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Modern Modesty

by Lisa Lyford
Modern Modesty

“I need some help please finding clothes for a size 14-16 that could be deemed 'modest'. We have to wear skirts below the knee, keep our elbows and collarbones covered. Can you help please? What I am requesting will be common amongst many religions so I think lots of women would appreciate your help. It’s just so difficult finding something nice and modern that’s modest. Many many thanks Jessica"


Jessica went on to tell us what is deemed appropriate and not appropriate in terms of modesty.




We agree, it is actually quite difficult finding modern clothing that doesn’t reveal too much of your body - current trends aren’t that supportive!

Our biggest advice is to create your modern look through:


  • Layering - use different layers, lengths, textures and patterns to create interest with your outfit.  Also use layers to give you length and cover.


    • For example, a long flowing tunic top in a shiny fabric with a blazer or cardigan that finishes at the waist, and a long skirt.


    • Use under-layers as well - for example, find a thin (but not sheer) long or ¾ sleeve top, in a complementary base colour, that works well under sleeveless tops or dresses.



  • Accessories - make accessories your friend - necklaces, belts, bangles, bracelets, scarves, earrings and shoes. Accessories will create interest, complete the look of your outfit and give it a modern look. This is especially important given the need for you to wear more subdued colours.  Choose a few key, statement pieces.


For tops or dresses that don’t cover your collarbones, consider a scarf or snood (a continuous scarf, the ends are joined). Check out this earlier blog on some great scarf tying techniques.


Look for interesting tights - there are some fabulous patterns available - subtle but interesting; they beat plain tights hands down.


  • Funky ankle boots - if you don’t already have a pair, these are a must for a modern wardrobe. They’ll look great with your long-line skirts with tights. Consider boots with added interest, e.g. bling, buckles or straps. A boot with a small heel will work well for work and casual wear.

    The new season’s shoes are still arriving in stores but the trends from the northern hemisphere certainly indicate there’s some fabulous shoe styles around. Make a statement with your shoes.



Colour doesn’t suit?


You mentioned that you are to wear ‘modest’ colours, more subdued tones like black, blue, green, brown, maroon and grey. Not everyone will suit these colours, so consider using accessories like a necklace or scarf to break-up or soften the look.





We have chosen the following examples to illustrate our styling suggestions. Some substitutions may be required, for example, replace the leggings with a long slimline or flared skirt or slimline trousers, both will give you a similar look.


Also, some clothes are not intended to be worn alone, for example sleeveless tops, they could be accompanied by a jacket or cardigan. The tops like this are part of the 'layering' we talk about.


Obi -w 14-1291


Zebrano stocks Obi


When we referred to ankle boots above, this is a great example, they help to give this outfit a funky look. A statement, long pendant necklace would also look great with this.



Obi -w 14-1325


Zebrano stocks Obi

The neckline on this top is wide revealing the collarbones. Consider a top with a higher neckline or a scarf or snood.


Obi -w 14-1370


Zebrano stocks Obi

This dress/tunic is sheer but wearing a nude coloured slip underneath will sort that.




EziBuy Capture Cardigan $94.99
EziBuy Capture European Maxi Skirt $129.99


If your shape doesn't suit the slim-fit cardigan, consider wearing a longer top underneath (see some tank & tunic examples below) and leaving the cardigan undone.





Left, clockwise:

Capture Scoop Neck Sleeved Top $39.99

Decjuba Workshop Scarf/Snood $29.95

EziBuyNext Quilted PU Biker Jacket $119

Decjuba That’s My Winter Boot $179.95

eQuip Teardrop Pendant Necklace $12.99

Decjuba Clip Cuff $39

eQuip Knotted Bead Necklace $19.99

EziBuy Urban Maxi Skirt $59.99


Depending on your body shape, if this fitted top doesn't quite work for you, consider a looser, longer tank or tunic (as below). A snood or scarf can cover the collarbones and a necklace can add interest. This top gives it a casual look but can easily be transformed to workwear with a slightly smarter top. A slightly shorter skirt would also work well.





From left:

EziBuy Grace Hill Drape Tunic $64.99

EziBuy Next Jersey Biker Jacket $108

EziBuy Urban Maxi Skirt $59.99


We like this top here from EziBuy, we like the assymetric shape and the pleats that give it great drape and interest - very flattering. Wear it with a jacket or a cardigan. Add a long pendant necklace to complete the look.





Glassons Mesh Trim Maxi Dress $49.99

Country Road Quilted Bomber Jacket $109

eQuip 2 Row Bead & Charm Necklace AUD $18.99

Shoe Connection Miss Sofie Auburn Lee $229.99

eQuip Hammered Silver Bangle AUD $14.99




Wear this dress with a cardigan, blazer or more casual jacket, as shown here. A long flowing jacket or cardigan would also look good. Wear thick tights to get around the show-through at the bottom. Necklaces are great, consider layering several necklaces up to give a more dramatic and modern look, similarly wear several bangles, not just one. Just be careful not to overdo it - necklaces or bangles doubled up, not both. An alternative to the blazer or cardigan is a fine long-sleeved top underneath depending on how snug the fit of the dress is - and make sure the necklines complement each other, similar curve. A further suggestion is to wear a belt, waist or hip.

Jackets & Cardi's

Slide 04

Left, clockwise: 

Witchery Zipper Shoulder Cardi $129.90

TS14+ Chiffon Soft Coat AUD$92.26

EziBuy Urban Cardigan $42.99

EziBuy Grace Hill Woman’s Leather Jacket $199.99

EziBuy Capture Ponti Jacket - $59.99

EziBuy Emerge Pin-tuck Leather Jacket - $159.99




Slide 05

Left, clockwise:

EziBuy Leather Drape Jacket $159.99

EziBuy Next Jersey Biker Jacket $108

Country Road Quilted Bomber Jacket $109

EziBuy Heine Puffer Jacket $149.99

Witchery Leather Sleeve Biker Cardigan $299.90

Glassons ¾ sleeve crepe blazer - available in lots of colours $49.99

EziBuyNext Quilted PU Biker Jacket $119





Slide 06 

Left, clockwise:

Witchery Leopard Long Sleeve Top $89.90

TS14+ Compilation Shirt AUD $99.36

Country Road Heart Print Silk Shirt $169

EziBuy Next Black Crochet Top $64

EziBuy Capture Blouse with Cami - available in lots of prints - $54.99

EziBuy Grace Hill Ruffle Front Tank $59.99

Country Road Wrap Shirt $109. Also available in check 

EziBuy Grace Hill Drape Tunic $64.99




 Slide 07


Left, clockwise:

Max Floral Check Back Tee $79

Max Mismatched Stripe Sweater $99

Country Road Batwing T-shirt $54.90

Country Road Check Knit $169

EziBuy ½ Placket Shirt from $35

EziBuy Emerge Layered Tunic $74.99

Max Fashions Merino Notch Tunic $119

Max Hi Lo Feather Top $99





Slide 10


Left, clockwise:

EziBuy Capture Drapey Skirt $39.99

Glassons Front Split Maxi Length Skirt $29.99

EziBuy Next Maxi Skirt $56

EziBuy Urban Maxi Skirt $59.99

EziBuy Grace Hill Mesh Skirt $94.99

EziBuy Together Waterfall Skirt $94.99

EziBuy Capture Flare Skirt $54.99

Country Road Fluid Midi Skirt $199 



Slide 08


Witchery Rib Cuff Drape Pant $129.90


A great alternative to the fitted legging for the layered effect, worn with a long-line top. 



Slide 09


Left, clockwise:

Glassons Zip Detail Boot $59.99

Mi Piaci Ashton $240

Decjuba That’s My Winter Boot $179.95

Shoe Connection Miss Sofie Auburn Lee $229.99

Overland Footwear (Merchant 1948) Isabella Anselmi Cabbie $199.90



Jessica, we hope this helps you and other women :) 


Please note, pricing is in AUD and NZD dollars but in most cases is not specified. All items shown here are available online, so available anywhere.






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