This article is really special to me because it re-assures that Modesty is beyond age, race or religion. Alexa Sue-Anne Dudley is a young and bubbly Pre-Med from the States and is a hardcore Modest Fashionista !
“Modesty to me does not mean compromising on style but on the contrary means choosing style. It is an opportunity to step outside the box and challenge norms to be chic.”
Modesty according to Alexa, means choosing to conceal rather than reveal. It means dressing in a way that covers her body and suits her convictions. It means clothing herself so that she is separate from society. It is she choosing to let others focus on more important aspects of her than her body.
“I developed this understanding of Modesty when I was 17 years old. I was not always a modest fashionista, I was once a cheerleader. I wanted to dress the part of society and a young high school girl. One day in prayer with God I felt convicted and drawn to understand for myself why women in my faith dress modestly. I went at
this with a pure heart and out of curiosity. I read in scripture about how it is pleasing to God for me to conceal my body. I read the scriptures I had heard my whole life for myself with a focused effort to understand. I learned that God had guidelines for me to live my best life. I learned it is an abomination unto God to adorn myself in Men’s apparel. Yes, I have always been an Apostolic young lady and I had read these scriptures previously but it was not until that day that I truly understood. I had to decide for myself because I loved God more than anything else in the
world I was willing to please him even in how I choose to dress. It was not an immediate change but a journey to modesty. I begin to fall in love with the challenge and the opportunity it gave me to witness to others about my faith and my King Jesus. I love modest fashion and I will always love it because I love my king”, says Alexa.
When being asked if Modesty for her is religion-centric or a personal choice, Alexa explained, “Modesty is connected to my faith but it is not the sole reason I chose this lifestyle. Women in the Apostolic faith do dress conservatively wearing long skirts and long blouses but not because we are required to, but because we want to please God. It was and will always be a personal choice for me. It is about saying to God I want to please you in every aspect of my life. I want to live holy as you are holy. My body is a temple of you and I want to dress it as so. I believe I would want to dress this way regardless of my faith. If I was forced to adorn this way, it would not be freedom. If I was forced to dress this way it would defeat my purpose of choosing to be set apart.”
“EVERYDAY. Every single day I am criticized, judged and gossiped about for
dressing/advocating for modest fashion.”
Alexa spoke her heart out on criticism and ways to handle it. “I am a modest fashionista on a college campus and you would not believe the things I experience. I get that I look different but that does not make me weird. It does not equate me to being inadequate. Generally, it is because people are making false assumptions about me. I’ve been called overzealous, a prude, a crazy evangelical, interesting, loud, too religious….
“It used to get me down way more because I allowed it to. I would cry and say that’s it, I’m done blogging but God would convict me. I share my lifestyle because I love it and because when I started there were few Apostolic Modest Fashion Bloggers. Furthermore, there are so many Apostolic girls in college who face this same oppression and I need to be an example.
“When things like this happen I take a little bit to feel sad and then I pray about how to respond. The answer God gives to me is always LOVE. So that is what I try to show them. Depending on the severity of the issue I may also block the individual on Instagram. At the end of the day, I have to decide if it’s worth it to put myself out there on my blog as and it has always been yes. I believe it will always be yes because God is the reason I live and breathe each day. I want to honor him in my dress, my actions and through my speech. If I am criticized for that… so be it.”
On being asked if she promotes Modesty, Alexa exclaimed, “Oh my goodness yes! I promote Modesty every single day. I believe it is the reason I do what I
do. I want to work to break down the bad rep it gets. I advocate on Instagram, my blog, youtube and in my brand collaborations. Perhaps the simplest way and the biggest way I propagate Modesty is by walking around on my college campus dressed modestly. I stand out and it causes people to think about it. I advertise that you don’t have to compromise style to be modest. I go about it enthusiastically but I never condone others if this is not something they want to choose.”
“I like to combine casual and dressy. I like street style. I love sneakers with skirts and heels with T-shirts… It is my philosophy that you can spend less on clothes but shoes and bags are investment pieces.”
“Anywhere I go I am always looking out for modest finds but I, of course, have my go-to places. I love and adore Skirt Society at SkirtSociety.com because they don’t compromise style for coverage. They were the first brand collaboration I was offered and their label is what makes up most of my closet. I am very fortunate for the opportunity I had to work as their blog contributor and promote their clothes when I did. If anyone is looking for something modest without comprising on style this is the place to go. I also really like Sarah Lauren Company and The Modest Poppy. These are online stores focused on modesty so there is not any awkward adding of layers I have to do to wear their items. As far as brick and mortar locations, I like Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Ross, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. I get a lot of skirts from Old Navy, a lot of the basics from Ross, church/business clothes from Banana Republic and I shop the sales at the other two department stores. I think shopping for modest attire is a challenge and that is what makes it fun. When I find something like a staple piece or a statement piece I consider it an investment-then I keep it forever.”
Talking of Alexa’s favourite fashion pieces, the fashionista flaunts her own style. “Well, I am always wearing either a skirt or a dress so that would have to be included. I have kind of a passion for being the most unusual in a room so I like “spicy” choices. I like anything that I think no one else would wear. I never want to show up somewhere and someone else be there with my same outfit on.
I like to combine casual and dressy. I like street style. I love sneakers with skirts and heels with T-shirts. I love a good tulle skirt or any spicy skirts. I also adore a classic pencil skirt. I think those make up my most favorite looks + a great bag and some fabulous shoes. I like pops of bright color but I am obsessed with nudes, black, and navy!! An all-black dress for me is the ultimate with a spicy shoe! “
“Some see modest fashion as spending less on what you put on, others see it as women-only wearing skirts, some as covering every ounce of skin, or some see wearing a hair covering as modesty. My point is not everyone is at the same place as you or has the same convictions as you. Be kind, be respectful and love one another.”
As a message to her fellow women, Alexa says that Modesty is a journey so do not compare yourself to others. It is not what society makes it out to be as restrictive and oppression for women-it is quite the opposite, it is freedom. If you choose
modesty, let your interpretation guide you but do not force it on others.
“There is not one big rule book about what constitutes you being more holy than your sister. God calls us to not compare ourselves among ourselves and to love one another.
Finally celebrate others in the modest fashion industry, do not isolate or get jealous of their success. Just because one woman is doing the same thing as you doesn’t mean you can’t both be successful. Support other women! Get inspired by other women! Compliment other women and praise them for their success! Go outside of your faith and community to support other modest fashionistas. Make cross-cultural connections! There are not only Apostolic women who choose modesty but also Muslim women, Jewish women, and LSD women. (+ some who just choose modesty but do not choose faith).”
Please follow Alexa’s modest fashion journey at @1998miss on instagram and through her blog at 1998miss.com for some spicy modest fashion ideas !