Jan 9, 2014

7 must-haves for the modest girl's wardrobe

I need to preface my next couple of statements with this:  We had a pool in my backyard when I was growing up which means I didn't wear regular clothes during summer vacation at all.  I was a competitive swimmer from when I was seven years old through high school, therefore I spent 8 or 9 months out of the year in a bathing suit. I didn't have a self-conscious bone in my body until Jr. High and my friend told me my butt was big.


When I was in high school I wore shirts that exposed my midriff.

{Gasp} Oh no!

In all seriousness, I can actually remember the day I realized that a girl's body has power over boys. 

I was 14 and was in the pool after water polo practice, talking to a boy on the team.  I was asking him to get me a soda or something when he got out of the pool and I realized he was staring at my chest.  {Being slightly scientific about my observations} I bounced off the bottom of the pool and asked again. (I may have even batted my eyes for effect).  He said yes.

It was at that point that I began to realize that a pretty girl with a hot bod could get a lot of things on looks alone.   Not that society hadn't been telling me that for years (I watched all of the coming-of-age movies in the 80s and 90s), but I hadn't realized that I was a pretty girl with a hot bod until that moment.  (Up to that point I had "just" been a smart girl).

Fast forward through years of mistakes and selling myself short and now I am a mother of two.  I prayed that God would only give us boys... but in all of His wisdom he gave us one of each.  I prayed that my daughter would be nerdy and awkward looking... but that isn't how it turned out.  Despite the fact that she has glasses and orthodontia she still manages to be beautiful.  I am afraid of the day she comes to the same realization that I did that fateful day when I was 14. But until then I am going to protect my little "princess" as best as I can.

My little "Princess" at Halloween

She is 8 years old and though she is still "pocket sized" she is starting to get to the age where modest clothes are becoming increasingly difficult to find.  Not that she has anything to show off... but the styles for kids are more and more JUST like the styles for teens.  It's not the tank tops and short shorts that bother me, (not yet), but rather the clothing that seems to be "sexy" for little girls.

I can't put my finger on specific examples... but anything that makes my little girl seem older than she is and draws attention to her butt (writing across the pockets?!), even the "funny" sayings on t-shirts about stealing boyfriends and the like seem out of place on a little girl (in my opinion). 

My daughter seems to have a natural confidence and modesty that she has had from a very young age.  For years she wouldn't wear a two piece bathing suit because she didn't like having all of that skin exposed in a public place.  She is worried about her underwear showing at school when she wears dresses, and she didn't even like to wear tank tops for awhile. 

She has always been a little fashionista, picking out her clothes and accessories that go with them (hats and scarves and jewelry).  Even as a preschooler, she was in charge of her closet.

 When I say "modesty" for little girls, I mean dressing appropriately for their age.  My goal with my daughter's wardrobe is to provide clothing for her that allows her to be an 8 year old little girl.  Clothing that allows her to be comfortable while she plays without worrying about a "wardrobe" malfunction or twisting her ankles in high heeled shoes.  Clothing that I can take her out in public in that won't draw the attention of any man or teenaged boy.

What I want for my girl is a wardrobe that provides her the freedom to get dirty, wrinkled, and messy without worrying too much about losing the sequins off her shirt. (OF COURSE she has glitter and sequins on some of her clothing... it's impossible to go without).

So when I buy clothes for her or go through the bags of hand-me-downs I receive from friends each year, these are the things that are "MUST- HAVES" for my modest girl's wardrobe:

Leggings fit under rain boots too!
1. Leggings - these go under dresses, skirts and under the common "tunic shirt".  Every year I stock up at Old Navy with bike shorts, and Capri-length and long leggings to match her favorite outfits.  She wears them out every year!

 2. Skorts/ Culottes - I love these!  She can have the frill of a skirt without the worry of a flipped skirt.  She wears these every spring and summer.

Simple neckline and white Capri-length leggings peeking out
3. Dresses with normal necklines (no scooping or "deep Vs" please) - There are hundreds of gorgeous cotton t-shirt material dresses that allow freedom of movement, comfort and ease of cleaning without the headache of ironing the little tiny pleats. 

4. Solid color shirts that cover the midriff - Target or Kohl's are great for cheap and simple t-shirts.  Focusing on solid colors (or basic stripes) makes it easier for your kids to mix and match their own clothing. 

5. Simple jeans and shorts  - My daughter received a hand-me-down from a friend of brand-name jeans that seemed to accentuate my daughter's shape.  She isn't comfortable in them because they squeeze her thighs and expose the top of her panties. They also have a sparkly design across her butt, which I assume is to draw the eye.   She is most comfortable in simple blue jeans and cotton shorts.  I agree wholeheartedly!

Simple t-shirt, jeans, zippered sweatshirt, and cute shoes...
with no heel!  Looks like my little girl. :)

6. Practical shoes - My little girl loves to wear high heels whenever she can.  She has received more than one pair as a hand-me-down and loves how "grown-up" they make her feel.  Heels on women make the legs long and sexy.   Heels on a little girl? Awkward.  I only let her wear them with fancy dresses to fancy occasions where there won't be much standing or walking.  At school or anytime she will want to run and play?  NOPE.  Tennis shoes or flat sandals are cute and stylish enough!

7. Zippered sweaters and shirts (both long and short sleeved) - These are a must!  My little girl is into layering, which is good for California temperatures.  Without a zip-up sweater or vest, she would risk messing up her hair (riiiight).  We love them because they are fashion without being distracting.

I am sure that none of these suggestions were mind-altering, but it's sometimes hard to choose with so many choices out there!  
How do you define "modesty" for your little girl?? 

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