What’s not to love about fall? Chances are your Facebook feed is littered with posts and pictures celebrating pumpkin spice lattes, apple picking and handmade wreaths. One of my personal reasons for rooting for the change of seasons is the chance to change up my wardrobe. I love pulling out my favorite pieces from last season, tossing out the things I don’t need anymore and then hitting stores to hunt for a few new items.
For me, an added bonus to fall clothes is that they are a welcome change after a season of debating between covering up and staying cool. Most of the time I don’t have to worry about finding modest clothes in the fall, because cool-weather clothes tend to be designed to cover more skin. Still, even items that seem to cover up can show too much skin, such as slouchy sweaters that show bra straps and thin leggings that show too much rear end. Here are my tips for staying modest this season:
Put fit first
The real trick to being modest and fashionable isn’t simply to find high necked tops or long skirts—it’s finding clothes that fit your body properly. Check out this guide on dressing for your body shape.
When shopping, keep your eyes out for items that show you can be both demure and fashion-forward, such as a denim button-top shirt, a sleek, thin black turtleneck or a bold-colored maxi skirt. I do the bend-over test in the dressing room to check both the gap between my skin and shirt as well as the gap between my skin and pants. I find it's also helpful to wear a nude bra and a white camisole when I'm shopping for cold-weather items. This way I can try on button-down tops and thin sweaters and know whether or not I'll need a shirt to go underneath.
It never hurts to shop with an honest friend. You need someone in your life who will tell you, “leggings aren’t pants” and “you look like a teenager.”
I like to hang on to my favorite dresses and skirts from summer and add a jean jacket, cardigan or scarf to make them more seasonally appropriate. If you're still hanging on to shorts and knee-length skirts, try pairing them with sweaters and/or boots.
Scarves and tights are a great way to cover up while adding pop and personality to your outfit. Both items come in a variety of fabric weight, colors and patterns. Plus, scarves are more versatile than you might think—try tying one around your waist over a dress, knotting one around your wrist or twisting one into your hair. See this Women’s Health article for how-to’s, along with six other ways to incorporate a scarf into your look.
Try a trend
This slideshow from Glamour.com shows runway fashions that can be easily translated into everyday wear. My advice is to pick one or two trends that appeal to you and let the rest of your wardrobe be composed of pieces that you KNOW you are comfortable in.
One of the subtlest ways to incorporate a current trend into your wardrobe is by picking colors that are in vogue. This Pantone article lists ten colors. Start your search by looking for pieces with modest necklines or hemlines, and then narrow those items down by color.
I’m hanging on to my favorite striped top from last year, along with a few jewel-toned tops that are still current. I’m excited to search for a midcentury or menswear-inspired piece to incorporate into my look this fall. Maybe I’ll pick up a knit beanie the next time I’m out shopping!
For more fall fashion ideas, check out our Modest Fashion board on Pinterest. And be sure to share your favorite fall trend or modesty tip with us in the comments section—if you send us a link we’ll pin your trend to our Pinterest page!
Editor's Note: This article was first published in 2013, but updated November 2015.
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend.