Friday, February 24, 2012

Dorothy has a go

at what I like to call the "Confessional Frump look" that is so popular with "conservative Catholics" in the US and Canada that seems to be fixated on the shapeless plaid jumper, white t-shirt and ankle socks paired with practical shoes, usually sneakers.

Money quotes:
I suppose girls and women don these things as a sort of modesty uniform, a sartorial placard reading "I am a chaste and modest woman who would not have shoddy, unthinkable affairs with local tradesmen while you are at work."

"Modesty is a good and noble thing, but it is all the sweeter when it is subtle. The virgin who reminds people constantly that she is a virgin is not as modest as the virgin who keep her mouth shut on such a personal subject."


"If a man wants back all the beauty, romance and fittingness of the Mass before 1963, he might very well want back all the beauty, romance and fittingness of men's fashion before 1963. And if he is that interested in men's fashion before 1963, imagine how he thinks women should dress. The Well Dressed Woman of 1948 was not wearing what Americans call a jumper, people.

You should not be thinking Laura Ingalls Wilder; you should be thinking Veronica Lake."

OK ladies, claws out; harpy-screech at the ready...




~Katherine~ said...

"Get her?" Not bloody likely.

Round of applause and a standing offer to buy the first round of margaritas? Definitely. :D

Teresa B. said...

So true that before the 60's - women's clothing could be practical yet feminine and then you had the elegant as well.

I really loved Olivia de Havilland!

Not sure if you have checked out Colleen Hammond and her book, "Dressing with Dignity."
My daughter and I listened to her present a powerpoint on the history of fashion.
Then she spoke about being fashionable yet modest.

"It's so You" by Mary Sheehan Warren is another great book.
I took my 13 year old to a fashion show last year in which Mary Sheehan Warren gave a terrific powerpoint presentation.
The fashion was from regular stores but were all really nice yet modest.

These are great resources for the younger (and us older) folk to check out - that you could still look good without wearing an Amish frock.

I am not really into the frock type clothing. ( I am 5"2 and trip when on the stairs with those long skirts)

I LOVED Mrs. Cleaver's dresses.

Dymphna said...

Say what you want about jumpers but they are incredibly functional. You can carry two purse loads of stuff in the pockets and you can climb a tree,go hiking,run from a mugger or haul a couple of kids around wearing one. Try that in five inch heels.

Sylvia said...

I don't wear jumpers, but I also don't feel the need to play fashion police for those who do.

Seraphic said...

It's not about being fashion police. (And it would seem that the jumper fans and trouser ("pants")-haters have been doing the policing.) It's about saying, "Dear, modesty is a virtue, but it can be taken to extremes. You know how the boys keep going after those tramps in high heels? Those aren't really tramps; those are just girls who dress well."

I think it is shocking to encourage young women who want to be wives to dress in outfits best suited to five year olds.

The Crescat said...

Who are these women hiking & climbing trees in jumpers? They make hiking boots specifically for those types of excursions.

Anonymous said...

What type of clothing fulfills the criteria for modesty? Is it merely a question of covering up a certain amount of skin and certain regions, or is it also a question of not being too tight? Just how fitted can a garment be before it is immodest?

These are the questions one would have to answer before deciding on which "stylish" clothes would be acceptable to wear.

Arguably, a long skirt and a long sleeved and a high necked, fairly loose blouse ought to be the minimum for a Christian woman to wear for sufficient modesty. And a head covering, especially for married women.


Who decides what is modest?

And when did Christian women lose their tradition of wearing head gear?

Possibly we ought to look more like the muslim women.

Anonymous said...

but I wouldn't wear that pinafore/dress thing by choice

Anonymous said...

Arguably we ought to be dressing like Mary. Arguably.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Is Our Lady frumpy?

Is that the worst thing one could ever say of a woman?

(Sorry, just typing out loud...)