessive cutouts, too high slits, plunging necklines and sheer fabrics are just asking for a wardrobe malfunction! There’s nothing wrong with

Illusion Floor Length Sleeveless JVN by Jovani Prom Dress at PromGirl.com
This dress looks more appropriate for a Vegas showgirl or a stripper! Doesn’t leave much to the imagination! I’d be surprised if most schools would even let it in the door!

showing a few curves or a little skin for a formal gown, but there’s a point where it’s too much! A formal event should be classy, not trashy, and the atmosphere of a strip club! Young women being told that they must wear provocative dresses at prom is just another part of hook up culture, and the whole radical feminist movement trying to “liberate” young women with promiscuity! Why not accentuate your beauty with the gown itself, not how much of your body is peeking out if it! The stunning gowns of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as many historical prom dresses are ornate and modest, and focus the attention on a woman’s beauty, not her sexuality. They convey more of a sense of innocence and purity, reflective of a more wholesome society where sex and intimacy are expressed in committed relationships, and not vulgarly flaunted for the viewing public! Ladies of elegance and grace should dress tastefully and modestly, even during formal events. Formality is not an excuse to wear plunging necklines with boobs hanging out and excessive cutouts and up one’s butt mini skirts. Young women at prom should feel like princesses and ladies of elegance and grace in their gowns, not hookers tying to turn out tricks!

Now, many women say that it is extremely hard to find modest prom dresses, except at special stores and online for exorbitant prices. However, many mainstream retailers, like Kohl’s Burlington Coat Factory, JC Penny and Macy’s, for examples do sell modest formal dresses! The trick, to to expand your search. The Juniors department as well as prom stores for teens are often is the main culprit for the immodest prom gowns. If you look in the Women’s section in these stores, you will often find beautiful, yet modest gowns. Many of them, in my experience, are not frumpy, and look stunning! An added plus too, is that many are under $100 on sale, in places like JC Penny and Burlington Coat Factory. Many teen boutiques have dresses ranging in prices from $200 and up to near $1000! Just because all of the other girls are getting those $500 dresses, doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the pressure to buy the most expensive one just to fit in. Try to find the look, without the hefty price. You can get the same style, more modestly, from common retailers for fractions of those prices! Of course too, not all dresses for Juniors are immodest either, you just have to be patient and look around. The prom dress I got for my own prom was from a website for teens called Prom Girl, which has several options for modest prom dresses and great sales! Just because some dresses might be too immodest for your standards, don’t close your mind to the store or website and look some more. They often carry a variety of looks for all different people. Here are some ideas of modest prom dresses from various common retailers:

JC Penny:

One By Eight Short Sleeve Evening Gown Blu Sage 3/4 Sleeve Evening Gown

  Blue Sage Long-Sleeve Lace Formal Gown

Macy’s:

 

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Kohl’s:

My Michelle® Open-Back Lace Long Dress  found at @JCPenney Trixxi Juniors' Sleeveless Beaded Dress

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Burlington Coat Factory:

Juniors+Embellished+Ball+Gown Jeweled Lace Gown - Jr.

Prom Girl:

A-Line Tulle High Neck Long Prom Dress Long Blush Pink Sleeveless Prom Dress with Jewels at PromGirl.com

High Neck Teal A-Line Dress with Beaded Top at PromGirl.com Long Mermaid Style Dress with Sequin Accents at PromGirl.com

Other Retailers:

Primavera Couture - REGAL SEQUINED LONG SLEEVES BATEAU SHEATH GOWN 1747 Maci

Related image Colette CLM18333 Modest Prom

Bonus: My own prom dress!

You don’t need to splurge a lot of money on an elegant, modest prom dress, nor do you have to compromise your standards! There are plenty of elegant, tasteful gowns out there that show you are a lady of elegance and grace!

Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Are Heels Too Sexy for Younger Girls?

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

It’s a heated topic on both sides, liberal and conservative: the sexualization of young girls. Both agree that over sexualizing young girls is detrimental to their self image and confidence, and also promotes destructive behavior such as acting out sexually too soon and running into harm. As a woman who advocates for the virtue of modesty in dress and behavior for women and girls, and condemns hook up culture, I also agree that teaching young girls to view themselves in solely sexual terms is unhealthy and detrimental. However, I believe the movement to prevent such occurrences has reached the stage of hysteria and moral panic, ironically doing what they claim to stop: sexualizing young girls and women. A prime example of what I mean is a raging debate around heels for girls and young teens. Some feel that heels are inherently sexual and over sexualizes them, while others see it as part of a harmless way to just express femininity and be girly. My personal stance is that it all depends on the shoe in question, and the context its worn.

A cute pair of little girls’ kitten heels are in no way sexual! Whoever thinks they are I believe, is sexualizing that child and being hypocritical in their aim not to. Who hasn’t dressed up in cute little heels as a child? Small, wide heels on little girls are adorable! Related imageSome arguments range from the fact that heels on adults are often viewed in a more sexualized way and women can wear them to “send off signals”, to a feminist message that it makes little girls care more about their looks than abilities, or they can’t play as ruggedly in them like boys. They claim little girls ought to be more rough and tumble than ladylike. Other concerns are about health in that wearing them constantly is not healthy for properly developing feet, and indeed, adults can have issues if they wear heels too often.

To address the first concern, I argue that unless it’s some sort of 6 inch stiletto with a pump, it’s not sexual and does not look like you’re a prostitute or any other questionable woman. Tiny wedges on little girls cannot be compared to that image and shouldn’t be! Even wedges and smaller regular heels for tweens and teens are perfectly tasteful for special occasions or school if it’s not too fancy or impractical. Sexualizing what was once innocent, like little girls in cute feminine shoes, or a cute wedge for summer only contributes to the toxic over sexualization of our culture in general. In our toxic hook up culture, nothing is ever “innocent” anymore! A hug from a male relative is dangerous, a

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Okay… these are impractical, dangerous and inappropriate for any age…

boy-girl friendship is sexualized, a note from a teacher is a come-on etc… Sexualizing moderately heeled shoes is just another thing in the list of innocent things turned sinister. While some, and I emphasize only some women might wear heels to send off indecent signals or be in questionable professions, the vast majority including myself and many other modest and upright women do wear heels tastefully to work, parties and other events in society. The key is moderation and knowing what is appropriate for when. I myself as a grown woman do not appreciate the  implication that adult women wearing heels is a sexual act in arguing that little girls shouldn’t wear them because of that. I’m sure other women do not appreciate being sexualized in that manner any more than you would want your daughter to be by others! Wearing heels as women can be simply an innocent expression of our femininity as women.

The other major concern concerns the feminist agenda. What is wrong with teaching our daughters more lady like habits and activities? While little girls should be allowed to play more roughly at younger ages, I feel as a girl grows older, they should be taught more lady like elegance and grace in their activities. While at 5, they can tumble in the mud with their brothers, at 15 I’d hope they would be more lady like! Heels are a way to teach little girls to enjoy more feminine things. While I do feel that heels should not be worn on very young girls all the time, for special dress up occasions they are a good way to teach them how to carry themselves like little ladies. As long as they can wear them safely and not trip and fall every step, it’s fine. The feminist argument that little girls shouldn’t be taught to conduct themselves more daintily on certain occasions, like parties and special events or learn to act more feminine in heels such as not running wild is mostly an attempt to masculinize them. Little girls have plenty of time where they can play outside and roughhouse alongside the boys in sneakers and overalls, even historically, but on special occasions, they were taught to act like ladies in dresses and cute shoes. Why can’t we strike that balance today? Freaking out over girls doing feminine things, like wearing light make up and cute heels crying “sexualization!” may also have the undertones of the radical feminist’s fears of traditional femininity and what womanhood used to be. For ages, little girls pretending to dress up like mommy, and envision herself as a grown up lady by trying on her mother’s shoes, clothing, and yes, makeup, was considered cute and an important part of any girl’s development towards embracing womanhood. Making it into something damaging and perverted only speaks to our sad state of affairs of how our culture handles sexuality. In this world of sexual hysteria and #metoo, where Girl Scouts are told not to hug their male relatives, women are infantilized into helpless victims, messages of vulgarity and promiscuity are labeled as empowerment, no wonder the innocence of a girl wishing to be a woman someday is also now perverted!

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When did this sentimental image of a little girl wanting to become a lady become perverted and damaging?

 

Hypersexualizing cute little kitten heels, or wedges, or mommy-daughter make up or nail sessions only serves to sexualize the little girls you claim to want to de-sexualize. Whatever happened to the innocence of a child wishing to be grownup? Most children are not thinking in sexual terms when they wear mommy’s dress, or try on mommy’s make up, or wear mommy’s shoes. They just want to be like mommy! If what they’re doing is inappropriate, maybe mommy needs rethink how appropriate those things are for her to wear and what kind of a role model she’s being for her daughter to imitate! Wanting to be grownup has been a part of everyone’s childhood since childhood was a thing. Why don’t we stop sexualizing childhood by sexualizing adulthood? Monkey see, monkey do…

Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Tights

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

Tights are a staple for the feminine woman! Tights make dresses look all the more lady like and elegant and add class to your outfit. However, some tights are better than others. Throughout the many brands of tights I have tried, inevitably, my big toe rips a hole andImage result for a new day tights black sheer ruins them! The issue then is not finding tights that are impervious to rips, but ones that hold out the longest. Thicker materials often make tights last longer and less prone to runs, but many of these too are not fully immune if you wear tights frequently like I do. Some brands do better than others too. I bought some Silken Mist sheer tights that ripped a hole in under an hour after buying them! On the other hand, I discovered far more luck with A New Day brand tights, as they are durable and don’t tear as easily. The fabric is very sturdy and flexible, even in their sheer tights! Remember though, no tights last forever, so don’t splurge a ton of money on something that will probably get a run within the month! Try to find tights on sale, or save your money for really good brands and interesting colors!

A good point also to not overlook, is the weather. In wintertime, wearing thin tights like for spring and summer will make your legs freeze! Unless you will be inside and only briefly outside, thinner tights will ensure your legs get frozen. If you walk around outside for any length of time, but still want to dress feminine, I recommend fleece lined tights. They are more like pants, and will insulate your legs far better than average tights! Another plus is that they’re durable and won’t rip or get a run in the fabric so they’re great for everyday in the colder weather. I have a pair of black fleece lined tights myself that go with many of my outfits.

Another factor to consider in buying tights, is the color and how it will work into the palette of your wardrobe. For me, I go with the basic black and white tights. Black goes with many outfits for a more formal look, or well for darker colors. White is good for a fun springtime look with bright colors and a more playful tone. I find black sheer tights are good for dressy occasions or for work. Once you have those staples, you can think about adding other colors to go for more whimsical pairings with outfits. I have plum purple, burgundy, and a navy blue pair of tights to go with certain outfits too. Adding some color in your outfits makes it fun and playful!

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Overall, tights are a wonderful addition to any lady’s wardrobe!

Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Pearls Go With Everything!

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

Pearls are an elegant way to embrace your womanhood! From pearl necklaces, to pearl earrings, to pearl accents on clothing such as dresses and cardigans, pearls have been used since antiquity for feminine beauty! White pearls are beautiful, and so are light pink colored ones! More colorful pearls can be used in more bold and playful outfits, while white and soft pink or ivory pearls add a touch of class to any outfit. A plain outfit is made all the more elegant with a few pearls, and a fancy one all the more stunning!

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Inspiration in Conservative Dress: Beautiful Barrettes!

Inspiration in Conservative Dress is a reoccurring series of posts of various modest and feminine outfits to inspire other women to dress modestly and resist society’s pressure to dress provocatively and subscribe to “hook up” culture. Through conservative dress, A Lady of Reason sends a message of resistance to the “sexual revolution” and radical liberal feminism, and the upholding of feminine virtue. Arguably, this could also extend to the support for social conservatism in general. How we dress signals who we are in society. I also want to state that this idea is not mine originally, but done on another religious blog called The Catholic Lady. I was inspired by hers to make a secular version for A Lady of Reason. 

In this instillation of Inspiration in Conservative Dress, I want to touch on ways to accessorize your wardrobe! One way to do that is with a beautiful, feminine hair clip to give a finishing touch to your outfit! I personally love the ones in blue, pink and purple, as they fit colors in my wardrobe well. Of course, a silver or pearl hair clip would go with just about anything and is wonderful for dressing up a plainer outfit, or for formal occasions! The best part is, accessories such as hair clips are never “indecent”, thus unlike clothes, you can choose to wear any one you want! A thing as simple as wearing a feminine and beautiful hair clip can be a silent way to fight back against the masculinization of women, and dress like a lady of elegance and grace.

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