Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Still on the hunt
...for the suitable word to use when pertaining to modesty in dress.
I found an article in Tiger Print about "The dreaded M-word" and true enough, as Katie Hinderer writes:
Say the word to most teens and young professionals today and they will immediately tune you out. There is something about the word that is cringe worthy. It brings forth images of shapeless skirts that brush the floor and unfeminine tops that cover from wrist to chin to hips. They see the swimsuits of yesteryear that were anything but functional for an actual swim or they envision baggy muumuus.
So, what are good words to use in its place? I heard some elegant ladies use positive dressing. Another idea is dignified dressing. How about person-centered fashion? Appropriate attire? Comfortable elegance? Or am I pushing it?
Looking for a more stylish word to use meantime is important because you don't want to make the people who can benefit from what you have to say tune you out! Modesty, on its own, is a positive word--but it may take a while for the fashion-forward to adopt such a backward-sounding word in their vocabulary.
The solution for now? Take a fashionable term and use it to gain an audience. But, sparingly, let the M-word come up... how else are we going to bring about a change in the word's image if we let it remain in its negative slump? Use it sparingly, but positively--at least start with what it truly means: decency and reserve, not only in dress, but also in words and conduct.
Photo from FALL 2010 collection of Roberto Cavalli