By Kenneth Dahl
The stress of modest dress has long been the concern for LDS parents. Two mothers in Southern California decided to do something about it.
Karen Baker, of Rancho Santa Margarita, and Carol Starr, of Mission Viejo, recently approached their local Nordstrom about the “Mormon fashion challenge.”
Their efforts resulted in a fashion show exhibiting the modest fashions available at Nordstrom. According to the Associated Press, 900 people attended this show, where denim skirts fell to the knees and low-rise jeans were matched with shirts that covered the exposed skin.
“Sometimes Mormon girls feel like they have an ”M” on their forehead because they want sleeves,” said Glenna Thacker, a fashion show attendee, to the Associated Press. “This is wonderful because the clothes are fashionable, but they can still feel comfortable wearing them.”
Baker told the Associated Press that she usually alters dance dresses by adding sleeves, filling in necklines to cover busts or making blouses to wear over revealing tops that showed too much stomach.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long taught modesty in dress.
Addressing the immodesty problem recently, BYU Women”s Services teamed with the Student Honor Association last spring, in hosting a fashion show promoting modest dress and good body image.
Women”s Services deals with a lot of issues that stem from immodest fashion such as eating disorders and immorality.
“Girls like dressing immodestly because of the attention they get from guys,” said Rachel Hickman, Women”s Services program coordinator. “Girls don”t fully understand the implications, their personal body image can be negatively affected, which can lead to a higher chance for eating disorders.”
Diana Lowe, junior studying art history, said it is sad girls feel they have to dress inappropriately to feel like they are accepted.
Despite teaching, BYU still seems to fall victim to the fashion faux pas of sleeveless shirts, low-rise jeans and exposed bellies. Every year letters to the editor decry the trends that are appearing at BYU.
Should residents be expecting a similar Mormon fashion show to take the runway at the local Nordstrom?
University Mall Nordstrom says there is no need, they have a unique distinction from other Nordstrom stores – their clientele.
“Our buyers already buy clothes according to the modesty standards here,” said Salote Wolfgramm, Assistant Manager of the University Mall Nordstrom store.
Wolfgramm said the Orem store buyers look for fashions with longer sleeves, longer shorts, and dresses with sleeves.