• Mater

(Part III) Dressing Like Our Lady: the What, Why, and How

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

A couple of years back, I was asking for St. Rita's intercession (she has never failed me!) at a statue of her in a church of her patronage. I asked her a simple question: how can I prepare to be a holy wife? When I was done praying, I looked up, and a single pamphlet was sitting there in front of her statue. I took it. I read it. It was called "The Marylike Standards for Modesty in Dress," and, not only was it the answer to my question to St. Rita, but it changed everything for me.


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We've gone over the Church's rules for modesty, and I've shared with you the amazing benefits I experienced from adopting them. Now, I want to share with you how I implemented this dress code. It can be done!


So, I'll admit, when I was single and newly married (not to mention a few pounds lighter!), this was pretty easy. I wore lots of high-waisted, tea-length skirts and three-quarter-length tops tucked in. Generally, I kept my skirts in bright colors or patterns and my shirts in solid colors. In the summer, I did use some sleeveless shirts I had already purchased and put cardigans over them. In the winter, I could use almost all of my sweaters.


However, once I got pregnant, things changed. Those high-waisted skirts had to go in a box within a few weeks because I was so bloated. And it took months before I was able to wear them again postpartum. Depending on how far apart your kids are spaced, that is not a lot of time in those clothes! So, I had to get a little more creative. I needed clothes that...

  • met all of the Marian standards

  • were versatile (i.e., worked for daily mass and gardening)

  • were forgiving of a postpartum tummy

  • grew with me during pregnancy

  • looked flattering (and not "baggy" in between pregnancies)

  • budget-friendly

  • nursing friendly

Yeah, this was a tall order. Yikes. But, I figured if this is what Our Lady wanted of me, she would provide the clothes that I needed. She definitely answered that prayer!


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Skirts


The Beachcoco Women's Maternity Maxi Skirt is my all-time favorite. I ordered it in several different colors. It does not look like a maternity skirt when you aren't pregnant, but it grows with you all through pregnancy.



I did have a couple of other skirts, but I did not have any that lasted me all through pregnancy like this one did. I don't want to recommend something I don't 100% love the way I love this one!


Tops


The Croft & Barrow Classic Crewneck Tee is my go-to weekday top because of it's versatility. I ordered it a size up so it will fit during pregnancy, and it still looks flattering and not boxy. Since it's a great price, I ordered several, both solids and patterns, based on the color skirts I have. In the winter, I pair it with a vest to dress it up a little. I'm set for daily Mass, homeschooling, and even a walk in the garden/pasture.


A few shirts like this Long Sleeve Half Button-Down Shirt are good to have, too. They are cute and casual, but also good cuts to wear with the maxi skirts.


This blouse is my favorite fancy top. Something like this is great for Sunday Mass, and it still looks really good with the black maxi skirt and flats. The style of this is not only modest, but it's flattering for when you're larger on top. Again, ordering a size up still looked good with this cut and made it a great maternity option.


I should mention that if I'm doing really dirty work outside, a thrift-store flannel or button down does the trick. I hope to buy another gray maxi skirt to devote to outdoor chores so that I don't have to worry about stains.


Dresses


Dresses present a certain challenge to nursing women. I've found a great alternative to expensive nursing dresses is to find dresses that button up to the top, which happen to be really trendy right now. The Sweet Mommy Maternity and Nursing Long Sleeve Dress is my favorite. It is a bit pricier since it's maternity, but it looks great pregnant or not and is a breeze to nurse in! Plus, it looks great in all seasons, which makes it worth the price. I can wear it with heels to a wedding and to visit friends with boots. Versatility is always worth the money to me! (Again, make sure this hits low enough on your leg for you).



Swim and Active Wear


Something like this Snoga Workout Athleisure Skirt is a great idea for exercising or vigorous walks, just make sure it goes past your knees. (The actual one linked might not; there is a "midi" option from this same company. Just click on the link, and it should pop up as "related".) I am currently using exercise leggings under my maxi skirt, but I am saving up for one of these. The shirt the model is wearing is great too, but you can find that style for a better price elsewhere.


Another challenge is swimwear. I suspect you could use active wear for swimming, too. However, I thought this swim skirt paired with this Ella Mae Swim Shirt was too great not to mention. Although, you would have to make sure the top was not too tight based on your body type. Hopefully you could just order up. The next time we go to the beach or pool, I would really love to buy these. It's a great way to be nursing accessible, too!


Alright, so this is basically what my wardrobe looks like. I would love to know what yours looks like and how you implement the Marian dresscode while still looking cute and stylish. Of course, if you have fewer limitations than I do (i.e., you don't have to account for pregnancy or nursing) or you have a larger budget, you have almost endless possibilities!




 

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