17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Sorting Out the Modest T-shirt Melee: Part II

Since my first post on this subject back in the spring, there have been new companies popping up, new styles arriving, and new opinions forming. Sorry, but this is going to be long (but informative)!

Here's the rundown of the companies I have tried out since my last post (and remember I am not personally affiliated or have any financial interest in any of these companies):


What I like:
-They are tagless.
-The edge finish on the cap sleeve and tank makes them nice to wear with dressier clothing (as opposed to a more raw merrow edge finish like DownEast Basics). They have used a small, not-bulky self-fabric binding finished with a semi-shiny coversitch. It also seems to stand up better to many wears and washings (compared to DownEast).
-Their website has nice, fun graphics and is well put together.
-They are very supportive of their "fashion consultants" (mostly SAHM's) who sell the product, making sure every sale gets credited to a consultant.
-The are trying to branch out this season with some young,fun vests hoodies,and a pair of cargo pants. The pant looks the most interesting to me. Even though the style is pretty basic, the linen/cotton blend fabric makes me think they could become the most cozy, comfortable pants in my new fall wardrobe. I wish I could try them on.

What I don't like:
-The printed tag actually show through on the lighter color shirts which looks a little cheap.
-The sleeves of the basic cap sleeve are longer and the neck is higher (when compared to DownEast Basics). I realize some women might be looking for this, but it's not a selling point for me. But if you are looking for a little more arm coverage--this is where to look.
-I have their Clarissa Shirt. I wasn't too impressed with the quality of sewing. Maybe I just got a bad one.
-Their well-put together website takes too long to load even on my fast DSL connection. I don't have time for that.
-The main way the company is supportive of their "fashion consultants" is by not selling through their website. The only way you can purchase Modbe product is through a "boutique" or home party. Not so good for immediate satisfaction (or needs).


What I like:
-They are tagless.
-The company has updated their website since my last post. It is much more appealing to the eye.
-The "under T" has the purl edge finish that I like (similar to DownEast).
-The "perfect T" is offered in many colors.
-The cami is a nice basic cami comparable to all the other companies and doesn't sit too high in the neck.

What I don't like:
-Their "tagless" tag is an iron on label which can be seen through the shirt. Again, looks a little cheap.
-The "Under T" doesn't come in very many colors (in fact they might be discontinuing that style because they have cut the price to $10).
-Because the "perfect T" is meant more to be worn on it's own (not just as an undershirt), it has a higher neck, longer sleeve and looser fit. The edges are more finished (with self-binding). This means I don't end up wearing the one I have very much because I prefer wear these types of shirts under other things.

Now for some updates on my favorite companies:

DownEast Basics

- Still My Personal Favorite (what can I say, I'm a sucker for good prices and my clothes generally get stained with some unidentifiable child schmutz before they wear out--so I don't usually need the very best quality).

-They just finished their new website. It's not particularly "stylish" but it is a lot easier to navigate than their old one.

-It looks like their going to be having different "specials" each month where a few styles will be reduced in price $3-4. Not bad at all.

-They introduced gift cards and it looks like they will be carrying maternity soon.

-Their new dress is so comfortable, easy and perfect for traveling. I admit to feeling a little like a lyrical dancer when I wear mine, but I know it's going to become one of my favorite pieces for the fall just because it is such a no brainer. It would be fun to find a little-longer- skirt to layer under it. Something with more texture (lace, net, uneven hem) to give the outfit more depth and to give it a different look.

-I have also tried the gathered V-neck top, the wrap top and the lace camisole . Love the V-neck, even though I have to wear something under it because it is too low in the front (meaning showing garments low -for me at least). This was unclear in the picture. It's a flattering style for a small-breasted woman. The wrap top is nice too. I am not too sure I am in love with the style, but it is made very well and layers well over many camisoles. I really love the lace camisole mostly because the fabric is thinner than most of my other camis. It doesn't make me feel quite so "layered".

-Other than the dress, they aren't showing very many new styles for fall. Maybe they are still coming. Who knows.

Layers Clothing

-The have introduced an exspansive new fall line. They have the best selection of non-basics out of anyone and in beautiful colors.

-They are by far the most "stylish" company in the "modest t-shirt business". I love they way they have merchandised the clothing on the front page. The photos are well styled and inspiring.

-I am not too happy with the way the site it set up making it hard (impossible even?) to link to a specific style description page. How am I supposed to let my friends know which shirt I just love? Huh? I would be happy to spread word the word if you made it a little easier for me. And each style takes a little too long to load.

-Lastly, carrying a wide selection of items and having a well designed/styled/photographed line does not come without an accompanying higher price. This is still the reason I haven't become their number one customer.

-P.S. Tales girl, Krista, just pointed out to me that Layers has a great summer clearance going on right now.

Once again I will say that finding modest shirts is not particularly hard right now. I know you can find stuff in Target and Old Navy for less money or better quality in Nordstroms or Saks. But Fashion is Fickle. So I would urge you to give these companies at least a little of your business so they can survive until after the fashion trends shift and we REALLY need them.

Please feel free to scroll down to view the updated table and leave your own personal reviews of "modest T's" and be as specific as you can as to why you like or do not like the product.

Companyunder-T # of colors"under-t" pricecami # of colorscami priceshipping (1 shirt)additional styles of notesize range
DownEast Basics10$9.9914$9.99$5.05XS-XL12 different shirt styles, skirts, dress, gift cards, maternity soon?
Shade Clothing9$17.9911$14.99$4.95 XS-XXLnew colors, turtleneck, maternity, youth, thermal, swimwear, gift certificates
Layers Clothing9$17.003$20.00 $4.95 XS-XXLtons of new styles for fall, swimsuits, youth styles, gift certificates
Diviine Modestee9$18.959$15.95$4.95 XS-XXLarray of lace styles, youth sizes
CoverWear6$15.95 (on sale now for $10)17$13.95$4.95Youth-2Xlace cami, long sleeve
Modbe Clothing**cannot be purchased online
call to find a consultant in your area 1-877-307-3253
14$18.0011$15.00$3 (when ordered from a boutique) or $8XS-XL2youth styles, swimwear, graphic tees, vests, pants
The Mod Bod14$19.9513$17.95$4.95XS-3XLshorts, youth styles, lace cami and T
undertease*13$29.006$26.00$4.95XS-XL also Plus sizesfull lace top, long sleeve, maternity
Impel17$17.9917$14.99calculated by zip codeXXS-XXLlong sleeve, henley, V-neck, gift certificates

**I know I have not included all the companies out there. If you see one I have missed, let me know and I will add it to the table for comparison.


  • Our resident doyenne of fashion has again spoken :) Thanks for putting this together.

    The only experience I have with this lot is Modbe and I've been very satisfied. I run them into the ground and they come back for more - stitching holds up, they don't shrink. I like 'em
    posted by Blogger chloe at 10/07/2006 05:17:00 PM  

  • Haven't actually tried ANY of these YET! Mainly because I shop so many local places that I haven't really had a need... but I LOVE the ideas have looked at all the websites and one of these days I just might give one a try! ;) Great compilations!!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 10/07/2006 06:32:00 PM  

  • I love Layers. I bought a couple of fashionable tees this summer from them and got tons of compliments.

    I have to say that the Layers Parties are worth the "soliciting" because there are so many great deals. I got a bunch of out of season tees for $5.00 each.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 10/07/2006 07:20:00 PM  

  • It's so nice when someone else does your shopping research for you, thanks Carrie!

    The DE Basic dress....how would you dress it up and are there any body shapes that it isn't so flattering on?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 10/07/2006 08:24:00 PM  

  • I just wore that downeast lyrical dancer dress to a wedding in nyc. I dressed it up with very nice jewelry, nice heels and had my hair done nice (not my usual low pony). I got several compliments on it throughout the night, from people wearing nice cocktail attire. Ha! Mine was thrown into a suitcase, flown across the country and only set me back $30! The dress is incredibly comfy too...LOVE it. And love the longer skirt under it idea - you are too cool Carrie. Could I pull that off?
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 10/07/2006 08:52:00 PM  

  • Melissa - thanks for that tip. I actually have to go to a cocktail party soon, maybe I'll look into the DE Wrap Dress.

    I have only ordered Shade and just ordered my first Down East. I LOVE the Shade long-sleeve under-tee b/c it is super soft and cozy. They are on sale right now on the website for $9. Shade always has pretty good sales & closeouts, too. I also really like Shade's heathered tee (super long to wear with any low-rise pants), and the thermal top to layer underneath t-shirts. They are both kinda expensive though. That's the thing that bugs me a little with some of the companies, they are expensive. I guess that is the good thing about Down East - the price. And the quality is pretty comparable to my Shade tee. I'm not very good at shopping on-line b/c I like to try things on.

    I really like a lot of stuff on Modbe and Layers. I will try them for my next "splurge".
    posted by Blogger Beth at 10/07/2006 10:08:00 PM  

  • Shade clothing hit the bigtime today. I was surprised as I read through today's New York Times magazine to find an article about them. The founder says she will have 10 million is sales this year. It makes me think...wow, why didn't I think of this first!

    posted by Anonymous Katie M. at 10/08/2006 12:01:00 PM  

  • Just have to add that the Down East Basic shirts I bought last year are still a big part of my wardrobe --even though I'm wearing maternity. AND after I wash them, they are not stretched out, so I'm planning on using them post-baby as well. Yay!
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 10/08/2006 06:42:00 PM  

  • Question: I need long sleeve T-shirts that are not only long in the body but that have *long* sleeves (I'm 6" tall with very long arms). I typically buy C&C California t-shirts on ebay because they have extra-long sleeves T-shirts (and I don't want to pay full-price at Nordstrom, etc), but I thought I'd check to see if any of the companies y'all are recommending here have tees with extra long sleeves.
    posted by Blogger Seraphine at 10/09/2006 01:21:00 PM  

  • Seraphine - the Shade long-sleeve under-tee says they have extra long sleeves. I don't know how long you want them to be. I really love these shirts. Plus, like I wrote earlier, they are on sale right now for $5-$9.99. Hope that helps.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 10/09/2006 01:36:00 PM  

  • Jen,

    One of the main things I love about the "wrap" dress from DE is that is is easy to dress up. Add great shoes, necklace and bag and you could fit in at any cocktail party. And it's "Diane von Furstenberg" styling is flattering on many different figures and is sure to bring many comments (like Melissa said). The fabric is soft and clingy, so if you are self conscious about that sort of thing, then you might have to get used to how it drapes on your body. Some women might be more "comfortable" (but not in the relaxed sense of the word) wearing a foundation piece underneath to smooth out lines and bumps. But in my opinion, this cancels out the "easyness" of the dress so I would only suggest wearing serious underpinnings for fancier occasions.

    Katie M - thanks for the link. I admit to being blown away by the projected $10 million in sales for Shade. That's really fantastic and I am glad to see the mainstream press they are receiving. Mormon women aren't the only ones who don't want their underwear showing!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/09/2006 02:13:00 PM  

  • i have to say the Layers website is the worst. I was really interested in the clothing, but couldn't handle how awful it was laid out, how I couldn't even figure out what shirt I was looking at until I clicked on it, and how long it took to load. so annoying.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 10/10/2006 09:55:00 AM  

  • This is really helpful. Thanks!
    posted by Blogger The Daring One at 10/11/2006 03:59:00 PM  

  • Okay - this is a REALLY late post, but I just have to report that I bought the DE Wrap Dress and LOVE it. It is so comfy and I'm wearing it to a cocktail wedding reception tomorrow night! YAY! Awesome purchase and I highly recommend trying it out. It's like wearing your favorite t-shirt.... so comfy. And you can't beat the price.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 11/17/2006 05:39:00 PM  

  • Hello! I stumbled across your site when I was looking for modest shirts online. I just wanted to let you know I have several from Shade and I love them. Thanks for your review!

    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 1/04/2007 10:55:00 AM  

  • Hi. I came across this blog after googling modest t shirts and I found it super helpful. It was also fun to find the site because I have a suspicion it was written by a friend of yore. thanks for the info! Sarah Cusworth Walker
    posted by Blogger secwalker at 1/18/2007 02:25:00 PM  

  • Sarah! Your suspicions are true. I am so glad you found us. Hopefully you keep coming round daily and we hear more from you. GLad the info was helpful!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 1/18/2007 06:11:00 PM  

  • FYI, Layers clothing is made with "Modal" (sp?). You can't dry their shirts in the dryer and need to lay them flat to dry. I don't really like the way the material drapes since it tends to be "clingy." Also, the summer shirts I ordered tend to be big in the bust. I'll have to look into those other stores. Thanks for the info.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 6/25/2007 05:49:00 PM  

  • If you are looking for quality modest clothing, thekingsdaughters.com has beautiful designs. They even offer sewing patterns for those that want to make the clothing themselves. What is great is that their clothing is loose-fitting.
    posted by Anonymous modest clothing at 7/01/2012 01:08:00 PM  

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