Guest Post: A Modest Proposal

I can safely say that Lara from Life: The Ongoing Education, was one of the first bloggers I discovered when I started out at Typepad all those years ago. We bonded over teaching and a love of shoes, and I think it's great that she's still blogging now, so that I can continue to read her stories - and check out her fashions, of course. :)

Anyone who reads my blog on a regular basis... No, wait. Let me change that. Probably anyone who's been to my blog even just once... No, maybe even more. Pretty much the entire blogosphere (yep, that's it) knows that I pay a lot of attention to fashion. Mostly my own. I take a picture of myself every morning before work, partially so that I can show my work clothes to my blog readers and partially because I don't like to repeat outfits, so I need a record of what I've already worn in what combinations so that I can avoid repeats.

I totally realize that this makes me seem completely vain and shallow. My consolation is that my five loyal blog readers already know me well enough that I don't have to worry about what I might "seem" to be. (They already know for a fact that I'm vain and shallow, so it's all good.)

The thing is, though, I do pay a lot of attention to my personal style and fashion choices, but I don't only pay attention for myself. For those of you who don't know, I'm a high school teacher at a private Christian school I refer to, on my blog, as Christian School (creative, I know). Christian School, like many other religious schools, has a dress code. Now, the students would say we have a STRICT dress code, but I actually don't think it's all that strict. I think the bigger issue is that too many other places are too LENIENT. Here are some of the rules for girls at our school:

All shirts must have sleeves (no tank tops, etc.).
Jeans must be neat, no holes or rips, and of appropriate fit.
Skirts or shorts must be no shorter than six inches above the knee when measured from a kneeling position.
No low-cut tops or shirts with cut-out backs.
Underwear should not be visible at any time, even when stretching or reaching.

Personally, I think these are reasonable rules for the most part. But the girls at Christian School consistently try to break them. They complain that they want to look "cute" or "fashionable," and our rules just don't allow that. They have to dress like "prudes," or wear "boring" and "plain" stuff just to fit the dress code. It's "lame" and they "hate" it.


It's completely possible to dress fashionably AND modestly. No one needs to look like a skank in the name of fashion. In fact, if you ask me (and many others I know), less modesty just looks less classy. I don't know about where you live, especially if you live in a different country, but in my little corner of America (and most of the rest of America, from what I can see), too many girls and young women don't know how to dress with fashionable modesty. So I try to be an example.

I make a concerted effort to dress in such a way that the girls I teach at Christian School will look at my outfits each day and say, "Wow, Miss David - your outfit is so cute!" or "I love your shoes, Miss David!" or "Your dress is so awesome, Miss David!" When I get these kinds of comments (and I do pretty often), I am THRILLED, and yes, a part of my excitement comes from enjoying being complimented - what woman doesn't like compliments on her appearance? But the bigger reason I feel so happy when students say these things is because it means my plan is working, whether the girls realize it or not. They are seeing a daily example of modest fashionability - a daily reminder that looking good does not have to mean looking provocative.

Some people change the world by joining the Peace Corps or marching on the nation's capital. I change the world with cute shoes and modest clothes.

*Many thanks to Jonathan Swift for the title of this blog!

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Fuzzy Cert said...

1. How do you have time to take photos of yourself of a morning? I'm lucky if I can find time to brush my hair in the mornings.

2. I kind of wish sometimes that I had a job where I COULD wear stuff that is different to work. But I have a uniform. My photos would consist of the following:
-Today I wore my light blue work shirt. My dark blue shirt is in the wash.
-I'm wearing pink socks instead of my usual grey socks, because today I'm feeling festive!

I'm a bit jealous of anyone that can wear different things to work.

Big Sis said...

Diggin' the boots!

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