The New Feminist Life Hacks: Dress Like a Lady

This is the first “life hacks” post on the New Feminist, so I thought I’d start with a little intro, rather than jumping right in. The New Feminist is, first and foremost, a resource for helping women to explore and understand their own feminine genius and dignity. To that end, we mostly feature (hopefully) thought-provoking pieces on important ideas and relevant debates. However, as you’ve probably noticed by now, we also feature some “lighter” reading, such as movie reviews and product picks, but always with the “new feminist” perspective. “Life hacks” is our new addition to this latter lineup. Of course, finding a new hairstyle or learning how to make that cute-but-slightly-too-low-cut shirt wearable isn’t going to make or break anyone’s understanding of the nature and dignity of women; still, practical tips for staying classy and chic are a helpful ingredient for the authentically feminine life.

So, about making that cute-but-slightly-too-low-cut shirt wearable….

First, let’s clarify one thing: you don’t have to be a prude to care about modesty. Being a woman who cares about modesty does not mean you are ashamed of your body or think that it’s all up to you to keep guys looking you in the eye, as opposed to anywhere else. Real modesty is all about having respect for yourself, body and soul, and for others. It’s about believing that a woman’s body is beautiful and good, so it is worthy of honor. Women deserve better than clothes that make their bodies into an exhibition that encourages others to see them as sexual objects, rather than human beings. And guys deserve better than women who are encouraging them to sexually objectify women.

Unfortunately, the fashion industry hasn’t quite figured this out (although I think there are some hopeful signs). It is possible to find stylish, modern clothing that is also modest, but it can take a lot of searching, and sometimes there is that one piece of clothing that you loooove and just don’t want to give up. I don’t have solutions for every such scenario, but I have discovered some clever tricks for dealing with that pesky plunging neckline.

  • Body tape- Yes, it’s a thing, and a useful one, at that! I used to only be able to get this online, but I’ve noticed that many pharmacies have started to carry it. Basically, it’s just double-sided tape that (theoretically) won’t irritate your skin. Stick one side to your skin, the other to the inside of the problem shirt, and voila! (This also works really well for straps that won’t stay put).
  • “Cami Secrets”- Sometimes wearing a camisole just isn’t a good option. The extra layer can be bulky, hot, and just plain annoying. Enter these faux camisoles. Cami Secrets is the brand I’ve tried, but there are other brands out there. (You can buy them here.) Just snap each end onto your bra straps and tuck into your shirt or bra to get the camisole look without all the extra fabric.

Or, you could always copy the ever-elegant Audrey Hepburn and wear a hat with such a large ribbon, no one can see your neckline, anyway. (Probably not the most practical option.)

Have you found other tricks for dealing with this problem? Feel free to share in the comments section below!


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