A cup of confidence, a dash of color and a heap of modesty (both physically and as a state of being) is the recipe for modern fashion in today's world. That is, if a growing and influential host of fashion bloggers, stylists and online magazine writers have anything to do with it.
Fashion magazines — and even fashion blogs — are not anything new. With the power of the Internet now thrown into the mix, major players and contributors in the fashion world continue to emerge into the spotlight, every day, via online sharing and connecting.
Modest fashion blogging begins
For Elaine Hearn — creator of the blog Clothed Much and founder of the Mormon Fashion Bloggers — it simply started as wanting to utilize all of the clothes she already had, while feeling confident about her style and sticking to her standards when it came to modesty.
"I realized that I had all these clothes in my closet, but it would take me so long to come up with outfits and I'd wear the same things over and over, and I realized how ridiculous that was," Hearn said. "I started the blog to be more creative ... and over time I decided to have a more modest aspect to it, to highlight (modesty) that way."
Another driving force behind the creation of the blog was the difficulty she had in finding a modest fashion blog for help that really "struck a chord with me," she said.
She now hopes her blog can be a resource of modesty in fashion for people who were looking for the same thing that she was.
However, just because she makes an effort to showcase modesty with the fashion on her blog doesn't mean that's exactly what all of her readers were initially looking for when they first discovered it. It's actually taken many fans a while to see that modesty is the keystone of Hearn's fashion sense — on purpose.
"I think more people are becoming more aware of modesty in fashion," Hearn said.
"I know that everybody has different styles and tastes, and gets different things from blogs, and lately I've been trying to be more diverse on my blog, having different contributors and bloggers to offer some diverse opinions and styles," Hearn said.
She's had a Jewish and a Muslim fashion blogger contribute as guest writers in an effort to offer even more views on modesty.
Because of the reach of the Internet, Hearn has been able to both share those things she knows and continue to learn about fashion from people everywhere.
"So many people read it that I would never have otherwise met," Hearn said.
One such reader was Jennifer Clyde of Herriman, Utah, who now has her own blog and works as a stylist all over the West Coast.
"She's the first person whose fashion blog I found. I was really inspired by her," Clyde said of Hearn's blog. "Modesty is a thing to be more aware of ... and I think she did a great job to help other Mormon bloggers be aware."
In her work as a stylist, Clyde has found that a lot of girls are looking for modest role models in the fashion world, which is something she tries to incorporate in her fashion and through everything she puts on her site.
Often, women and girls will come to her hoping for help on how to best dress modestly, feeling confident but true to their own styles, Clyde said.
"They want to be able to express who they are and what they believe and feel good in their skin and honor who they are," she said. "The one thing I say is, 'Don't sacrifice who you are because you think something looks beautiful on somebody; you can make it more beautiful by putting your spin on it.' If you can do that and wear it with confidence, your whole spirit will shine through."
One concept Clyde works with when it comes to those looking for modest looks is "recreating modesty." Taking modest looks and making them more modern and tailored to an individual's look completely recreates the idea of modest style, she believes.
"Being able to recreate things will only bring beauty," Clyde said.
Mandy Morgan is an intern for the Deseret News, reporting on issues surrounding both family and values in the media. She is a true-blue Aggie, studying journalism and political science at Utah State University, and hails from Highland, Utah.