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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Modest Fashion News

Just before Christmas, Shade Clothing introduced their line of basic black dresses aptly named Basic Black. Along with that announcement, the company reported over $4 million dollars in sales last year. It has become obvious that there is a real market for more modest women's clothing.

A new company, Shabby Apple, has just popped up hoping to tap into this new fashion market and thank goodness they are not starting off with undershirts like everyone else! This dress company has a great line of really adorable dresses that you could very well see in the window of any store this spring season. The difference between the dresses in the stores and the ones from Shabby Apple might be hard to notice at first, but the attention to modest detail will make a huge difference to the wearer. A few more inches added to the length of the skirt means that when you sit down, you won't have to do the "pull and tug" routine throughout your Sunday meetings. A sleeve on every dress means there is never need for an undershirt or a cardigan. Losing these layers for spring and summer in favor of some fun accessories is just what the fashion police ordered (not to mention the comfort patrol). I also think their pricing is surprisingly good for a new, small, fashion company. I wish I could give you a personal account of the quality of their clothing, but I can't. Looking though their website was in fact torturous because I have vowed to refrain from purchasing any new clothing through my pledge at Wardrobe Refashion. I am able to accept gifts though. Hint, hint.

Lastly, another new business to hit the modest fashion scene is a quarterly magazine called Eliza. It was "created for women who want to be stylish, sexy and engaged in the world while retaining high standards in dress, entertainment and lifestyle." If you check out the website, it looks like this magazine will be far from cheesy or average. The pictures read very high-fashion and are quite beautiful to look at. It appears they will be covering all the top fashion lines and pulling modest inspiration from them? I can't quite tell. I have yet to see an issue, so I am intrigued at what I might find.

While I have canceled all of my fashion magazine subscriptions (another step in my battle to downsize the effects of materialism on my life), I admit that I will be subscribing to this one. I miss seeing beautiful clothes from top designers. It affects me like good art or music affects many others. I also like to support new businesses started by passionate women. And mostly I am just way too curious to see how they will pull it all off. Even within the church the words "modesty" and "high standards" mean different things to different people. And to me, it seems a hard line to walk--talking about modesty and very expensive clothing in the same sentence. I can't wait to get my first issue.

P.S. I just want to state that I am not affiliated with any of these businesses.


  • I just wish it wasn't called Eliza....I guess b/c it conjures up an image of a woman from the 1800's with LOTS and LOTS of clothes on, and no lipstick!!!
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/11/2007 04:57:00 AM  

  • ps. I love the green dress called 9 to 5, and they did a good job on their styling/models/website too....again, just not loving the name Shabby Apple....b/c I don't see the shabby part....I guess I am just caught up with names today
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/11/2007 05:05:00 AM  

  • How did you hear about Eliza Carrie? My cousin's wife is involved in it somehow, but I haven't had the time (or disposition) to really look into it yet.
    posted by Blogger Michelle at 4/11/2007 06:46:00 AM  

  • How did you hear about Shabby Apple so fast? My DH is friends with one of the owners from college and she just sent me an email about the website TODAY! I was going to post something on it because I thought the dresses were really great.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 4/11/2007 07:01:00 AM  

  • Kage,

    Not sure where the Shabby Apple name came from, but I assume Eliza came from Eliza R. Snow who is obviously an inspiring woman on many different levels but was also well known for loving beautiful clothes and putting much care into her appearance (though you are right, back then it meant lots and lot of clothes-she was known for adding even more fabric to her dresses so they could be extra full).

    Michelle and Jen - Hello?! I am the "Fashion Maven" here on Tales. I have to be at least one step ahead of you!

    And Michelle, I loved that you wrote you didn't have the "disposition" to look into the magazine. It definitely seems to market itself to a modest "fashionista" group, of which I feel I am even barely a part.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/11/2007 07:17:00 AM  

  • As a fashion girl who loves dresses, shabby apple looks like a really nice company. I am so excited to see an alternative to "layering" for modesty! (Who wants yet ANOTHER layer on a summer day in the humid midwest?) I hope people give them their business.

    HOWEVER, I will not be one of those people. Why? Well, when are these companies going to realize that for short women the modest issue isn't the 2 extra inches at the bottom but rather the fact that the disproportionately long bodice makes (1) the dress look wrong and frumpy and (2) undoes the modest neckline, particularly when it is a v-neck? I can't be the only short Mormon women.

    Ok, rant over.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 4/11/2007 09:09:00 AM  

  • wow, thanks for the tip on Shabby Apple. I love it!
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 4/11/2007 09:43:00 AM  

  • Hear hear for the shorties! It's hard for me to pull off dresses for the same reasons anon mentioned. One day...

    The company does look great and I love the green dress 9 to 5 as well - wondering if I can pull it off.

    I love what a small world this is - of the two companies mentioned both have ties to Tales Girls randomly...love it.

    Go entrepreneurs! And thaks Fashion Maven for keeping us on the up and up.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 4/11/2007 10:01:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the heads up. I just wish some of their dresses had touch longer sleeves for we apple shape girls. I guess I'll just have to wait for their winter line.

    And another shout out for the petite proportioned!
    posted by Blogger Azúcar at 4/11/2007 10:40:00 AM  

  • melissa, the color would be amazing with your eyes.....
    who knows, maybe their models are short, photos can be deceiving.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 4/11/2007 03:52:00 PM  

  • Thanks so much for both the website and the magazine tip ! I have always LOVED fashion, and, although I am no fashion designer, I have ALWAYS felt like the websites that carry the modest prom and evening wear are really not very creative at all. I mean EVERY dress does NOT need to have a square neckline and cap sleeves for goodness sake!! (It's a major pet peeve of mine) Anyway, I would LOVE to see some fashion that is truly more forward thinking and modest at the same time.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 4/11/2007 07:49:00 PM  

  • Awesome. thanks, Carrie. I hope just one of those dresses is long enough for me... I have a long torso so whats modest or long on everyone else, is always too short on me.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 4/12/2007 11:48:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the great fashion advice. I love the posts. I live in a small rural Idaho town and great fashion isn't easily found. So keep it coming!!
    posted by Anonymous idaho at 4/12/2007 12:59:00 PM  

  • So those dresses are adorable, but a little pricey for this bargain shopper. I do need your help though. I am a newly wed and a convert of 2 years. As you can imagine I had no idea what to expect with the temple and garments at all. I've gotten use to wearing them. i feel comfortable in them, but I hate that my whole wardrobe has gone out the window, and I even dressed modestly! I get so upset sometimes that I can't wear a normal shirt because the neck comes out slightly wider than my garments. I can't even wear a v neck with an under-cami because the cami doesn't even cover my garments. I have no problem with the length of them. Covering my belly is easy with long shirts but the restrictions on the neck of the shirts and lack of wide-ness drives me crazy. I hate shopping because I know I'll find things that I can even wear. Clothes that are completely modest still show my garments. I hate it. Aside from those mentioned websites. Are there are any others? Seems like those sites don't have a lot to choose from, as cute as they are. Any tips? Thanks
    posted by Anonymous CrysOverCuteClothes at 4/12/2007 01:37:00 PM  

  • Crysovercuteclothes,

    I hear you. I believe a person who does not wear garments can dress modestly without covering ever part that garments would cover. No doubt. But once you start wearing them, they need to be covered. It can be really hard and frustrating at times, but it's doable.

    Check out the very end of this post for a table of all sorts of modest t companies. Many carry far more than cami's and basic t's. Good Luck!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/12/2007 02:29:00 PM  

  • P.S. You might want to try some different styles and sizes (up and down) of garment tops. You might find something that works better with your existing wardrobe.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/12/2007 02:30:00 PM  

  • Here's another voice for the short people. I really don't like wearing tanks under dresses--too bulky/hot/busy-looking--so, often with wrap-arounds I tack the neckline where I need it, which I think looks fine, although I had to rip out the stitches after I had a baby and wanted to wear dresses and nurse. A strategically sewn-on snap might also solve that problem. There are also lots of cute button-up dresses for pretty cheap at places like Forever 21 (although they can run really small).

    To the garments question from Crys...I've been through so many different sizes/styles/fabrics of garments to finally find what works for me, that I think you'll probably find what works for you too.

    For what it's worth, I tried drisilque tops and HATED them--I had the same problem you have. Then I switched to cotton-poly ones (scoop or sweetheart neck), which have wider necks, at least in my size, but are still modest (I have to order long, though--the regular ones are too short for me). I don't like the cotton bottoms--drisilque and lycra bottoms are much more comfortable for me and sit better under jeans.

    I also like cotton chemise tops, because they don't have the under-bust seam, but the sleeves are bigger on those, so they don't work with some of my shirts.

    And forget about nursing g-tops. ugh.
    posted by Blogger Eliza at 4/12/2007 02:48:00 PM  

  • And to all the short women out there, keep speaking up! Hopefully one of the companies will notice this is an uptapped demographic within the modest clothing market and start some petite sizing.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 4/12/2007 03:00:00 PM  

  • Another note on the petite thing - not all petite girls wear single-digit sizes. After having my baby (I'd gone up a size, I don't have a magical bounce-back body), I went to a chain store to buy some jeans to discover that they didn't make my size (it's within range of all popular chain stores) in 'ankle' length; they stop at a smaller size. Ugh! And I'm not even that fat!

    I'm one of those people that *does* wear a tank top under just about everything. Old Navy sells some decent 'longer length' tanks that work really well for me. Also, it behooves one to learn some really basic sewing - I like to cut up t-shirts and re-size them to fit. Trust me, if I can do it, anyone can do it.
    posted by Blogger VirtualM at 4/12/2007 03:29:00 PM  

  • Thanks for this Carrie. Your fashion knowledge has single-handedly helped my modest wardrode to improve.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 4/13/2007 09:10:00 PM  

  • Wow, what a great blog! Thanks for the heads up with Shabby Apple, I can't wait to order something.
    April of secondsister.etsy.com
    posted by Blogger april at 11/03/2007 02:28:00 PM  

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