Monday, May 02, 2005

Modest Fashion Show

Posted by Hello

'Modest is Hottest'

For Aubry Bjarnson, 18, a senior at Beyer High, shopping at the mall is "an absolute nightmare."

Wait a second. A teenage girl who hates to shop? As outlandish as that seems, it is true.

The problem for Aubry is that the fashions are too revealing and too tight, using too little yardage and too-thin fabrics.

"I want to wear modest clothes. That's it! No ifs, ands or buts," she said. When I step out of my house, I want to feel good about myself."

But most of the latest fashions make Aubrey feel overexposed, and she isn't the only one. Dozens of teenage girls in Stanislaus County are uncomfortable with today's revealing fashions. To help them find alternatives, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put on a "Modest is the Hottest" fashion show last week.

The show offered ideas for dressing more modestly, such as adding sleeves and cover-ups or jackets and camisoles.

For casual wear, they encouraged knee-length shorts, longer flared skirts and clothes that reveal less skin.

The event was well attended by mothers and daughters. Even some fathers and sons were there to support the event.

Carolyn Eustice, 17, a junior at Beyer High, said, "The show was incredibly beneficial. The show helped modesty become the new 'in.' It was able to emphasize that the way a young woman dresses reflects who they are. I think the show helped girls realize there are so many ways you can dress modestly. There is hope!"

For Vanessa Hawkins, a senior at Davis High, the show proved that modesty and fashion can go hand in hand. "Some of the clothes modeled were from American Eagle and Gap," she said. "Girls can dress modestly and still be up to date with today's fashions."

Several different types of clothing were modeled in the show. For example in the "Pretty in Pink" and "Having Fun in the Sun" categories, models wore capris that fit comfortably above the waist and shirts that covered the stomach.

The layered look was promoted as being "cool for school." For example, wearing spaghetti straps under a shirt that scoops too low proved to be stylish. Tank tops under open shirts were modeled as well.

In the formal dress category, Meagan Zachary, a junior at Oakdale High, wore a red spaghetti strap dress with a little black jacket covering her shoulders for her school's winter homecoming. For fall homecoming, Meagan bought a strapless dress. She sewed straps onto the dress. After the straps were complete, she added sleeves.

Girls also modeled dresses in which they simply hand-sewed the sleeves. By matching the fabrics at a local fabric store, girls were able to put sleeves on formal dresses.

Older women also modeled clothes for church, work and home. For example, pantsuits were shown for a more professional look.

To further drive home the event's theme, the fashion show included the screening of a video that featured several young men, ranging from 14 to 18 years old, talking about girls who dress modestly. The young men said they would rather date a girl who dresses classy, elegant and in a way that shows they respect themselves.

Dressing modestly, they said, gives a good impression about the girl. Dressing modestly also avoids distractions that these young men would gladly avoid.

According to Amber Nichols, a junior at Riverbank High, modest clothes are "way cuter than clothes that barely cover you up. Sometimes people think that dressing modestly means covering every inch of your body, and that's not true. There are so many cute knee skirts, adorable shirts with sleeves, and other fashions that are really stylish."

Jaime Brown, a junior at Beyer, said, "If you want to dress modestly you can find clothes out there that will suit your needs."

"All stores will have immodest clothing," Jaime said. "You just have to dig deep enough. Then you will find what you want. If I can find modest clothes, then anyone can!"

Jaime offered one fashion tip for girls attempting to dress modestly: "If you have a pair of pants that are too low, just go to Wal-Mart and buy the extra-long tank top undergarments. They just go under your clothes and tuck into your jeans. Voila! Problem solved."

Shannon Orr, a mother of four, said, "We want to project an image of elegance and fashion, something that says, 'I have intellect and beauty on the inside.' There is more to fashion than showing skin. I feel that our children want to dress appropriately, but feel trapped, optionless, with what's on the rack. ... There is more to a girl than being sexy."

Shelby Scoffield is a senior at Beyer High School and is a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom journalism program.

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