Tag Archives: modesty

Wearing old clothes

This video reminded me of some anecdotes, which I have jotted after the video.

  1. I briefly competed in carriage driving, at pleasure shows that took place on historical properties around New York and Connecticut. The appropriate clothing for this activity included: boots, stockings, long skirt, long sleeved blouse, driving apron (a sort of heavy fabric apron tied over your clothing to protect it from the dirt kicked up by the horses), leather gloves, and a large straw hat. One of the first things I noticed was that I didn’t need any sunscreen or bug repellent. In fact, I felt surprisingly comfortable, despite the summer heat. I had my own private shade pod!
  2. My mother remembers that she began making all her own clothes when she was a young teen, and that in high school she had 3 skirts that lasted the whole four years. She hemmed them liberally so that the hem could be raised or lowered each year to match the current trends. As Abby Cox mentions in the video above, there’s something special about using clothing you make yourself. It fits you, you can adjust it to your changing body shape, and you decide what you want to wear.
  3. Abby Cox also mentions the bodily privacy that the full clothing of the past or in some other cultures offers, particularly to women. She mentions how modern clothing is usually so tight fitting and small that every detail of a person’s physique is on display. I thought that was a very interesting perspective. It brought to mind the one time I tried on a burqa that an acquaintance had brought back from a trip to Bahrain. It was immensely cozy. The sense of privacy was truly refreshing. I only tried it on, but that brief experience was enough to make me aware of the existence of that sense of privacy, which I only otherwise experienced if wearing a costume of some kind.

God willing I will begin making my own dresses this year. I’ve ordered my first two patterns and am buying fabric…. I am confident in my hand sewing skills after spending a year embroidering and making clothing for saint’s statues. News to follow!