I don't think that I am an overly modest person. I don't mind showing some skin, leg, arm, etc. I love shorts and low rise pants that add a few inches to my torso. I have no issues with wearing a swim suit, hate long skirts, and rebel against the notion that women shouldn't wear jeans to church, tho I respect the rule against wearing them if I am leading worship.
I especially adore the soft clingy feel of Old Navy tank tops. I just wish most of the necklines were about two inches higher. I was shopping earlier this week, looking for a couple *non* tank tops for summer, a brown themed swimsuit top to go with the shorts I made from capris, and possibly a cute dress for church and parties. Of all the things I tried on, I walked away with Bermuda jean shorts, a skirt, a sweater (on clearance sale, see previous post), and another couple tank tops.
Every single one of the shirts, dresses, and swim suit tops I tried on had one thing in common - they exposed so much of my chest that I might as well just walk around in shorts and a bra. Actually my bras cover more than some of these tops. I don't mind showing a hint or shape of cleavage, and I admit I have another motive for keeping my chest to myself - I had heart surgery when I was nine, and so have a scar that runs straight down the center. But really.
This morning I was reading from "Real Sex" by Lauren Winner, and a couple passages jumped out at me after this (and many many other) shopping experience.
Lauren is discussing taking her friend's five year old shopping for school clothes: The kindergarten set, it appears, is wearing the same low-riding, midriff-revealing tops and trousers that their big sisters and moms are sporting, At least, the working-class and middling kindergartners are. All the affordable shops, in other words, specialize in revealing outfits and tight skirts. Wealthy daughters, whose parents can afford to shop at Hanna Andersson and Nordstrom, still get little girl clothes - crinolines and dresses and smocking. But we apparently expect their less well off cousins to start dressing for sex early.
I thought,wait a minute, it's not just kids shops but ours too. Sure, I can pay $40 for a full coverage unfitted tank top from Title Nine, but my budget would cry much less if I grab the two for $12 at Old Navy.
Reading further: Try finding a truly modest summer frock that doesn't make you look like a sack of potatoes - it isn't impossible, but it also isn't the easiest thing in the world either.
Or cheap. *sigh* All I'm asking for is a couple of inches here and there, without sacrificing style. I want to be covered, comfortable, and not look like I borrowed my grandmother's clothes. If I were a seamstress, I'd make or alter my own, and I admire those that do, but sewing is not my forte. I can manage cutoff shorts and replacing a button, that's about it. Let's face it, you can't chat on the computer, watch TV, or read a book while using a sewing machine. Possibly by the end of next year I might be making my own pajama bottoms (WHAT is the obsession with drawstrings??? They might make Jean Butler look good, but no one else!), but don't hold your breath.
Thankfully I wear a uniform, so have no workplace clothing issues. Anyway, will have much food for thought in the next year.