Finding Modest Clothes for Hard-to-Fit Teens and Tweens + my Compendium of Modesty Chat

At this week, we continue the conversation about modesty by getting into the ugly part: How exactly do you find modest clothes for kids who were never that easy to shop for anyway?  My big three tips, summarized:Consider size a starting point, not a constraint. Shop everywhere anyone sells clothes, and then some. Don't be afraid to wield a safety pin in due season.I flesh it out and give you a little pep talk, including a bit about how to avoid mortifying your … [Read more...]

#Synod14 – Prostitute Nation and a Jar of Perfume

If you want to understand the clerical food fight portion of this month's Synod on the Family, what you need to know about is sexting.Not the Catholic kind, the other kind.Your must-read article for this month is The Atlantic's feature Why Kids Sext.  It's long, and you should read the whole thing.Points to ponder as you do so:Louisa County is normal America.  There's nothing "different" that explains why there was suddenly a website full of students' naked images running on I … [Read more...]

Women Demystified: To Love Her is to Tell Her How Beautiful She Is

My daughter is in middle school, and I enjoy going clothes shopping with her.  How did such a thing ever come to pass?  That's what I'm writing about this month at's clarify before you click:There is nothing you can do as a parent to take away your child's free will. Therefore, you can do everything "right" and still have a kid who's a nightmare to shop with, and who fights with you tooth and nail over your terrible, no-good, very bad judgment on appropriate c … [Read more...]

What Should Catechists Wear When They Teach?

Over at Amazing Catechists today, I argue that what we teachers wear to class matters.  As always, it's not a fashion talk: No one looks to me for wardrobe advice, except maybe if they’re required to do a character sketch of frumpy middle-aged absent-minded housewives.  But even I know that what we wear when we teach matters.  If someone like me gives serious thought to clothing before I teach, that means it must be important. First thing is making sure the clothes work for the job at hand … [Read more...]

Sinning Bravely: Start Like You Mean to Finish

Some time ago, my husband went to confession with a particularly thorny sin on his soul.  The kind that he wanted to avoid, and yet seemed to be utterly unable to shake.  Father used an expression that we both contemplated thereafter at long intervals: Sin bravely.Apparently it's a Lutheran thing, and I assure the scandalized reader that Father B. is neither Lutheran nor proposing that we go through life with sin as our goal.Rather, I inferred, in the battle against sin, we stay in the fi … [Read more...]

Modesty as the Language of Mutual Respect

"I just hate it when people tell me what to wear."That's the open admission of a number of women joining in the backlash against the clothing police this summer.  Between my native hard-headedness and the reports of egregious abuses committed in the name of "modesty", I'm sympathetic.  As much as we try to patiently forebear and ignore when the control freaks circle, eventually one reaches a limit.  One more comment about the evils of elbows and I'm going to stuff that 3/4 sleeve cardigan do … [Read more...]

Refresher: You Do Not Have to Choose Between Modesty and Comfort

Saw a headline this morning about a young woman daring to bare skin for health and safety.  I didn't click through, but the photo suggested this was not some horrid case of misogynist cult oppression in a tropical dictatorship.  More along the lines of: My very typical American school dress code impinges.I will not claim that you can dress modestly and still be fashionable.  When the fashion is to maximize sex-appeal, you can't demure on sex-appeal and still accomplish what the fashion de … [Read more...]