Shopping for modest clothing online is a win-win for me. As a busy mother who works full-time, most of my clothing purchases (and a whole lotta other purchases!), both for myself and my children, are made online. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
For some people, shopping online and modest clothes don’t make sense to be said in the same sentence. It can be difficult to figure out how soft a dress is online, let alone know if it will be modest enough by covering areas that you wish to keep covered. But after years of doing it, I’ve amassed some great tips that I thought I’d share with you.
Some of these tips include things like explaining different neckline types, measuring skirt lengths, and understanding the information blurb on an item. Please keep in mind, everyone’s modesty standards are different. This is by no means a halachic post. It is merely some helpful advice!
I’ve definitely found it easier to shop for clothing for my children online. Even for my daughter- it’s easier to size up in a dress or skirt for it to fit appropriately, or to find layering tees or cardigans that pull an outfit together in a modest fashion.
As a working mom though, the convenience of finding modest clothing online is becoming more and more of a necessity. I can’t count how many times I’ve ordered something with express shipping to get to me in time for Yom Tov last minute. Too often, us moms put ourselves last, and if we get anything at all in honor of a holiday, it’s so often at the very last second.
Shopping for Modest Clothing Online
1. Neckline Types
There are so many necklines types out there! If you’re anything like me, and prefer the shell route instead of a cardigan or similar, you’ll be okay with a more open neck. A very open neckline will include ones like a V-Neck, or wide scoop or boat neck. I find that necklines such as a sweetheart, square or a very wide V-neck don’t look great with a shell underneath.
A boat neck is a bit tricky, because while it can cover up to your collarbone, more of your shoulder will be exposed. If this is of concern to you, keep in mind that it can still be worth a try. One of my favorite shirts, (here’s a link to a similar one) was touted as being a boat neck, and it’s actually one of the most perfect, fully modest t-shirts I own.
The best kinds of necklines are crew or scoop. There are different kinds of scoop necklines, but I find that most of them don’t actually “scoop” down, and are often the same or similar to a crew neck.
A turtleneck, for those who can tolerate it, will always cover everything, but don’t overlook it’s close second, the cowl neck. A high cowl neck will be more breathable than a turtleneck, but will look both stylish and effortlessly modest.
2. Measuring Lengths
One of things I have found most confusing when ordering online is skirt or dress lengths. It looked great on the model in the image- why does it look so short or long on me? It’s really important to know your measurements before ordering.
For a skirt, you’ll want to measure from where you like the skirt to sit (waist or hips), down to where you want the skirt to cover. To measure the length you’ll need for a dress, you would start from the tallest point of your shoulder all the way to where you want the dress to finish. For example – I am 5 foot 9 inches, and I know at a glance that I want my dresses to be a minimum of forty-two inches to be modest enough for me.
Knowing this measurement will take the guesswork out of online shopping. Instead of squinting trying to see if the model’s knees are covered or not, a quick look at the product information will tell you what you need to know.
3. Understanding the Info
I mentioned once or twice above product information, or an information blurb. This section is usually very helpful when shopping. First of all, it will tell you the material content. I like my son’s t-shirts to be 100% cotton, so a quick look over at the blurb will tell me if there’s any polyester in the item I’m perusing.
It will also hopefully tell you some measurements. If there is a size chart option, take a look at it. You can glean a lot of information from looking at a size chart, instead of stabbing a guess as to what size you need. And size is the most important thing when it comes to a proper, modest fit.
4. Read Reviews
I’m considering making this number 1 instead of number 4 on the list; that’s how important this point is. You can gather so much information about a product when you read reviews. Whether it’s how a product actually fits, and how the sizing runs, to the quality of a product- reading reviews usually makes the decision for me if I’m clicking “Add to Cart” or not.
Don’t just read the top few reviews, or one from the most helpful and one from the most critical sections. Actually go through the list. I like to start with the 3-star and 4-star reviews. Those reviews tell it like it is. It’s a good product but… Then I decide if the negative part of the review is relevant to me or not.
5. Recommended Ways to Shop
For dressy evening wear, you may want to try some mother-of-the-bride sections. Aside from a few dowdy-looking pieces, this section usually has a way more modest collection, and is very elegant for a night out. Items bought from these sections will usually require less alterations to make it more modest.
Aside from Jewish boutiques online (always a first choice), for more modest casual wear, you can also try looking for other religious shops that advocate a modest approach to dressing.
Believe it or not, another great place to shop for modest clothing online is Etsy! This fantastic website featuring all kinds of sellers will always leave you wanting more.
6. Layering Tees/Cardigans and Boleros
Every millennial Jewish woman worth her salt knows what a shell is and how to use it. Dress it up, dress it down, use it to add a pop of color. We’ve all got a drawer or shelf packed with these wonderful layering tees. When you’re looking at a top online and you’re not sure if it is up to your modesty standards, don’t forget to picture it with a shell underneath. Will it do the trick?
Alternatively, you can also make a top or dress more modest by adding a cardigan or bolero. I like the cardigan option in the winter, when I’ll opt for an extra layer anyway. A bolero can be hard to pull off, but it can totally bring an outfit together and make it look cohesive.
Have you been successful finding modest clothing online? Let us know in the comments!