Courtesy of Kelly Green

I Love Dressing Modestly — But Don't You Dare Call Me A Prude

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I don’t wear shorts or tank tops, and I rarely wear a dress without tights. I dress almost exactly the same no matter what the weather is. It can be sunny day outside, a cool fall afternoon, or mid-winter, and you will likely find me in a long-sleeved tee with a full collar, a scarf, jeans and tennis shoes. I dress modestly, but it's not because I’m a prude, or because I'm ashamed of my body. I'm not shocked by revealing clothing, and I really enjoy making explicit jokes. I’m not shocked by the supposed sexuality in clothing. Simply put, I just like the way modest clothing looks and feels, and I like to be completely covered up.

I don’t really like to bare my own skin. Now, I am in no way saying that others should not feel free to wear skirts with shorter hemlines than I would. I don’t hate on anyone else's clothing choices: You’re allowed to show skin, whether it's because the temperature is climbing or simply because you like the look. But me? I tremble at the thought of being exposed. There’s just so much comfort in being covered up. When all of my appendages are clothed, I feel a sense of security. I feel like I can’t get sunburnt and I can’t get bitten by bugs and I can’t shed my skin cells all over a room when moving around. I feel held in, restrained. I feel ready for anything. I feel safe.

Courtesy of Kelly Green

For me, fashion has always been tied up in my personal sense of comfort. Part of the reason why I like layers and long-sleeves has something to do with my comfort level: I simply feel more comfortable when my flesh is covered up. But no matter where the preference comes from, I am strongly set in my ways. The temperature can hit 100 degrees and there I'll be in a T-shirt with sleeves or a loose blouse, complaining about the humidity.

My reason for dressing like an 80-year-old granny year-round has nothing to do with being a prude. But it does have everything to do with wanting to be cozy and comfy.

When I dress modestly, especially during the summer, everyone around me sasses me. "Why don't you dress more comfortably?," they ask. "Why are you wearing so many layers? You can't really complain about the heat when you're not dressed for it."

"Listen, motherf*ckers," I want to respond, "it's absolutely none of your business." First of all, there is no way to dress for extreme heat — when the temperature reaches a certain level, not even total nudity can diminish the effects of the weather. When it gets that hot, I can complain and I will complain about the weather — and I will do it in whatever outfit I choose to wear. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

Courtesy of Kelly Green

I’m not alone in my love of more modest clothes. Every September, fashion magazines blow up to triple their normal size to sell fall and winter clothes in darker shades, which are usually the color of root vegetables: eggplant, butternut squash, parsnips. As the earth cools down, runways in every fashion capital feature turtlenecks and cowl necks, which climb past the chin and up to the mouth, acting as barriers between their wearers and the world. Skin is nowhere to be found. And it is beautiful.

When I dress modestly, especially during the summer, everyone around me sasses me. "Why don't you dress more comfortably?," they ask. "Why are you wearing so many layers? You can't really complain about the heat when you're not dressed for it."

When you have more fabric, you can do more things. How many embellishments and thread detail and pintucks can you fit in a few inches of "summer" fabric? Not much! The whims of designers can really come alive when they are handed two tons of fabric. Watch any runway show or read any fashion mag and you will see this to be true. Summers must bore the hell out of designers.

My reason for dressing like an 80-year-old granny year-round has nothing to do with being a prude. But it does have everything to do with wanting to be cozy and comfy. If you’re looking to talk about your sex life or go shopping for some new lingerie, I’m totally up for joining you. Just promise not to judge me for being really covered up.