Again Wearing Purple

Friday, September 30, 2011
Thank you for all your comments in yesterday's post!!! It was great to read all your nice words and suggestions. It means a lot to me!! Just wanted to clarify:  although I've already "found" my style, doesn't mean I'm going to stop blogging! I'm still here! There will just be a few more people joining me. I eventually want to turn this blog into a girl-to-girl website about finding your style/fashion within your values, whatever they may be. As for the community aspect, it's going to revolve around YOU guys and YOUR suggestions instead of just ME.

So onto the outfit.... I basically already wore this. Purple gingham shirt with a blue-purpley skirt? Done. Next? Oh, a purple gingham shirt with a blue-purpley skirt? I'm so original!!! But really, I just wanted an excuse to wear gingham again...and apparently to use the word "gingham" as many times as I can in this post. (Gingham.)

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It's been a while since I've worn this sash-belt-skirt combo. It's so distinctive that I didn't want to overdo it. Obsessive much? Yes. Yes, I am. But if you have noticed a pattern, if I like something I will eat wear it until I don't anymore. So you'll be seeing this quite a few times on da blog. (And my skirt shrunk.. :(:(:(:( I'm never doing laundry again. That's a promise, Chase.)

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I'm wearing a JCPenney necklace (free), thrifted Gap shirt ($6), sash belt from another pair of pants, skirt from Korea ($10), JCPenney heels (free), and vintage brown bag ($15).

My Thoughts, Your Thoughts

Thursday, September 29, 2011
So there have been quite a few changes around Clothed Much lately if you've noticed.. If not that's cool. Carry on! I've added Kari and Melissa to the blog; I've added more blog crushes; I've added more guest bloggers; I've had posts up M-F two times a day. There are two reasons behind these recent changes that kind of go together so maybe it's just one reason...

I'm burnt out, not from the blog but from everything. It's mostly due to stress. I need a vacation!!! So I've been trying to step away from the blog without physically stepping away from the blog. I've just been bringing more and more people into it, which you guys didn't seem to like. And it makes me sad. I know I'm not going to make my husband take pictures of my outfits forever and that I will probably stop one day (Nooo!!!!) but I also didn't want to just stop blogging forever and wanted to transform Clothed Much into more of a modest fashion community blog than a blog about MEMEME. (Hello, run-on!) In order to achieve this modest fashion community blog, I need more authors than one; otherwise it's not a community! My plan is to have modest fashion bloggers contributing to the site from one girl to another -- no experts, no professional style tips, but what we've all learned through trial-and-error and bring it all to the table. It's not going to turn into a magazine but where we can talk to each other about clothes, style, our different ideas of modesty and how we incorporate it and apply it in our lives.

This may mean less of me on CM. I started this blog when I didn't have a sense of style and now two years later, I've come to the point where I'm happy with my style and fashion sense. I've come such a long way and I don't think I need this blog any more and I think others would benefit from it more than me at this point. If you'd like to join me (and these nameless future authors) on this journey, I'd love to have you stick around and add in your two cents. If it's not of interest to you, I'm sorry to see you go! This is something I've been thinking about and working towards for a while now so it's not out of impulse or boredom on my part.

If you guys have any thoughts or suggestions on this, I'd love to read them.

E

Color Yourself Black and Red

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
This church outfit was inspired by Emersonmade. I loved the red and black together. I'll probably try it again with a black turtleneck in the winter when it dips down to 50 (jealous?!?). And doesn't this skirt remind you of Joan from Mad Men? I feel sexy whenever I wear this, which is probably why I don't wear it very often. Sexy is not one of my adjectives.. Cute little Asian? Yes. I do the "little Asian" very well!!

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I don't know about you but I'm getting sick of wearing this hairstyle all. the. time!! I need some new ideas. If you need me, I'll be pinning.... In the mean time, tell me YOUR favorite hairstyles! Go!

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I'm wearing a JCPenney necklace (free), thrifted Forever 21 top ($5), vintage skirt ($6), and JCPenney pumps (free).

Max Out Your Wardrobe by Melissa

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So in my very first blog post on Clothed Much, Elaine mentioned that I have a tiny closet with a matching tiny wardrobe. She is right - I do. Don’t worry.. I brought pictures for proof.


Believe me now? Yes, this mess is my closet. I know - it looks so not clean and organized so let me break it down for you....

By the way, that is my Gracie. She is our “little” (60 lbs.) Shar-pei mix. She doesn’t like flashing cameras……

So how do I maximize my tiny wardrobe? First things first. If I can’t visualize it in my closet I pull it out!

 Recognize the outfit?

I love styling outfits on my bed. I pull out a variety of things (even some things I don’t think would ever work together) and start playing match-up.

Second, I do my research. I’m always keeping an eye out for great color combinations. They don’t always have to be in clothing either.


I love looking at flower arrangements, pictures/paintings and interior designs magazines. Everything that has pleasing aesthetics and an awesome palette has the potential of being modified into an outfit.

Third, if I don’t love it, I alter it. I am one of those that hold onto clothes. When I finally get around to cleaning out my closet, I have started making three piles:  1. Thrift; 2. Garbage (no one would ever want this!); 3. Rework. I’ve started to reinvent new ways of wearing those unworn clothes that sit in the back of the closet or snip them up a little bit. 

Fourth, careful shopping. I have become a careful shopper. Ever have the feeling when you go shopping and you aren’t finding anything so in an act of frustration  you’ll buy something you totally don’t need just to come home with something? It is just me? Well, I’ve started to break that habit down! I’ve started buying things only if I LOVE them and can think of at least three ways they would totally contribute to my closet. Even shifting your style you can still incorporate things without maxing out your checking account buying a whole new wardrobe.

Fifth, share and swap. Even being creative sometimes clothes just wear out their welcome in your closet. That doesn’t mean they would be a happy addition to a friend's closet! My sister is always asking me for clothes I don’t wear anymore and guess what? She wears them totally differently than I do…..almost makes me want them back….


So I totally got this striped shirt from a clothing swap put on by Elaine (I think it was totally from her closet too!). I enjoyed it for a few months and then handed it over to a friend of mine. See? Sharing is caring. J

So what do you do to maximize YOUR wardrobe?

Street/Friend/Co-Worker/Beso Style

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This is my friend, co-worker (Beso editor), and ping pong buddy Diana. (Yes, the same one who took these pics!) She is always looking super fly at work and I've been meaning to take pics of her outfits! Finally got around to it. Don't worry... There will be more a-comin'...

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I'm pretty sure I have similar pieces in my closet.. Totally stealing this for my next outfit inspiration!! Diana is wearing an H&M top she got at an outlet for $7 (!!!!), Zara pants, and River Island shoes from London.

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This pretty girl just started an online boutique!!! I'm SO proud of her. She worked so hard on it. If you love what you see here, you're going to love her clothes at Modest Mob. I bought the tribal print blazer and I'm waiting for the right inspiration to come to me...AKA waiting for Diana to wear it so I can steal inspiration from her again. Ha! If you want to see more outfits from her, check out her Modest Mob pics!

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Blog Crush: What Would a Nerd Wear

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I'm so excited to share with you an ole' classic favorite fashion blogger of mine and probably yours. (Wow, that was a mouthful!!) I've been following What Would a Nerd Wear since... I don't even remember! But long enough to see her style evolve and we've corresponded here and there (even traded some clothes!) that I already feel like we're friends. Isn't that what blogging is about?? So if you don't know what a nerd wears, follow Tania!


What is one word that describes you and why?
Well, obviously "nerd" is the descriptor I think is pretty apt, and one that I see as a positive attribute. I've always loved to read; the first day of school feels a little like Christmas; and I love nothing better than a fresh notebook and a front-row seat in a lecture hall. Now I'm a professional nerd (grad student) which is a treat.

What do you love most about yourself and why?
I like my brain and I'm always trying to help it grow bigger.

What is your favorite recipe that never fails you?
This isn't my favorite recipe, but it's my go-to recipe: frittatta. It takes ten minutes, you can throw any leftover vegetable from the fridge into it and it puffs up all beautiful and golden, making you feel like you've made a fancy meal.

What is your favorite outfit you've worn on the blog so far and why? See below.
It's hard to say but I really loved my recent first day of school outfit--it was simple and classic and I think I could look back in ten years and still think it was a great outfit, which is a quality I try to strive for in putting together outfits. I also really love how blogging has made me a bit more experimental with color, so the pink and yellow ensemble I wore this summer reminded me of how far I've come from my days of white, navy, and gray.

first day of school
lookbook

What is the biggest wardrobe splurge that you've made? Was it worth it? See below.
I bought an EmersonMade dress when I passed my PhD qualifying exams with honors. It was by far the biggest splurge I've ever made, and I swore to myself I'd wear the dress into the ground. So far it's been worth it--I've worn it over a dozen times this summer (not always on the blog, because I fear people get sick of repeats, even though that is how you make a small wardrobe go further...but that's a story for a different day!) and I truly feel beautiful wearing it. I've been trying to put the "quality over quantity" aphorism into practice as often as I can, and the EmersonMade dress is proof that it's a better way to organize your closet. I'm always reaching for it, and I can see myself wearing it for years.

repeat after me

The Mom Sweater

Monday, September 26, 2011
I thrifted this sweater the same day I got my gingham shirt and I officially feel like a grown woman. Let me explain... My mom has TONS of these sweaters in all different colors. I always thought the day I owned one of these thin sweaters was the day I will become my mother. I'm still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or bad thing because she drives me up the wall!!! But I love that crazy lady. P.S. I am also crazy.

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To avoid looking like my mom, I paired boyfriend jeans with the mom sweater, added some glitz and glam (the necklace, duh!), and a pop of color (the belt..). The oxfords remind those around me that I have a grown-up job. This is my version of a mom outfit! What types of clothes remind you of your mom? Leave a link if you've styled and worn it recently!

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I'm wearing H&M sunglasses ($1), JCPenney necklace (free), thrifted Ann Taylor sweater ($6), secondhand Calvin Klein belt ($3), Gap Outlet jeans ($26), Ros Hommerson oxfords ($26), and vintage brown bag ($15).

Mr. Frump

Friday, September 23, 2011
I know I look like a fump-a-lump. It was a long day, okay! ..and I may have eaten one too many burritos. But I liked the color scheme of my outfit:  pink, red, yellow, and teal! I just went for all the colors in the rainbow. It's easier for me to incorporate different colors into my outfit than similar colors. That way you don't really have to try to match anything as long as they're all different colors. Now if only I had done my hair and ironed my jeans...because that's not weird at all..

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I'm wearing H&M sunnies ($1), J.Crew Outlet shirt (gift), secondhand Calvin Klein belt ($3), thrifted and skinnied Forever 21 ($6), and thrifted teal wedges ($10).

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Thanks to my Diana friend for taking these pics!

Five Items That Will Keep You Cool This Summer

Friday, September 23, 2011
It's still summer here in L.A....like all year round so I'm still thinking about how to stay cool and not melt. Check out the five items I think every woman should have in their closet here! Including me! I'll give you a hint on one of the items.....which is a total DUH!



See the rest of the items at How Does She.

Genres by Melissa

Thursday, September 22, 2011
So sometimes I like to loosely base my outfit on generes like cowboys, indians, ninjas, ballernias, princesses, the 20s.... Or movie characters, I recently saw Thor and was loving the nerdy/trendy outfit worn by Natalie Portman's character Jane. And! I would totally dress like the little girl in Toy Story 3....I secretly love tutus and rainboots. So this is totally one of my genre outfit days. The day started off with "Cowboy Take Me Away" from the dixie chicks and ended in this outfit: Cowboy meets ballerina.


I even found a similar skirt and scarf for all my ruffle and tulle lovers to check out!

Outfit: skirt: H&M, Boots: Aldo, Scarf: Boutique in Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco

So do you genre dress? What's are some of your favorite themes?

Let's talk rings and fingers..

Thursday, September 22, 2011
So my mom and I were having a little discussion about wedding rings (and which was which) and ring fingers. I always understood the bigger ring was the engagement ring and then there was the wedding band. But my mom (she's Korean BTW) said the band was the engagement ring and the bigger ring was the wedding ring. I've never heard of such a thing!!! So...who's right? It's me, right?!?

And then there's placement.. I always thought you wore the engagement ring (bigger ring) on top of the wedding band on your left ring finger.



But my mom wears her rings like this:  with the bigger ring on the left ring finger and the band on the right. So I tried it. And it's not that bad. When I'm feeling especially wild that day, I'll do it just to switch things up. (Can you tell how exciting my life is?)


But then I also remember having a coworker from South America who wears BOTH rings on her right ring finger!!!


Thoughts?!? I'm so confused right now. :(:(

LBD

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Chase and I were late for church (Wow, that's like the umpteenth time. We're total sinners, I know.) again so I needed something fast and NOW. An LBD always works! and pearls! and red lips! and a bun! I think that's why I don't wear this LBD more often...because you really don't need a lot for it to work and that's so simple for me it's too hard, okay!! I know you guys are rolling your eyes at me... Stop it!

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I'm wearing a Calvin Klein dress ($22), faux pearl necklaces ($5, $.75), and JCPenney pumps (free).

Free shoes aren't always the best

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Remember these pumps?? Well, they're already falling apart. :(:(:(:(:(:( It's probably my fault but probably not as they are made of synthetic upper, whatever that means.. The seams are ripping apart and this was just after two weeks!! I was going to return them after I complained/whined/cried to Melissa about it but then I couldn't find the receipt!!! :(:(:(:(:( (Now see why there are so many sad faces in this post??) But my husband came to the rescue and he super glued it for me. STILL. It sucks.


You know what else??? It is all scuffed up and there are dents and scratches all over it. Okay... That may be my fault.....FROM WALKING?!? AND!!! The heel tips just popped right off one day while I was walking down the stairs. Seriously, DO NOT BUY THESE unless you like burning money. I think it would be more fun to burn money than to buy these pumps.

Rant. over.

So...does anyone have any tips for the scuffs and scratches?? :(

At the Ankles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I think this is my favorite outfit in a while. I love the green, yellow, pink, and brown! They're kind of similar but still unexpected, which is why I like it. I ended up changing into boyfriend jeans and bracelets later for date night. I wish I took a pic of it because I looked sooo cute!! I'll wear it again later just for you guys.

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Don't know if you can tell but I cuffed these jeans on the inside just a little bit so I can show off my cankles ankle straps. I think I like it!! I might have to hem them a few inches this weekend. What do you guys think? Are you a fan of cropped ankle pants?? What if you're a shorty? (like me?)

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I'm wearing a refashioned JCPenney necklace (free), Target tunic ($16), thrifted and skinnied Forever 21 jeans ($6), Target clogs (gift), and vintage bag ($15).

Blog Crush: the other emily

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I first found out about the other emily when she was featured on Tania's blog and have been in love with her style ever since! And I love that she's an architect. (Chase is studying architecture right now!!) Read on to learn more about her! And follow her blog!


What is one word that describes you and why?
I have to admit, I struggled with this question for a few days. I came up with a lot of ideas, but no one word seemed to fit just right. I came up with words that seemed too vague, too specific, too cliché, and then I had to laugh because the right word to describe me was so obvious – perfectionist! It has always been incredibly important to me to do things well, often to a fault; when I was really little, I used to get upset that my drawings never turned out as good as I’d imagined them! Even as an adult, I am always my own toughest critic and I will work on something for ages just to get it right. (Just ask Elaine how long it took me to send her this interview! Actually, on second thought, don’t.)


What do you love most about yourself and why?
My desire to make things! I particularly love printmaking, sewing, and baking, but I’ve also built furniture, made stained glass windows, and even learned how to weld steel. I’m always game to learn a new craft or skill, and I loved spending hours building models in architecture school. Making things has become a deeply essential part of who I am – whenever I feel overwhelmed or like I’ve lost my way, I know I need to just take an evening and make something, and I’ll feel so much more like myself.


What is your favorite recipe that never fails you?
As far as food goes, lately I’ve been making homemade pizza as often as I can! It’s easy, infinitely variable, and goes perfectly with a big arugula salad with lots of lemon juice and a glass of red wine. I use this recipe (adapted from SmittenKitchen.com) for the crust:
  1. In a big bowl, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, and ¾ tsp. active dry yeast. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and ½ cup lukewarm water, and stir until the liquid is absorbed into a clumpy, shaggy dough.
  2. Dump the dough out on a floured countertop, and knead it for a few minutes until it is a homogenous, elastic ball. Wipe (or spritz) a light coating of olive oil onto the inside of the dirty bowl, plop your dough back in, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rise undisturbed for an hour or two. 
  3. Once it has about doubled in size, dump it back out onto the floured counter, and using the palm of your hand, gently press the air out of the dough. Fold it back onto itself into a rough ball, cover it with your plastic wrap, and let it rise again for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to its highest temperature with a pizza stone (or in my case, a foil-lined cookie sheet) inside.
  4. Prep your toppings. Once everything is ready, gently roll or stretch your dough out to its desired shape and thickness – I like to pull mine into a huge, super-thin rectangle the size of my pan. Carefully transfer your dough to your hot pan or stone (don’t worry too much about little tears or wrinkles, no one will notice!) and quickly top it with whatever you like.
  5. Pop it back into your super-hot oven and cook 10-20 minutes, keeping a close eye on it, until your cheese is bubbly and your crust is lovely and golden brown. My personal favorite is to brush the crust with a little olive oil and garlic, add a sprinkling of mozzarella, and then top with very thinly sliced (uncooked) potatoes, crumbles of crunchy bacon, and chopped rosemary – heavenly!
Style-wise, my favorite outfit recipe this summer has been a thrifted silk button-down with the sleeves rolled up, dark skinny jeans, and ballet flats or brogues. Add a few favorite pieces of jewelry – a statement necklace or earrings and my favorite flea market watch – and you’re good to go. It’s probably the most frequently worn combination on my blog (and actually what I happen to be wearing today!), but it never feels tired to me.


What is your favorite outfit you've worn on the blog so far and why? See pic below.
I am terrible at picking all-time favorites, but one that I really loved recently was the striped dress and military jacket I wore for our first day of exploring Stockholm. Paired with gray tights and a pair of vintage boots, this was one of my favorite go-to outfits in graduate school, and I love it even more now as a summer look with flats – it’s comfortable and not too fussy, but the stripes and the belted jacket keep it interesting.


What is the biggest wardrobe splurge that you've made? Was it worth it?
I am definitely not a big spender when it comes to my wardrobe – most of my clothes come from thrift stores or from inexpensive retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 – but I will always spend a little more for special occasions. Last year I bought the most incredible dress from Anthropologie (for $140 - a lot for my budget!) for my graduation from my Master’s program – a navy blue strapless sundress with a tie-back and a full skirt, with the most adorable rope and flag print around the edges of the bodice and skirt. Although I don’t get a lot of excuses to wear it, I’m definitely glad I bought myself such a fun dream dress to celebrate my graduation.

The Grandma Sweater by Melissa

Monday, September 19, 2011
Okay so what I am trying to get to is the story of this sweater. Several months ago I met up with my grandma for an event and she showed up in this exact sweater. I told my fashionista grandma that she was looking pretty fabulous and I loved her sweater so much I would wear it. She took me seriously and I ended up with a late birthday present- my first piece ever from Chicos hanging in my closet. Never thought I would have Chicos in my closet in my twenties.

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I took it on as a challenge. To make it a me piece I cinched it up with this gold belt to give it a little shape. A find from the former wardrobe of my great-grandmother.


...and we are off! Still working on those action poses. So what stories do you have in your closet?

Start Wearing Purple

Friday, September 16, 2011
Seriously? I tied my shirt again?? I know. I'm so original it's awesome. I loved wearing this skirt as a...skirt and not a slip this time. It's so twirlable and it even swishes when you walk! I think I'm 8 again to be excited about things like that. But, really, I can't be the only one! What gets you excited about your clothes?

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Smirky
I'm wearing a cream 5" flower (c/o Hot Magnets), thrifted Gap shirt ($6), Panache skirt (gift from Brandilyn), Fitzwell flats ($75), and vintage bag ($15).

Belt It!

Friday, September 16, 2011
I don’t know about you, but I have a constant desire to belt everything. My dresses, my skirts, my cat… (I don’t know how that one got in there…) It’s a disease, I tell you! But thanks to this disease, I’ve figured out some new ways to belt in my life. So this is for all of you who have a chronic desire to belt, but don’t have enough belts. And isn’t that all of us? No? Just me? This is awkward.

1. Scarves


Ready for my famous scarf-belt?? Okay, it’s not famous. It’s just “famous.” Create your own scarf-belt with this tutorial! Or, forgo my scarf-belt and make a bow with your scarf!


I have this one skinny scarf that my friend gave me and I love it! I can make a double-knot and instantly creates a bow. I also like to wear it with a belt over it. I know. Your mind is boggled. Mine was too.


2. Ribbons

I discovered my mother-in-law’s secret stash of ribbons that she didn’t use anymore… It adds such a cute little detail to your outfit! You can have the bow in the front, the back, or off-center if you’re feeling wild. Or rope anyone??


3. Steal a sash/belt from one of your other clothes

I rarely wear the belt that comes with the dress, the pants, the whatever. It ends up being too matchy-matchy! I do, however, steal it for different outfits. Like this sash belt I stole from my Anthropologie pants, and wore it here to keep my skirt up. Literally.


4. Necklaces

If you have any longer necklaces, use them as belts! If they are not long enough, use a ribbon to make them longer.


5. And back to the ol’ regular belt…

For the belts that are a bit too short to wear around your hips….knot it at your waist!


And, yes… I do realize how pretty I look here, thank you!


See the original post here.

Pop Pop

Thursday, September 15, 2011
I've been wanting a gingham shirt ever since EBEW was born. But I couldn't participate then because there was a void in my closet that has now been filled nine months later when I thrifted this shirt. Now my life is complete. Linda, Liz, is it too late to participate??

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And, yes, I did pop my collar here...INTENTIONALLY. Does this mean I'm officially kicked out of the fashion blogging clique now? Was I even in this said clique?? What year is this again??

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I'm wearing a thrifted Gap shirt ($6), secondhand Calvin Klein belt ($3), vintage skirt ($6), and JCPenney pumps (free).

In the News: Modest Dressing

Thursday, September 15, 2011
These days modesty seems to be more and more recognized in the fashion world -- not just in the fashion blogging world but in the retail sector as well. Professor Reina Lewis sought to investigate this further with a research project titled "Modest Dressing: faith-based fashion and internet retail." Throughout the project, she had three objectives:
  1. To discover if the expansion and diversification through e-commerce of clothes for modest dressing is creating a new retail and style category of 'modest fashion' that has the potential to transcend specific religions and reach out to consumers across faith groups.
  2. To explore the extent to which 'modest fashion' is beginning to be recognisable as a form of dressing adopted by women from different faith communities.
  3. To evaluate the social and personal impact of modest fashion for the future development of interfaith dialogue and religious/secular community relations.
I had the pleasure of meeting with her last November and it was so great to discuss modesty on an academic level when for me I live it everyday without really thinking twice about it. If you're interested in reading about the project's main research findings, read their PDF summary here. You can also listen to the papers from the project's symposium, Mediating Modesty.

I'd love to know what you all think about this subject, whether you hold the belief to dress modestly or not.