Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Modest is Hottest: Guest Blogger Michele Ashman Bell

Modesty. Not quite a four letter word (it has seven letters) but certainly it seems to have that impact on people. The world, by and large, thinks of modesty as old fashioned, out-of-date, and unnecessary. Members of the church cling to the standard, try to defend their position, yet feel frustration because of it. Personally, I’m tired of seeing Brittany’s rear end, Angelina’s cleavage and Fergie’s navel all over magazines and on the internet. Let’s face it, does anyone look good in a thong bikini? Really?

Why can’t modesty be equated with fun fashion, trendy styles and positive images? In my recent book, A Modest Proposal, I’ve attempted to tackle this subject because I believe it can. In fact, to steal a phrase from wherever I heard it, I believe, “modest is hottest.”
What if most women in the world weren’t built like runway models? (Oh, wait, they aren’t!) What if most women in the world didn’t want to dress like rock stars? (News flash . . . they don’t!) What if a New York designer decided to design clothes that were high fashion and modest? (Okay, this is where the fiction part comes in.) Based on these questions, A Modest Proposal allows these theories to develop. And, as I receive feedback from many moms and daughters, I have discovered that they ring very true. Because it is the truth, most women aren’t built like runway models and most women don’t want to dress like a rock star. But most women DO love fashion and clothes and want options that aren’t revealing or immodest.

So there! It’s out there. I am challenging, no, daring, no, double-dog daring, the fashion designers of the world to take a good look at the every day woman and start designing clothes for them. Them, meaning us!

And it is happening. Finally. Slowly. Wonderful, clever, talented people within the LDS community are finally giving us styles and fashions that fit our need to be modest but stylish. Women everywhere can rejoice!

I actually had a lot of fun writing this story. My daughters have provided me with plenty of practical experience for the story. I dedicated the book to all the moms and daughters who spent time in the dressing rooms crying because they couldn’t find an appropriate dress for prom because I’d been there! I sewed sleeves on my daughter’s dresses. I altered and modified and lengthened and filled in and found creative ways to make clothes modest. And it wasn’t easy! But in the process I’ve taught my daughters that we do have a choice and we not only can stick to our standards, but we can have fun doing it and even make our own fashion statements. As I’ve gone out to promote my book I’ve received opportunities to bring more awareness to the issue. A wonderful company called Beautifully Modest out of Orem, Utah is sponsoring a dress giveaway. The entry form is in the back of my book. Up to a $500.00 value.

With the sponsorship of Covenant Communications, the help of PR and Promotions manager, Rachel Langlois, the vision of stylist Erin Olson of, a wonderful resource for modest fashion, I am hosting a design contest and a modest fashion show at Southtowne Mall, in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, June 28th, at 7:00 p.m.. The winning design will be debuted at the show. The models for the show will be girls who have always wanted the chance to see what it feels like to be in a fashion, but never thought they would. How fun is that!

My dream is to see LDS girls embrace the standard of modesty rather than view it as a curse. Maybe, just maybe, A Modest Proposal can help start this trend because I really do believe “modest is hottest!”

Michele Ashman Bell is the author of twenty books. Visit her website at


At 6/25/2008 10:58 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Michele, you are beyond doubt the hottest author -- and mom -- around! I love the blog, love, love, LOVE the book, and am so grateful for all the tips Hil and I have picked up from you along the way. You may not dress like a rockstar, but in my life you ARE one!

At 6/25/2008 11:05 AM, Blogger Cheri J. Crane said...

Wonderful blog---on a timely issue. Keep us posted on how the fashion show turns out. Kudos on making an important difference. ;)

At 6/25/2008 12:50 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Greg blog Michele to go with a great book. Good luck with the fashion show; I hope a lot of girls and their moms attend.

At 6/26/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger Pat said...

Very inspirational Michelle!
When I was in college, that's one of the things I wanted to do when I grew up, (design modest clothing) unfortunately, I never did...(grow up)

At 7/02/2008 11:38 AM, Blogger Julie Wright said...

modesty totally rocks!!! I've never wanted to design modest clothes, but I always wished designers would want to. It's a tough deal to go shopping with my daughter and find things that she's comfortable wearing

At 7/04/2008 4:03 PM, Blogger Sophia said...

One girl at my prom wore a t-shirt under an otherwise un-modest dress. She puff-painted it with yellow spots to match the yellow in the dress. Not what anyone would think of as the most fashionable. But she had fun, and you could tell it didn't bother her in the least. THAT is what most young women should be hearing about. Having fun and being modest! Thanks so much for your writing!

At 1/22/2011 11:20 PM, Blogger Brittonlee said...

Modest clothing is definitely the best. I wish there were more modest local stores!
Check out my blog if you would :)


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