Archives for posts with tag: modesty

For some reason this morningĀ  I woke up with the desire to try covering my head and see how it felt. As I type, I am wearing a very badly-fastened hijab made from a blue scarf I was given last summer. The scarf isn’t really the right length, and it has tassles on the ends which look odd, but it was the best I had.

I’m not sure what makes me want to cover my hair. I suppose it’s the logical progression from my decision last summer to cover elbow to knee, but it is highly unusual in the Church of England for women to wear any kind of headcovering (with the exception of hats at weddings and christenings), and hijab is so strongly correlated with Islam that I think I would be at risk of offending someone and being misintepreted if I were to wear hijab in public.

But I do quite like the idea, nonetheless. I need to think about why this is though. I think partly it may be that if I dress in a more overtly modest way, it will discourage people from acting towards me in a way that in turn would encourage me to act inappropriately. But I’m not sure that I should be laying that responsibility on other people. Perhaps I should leave my hair uncovered and take a greater ownership of my own behaviour. On the other hand, is it not sensible to take precautions against what I know to be my own pitfalls? If I dress in a way that doesn’t indicate to people that I am off-limits for flirting, bawdy humour and incitement to sin, then I am inviting that behaviour and I know already that I am not always strong enough to resist the temptation to join in, or even alert enough to notice it immediately. Too often I have sat alone in the evening and realised that I had said things or done things which I am not happy with, and didn’t even identify at the time.

In three months or so, I will be moving to a new city – a large, multi-cultural city where I do not know anyone. I’m toying with the idea of it being a new start entirely; the possibility of arriving with my hair covered and starting as I mean to go on. It would give me time to consider exactly what that means in detail; does it mean buying some more suitable headscarves and learning how to wear hijab properly, without the lumps and bumps and random dangling ends? Does it mean finding a more obviously Christian form of head covering? I need to decide at least some of these issues soon, as I am hoping to go and view a flat next week, and it would be good to meet my potential new landlord dressed as I would be when I lived there.

I have looked at more traditionally Christian headcoverings and not found any I like as much as I like hijab, but I’m not sure that “which looks better?” should be the major factor in this decision anyway!

Any advice would be very welcome, particularly if you are a Christian woman who wears a head covering – and especially if you’re a Christian woman who wears a head covering in the UK, as I know it’s more common in the USA.

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Every summer, but especially this summer as I’m heading to the USA for nearly three months, I struggle with staying cool. I am not well suited to hot weather; I have very pale skin and burn easily, and I find anything above 20C uncomfortably warm. My preference is to stay inside, or failing that to be completely covered to avoid sunburn – but of course that means I overheat.

This year in particular, as I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with revealing outfits, I am thinking about how I will dress to avoid heat exhaustion without stripping off. I am large-busted, which means that unless I wear tops which cover to the neck, everything is either low-cut or too tight.

I have done a bit of searching for blogs and websites on this issue, but am not having much luck. The advice I have found is either too extreme – some of the Muslim websites are very interesting but I will not be wearing hijab, and I have no problem with women wearing trousers – or not extreme enough – I am not comfortable having my shoulders and upper back uncovered, although I don’t always wear long sleeves.

In the last few months I’ve bought several longish skirts. I think I now have four or five skirts which fall between just below the knee to mid-calf, and one full-length black skirt for concerts. I’ve also got a few mid-calf summer dresses, which I wear with a little bolero cardigan to cover my shoulders. It’s t-shirts which are the problem. Everything seems to be strappy (which can be solved by boleros as well, but I only have one at the moment), low-cut, tight, short or too warm. Previous attempts to find thin blouses which don’t gape across the front have been fruitless. Hopefully the choice will be more extensive when I’m in America – perhaps the problem is that here in the UK, we get hot weather so rarely that the clothing companies simply don’t bother making suitable clothing, except for the usual sexy skimpy things!