Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Spring Forecast: Cute AND Modest!

If you're a blogger that uses sitemeter, you know how interesting the stats can be. I like to check it to see what brings folks here, and to see where folks come from. Since the first hit counter I added to my blog, 124,017 folks have come by to see what it is I write about. I don't know if that's a high number, an insignificant number, or somewhere inbetween, and truth be told, I don't really care all that much. I do find it striking that my insignificant slice of the internet has had that many folks come by here in the (almost) four years I've been writing on Reflections. Sitemeter is rather handy in that it tells me that most of my readers have come along from much more influential and well-read places such as TeamPyro, Camp on This, The Upward Call and Rebecca Writes.

One such post that brings folks along was a post last spring that was linked in from TeamPyro. This post here, about modest dressing for young ladies (and us not so young ladies too). Clearly this is a topic close to the heart of both Christian men and women alike, so a lot of folks have read that post.

Even though we still have a considerable amount of snow on the ground, and more in the forecast today, it is officially spring and the department store catalogs filled with spring/summer styles have begun to arrive in the mail. It might even already be spring/summerlike weather where you are, and you might already have put away the bulky sweaters for lighter clothing. Within the next few weeks, most of us here north of the border will be doing the same thing (I hope).

While there are still all kinds of extremely revealing bathing suits and summer dresses, I have noticed something remarkably different this year, and I'm really encouraged by it. Along with the barely-there bathing suits there are swim shorts, swimskirts and cover-up dresses for both girls and women. Not only do these cover-up styles show up in the "plus sizes" for bigger gals trying to hide things (which in times past, was the only section of the catalog you could find those things), but they're now available in lots of colors, styles, and sizes - for girls from 4 to 94. Clearly, there has been an increase in demand from the public for these things and the retail garment industry has been listening. This is a very good thing.

I've noticed the same sort of trend in women's summer dresses and girls summer styles as well. While the slinky "hey everyone, look at me I'm a Jezebel" dress styles are still available, there are now more and more modest styles that don't have the plunging neckline or the hemline so high it might as well be called a shirt.

The thing that encourages me about this is that this is coming from a Sears Catalog. This isn't some hard to find "Today's Amish Gal" or some sort of out of the way retail clothing outlet, but a very well known North American retailer. Always before, if you really wanted to find cute, modest clothing you'd have to go out of your way (and spend A LOT more) to find those kinds of clothes for yourself, or your girls. This appears to be changing at least somewhat, and this is a very, very good thing.

I generally don't shop at Sears only because the prices are a bit higher than the budget of a 7 person family can allow but the trend is, generally, whatever the bigger name stores do, the discount retailers follow suit. I haven't looked at places like WalMart or Zellers (a Canadian sort of version of Target) but I plan to do that this evening, since I'm headed to WalMart anyway. I'll be sure to update this post with what I find there.

This, coupled with the fact that I am so sick of snow I could scream like a crazy woman, really makes me feel a lot more optimistic about the coming (it's a rumor, I'm still waiting!) spring and summer months.