A group of bloggers, including both Nicole and I, have teamed up to tackle the issue of modesty, and what it means to all of us. There are lots of different perspectives from lots of different women, covering sensitive topics that may be offensive to some people. This is my perspective and my opinion, and I do not mean to offend anyone but I make no apologies for what I am about to say.
When I first decided I wanted to participate in these modesty posts, I thought I was an outsider, I didn’t feel like I’d ever come across modesty issues or ever actively considered my own modesty. But then I realised, I have, it’s been there all along, masquerading as bitchy comments from friends, rude comments from strangers, school uniform rules and my own conscience for dressing ‘appropriately’. My own perspective here is difficult to define, I do not consider myself ‘immodest’, by my own standards, but that begs the question of what is modest and what is not, an answer unique to each of us. Compared to a lot of women, my hemlines are high and my necklines are low, I’m the girl that old ladies whisper and tut at, and I’m fine with that, in fact I have come to embrace it.
First of all, what I wear is very important to me, my clothes amass more than 4 double wardrobes full, and a new outfit is my ultimate pick-me-up. But my clothes do not define me in any way. I don’t choose clothes because of how revealing they are or aren’t, of the clothes I like and think look good on me, most happen to be short or tight, or low cut, and that’s okay. Some women prefer and feel better in loose cuts and long hemlines, and that’s okay too. I wear clothes that I feel comfortable in, if you put me in a full coverage maxi dress I am not going to be the confident, witty self I would be in a short body-con dress because that’s just not me.
I have not experienced all that many negative comments about my clothing choices, especially compared to the other bloggers in the modesty panel. Sometimes, people do stare at me, I understand that the way I dress does attract stares, especially from men, I’m not thrilled about it but it doesn’t bother me too much. Most of the actual comments that I have experienced, come from girl ‘friends’, advising me that I might want to change because my outfit presents an air of sexual promiscuity, or words to that effect. I’m a slut, I have no class, I’m not ‘girlfriend material’? Okay, what am I supposed to say to that, thanks?. I could go so much further into my views on this, but here is neither the time nor place, in a nutshell I refuse to be slut-shamed into covering up. I will cover up for other reasons, ones that I deem appropriate, but not this one.
I want to share the most recent negative comment that I overheard, and was probably one of the most hurtful, difficult for me to laugh off in my usual manner. I was recently on holiday, sitting in the bar in a cute (not particularly revealing) sundress having pre-dinner drinks. A family are sitting close by, mother father and two daughters, and the mother keeps giving me the stink eye- I ignore it. I had to walk past their table for the loos, as I pass she made eye contact with me and said “attention seeking dressed like that, that’s what happens when their mothers don’t raise them properly” I was absolutely gobsmacked at this, for many reasons. Mostly outraged that she had just made a grown-woman version of the ‘yo mamma’ insult, but also sad for her daughters, no girl should grow up thinking that wearing a pretty dress is ‘attention seeking’.
My mum has had a big impact on the way I see modesty, and she really made sure it just wasn’t an issue for me growing up. I have never been told ‘you’re not going out in that!’ or the like. She has always understood that I express myself through my clothes, being there with a handy safety pin if a nip slip is imminent, but supportive of my choices. I grew up, and went through puberty, feeling proud of and happy with my body, and I am grateful for never having to feel ashamed of my body as a lot of fellow bloggers have. I often wonder if my self-confidence is what makes me dress more ‘immodestly’, but no, self-confidence gives me the assurance to dress however I want, regardless of how that is.
Some of the other modesty posts discuss feeling made to cover up by males, who are ‘distracted’ by female immodesty. So why have I rarely encountered this attitude? Why do I experience negativity mainly from other females? I live in England, where there is much less of a religious overtone to opinions on modesty at least compared to some of the US, and although attending catholic schools, I didn’t really have a religious upbringing and neither did the people around me. The biggest issue with modesty that I have encountered is the attitudes at university, a ‘lad’ culture where slut-shaming and rape jokes are almost the norm. This is intertwined with modesty, many girls are made to feel like they can’t do right, covering up deems you a prude or ‘frigid’ whereas choosing to show skin makes you a ‘slut’. This mindset denies all women respect, it is one of general misogyny that goes way further than is relevant to this post but definitely affects how a lot of women see themselves, and it frightens me to think how accepted this is in some circles.
I have so much more to say, and I’d love to discuss this further, please take the time to read the other modesty panel posts because we all have differing perspectives. The truth is, from my point of view, my miniskirts and plunging necklines say nothing about my personality, my intelligence, or the cliché ‘how many people I’ve slept with’. I am not seeking your attention, judgement or validation, I choose my outfits based on my taste and preferences, I’m used to the stares but please, keep your unsolicited opinions to yourself.
My recent holiday was my first foray into the world of ‘properly fitted’ bikinis, and with Freya being my go-to brand for bras, they seemed the obvious choice for bikinis. Sizing with bikini tops isn’t as much of an issue for me as it is with bras, ‘near enough’ is fine for me but I’m a pretty lazy holidaymaker, my bikini tops aren’t tested half as much as my bras. There’s the issue of a different fabric, I was advised to size up, stick with my size, and size down all by different people, because of the stretch of the material in bikini tops. I ended up with some size variations because I was sale shopping, but it seems that sticking with my bra size was the best thing to do.
Freya Lindy hop, 30FF top and XS bottoms, which I bought from large cup lingerie at a bargain price, but it’s discontinued and now difficult to get a hold of.
The top is what I’d call a ‘bra bikini’, in shape, and fits similarly to a bra, the straps are fully adjustable and the bottoms are a ‘short’ kind of cut, maybe more high waisted than many bikini bottoms.
So at the time, the top seemed to fit just fine dry, but expanded a bit in water and the cups seemed a bit big when I got out of the pool. Bear in mind I was wearing a 28FF bra at this time, so I’m guessing that it’s pretty much true to size. I love the cut of the bottoms, I don’t like to be too exposed down there, these fit like a dream and I love them.
Freya Pier Red 28FF top and XS bottoms, which I bought in a facebook buy/sell group
The top is a halter-style, fastens with a clip at the back and ties around the neck. The top fit perfectly and didn’t fluctuate in water like the Lindy Hop, the bottoms well, I probably should have gone up a size.
The ruffles still looked okay when wet, I half expected them to stick to my boobs at the first sign of water, but thankfully not.
Freya Kansas 30F top and XS bottoms, from asos
This is the same cut as the pier in the top, and the bottoms are lower cut with a thicker skirt along the top, cute. This was perhaps a little smaller than the Pier in the top, the 30F seemed to cut in slightly were the 28FF pier was fine. I didn’t actually get to road test this one, I maybe took too much advantage of the dinner buffets and the bottoms were less than flattering by the time I got round to wearing it. Oops.
Another holiday in 2 months (lucky me, I know) means I need some more bikinis, especially if I plan on eating a lot there…. I’m not convinced that I’m going to try any more Freya. I am a fan of lightly padded bikinis, I don’t like the ‘smuggling peanuts’ look on myself and feel a bit more secure in them. It seems that for a lot of non-freya bikinis, to have a wide choice I need to sister size to a 30F/FF, although the Cleo Pippa and Dolly have caught my eye, and have good size ranges, 28-38, D-H/J, so watch this space
In terms of a strapless bra, I decided to sell the Ewa Michalak Mczelny, which I reviewed here and find something better fitting. I don’t ask much from a strapless bra, I want the cups to fit, the band to stay put and a rounded shape from the side. Firstly, I was recommended by a few people to try the Wonderbra Ultimate Strapless, I got it in nude in 30F, the cups are known to run small but I was buying from asos.com who only stock up to F cup.
Band: unstretched 24.4″, stretched 27.3″
Cup width: 6.5″ Depth: 8.7″
So the cups are maybe, possible, just a touch too small, but the band is good in a 30, I could possibly even wear a 32. I didn’t bother to try a cupsize up in this because as you can see, the height of the cups is all wrong and looks pretty awful, and isn’t exactly comfortable.
Next I tried the Gossard egoboost, also in 30F. This is a much better fit on me, the cups are spot on, the band is not as tight as the wonderbra but doesn’t slide down, and the cup shape gives me a nice cleavage, and great shape under tight clothes.
Band: 24.2″ unstretched, 29.2″ stretched
Cup width: 6.1″, depth 8.3″
There is hooks for straps, but I tried this as a t shirt bra and it gave a bit of a shelf-boob for me under non-strapless tops.
As a fan of the deco, and a fan of longline bras, I just had to try the deco shape longline, which is a multiway/strapless, this time in 28FF. First off the band is tighter than anything else by Freya, and stays put nicely. The cups are a bit more full coverage than the deco plunge or half-cup, and give a really rounded shape without cleavage. There is a variety of strap placement possible, both on the front and back there is 2 strap hooks at each side, which is a good option.
Band: unstretched 24″ stretched 27.8″
Cup width: 5.6″ depth: 9″
I am going to be keeping the Gossard and the Deco, because I really, really cannot decide which I like best. The gossard is the most comfortable, and I am a cleavage fan, but the Deco is a longline and I’d wear it as a top with high waisted shorts/skirts in summer, I suppose two strapless options isn’t a bad thing.
I have not got on well with curvy kate in the past, I have tried the tease me, the tempt me and the elegance, had no luck with their loose bands and wide wires. I tried this because I want me and kate to be friends, her bras are so cute, and I have my eye on the starlet petrol for autumn.
Again with the poor quality pictures, I know, I’ll have a real camera next week.
This is a multiway plunge bra, available in black or white, with a subtle pattern on the cups and a little bow…..thingy in the middle. The straps are thick, really long, fully adjustable and easy to switch around.
Band: 22″ unstretched, 28″ stretched
Cup width 5.3″, depth 8″
Side wing 2.7″, gore height 1.6″
Compared to the other CKs I tried in the past, the wires are a bit narrower (yey) and shorter (yey) and the band is true to size (yey). The band is also 3 hook fastening, the same width across and quite thick. So far so good.
The bra is just not a great shape for me (boo), the top edge of the cup seems to me made for a full on bottom shape, and gives me an odd shelf-like appearance that doesn’t come across so much in pictures. I know I have some quadboobing but there’s also space in the bottom of the cup, that won’t stay where it’s supposed to because of the lengthy straps. If you find yourself tightening straps a lot, be wary.
It works a bit better as a halterneck for me, the strap is really comfy around my neck and the cups easily lend themselves to the halterneck shape without digging in/ making armpit fat like others tend to do.
Fit 6/10, cups run small.
Appearance on me 5/10. Someone more full on bottom might get a better shape with this.