The neverending story: The search for a nice skirt

Ever since I began on my journey back to Catholicism, my style has been changing. However, it wasn’t really until last year that I started to consider that wearing tight mini skirts might not be in keeping with the faith that I was (and am) aiming to strengthen. Now, this is all well and good but trying to find a nice skirt which is not made out of viscose or polyester and doesn’t cost the earth is quite a challenge! I have had a bit of an addiction to ASOS for quite a few years, but I am buying fewer things from there because although they do mid-length skirts (though many of their skirts and tops are eye-wateringly small…), they are often made out of materials, like viscose and polyester, which are cheap and, in the heat, extremely uncomfortable. Why bother making a skirt out of these materials? It frustrates me so much. Furthermore, I sometimes read the odd fashion magazine and see a skirt worn by a model advertised as being made out of viscose and costing well over £1,000 (it will sometimes literally say ‘Viscose skirt’. Wow, what a way to sell it to me…)! I think to myself, ‘You must be joking?’. I expect pure silk (at the very least) for that much money (not that I have £1,000 to spend on a skirt)!

Once again, I am on a quest for some nice clothes (actually, when am I not looking for nice clothes?) and I came across this site: http://www.seasaltcornwall.co.uk/ * They are having a sale right now and although the clothes are not dirt cheap (even in the sale), if you consider that they are all cotton, well made and will therefore probably last you a lot longer than something for half the price which is of inferior quality, I think it makes them worth the money (isn’t it awful that something made out of cotton is a treat nowadays?). Their style is not unlike that of Boden, but Boden have now adopted this practice of using cheap materials for their clothes and I find that their clothes are ridiculously expensive for what is essentially a high street brand. £79 for a viscose skirt? I think not.

Check out that site, ladies! I’m just off to buy myself something nice 🙂

* My family do not buy anything from China because of their one-child policy. I advise you all to do the same. I feel it is only right to avoid buying things from China as much as you can. Sometimes, it is a bit of a sacrifice because there is just nothing else to buy except for that product from China, so you just have to give it up, but you must buy with a clean conscience too! In their FAQs, they say that the clothes are manufactured in India, Sri Lanka, Turkey and China. When looking at an item of clothing, in the ‘details’ part, you can see where the item of clothing is made. So far, all the skirts I have looked at have been made in Sri Lanka or India, which is a relief. 

I can’t be 100% sure that the people who work in the factories making these clothes are treated as well as I would be happy to be treated by my employer, but I know that I have a better chance of buying clothing which has been made by people who are being paid a decent wage and are not working in dangerous conditions if I buy from a company which puts an emphasis on good quality clothing which uses fabric which is ethically sourced. These are things we have to consider!

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12 thoughts on “The neverending story: The search for a nice skirt

    • Jeans, trainers, hoodies – as far as I am concerned these are practical work wear, trousers are necessary in order to be modest on certain occasions (riding a bike, climbing etc). Logos and symbols – surely that depends on your motivation in wearing them and what they say. Make up – in tasteful moderation, enhances femininity, helping to keep roles distinct, as does jewellery. High heels – I’m with you there, they make you move your hips differently and change the way you feel about yourself, that’s a bit dangerous (in more ways than one, they are also impractical!).
      Modest Christian dress does not mean we cannot reflect our cultural backgrounds and fashions or indeed that we end up wearing impractical clothing. You’ve got to be careful that people don’t end up thinking of you as an object of ridicule.

      Fantastic blog by the way, brave and honest – you are swimming against the tide and I’m right with you.

  1. Thanks for the link but the analysis contradicts your point about make-up, so I’m not sure why you used that one?

    I think that moderation is key. I have no problem with using make-up but I use it to enhance what God gave me (well, I believe that it enhances but perhaps in 50 years people will look back and think that our fashions made us very ugly). I don’t even think that lots of make-up is immodest, I just think it’s ugly.

    I don’t think I really agree with the no logos and symbols thing but it’s true that we have a tendency to become obsessed with logos. It is possible for a Prada bag to be ugly and it being Prada does not make it less ugly! What is more, not lusting after brands goes with the principle of moderation because they tend to be very expensive.

    I think it is good to try to dress well when possible but I don’t mind saying that I enjoy wearing some nice loose trousers when I walk to pick up the paper on a Saturday morning. I am not going to become puritanical about the way I dress. I must have some ‘down time’ from what I wear to work and since Sundays are for mass, that day is usually Saturday and I think that is just fine.

    I have no issue with jeans or hoodies and, in fact, hoodies are a lifesaver on pilgrimage!

    As for high heels, I have developed a bit of a fear of them since I recently saw a woman lying on the ground in the street with a horrible, bleeding, twisted broken ankle…who was wearing heels! Moderation is key! I really really really don’t like seeing pregnant women and women carrying babies wearing heels. It’s just not safe. Having said that, I don’t think I can condemn them outright. I just don’t know of any Church teaching which could guide me to condemn the things you listed except for the reasons that I have set out and even then, they are not forbidden.

    • Of course, when it comes to mass it’s different. For mass you dress for God. My rule of thumb is I wear to mass what I would not be ashamed to wear to meet a bishop. Of course, sometimes I have to wear clothes which are not so smart because of the circumstances in which I attend mass, but my veil usually helps to redeem my outfit in those cases.

      • One should dress for God at all times, not merely at the time of divine service. We are not merely his grateful creatures approaching the Holy Table, but the very Body of Christ, a living sacrifice to God. There is no down time. God is present everywhere. If it is “very meet, right and our bounden duty” to give thanks unto God for the great benefits which we have been given, then it makes no difference how we dress in or out of church.

        We ought not to be legalistic. But wearing logos and brands is clearly idolatry to be abhorred of all Christians. Any label which says anything other than, Jesus is Lord, is a graven image.

  2. Thanks for your comment.

    Yes, you are right quite – we should dress for God at all times. I hope that I never dress immodestly but, to elaborate, I am dressing for God in the mass and respecting what I will be witnessing, which is the holy sacrifice of the mass. For that reason, I dress in a way which formally acknowledges the gravity of what I will witness. When I am outside of mass, I am not constantly witnessing the sacrifice of the mass so the pressure to dress in the same manner is not the same. Having said that, that does not mean that I can dress in a way which would be displeasing to God. God is my Father, and I must try never to displease Him, ever. However, I do not think that dressing less formally (that does not mean less modestly) is displeasing to God, if the context allows.

    As for your second point, I appreciate that you have adopted the character of some Anglican bishop for your twitter account and you have chosen to bring this character here. You are most welcome to do that if it amuses you and you don’t seek to cause trouble by doing so. I’m assuming that you know me in some way but you are going to take this character and run with it (each to this own). Nonetheless, I feel I must point out for anyone who does not appreciate all of this that what you have written is nonsense. What part of accepted and official Christian teaching (and specifically Catholic teaching, please) supports the view that anything other than “Jesus is Lord” written on a t-shirt is a graven image? Which council? Is there even anywhere in the Bible which says this? This is a good example of why we need to the teaching authority of the Church, because it alone has the power to use the Bible and the Councils etc. to guide the laity on these issues (a quick search on the internet gave me this simple website http://www.catholicmodesty.com/Popesonmodesty.html). If you do not follow the teaching of the Church, then you become an authority unto yourself and you can say anything, as you have just done. If I go by your rule, that anything that does not say “Jesus is Lord” is idolatry, then if I have written on my t-shirt, “Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat”, that is idolatry. Is that so? Because I have not followed your teaching to the letter I am guilty of idolatry according to your rules, am I not? It’s lucky that I don’t care one bit what your version of Christianity believes because, I’m sorry to say, Anglicans can make up whatever they want and call it Christianity, and as you have just demonstrated, they do!

    I will give you an example of something which I think is not only perfectly correct but is an admirable message to wear on one’s t-shirt: I have a t-shirt that I bought from an organisation called the ‘Population Research Institute’ which was founded by one (if not the first scientist) to enter China post-Mao and one of the first witnesses of the one-child policy in China. His organisation exists to counter the lie that the world is overpopulated and this is why we need artificial contraception and abortion. It is a very useful source (they have also produce short but to the point Youtube video) which I encourage you to look at:www.pop.org
    The t-shirt that I have from this organisations reads:

    “Overpopulation is just a dirty word for poverty”

    and has the institute’s website on the back. Now, this t-shirt is not an explicitly Catholic t-shirt but it supports Catholic teaching that every human being is to be cherished and that there cannot be too many people, because each person is equally important and has been crafted with God’s hands and each given a mission in life. It is not for us to decide that there are too many of God’s children on earth. Our population is a challenge to our ability to love our neighbour and to live together, ensuring that we are careful not to hoard resources and not to forget that whenever we feed and clothe the least among us, we are feeding and clothing Our Lord. We are in danger of failing this challenge unless we reject this hideous attitude towards our population, which is our greatest resource. According to your teaching, this is idolatry. Of course any Christian worth his salt will know that what you have written is nonsense, but I do not want non-Christians to be led astray.

      • The example you quoted was perfectly apt. Mr Hooker was not (alas) a bishop because Elizabeth I had a bizarre distaste for married bishops. Attesting to any truth of the faith is perfectly consonant with the profession of Jesus as Lord. You mustn’t be too legalistic. But having a brand name without a Christian message is clearly idolatry. (Whereas the examples yoy quote are clearly not.)

        There are seven ecumenical councils. The latter three confirm the teaching of the first four. Intetpreting Scripture is the proper faculty of the universal church, which as you may be aware is rather fractured at the moment. A good job that we have the testimony of the Fathers to lean on. (Unless you prefer Credo in Papam.) St Vincent defined catholicity thus,

        “That which was believed everywhere, always, and by all.”

        Many alleged Christians do believe what they like. Does not mean they are right.

  3. As for the Sacrifice of the Mass we are not merely witnesses thereof, but partakers therein (as the traditional Corpus Christi lessons make clear). When we receive communion in both kinds (as instructed) we unite ourselves to the Lord and, through him and only him, are declared worthy in the sight of God the Father.

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