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Brides of yesteryear should be applauded for modest wedding dress styles Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I just wanted to comment on something in the Catholic Herald article “Balancing Fashion and Faith” (August 11 issue) which was regarding selecting modest wedding dresses.

As I read the article out loud to my husband, I was THRILLED to see my sentiments communicated so clearly and succinctly about the need for modest wedding dresses. I recently did an alteration to a friend’s wedding dress to accomplish her goal of having a modest wedding gown.

That being said, I am not a person who takes offense easily, but, I actually gasped at this: “The selection of modest wedding gowns is growing, and luckily not with a reversion to the 80s’ puffed sleeves look or a forced 40s- or 50s-style.”

My comment is this: Did the words “luckily” and “forced” really need to be used? In fact, did the comment need to be made at all? It may as well have read, “Thank heavens we don’t have to have those horribly ridiculous dresses they had in the 80s!”

In one fell swoop, the style sense of three decades’ worth of brides was called into question, and I am guessing I am not the only modest bride of the past who picked up on this unnecessary and rather insulting comment.

Obviously, it goes without saying that elements of “high fashion” change with time (and yes, puffed sleeves WERE indeed high fashion in the 1980s (and 1880s); everyone was imitating Princess Diana’s dress back then — how much more high fashion can one get?). I think in this case, the author’s personal opinion regarding sleeve style should have been left out of the article; at least our gowns HAD sleeves!

Those same women with the puffy sleeves from the 80s are now the ones encouraging their daughters to buck fashion trends and adopt more modest styles, at times making their own dresses or drastically altering off-the-rack dresses. The women married in the 40s, 50s. and 80s (as well as those in the 60s, 70s, and 90s) are now priceless resources and mentors for the brides of today not only in modest dress, but marriage in general, teaching, modeling, and maintaining ethics and morals and raising children in this crazy world.

Yes, sleeve styles change, but modesty is timeless. I think instead of making unnecessary personal comments regarding the modest styles of the past, the brides of yesteryear should rather have been applauded.

Marilyn Zipsie, Middleton