09 June 2007

Dress with Joy this Swimwear Season

What will the old-fashioned lady be wearing this summer? I've researched this before, and last year I found several really cute alternative swimming suits for women, which I'll include in links, below. But before I provide the links, here's some thoughts on dressing modestly when it's hot outside.

* You don't have to be undressed to feel cooler. When the direct sun burns your exposed skin, or you have to slather on goop everywhere you go, you might begin to understand that there are other reasons not to go nearly-nude than just some loose definition of what is modest.

* Dressing modestly does not mean that you are ashamed of your body. I was disgusted to see that in the Wikipedia entry for modesty, there is discussion of extreme modesty being called "body shame." Modest means humble, in spite of knowing you do have something great. "Shame-faced", the Old KJ translation, might be better understood this way: I know I've got a beautiful body from God that makes men's brains go all gooey and women get jealous, and I'm not going to just show it off because I've got it- I would be ashamed of myself.

* Men do not just have to learn to live with partial nudity. How selfish and inconsiderate (and unladylike) is that attitude? How would you put up with selfish, uncaring men who treated you as if every trouble that they had was your own fault, and you'd better learn to deal with it, and stop crying? Remember consideration goes both ways.

I could probably go on, but it really isn't very lady-like to rant on and on, is it? Here, for your consideration, are the thoughts of others on the subject:

How To Dress Modestly In the Heat.

Use loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, preferably of a "breathable" material such as cotton. Loose-fitting (but still long) allows the air to pass through, as like many of those robes that people wear in the middle-east, but if long nevertheless provide decency. Light-colored will reduce heat absorption from the sun (in direct sunlight a black object can be more than ten degrees hotter than an otherwise similar white object). And avoid synthetic fabrics since they often don't "breathe" very well, thus trapping sweat and heat.

Long clothing that covers the legs to the ankles and the arms to the wrists is also good for avoiding skin cancers, and so in fact can actually help you stay cooler than being bare. A sun hat isn't such a bad idea, either.

As to swimming, decent swimsuits have not been around for decades (but I do seem to recall some place where replicas of antique swimwear can be purchased, if you are brave enough to go out in it), but one workaround for Catholics that I have heard of is that one wears some other long robe over the swimsuit until the very moment that one is to enter the water, and to be immediately put back on when one exits the water. This would at least reduce the likelihood of being seen in an otherwise inadequate dressing, along with trying to find at least some of the more conservative designs for swimwear (e. g. a one-piece for women that covers everything from the thighs to the shoulders instead of a bikini, or a man's swimsuit that looks like short pants instead of mere colored underwear).

These are stopgap measures, as it would probably be best to swim only in isolated areas or private pools, or else not at all, but I know there are those for whom swimming is a very major part of their life, and such options may still not be available for them. -from Allexperts.com

In an article I found called, "Keeping Cool in Modest Clothing", the author mentions the same sun protection factors, and explains that there are many styles of clothing to put on in warmer weather that are fashionable - sometimes you just have to look outside of the "traditional" styles of summer dress that you're used to.

Sensible clothing does not have to be overly baggy or frumpy. In cultures wherein modest clothing is the rule, you will notice that aside of isolated dysfunctional situations, people dress with joy. [I love that phrase - lm] It is either the joy of knowing that they are serving the god of their faith well by dressing modestly, or the more grounded joy of being well dressed. One may also note that people use dress to communicate their beliefs, family group, ethnicity, or other things about themselves. from ModernTraditional.com

If you please, also read the article from Lady Lydia, at Ladies Against Feminism, on Outdoor Dress, who ends her article thus: "Summer may be here in your part of the world, but please use it as a reason to dress like a summer's day, with fabrics and styles that compliment the Creation and glorify the One who made you women!"

What if I want to swim? Well, here are those promised links, if you'd like to shop online for some modest swimwear. (I'm using category descriptions from "modestclothes.com/modest-swimsuits... " - please read through Dara's ModestClothes.com if you get the chance)

- "Kind of Modest" - "includes skirted swimsuits, tankinis, modest panel swimsuits, and the like; also includes swimsuits that are skin-tight, but cover more than the usual amount of skin, like suits with short sleeves, long sleeves, longer legs, and higher necklines" [these are the clothes that look the most like the indecent swimwear out there, so men, be warned before clicking to browse these photos -lm]

- "More Modest" - "These styles of swimwear were designed by modest dressing women and teens for their religious-dressing needs. The styles are more modest than what can be found in mainstream stores."

- "Very Modest" - "I believe Muslims sell the most modest swimwear available today. It’s modest by coverage and by fit, meaning not only does it cover most of the skin, but it’s as loose-cut as possible while still being safe." [Even if you are not practicing full covering (hijab), you should check out the joyful expressions on these ladies' faces. It doesn't seem to really be a burden to keep their private parts hidden from the public eye. - lm]

Now, if you're going to say: "If I go out dressed like an Eskimo in the summer, then I will stand out in a crowd, and how is that modest??" then you haven't been reading. We're talking about dressing with joy this summer - with no fear: of looking like a tramp instead of a lady, of falling out of your swimsuit, of getting really bad burns or skin cancer, of being thought of as less than modest, of being underdressed for a nice occasion. In the end, you have to dress according to what you understand is best for you.

Did I mention that I really like the salwar kameez suits?

photo of woman on beach found online at DRENK Health Center
painting of woman reading in the shade from AllPosters
photo of Hawaiian beautiful people from Aloha Funwear
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