These days it seems like fashion blogs are a dime a dozen and new blogs are popping up every minute. The blogosphere is saturated with fashion blogs—from style diaries to DIYs, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the mass selection. I have a very short attention span and only recently decided to focus my reading and picture viewing attention on those blogs that I can identify with. I’ve decided to no longer sift and wade through blogs with endless pictures of designer goodies that I will not purchase, and instead focus my attention on real people with style similar to mine (or a unique style that inspires me).
I found Ally of Modestly Fashioned by way of Nina of A Modest Attempt at Style. Unlike a certain blogger that forgets that she’s wearing sunglasses, or is too goofy to look the camera head on (ME!), Ally has a great smile and is mucho photogenic. The absence of fake props and excessive Photoshop are always a bonus in my book. As soon as I browsed Ally’s blog I knew we had something in common: SKIRTS! The internet reminds me that views on modesty vary, so when I come across bloggers that only wear skirts and dresses (Modesty is Pretty A Modest Attempt at Style) I feel giddy. I don’t wear pants, shorts, capris, skorts, skinny jeans, etc. (read about me here); I always feel a little bit closer to the ladies that wear knee length and longer skirts.
Listed below are a few questions Ally agreed to answer about her blog and her modest dressing journey:
Name: Ally S.
Location: New Jersey
MoMoMod: Why do you dress modestly?
Ally: I began to dress modestly 3 years ago. I was undergoing a personal transformation in terms of becoming a more Torah observant Jew. Dressing modestly, before then, seemed very antiquated and oppressive to me. I felt personally offended that a religious document thousands of years old (and then later interpreted by rabbis who outlined codes of law) could dictate how I should dress. I felt that it hindered my self expression and that the laws were set in place to subjugate women. However, after sifting through the various texts dealing with women and modesty, and with help and support from friends who followed the laws and seemed to live happy daily lives while covering up, I realized that it actually opened doors for me as a woman. I started wearing skirts exclusively (women are supposed to wear skirts past their knees, as to not show the outline of the upper leg). I then progressed to wearing shirts that covered my elbows (another guideline of modest dress as outlined by Jewish codes of law). The final (and most personally difficult) stage was to wear shirts that cover my collarbone (another guideline of modest dress outlined by Jewish law.)
One of the important goals of Jewish modesty laws is to “be attractive, not attracting”. Modestly laws are not out there to make me feel bad about myself, or ugly or to take away any part of my self expression. Judaism wants me to look nice and feel good about myself! These laws are to safeguard my dignity; to make sure that I am not attracting negative attention, or any attention that I may otherwise not want. These laws were established to help me meet people and for them to see me – a whole person, not a set of individual body parts highlighted by certain pieces of barely there clothing. People meet my personality and my sense of humor and my smile, not my arms or my legs or my cleavage! People take me more seriously as the intelligent woman that I am and forgo the preconceived notions based on what I am wearing.
MoMoMod: How has your transformation affected your marriage?
Ally: Dressing modestly has a strong impact on my marriage as well. The goal of “being attractive, not attracting” means that I can dress in a way that makes my husband proud and in a style that I love and he loves to see me in. However, I don’t have to worry that I am soliciting attention from other men inappropriately. I know that I am not showcasing anything that is inappropriate for anyone else to see. I still feel good and confident about the way I look. Dressing modestly has become very personal for me. I love that I am covered up; it’s like there is a bit of mystery about the way I dress. I love that it allows my personality to shine through more vividly! And lastly, I love that I can still have a sense of style that is all my own and still maintain my own personal and religious integrity.
MoMoMod: Who takes your pictures and what inspired you to start a blog?
Ally: My husband, D. I never would have considered starting a blog—mostly because I didn’t know what I would talk about and if anyone would want to listen (read). However a few of my good friends have blogs, and I love them. One of my friends linked to a personal style blog that she follows and it was as if a light bulb went off in my head – I thought “I could do that!” I started looking at a few other personal style blogs and getting inspiration from them, began designing my own and I haven’t looked back!
MoMoMod: Who are your favorite bloggers:
MoMoMod: Where do you like to shop: J.CREW, Banana Republic, Gap, Marshall’s, Ally: Anthropologie, Loehmann’s
MoMoMod: When you’re not blogging or visiting your favorite blogs, what websites do you enjoy visiting?
Ally: Facebook, YouTube, Hulu
MoMoMod: What are your hobbies?
Ally: Cooking, Going to the gym, walking our puppy, reading, traveling with D.
MoMoMod: You’re going on a trip and can only take 3 items (toiletries/undies don’t count!): What MUST you bring?
Ally: A Headscarf, Jean skirt, and a fabulous pair of comfortable shoes!
Visit Ally’s blog here.
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