Thursday, April 13, 2017

Question: Modest Clothing Sources

A question I get often from Home Joys readers is where to find modest clothing. Since I make dresses for both my girls and myself, I am not familiar with good sources for modest clothing. So I'm turning to you all for help.

Where do you find modest clothing for yourself or your daughters? Are there brands, stores, or online sites that you recommend?

If you sew, what patterns do you like? Where do you buy your fabric?

I'm encouraged by so many women who are seeking to honor God by their clothing choices. Let's encourage each other by letting a comment to help others. If you are reading this by email or feed-reader, just click over to the website to let a comment.

Thanks!

You also might enjoy...

Modesty Series

How to Sew a Cape Dress 

47 comments :

  1. I personally can not find any modest clothing in the stores now days. I do sew most of my clothes myself, but I also purchase some from an online site called, Katie's Mercantile. They have dresses, cape dresses, skirts, jumpers, slips, nightgowns, and so many other things for women and girls. They are also getting into sewing some clothing for boys and men. Their website is katies mercantile dot com (all together). They also sell fabric and other household items. Plus the customer service is wonderful. They really do care if you are happy with your purchase and can custom make items for those with special medical issues. Another place I do buy most of my fabric from is Gehmans. They have a large variety of fabric including, polyester, crepe, flannel, shirting, and my favorite tropical breeze. Tropical Breeze fabric is a poly/cotton blend. I wash and wear without ironing, due to the fact that it doesn't wrinkle easily, the colors don't fade, because of how the fabric is made, and it is really durable. I have some skirts I made that have lasted for over six years and that is with weekly wearing. Gehmans also sells patterns, and premade cape dresses, aprons, and slips. Their web site is gehmans country fabrics dot com. (all together)
    I also like the pricing and value of both of these sites.
    I'm sure there are other places for modest clothing and I am looking forward to hearing from other ladies.
    Happy sewing, and clothing, Carie Dirks

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    1. Thanks Carie.
      I love Tropical Breeze fabric too. Any fabric I don't need to iron is a winner to me!
      Gina

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  2. these people are acquaintances of mine and they do very neat work with their sewing... http://www.thekingsdaughters.com/

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  3. Thrift stores are good sources sometimes. You could do a free clothing exchange. You get together with some friends. They bring their modest gently used clothing and swap. That way each lady or girl gets new to them clothing. No money is exchanged at all.

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    1. A clothing swap sounds like fun!
      Gina

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  4. I have purchased cape dress patterns from candleonthehill.net; they also have little girl patterns. For ready made modest clothing; not necessarily Mennonite try: ringgerclothing.com
    And as mentioned above Gehmans Country Fabrics.
    Gaylene, Bastrop, Texas

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  5. I have to admit, most of my clothes come from thrift stores and Wal-Mart. I'm kind of a simple, practical person, I guess. For shirts I often get button down shirts (soft, stretchy fabric or flannel), polo shirts, or a plain t-shirt to wear with a cardigan. If a neckline feels a little too low, a scarf covers that up nicely. Warm sweaters are my staple in the winter. Skirts I find at thrift stores. I do love to sew so I often make dresses for my little girl. I just find it hard to scrounge up time to sew for myself. I'm interested in everyone's ideas!

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  6. Hello everyone!

    Yes this is a common question these days.

    We have used some patterns from the Ringger family of the Classic clothing store in Texas. The patterns are durable and the instructions relatively simple if you have a bit of dress making know-how. They also have a lot of ready made clothing as well as fabric.

    Another business we have used is gracefulthreads, who sell custom made clothing and fabric.

    Also the kingsdaughters have a range of custom made dresses to choose from. They also sell fabric.

    Lilies Apparel also offer custom made modest clothing.

    Hope this helps!
    Michaela

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  7. There is a company out of Israel, called Kosher Casual. They are online and easy to do business with. They are also on Amazon with a limited inventory. They have a wide variety of modest skirts with fair prices and excellent quality.

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  8. Ladies I love getting fabric at Gehman's Country Fabrics too😊

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  9. For non-Mennonite or other readers where cape dresses may not be the right thing it we still want our girls relatively modest, this is hard! I find stores geared to our girls too often have tacky or too revealing clothes, or options that seem much too mature. We won't set foot in "Justice." Lands End catalog, and Vineyard Vines brand (we buy that brand at resale) seem to have more modest apparel regularly. We have tried to focus our girl on sports wear, which tends to be looser fitting or have more coverage (although some is not so a discerning shopping eye is critical) and we stick to sporting good stores (ll bean, dicks), children's place and for cheaper dress options 'sometimes' old navy has a gem here and there. Generally I've found the less we shop in person and more online the easier to avoid some of the worst options (like too short shorts). The consign and thrift stores around us tend to have higher quality clothes as well, which interestingly seem to often be more modest choices!

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    1. I agree! We buy mostly from thrift stores, with brands like Talbots often furnishing more classic options (especially now, when pants are often so tight and low). We have also found that buying boys items for girls often offers a looser fit(where possible, since hip fit etc. doesn't always work). We usually buy boy board shorts to go over girls' swimsuits (since girls' shorts tend to be so much shorter). I will say that the maxi skirt/dress trend has been great! I'm thankful for all your suggestions; can't wait to look them up... Suz

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  10. Although not Mennonite, theskirtoutlet.com offers many options, including custom orders by the Ringger family mentioned in another comment. I find some styles more modest than others, but I have always been able to find God-honoring styles.

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  11. I buy jumpers, slips, and aprons from katiesmercantile.com -they are a mother/daughter team that have a cottage business from upstate New York. They have a team of farm wives who sew for them...good quality clothing made to order, or you can choose from their inventory.

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  12. I have a more specific question? What do you do for modest swim wear for teen girls? I have found some muslim swim wear online, but they seem more concerned with covering skin than with covering contour, and are quite expensive.

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    1. We took a trip to California this summer and needed to make some modest swim wear for all of us. For my girls who range in ages 4-14 we bought swim shirts (my older daughter wore a sports bra under her's as did I) then we bough some bike shorts (knee lenth) and sewed swim fabric skirt onto them. For myself I did the same for the bottoms but made a top from swim material as anything I found in the store was a little too snug for my fluffy body ;)

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    2. Hi Gwen, Yes, it can be very tricky finding modest swimwear these days. You could check out the Dainty Jewels swimwear range,although some of that is a little too form-fitting too. Or try Lilies Apparel-if you want the skirt longer you can request that in the comments. Some other online shops which may suit your needs are Undercover Waterwear, Aqua Modesta, WholesomeWear WaterWear, Modestly Yours Swimwear, and Sea Secret. Most of them are quite pricey, but if you can watch the sale racks for awhile, you just might find a bargain. The only place we have ordered from so far is Dainty Jewells, but there seems to be some good options at these others stores too. Hope this helps! Blessings, Gabrielle

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    3. This is also a good resource for modest swimwear. She sells the patterns and fabric, or will make them to order. http://www.cuteandcovered.com/

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    4. Lands End sells modest swim wear and also offers slim sizes which is unusual. The price is a little high for my taste but it's worth it to keep my daughter covered properly.

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    5. Lands End is a great option. You can put together the features you want with very good coverage. Yes they can be "pricey" but the quality is good and they last and last if you take care of them. For example, 2 summers ago I just replaced the swim clothes I bought in 2003.

      Also if anyone is in need of this option they sell mastectomy swimsuits.

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    6. Just a note - we used to buy from Lands' End until we found out what their company stands for and supports. http://www.lifenews.com/2016/02/25/christian-schools-end-contracts-with-lands-end-after-it-donates-to-pro-abortion-gloria-steinem/
      Something to consider.

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    7. Thank you. I won't buy from them.

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  13. You can try google searching Lilies apparel swimwear...or Dainty Jewels swimwear. Some of these are not entirely modest though...and a bit pricey too.

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  14. I get mine from a mix of places. I'm in the UK so Marks & Spencer's often have a decent selection of fairly modest clothing; it's not the cheapest of places (though it's not extortionate either) but you know the quality is high so it will last, and thus in the long run you end up spending less. Most shops here tend towards shorter hemlines and low necklines, which makes things a bit more challenging!

    I'm Catholic rather than Mennonite, but I do tend to wear cape dresses because I really like them; as we don't have any Plain people in the UK I have to get things online from the US and Canada, as I've found several cape dresses for reasonable prices on Ebay and a website called The Thrifty Amish and Mennonite Closet (the only downside to that place for me is that although the dresses are only a few dollars, the shipping costs can be quite high).

    I have the Candle On The Hill cape-dress pattern, although my health has been pretty bad recently so I've not had a chance to use it yet. I do intend to soon, especially as I live right round the corner from a really good fabric shop and I'm reasonably good at sewing.

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    1. Interesting. How do you feel being the only person wearing cape dresses in your circle? I want to, but I also don't like sticking out.

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  15. Modest clothing is difficult to find, I shop thrift stores and sale racks and layer a lot. I am not a sewer but when I finally have a chance to i would like to learn - one of my future projects πŸ˜„
    For me it's the posture of my heart before God that encourages me to cover up and although it's difficult to find clothes that are modest - I make them modest by layering, finding tank tops or tighter t shirts to wear underneath shirts etc. I'm not perfect at it but I try!

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  16. We find most of our things at the thrift store. I have also found that a dress that may be to short (we aim for below the knee)can have the top cut off and turned into a skirt that is long enough, just add a simple waist band. The hardest part we find is getting shirts that are not low cut. We often pair shirts with tank tops and I usually wear a scarf and cardigan so that attention isn't drawn to my bust as I am large chested and it's hard to find shirts that don't hug that area.

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  17. Hi, I use Lutterloh Patterns to make my cape dresses. It is easy to use and you only need one pattern for most sizes no need to buy several patterns. I highly recomend using Lutterloh Patterns, I have never used patterns bought at the store I have a Lutterloh Pattern book and I just keep my same bodice and just add the pattern for the skirt I need. Happy Sewing!

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  18. I live in Utah and many people here want modest clothing. Here are a few online places that may help your readers.
    Shabby Girl.com ModLi.com SweetSalt.com Bella Ella Botique.com Novae.com and Reyswimwear.com

    Hope this helps some, it is a challenge.

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  19. Freecycle.org is a resource for giving away and for picking up free things, clothing included. Babies' and children's clothes are the most frequently available clothing in my area, but I've gotten clothes for myself.
    - - Bonny

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  20. For non-Mennonites, it might be worth mentioning that the store, Loft, tends to have higher neck lines on some of their tops. I tend to find most of my church clothes there, and often wear a cardigan with them.

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  21. I agree with everyone who's mentioned Gehman's as the place to buy material/fabric. It's well worth the cost of shipping to Australia, given how sturdy, resilient, low-maintenance and long-lasting it is! On the rare occasion I make a dress with material from somewhere else, I really can tell the difference.

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    1. Yes, I agree that the Tropical Breeze fabric that Gehman's sell is very easy care and also so easy to sew into dresses/skirts! It is a pity that no one sells it over here in Australia:( The postage costs so much which is why we cannot buy it as often as we'd like to! Graceful Threads also sell Tropical Breeze fabric.
      Michaela

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  22. I go to church with a lady who recently published little girls pattern sz 1-8 and plans to release the jr. sz girl patterns 10-16. early summer. Her patterns are called Sew Basic Patterns and she has an etsy site where you can purchase them. They are a simple modest dress.

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    1. These patterns also sell in fabric stores(mostly mennonite) across the United States and Canada.

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  23. I no longer sew for my daughters because they are both over 30 years old now! However - many of the patterns that I used to make their clothing are still available through etsy or ebay. They are mainly geared towards smocking & heirloom sewing , however, they are easily modified to be sewn WITHOUT smocking or lace insertion. I made many, many jumpers & dresses without the smocked bodice - put 5" hems in the skirts & they wore them literally for YEARS. I made short puff sleeved blouses for spring & summer & long sleeves for winter - or they wore turtle necks. My favorite patterns where from Cherry Williams, Peanut Butter & Jelly Kids, and Love & Stitches (Debbie Glen). If you eliminate the smocking - you could also modify patterns found in the Sew Beautiful magazines & Creative Needle. I have found several auctions with multiple copies selling for dirt cheap! (I kept all mine :) ) Just a thought ya'll!

    Sam

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  24. Deborahandco.com has nice cropped layering shells (junees brand, I'm not sure that the "half-tees" ones have as high of a neckline) that I wear under practically all of my shirts. They are nursing friendly since they are only half length, and also not nearly as hot or bulky as wearing a full tshirt underneath. (Paired with an "undercover mama" nursing tank they can allow for very discreet nursing). Chadwicks.com used to have a long and modest denim skirt, but they stopped carrying it maybe a year ago. I'm not sure where I'll get replacements when mine wear out in a year or two (I wear them six days a week! They really are quite sturdy yet soft and flowy. I'm hoping by then they will have something comparable again.) They do have other long skirts though.

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  25. I've found this company that sells modest dresses. I like the high neck line and modest length. They are a little pricey but I think you get what you pay for with this company.
    http://wearadress.com/

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  26. Oh yes, this is always a problem here too. Sometimes I think it would be simpler to just go with the cape dress but since I am not Mennonite and I don't want to stand out in a community where I have never, ever seen anyone wear anything close to that even, its not something I would feel comfortable doing. We have all girls so its tough. I spend a lot of time searching for items to wear. Fabrics have gotten thinner in the past few years! I find I am constantly frustrated about clothing. The best finds I have found are at thrift shops since they tend to have clothes from several years back when there were more options. I don't know what I will do several years down the road. I try to remember not to worry, since we have always had clothes to wear! I am thankful to say we have always found something! Sometimes I end up wearing things I don't really like that much but at least it covers and is comfortable.

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  27. A good friend of mine does sewing. http://christiancoverings.com

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  28. I used to buy long no walking slit denim skirts (hard to find without a slit in back) from the qvc website. Denim an co brand. The quality went way down the hill about four years ago though. I don't buy them any longer. I just found skirt I really like, it's only available in sz 12 and up though. I am a 14/16. It's from the website woman within. Long 100% cotton thinner denim, but not overly thin, about an 8inch ruffle at the hem. Elastic and drawstring waist. I tuck the string inside. I usually wear a t shirt type shirt. Long or 3/4 sleeve (lands end has good necklines) a long skirt, and if I am at home, apron. I make the aprons, but have a few boughten. I am also a fan of scarves for out of the house stuff. I am more comfortable with another layer in front. I get lightweight long skinny ones, like a winter scarf, but summer weight. Always check the thrift stores! I love thrift stores and get most children's clothing there. Sometimes they have great skirts in my size too! I found my favorite dress ever there, about 5 years ago. It's a Woolrich zipper back jumper dress in a brushed cotton that's really durable. I still wear that one. If it were available I would get many more. Cathy. From NY state

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    1. I just ordered denim skirts from woman within. I love them. I think I will order a few more for this summer. I just wish they were a couple inches longer but they are great. I find it is getting harder to find maxi skirts that I love.

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  29. You all have been so helpful! I never heard of most of theses sources. Thanks so much for your input, suggestions, and encouragement!
    Gina

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  30. Hello. This thread has been a great resource! We're not Mennonite either, but we are conservative Christian reformed. If it helps anyone, we buy Lands End or Hanna Andersson dresses (the long, full, twirl style) from eBay or the local thrift stores for our girls. Tea Collection is another nice option, especially if they are making the maxi length style. We buy cheap Walmart leggings to wear underneath all the time. Lands End and Hanna also provide our swimsuits. They make skirt bottoms with leggings attached and swim shirts to match, so the girls look cute but still covered. Same for myself, and swim shirts for my husband and boys too. I find myself long full maxi skirts from Walmart or the thrift store. Blouses and polo shirts too. Occasionally spend a little extra at Duluth Trading or Lands End for some thicker fabric with longer hems and more coverage. Fleece vests in the winter add extra warmth and coverage without slowing down my arms for babies and housework. :)

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  31. For facebook users there are pages available;
    skirts for believers, swap shoppe (ladies clothing) and dress swappers are a few. Also modest clothing online yardsale.

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  32. Wow, lots of good suggestions here! I'd like to add a few. For a general modest clothing resource, modestclothes.com has a database of modest clothing in every type--Jewish, Muslim, simple Christian, LDS, swimwear, etc. Another good resource is A Christian Home (achristianhome.org). These sites got me started ten years ago. HannahLise.com has great a-line skirts. These have been my wardrobe staples for ten years. If the prices look high, check the irregulars--the quality and fit are still great, and the price is greatly reduced. Blessings to all add you seek to honor the Lord with your clothing.

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  33. Shukr online clothing has a good variety of floor length skirts with no slits

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