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Beauty & Fashion

Dressing Modestly for Winter Formal!

When I was in high school I always looked forward to the formal and semi-formal dances my school held. Now that Winter Formal is approaching, I thought I’d talk about picking a beautiful dress that isn’t too revealing. I love this post about dressing modestly daily, so I wanted to share some of my tips for dressing modestly in a formal situation.

There are lots of websites that cater to Christian girls who need modest formal wear, but if you’re like me, you’ll want to try on your dress before buying it and will want to have it in time for any necessary tailoring. I’m short and often need floor-length dresses hemmed, which requires extra planning.

For my formal events I’d  go to local dress shops and department stores such as Sears, JC Penney, and Filene’s (now absorbed by Macy’s). I often looked for vintage inspired pieces, which tend to be less revealing than newer styles. I find this true of vintage dress in both formal and everyday situations.

Tips for acing the modesty look:

  • Always try on anything that looks like it could fall lower than it looks on the hanger.
  • Look out for necklines that slip down and low-backed dresses that can sometimes show your bra.
  • If you really like a dress and it isn’t too revealing, but has a tendency to slip, you can use double sided tape to make sure your clothing stays in place.  This is a trick that stylists often use on photo shoots.
  • For additional cover-up you can get a scarf or shawl to wear outside, but this should not substitute for a dress that covers you well on its own.

If you still can’t find an appropriate dress in a store, I found a few websites that offer modest dresses:





Let me know what formal events your school holds and what you plan to wear!

Have you ever attended a formal dance with a group of friends?

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Image: iStockphoto | monkeybusinessimages


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by Mary K8 on November 23, 2011 at 08:54

    Really cool article, but what is up with that picture? Why would someone sit like that in a dress?!

  2. Posted by on October 29, 2011 at 18:39

    Is it bad that I wear strapless dresses to dances?

    • Posted by on November 4, 2011 at 08:37

      personally, I think it all depends on how low-cut they are…I’ve seen strapless dresses that look more modest even than cap-sleeve dresses, all depending on how they’re cut!

  3. Posted by on October 26, 2011 at 17:34

    I love these dresses, its hard to find a dress that doesnt show all my cleavage.. but they are so expensive. do you know anywhere that has cheaper dresses?

    • Posted by on October 28, 2011 at 14:31

      if you’re okay with renting one, http://modestpromrentals.com/ lets you rent modest prom dresses for $39-$99. i havent looked at them, so idk if theyre actually any good, but maybe it will help

    • Posted by on October 28, 2011 at 08:21

      Beautifully Modest dresses and others like are stunningly gorgeous, but they are SUPER expensive! Definitely try sewing cap sleeves on a straight-across cut strapless dress.

  4. Posted by on October 26, 2011 at 12:23

    You can also buy undershirts &/or cami’s. Those work great if u cant find a shawl or a scarf. My friends & i do it all the time. =)

  5. Posted by on October 26, 2011 at 12:03

    That’s really cool that’s there’s websites for modest formal dresses! I liked totallymodest.com!

  6. Posted by on October 26, 2011 at 07:49

    This is great! I’m attending a winter ball, and I’m sewing a dress, but I did buy a formal dress for prom earlier this year…David’s Bridal has lots of beautiful, modest dresses, in all sizes and colors. Also, modestprom.com has a pattern for cap sleeves- pick a sheer fabric in the same color as your purchased dress, and follow the instructions to sew them on. Works great and looks so pretty!

  7. Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 19:46

    We only have Prom. I go to a very small Christian school, so we don’t have many big events.

  8. Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 16:06

    This has helped me so much with figurin out how my Valentines Dance to not be too revealing 🙂 thanks so much hun 🙂

  9. Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 15:22

    I have made beautiful and modest dresses for prom before. It is not to expensive to make a dress if you purchase a nice but affordable material such as costume satin. If you don’t know how to sew, maybe a parent, grandparent or other relative could teach you or craft stores also offer classes. It takes some planning but a formal occasion can be a great time to learn to sew.

  10. Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 05:55

    I picked out a strapless dress (that ended up not flattering me) and planned on wearing it with a little jacket. Its hard to find a good, modest, dress, but maybe someone knows of a good website or place to look! 😉

    • Posted by on October 26, 2011 at 07:51

      David’s Bridal is AWESOME! they have all kinds of dresses in every color and size, and they’re reasonably priced…you can shop their website just to see the pretty, modest styles, but finding one of their stores in your area is the best to go and try things on. They even have a clearance department for great deals! 😀

  11. Posted by on October 24, 2011 at 22:10

    Love it. Well,there is prom,but I don’t plan on going.

  12. Posted by on October 24, 2011 at 15:06

    Thanks my school has a lot of dances and it is sometimes hard to not find something modest yet pretty. Thanks!! 🙂

  13. Posted by on October 24, 2011 at 13:31

    Winter Dance and the new years Dance

  14. Posted by on October 24, 2011 at 13:23

    Jamie, you give great fashion advice! Ever consider becoming a celebrity clothes designer or make-up artist? 😀

    • Posted by on October 25, 2011 at 18:43

      she is a makeup artist! haha