Where's My Line?

We were a split family for a while Saturday afternoon when faced with a conflict of interests. Scott and Annelise wanted to go to Fry's (an electronics store) that was having some sort of party (a hot dog and a coke for .25) and I wanted to go to Hobby Lobby for scrapbook supplies.

For some reason I couldn't persuade them to join me.

It worked out nicely though because Annelise bought Scott lunch with her own money and they had fun browsing all things electronic and I could wander freely through craft supplies. After choosing a few papers (hey, I'm finally starting on 2008!) I made my way over to the fabric section (cue hallelujah chorus). I flipped through the pattern books hoping to find cute, yet extremely simple patterns to make summer dresses for Annelise. After much hemming and hawing I finally settled on this simple yet versatile McCall's pattern. Then I stood beside the pattern cabinets a while longer having a debate inside my head that sounded something like this:

"Well, this looks easy enough and I can make dresses and shirts and capris from this one pattern, it's a cute style but what about the neckline? Is it too revealing? It would certainly be cool and comfy for the summer but should she wear a t-shirt underneath? But our summers are so HOT! Should I not even attempt to make this style in the first place? But it's soooo cuuuute!!"
Needless to say simple and cute won my internal diatribe and I bought the pattern and fabric for two dresses. But I felt a little guilty. Am I breaking my own modesty clause? I don't know.

I don't want Annelise to wear clothes that are too mature for her or too revealing--even though there is nothing to reveal yet. I'd like her to wear knee length shorts, skirts and dresses knee length or longer, tankini swimsuits, sleeveless is okay but not too tank-toppy and no spaghetti straps. I hope that if we stress modesty now it will be (fingers crossed) a little easier later.

I say that, I think that and then I go and fall for this pattern and plan to make cute dresses out if it.

Maybe my own line of modesty is a bit blurry after all. Or maybe I'm a hypocrite. I don't know.

So I wonder, where do you draw the modesty line for your daughters in the summer when it's scorching HOT and humid? Is your modesty line set in stone or is it, er, ...a little more fluid like mine?


  1. Hi Holly! This is my first time to comment. I found your blog a few months ago through Anna at Sincerely Anna, and I love it!

    I have to say I'm with you on the modesty thing. I agree - if we start now, hopefully we can avoid some arguements later. My daughter will be 10 this summer and it's something we struggle with all the time (with society in general - not between her and me). Let me just say all of her friends were wearing skimpy little bikinis by about age 6!

    Our modesty line is pretty firm, but a little bit fluid. In past years, we've had a hard time finding shorts that would do more than barely cover her underwear! Thank goodness longer shorts are coming back in style. We do tank tops, but they have to fit WELL - meaning, no gaps and no sagging front or sides - but not too tightly, of course. AND, you have to make sure the fabric isn't too thin. It's a balancing act, isn't it? She's only ever had one with spaghetti straps, and it came up pretty high all around the front and sides. Usually with tanks, we layer ones that are made slightly different from each other so that there's a little bit more coverage.

    The McCall's pattern is adorable! Maybe you could put a sleeveless t-shirt under it? Or a semi-tank that has wider straps on top (I don't know what those are really called)? We are in West Texas, so we don't have the humidity, but boy we sure can relate with the HEAT!

    And....just for a little encouragement....I've tried the last 2 summers to get my daughter to wear a tankini, and she won't do it! One-pieces ONLY for her! :) So hang in there, sister, you're on the right path!

    (Sorry for the mini-novel on my first post! Guess I've been saving it all up for now. :))

  2. I'm with you on the modesty too. Luci recently did a gymnastics routine at her school talent show and without my input decided to wear pants over her leotard so she wasn't showing her behind to the whole school. That made me proud and I thought I must be doing something right for her to decide that on her own!
    I do allow her to wear 2 piece bathing suits and tanks on occasion but encourage her to make good choices about her body. I am very glad that at 9 she will still wear smocked dresses and shirts with higher necklines, etc. Now that she will be starting middle school I guess my goal is to get her to make the appropriate choices on her own with some guidance from me so that dressing modestly will be what she prefers.

  3. I have noticed too that by starting young, the choice to be modest becomes their own by the time they are old enough to make it.

    here is some good peer pressure….my daughter had some friends spend the night. they all wanted to go to pool, but did not all bring swim suits. they got by w/ board shorts and swim shirts. one girl who did bring her suit said she did not want her belly to show and was there another swim shirt! yay! it can still be tough, but hang in there!

    and for us the rules for at home in the back yard are different for the rules for going out

  4. You're on the right track. My girls have heard the modesty speech many times and for the most part know what is acceptable. They usually choose to wear things with more coverage with little input from me. In fact, they have been known to point out what they think is inappropriate clothing on me! Allowing for heat considerations can make it a little difficult, but it seems that kids are less bothered by heat than us adults anyway, so layering is usually not a problem. ;)

  5. Thank you all for your input and advice about the modesty line. It's encouraging to know that when they are older they will make their own decisions based on what is impressed upon them now--and that they will make good choices (hopefully!).

    I guess, like in everything, balance, consistency and example are key.


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