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Shirts under tank tops or sleeveless dresses?


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Poll: Shirts under tanks/camis or sleeveless dresses? (140 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you like the look of a t-shirt worn under a tank top or camisole?

  1. Yes, for children or teens only. (15 votes [10.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 10.71%

  2. Yes, for adult women only. (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Yes, it is a good look for children, teens, and adults. (9 votes [6.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.43%

  4. It depends on the t-shirt and/or cami/tank. (35 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  5. No, it looks weird or ugly. (81 votes [57.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 57.86%

Do you like the look of t-shirts under sleeveless dresses?

  1. Yes, but only for tank-top style dresses. (7 votes [5.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.00%

  2. Yes, for all sleeveless dresses including tank, strapless, and halter styles. (6 votes [4.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.29%

  3. It depends on the t-shirt and/or dress. (66 votes [47.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.14%

  4. No, it looks weird or ugly. (61 votes [43.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 43.57%

Do you think shoulders should be covered in order to be dressed modestly?

  1. Yes, and I like the look of shirts under tanks/camis and/or sleeveless dresses. (17 votes [12.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.14%

  2. No, but I like the look of shirts under tanks/camis and/or sleeveless dresses. (24 votes [17.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.14%

  3. Yes, but I don't like the look of shirts under tanks/camis and/or sleeveless dresses. (26 votes [18.57%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.57%

  4. No, and I don't like the look of shirts under tanks/camis and/or sleeveless dresses. (73 votes [52.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.14%

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#1 Veritaserum

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

I was thinking about this clothing style because of Sister Wives and because it is a fairly common clothing choice in my area. Most people here also believe that shoulders must be covered for modesty, though, so my theory is that's why this layering is popular. I'm curious to know what people in other areas think. Do you like it? Do you think it looks weird?

#2 BigMamaBird

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 01:56 PM

For me, it depends on the dress and the venue.

#3 Margaret in CO

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

I think it looks weird. An LDS girl here wore one under her strapless prom dress. Why not just find a dress with sleeves? She just looked odd. Of course, knowing this girl, she was trying to make a statement. Instead, she just looked weird. I had to find a semi-formal dress for my youngest this week, that could not be spaghetti straps, strapless, revealing, etc. (didn't know until we were on the road that she had to have one). We found a classy dress, with cap sleeves and she looked very grownup in it. Yeah, it took awhile to find it and we couldn't find one in Juniors--they were all too short. Dillards has a "traditional dress" section and there it was! On sale and the shoes were 65% off. So, it's possible.
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#4 dmmetler

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:02 PM

It depends on the dress/top and what you're doing.
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#5 lailasmum

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

It sounds a bit odd to me. I personally wouldn't put a tshirt under a vest/cami top or a dress but then again I wouldn't think twice about showing my shoulders. The only reason I'd cover up was if I was cold and then I'd use a cardigan.
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#6 Ellie

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:14 PM

I think a buttoned shirt/blouse over a tank top looks fine. I think a tank-top worn *over* a t-shirt looks wonky.

I don't mind sleeveless dresses, although I prefer short sleeves for church. But I wouldn't wear a sleeveless dress over a sleeved t-shirt. That looks wonky.

I don't think it's necessary to look wonky for the sake of modesty.
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#7 Danestress

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:25 PM

I have never seen it, but I don't understand why a girl wouldn't just wear a pretty shrug or cardi if she wanted her shoulders covered.
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#8 aggieamy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:30 PM

I wear a few sleeveless dresses with shirts underneath because they are very low cut but I'm not stylish or wearing them with the hope that they look stylish. When I do that it's usually what I consider the dress loving girl's equivalent to yoga pants.
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#9 Amber in SJ

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

I am glad that someone has had success finding a formal dress with sleeves they could afford. That has not been my experience with two teenage girls. Maybe it is the part of the country I live in and maybe it is our financial circumstances, but I have not been able to find a formal that wasn't over $150, need to be special ordered, or need to be altered in some way to fit the standards of modesty required for the dance they were attending and our family's standards. That being said, we have purchased a clearance dress that had cap sleeves and a plunging neckline (and I mean plunging, whew!) that we filled in with a lace t-shirt. We found a designer, strapless dress at goodwill and put sleeves on it, and we purchased a spaghetti strapped dress and we used another lace t-shirt underneath that matched the color of the dress for the sleeves. The whole thing is very frustrating. It shouldn't be that difficult . I am thinking of starting a "modest closet" at our church. My daughters won't wear their formals again and we worked so hard to make them match our standards of modesty, so why shouldn't someone else benefit? Around prom/ formal season girls could come on over & check out the selection of modes dresses & see if there is something that fits. All I would require is they get them cleaned before they return them.

Rant over

Amber in SJ
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#10 caroljenn

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:39 PM

I think it looks weird. An LDS girl here wore one under her strapless prom dress. Why not just find a dress with sleeves? She just looked odd. Of course, knowing this girl, she was trying to make a statement. Instead, she just looked weird. I had to find a semi-formal dress for my youngest this week, that could not be spaghetti straps, strapless, revealing, etc. (didn't know until we were on the road that she had to have one). We found a classy dress, with cap sleeves and she looked very grownup in it. Yeah, it took awhile to find it and we couldn't find one in Juniors--they were all too short. Dillards has a "tradition dress" section and there it was! On sale and the shoes were 65% off. So, it's possible.


I agree. It is hard to find clothing for my dd, who is 15, 5'8" and 115 pounds. She looks great in everything and that is the problem! Every time we see someone wearing a pair of short shorts, we say "that kind of stuff only looks good on a girl built like dd" and dh will respond with, "that's exactly why she's not allowed to wear them!!"

I have bought dd a couple of dresses with cami straps, but she usually wears a sweater "shrug" over them. I also let her wear tank tops with thicker shoulder straps, as long as her bra straps are covered. I don't do the bra strap hanging out thing, especially for dd.

The tee shirt under dresses thing was in fashion for a very short time in my area a few years ago.

#11 OH_Homeschooler

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

I understand wearing a tank under a t-shirt, but not the other way around.

I think I saw one of those "look for less" shows once and they chose a tank over a t-shirt to imitate a vest look, and they made it work. But generally I don't think that looks very good.

#12 Ottakee

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

Layering is popular as so many of the T shirts today are so thin that you need 3-4 layers in order to not have them be see through.

I am fine with bare shoulders but perfer sleeveless shirts (with wider straps) over the spaghetti strap ones.

My girls often wear cami/tank tops under their shirts as so many are low cut that they need them for modesty. I have not see a t shirt being worn UNDER a tank/cami though.

#13 Paige

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:03 PM

If you're going to wear a tank and a shirt, I think the tank should usually go under the shirt. There are very few times when I think the reverse looks attractive. I think it is fine to wear 2 tanks or t shirts with varying necklines to reduce the amount of skin shown but they need to go in the right order.
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#14 lattedrinker

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

More often than no, the t-shirt under the sleeveless looks awkward. By all means, use a shawl or wear a sleeved shirt over the tank top if you want to cover your shoulders--that looks so much better.
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#15 Arcadia

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:09 PM

I wore a school pinafore all the way until 10th grade. White blouse with blue pinafore everyday :)

This is similar to what I wore when I was not in school. It is a blouse/turtleneck with pinafore dress combo.

This is how I dress sometimes. I have quite a few pinafore dresses in my wardrobe. I pair those with a long sleeve turtleneck.

ETA:
Now you make me think of the costumes for "The Sound of Music".

Maybe it is the part of the country I live in and maybe it is our financial circumstances, but I have not been able to find a formal that wasn't over $150, need to be special ordered, or need to be altered in some way to fit the standards of modesty required for the dance they were attending and our family's standards.

Amber in SJ


I had managed to get decent formal dinner dresses at Great Mall, but not formal dresses for dance.

#16 Parrothead

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:15 PM

I used to see this style often when watching Disney channel sit-coms with dd. the girls were often dressed in a pretty shirt eith spaghetti straps. They wore something under that shirt. That layered look became all the rage about 3 years ago for tween/teens.

It isn't something I'd like to see on a woman of 20 . The look just screams teen at me.

I don't have modesty hang-ups about shoulders, so I'll wear a tank or let dd wear one. I don't find shoulders are what most guys are looking at. You might get the fettish guy every once in a while though.

When I think of sleeveless I think no sleeves or straps.

#17 SKL

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:18 PM

I've done that with my kids, to extend the use of summer dresses into the colder months. It is not a modesty thing for me.

I prefer for my kids' shoulders to be covered to protect them from beating sun, but other than that, they can go sleeveless in summer.

But for adults, I don't like the sleeveless look. I just don't buy sleeveless except to wear under something with sleeves.
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#18 NoseInABook

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

I haven't seen it look good on anyone yet... I'm still waiting. I'd rather a cardigan or a shrug over the tank top if people are bothered by bare shoulders. I personally flaunt my shoulders shamelessly. ;)

#19 ManagerMom

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:31 PM

I really don't get that Sister Wives look. It looks like they are squeezed into those tank/camis. The only reason I could come up with is that they normally wouldn't fee comfortable wearing the tank/cami alone so this is the only way they can wear them. But it seems like that's all they wear on the show.

I voted that I don't like it.

#20 TrixieB

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:33 PM

I was thinking about this clothing style because of Sister Wives and because it is a fairly common clothing choice in my area. Most people here also believe that shoulders must be covered for modesty, though, so my theory is that's why this layering is popular. I'm curious to know what people in other areas think. Do you like it? Do you think it looks weird?

Do you have a link to a picture of this clothing style? I'm having a hard time visualizing it. I'm thinking a jumper with a t-shirt underneath, but I don't think that's what you mean.

#21 VeganCupcake

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I think tees under sleeveless things looks a little weird most of the time--especially on me. I personally try to avoid it because of how it looks *on me*. I think it's because I'm so short and yet curvy--lots of things just look weird on me in general. I have seen a few tees under tanks that work, but it's not that often.

#22 gardenmom5

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:35 PM

I live in a fairly liberal area (just last night I saw someone describe it as being able to make SF and hollywood look like recruiting grounds for the KKK), and I see women and girls with t's under tank dresses, though they are in the minority. My mother was quite liberal - but insisted I wear a t under sundresses.

#23 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

I said that it depends. The layering style is popular for non-modesty reasons and often you find shirts that are layered and then tacked together - so obviously made to wear as one "shirt". A t-shirt under a formal dress would look strange. A t-shirt under a jumper type of a dress would look ok - no matter what you think of jumpers as such.

#24 Veritaserum

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

It's hard to find some good pics.

http://3.bp.blogspot...00/010213 8.PNG

http://4.bp.blogspot...e stone look.PN

http://1.bp.blogspot.../122412 918.PNG

#25 magnificent_baby

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

I think it would look weird.

The only time I have dressed my dd this way, is a small fitted t-shirt under a knit dress with similar material and thin straps.

I don't think sleeveless is too immodest, but I am getting tired of seeing strapless in gowns (especially wedding gowns). I know it's the trend, but they all begin to look the same to me.

#26 magnificent_baby

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:02 PM

It's hard to find some good pics.

http://3.bp.blogspot...00/010213 8.PNG

http://4.bp.blogspot...e stone look.PN

http://1.bp.blogspot.../122412 918.PNG



I see what you are saying. It does look strange, and would look better skipping the tank/strapless to begin with.

Honestly, with this show, I am way more puzzled by their lifestyle than their fashion sense and probably wouldn't have noticed anyway.
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#27 justasque

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

Part of the problem is
1) People want cheap clothes, and lots of them, and
2) People no longer sew (and therefore don't have as critical an eye for good fabric and a well-made, long-lasting garment), so are more likely to overlook lower quality items. (No offense to anyone who doesn't sew!)

You are starting to see a lot of sleeveless dresses, not so much because it's the style, but because sleeves take up a lot of fabric, and make an ill-fitting bodice stand out more and be harder to alter. A short, tight, strapless dress takes significantly less fabric, and significantly less labor, than a knee-length, full-skirted dress with a pretty little sleeve. Similarly, hems are serged rather than hemmed, elastic and lycra take the place of seaming to fit the dress, and lining is minimal or eliminated altogether.

I'm moving towards "slow fashion" for my own wardrobe, but it's hard to do that for a growing teen.
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#28 PeacefulChaos

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:08 PM

I haven't read any other responses but honestly, I really don't like the look. I think it just looks sort of dumb. Sorry.
I'm having a hard time thinking of examples and stuff right now, but I really don't think tank tops *in general* are immodest at all, and IMO if people don't like them they should skip them altogether - as opposed to trying to 'make' them modest by putting a t-shirt underneath.

*I don't particularly care for spaghetti strap style tank tops, but if they are cut right they can still be just fine, IMO. I don't wear spaghetti straps often by themselves, but I wear sleeveless shirts all year round. No one could convince me that it's immodest to do so. (And I wear them to church, and on stage, etc, which no one around here is bothered by. I never knew anyone could have an issue with something like that until the last year or two, when I read something about it online. I honestly think it's weird. Sorry.)

#29 Jean in Newcastle

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

It's hard to find some good pics.

http://3.bp.blogspot...00/010213 8.PNG

http://4.bp.blogspot...e stone look.PN

http://1.bp.blogspot.../122412 918.PNG


I don't like the spaghetti strap top and the longer sleeve shirt but the one with the jumper and shirt seemed fine to me. I dress that way sometimes. It has nothing to do with being modest. It has everything to do with being cold and needing something on my arms. Money is tight and it's easier and less expensive for me to have a solid color jumper and multiple colored or patterned shirts to mix and match with it.
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#30 Margaret in CO

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

Fortunately we were looking for a semi-formal dress. Yes, it would have been way harder to find a formal, long dress. We usually go with strapless with a shrug. I have girls who are a 4 in the hips and a 14 in the shoulders (built like dad) and the only thing that fits is strapless.

#31 Ellie

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

I had managed to get decent formal dinner dresses at Great Mall, but not formal dresses for dance.


BUNNY TRAIL ALERT!!!

I love the Great Mall. :001_wub:

#32 regentrude

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:20 PM

Looks weird. If somebody wants to wear sleeveless, they should wear sleeveless.
If somebody wants to wear a shirt with sleeves, they should wear a shirt with sleeves - but why would they put a tank on top of the shirt? That looks odd.
I can see what somebody would want to wear a T-shirt underneath a strappy dress if it is too cold to wear the dress alone. But tank top- beats me.

#33 kitten18

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:22 PM

My 9 year old likes to wear long sleeves and leggings in the winter, under her summer dresses. It works on her...on an adult...not so much. ;)
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#34 MeaganS

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:25 PM

I'm LDS, so I get it the look, but I don't like it and choose not to do it. I simply just don't buy clothes that would require that. We sewed my prom dress and made it have sleeves, for example. I think it is an especially weird look with a sleeveless dresses, which I've seen some women do. Depending on the cami, it can look ok, but definitely not in the pictures you posted.

#35 DianeW88

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

I've never thought it was a good look, except on little children. And since shoulders sunburn so easily, I think it's probably prudent if your child is going to spend a lot of time playing outside in the summer. On grown women, I think it looks childish. I don't wear sleeveless tops or tanks, and can still manage to find lots of cute shirts with short sleeves. Most of the time I think grown women look like stuffed sausages squishing a t-shirt under a tank. Now, if the tank is designed for layering and MEANT to have something under it, then it's fine. It's all about the fit though. And the BooKs. Although I think nothing looks worse than a skimpy tank with no bra underneath it. Except for a tube top. A tube top looks worse. :D
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#36 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:29 PM

We keep a closet of prom dresses here for the reasons you mentioned. Someone started it as a personal progress project a few years ago. ;)

We see a lot of layering with camis in our neck of the woods, but people don't do t-shirts under things. I agree, the look is very geographically specific.

The issue we're seeing here is about leggings. Some wear them under dresses and say that it meets the knee-length requirement to get into stake dances. Our stake chose to adopt EFY standards and leggings do not "count". Interestingly, if you read For the Strength of Youth, they don't bright line the issue that much. Stomach, shoulders, and stuff being low-cut in the front or back is covered, but skirt/short length is not other than to say "avoid short shorts or skirts".
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#37 alisoncooks

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:40 PM

It's hard to find some good pics.

http://3.bp.blogspot...00/010213 8.PNG

http://4.bp.blogspot...e stone look.PN

http://1.bp.blogspot.../122412 918.PNG

I think all of those look fine (but then again, this is coming from a woman who most frequently dresses like Sheldon from BBT or Ellen DeGeneres - lots of long-sleeves under tees, jeans/cords, snazzy tennis shoes, LOL).

I have often layered a fitted t-shirt under a tank top babydoll dress/top for my little girls. It looks cute. Long sleeves or short sleeves work and when it's cold, we add leggings. Presto -- summer wardrobe turned fall. :)

The key is *fitted* t-shirts. This look doesn't work with a bulky, oversized tee.
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#38 KrissiK

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:47 PM

For me, it depends on the dress and the venue.

I agree!

#39 Veritaserum

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:51 PM

I've done long-sleeved shirts under sundresses with leggings for winter...for my little girls. In the summer they wear sundresses with no shirts. My bigger girls wear sweaters over the top if they are cold, which I vastly prefer even for the younger ones.

I don't think a jumper with a shirt looks as weird as a tank or cami with a shirt, but those are both more juvenile looks, IMO. Fine if you're a schoolgirl, but not the best look for adults.

I've seen some strange combinations like a black fitted layering tee under a plung-neck hot pink halter dress evening gown. It just looks odd. A flesh colored fitted tee under a dress with an unlined lacy shoulder or neckline wouldn't look as out of place. A nice pashmina or shrug worn over the top would be nicer, too.

Leggings are fine to me as pants unless the dress/skirt/tunic just barely covers or doesn't cover the rear end. If it's that short, a thicker pant fabric would probably look better. I have David Bowie's leggings from Labyrinth in mind here, lol. Put on some pants, man!

#40 Orthodox6

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:37 PM

We're a diverse group, so there will be multiple-choice answers. For myself, I don't like to see breasts hanging out of clothing, even partially so. It is hard to find clothing for any age of female without a deep scoop, or a plunging neckline. A sleeveless tank/cami worn underneath a garment with sleeves, or a sleeved t-shirt worn underneath a sleeveless garment looks attractive, when a good pairing of pieces is chosen. A "bad pairing" does, indeed, look awkward or unattractive. A good match, however, visually looks as if it was intended in the first place.

#41 Lisbeth

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:49 PM

We keep a closet of prom dresses here for the reasons you mentioned. Someone started it as a personal progress project a few years ago. ;)

We see a lot of layering with camis in our neck of the woods, but people don't do t-shirts under things. I agree, the look is very geographically specific.

The issue we're seeing here is about leggings. Some wear them under dresses and say that it meets the knee-length requirement to get into stake dances. Our stake chose to adopt EFY standards and leggings do not "count". Interestingly, if you read For the Strength of Youth, they don't bright line the issue that much. Stomach, shoulders, and stuff being low-cut in the front or back is covered, but skirt/short length is not other than to say "avoid short shorts or skirts".


I saw a youtube video ("195 dresses") ((are we allowed to link? oops, I dunno...)) about this idea, and I LOVE the closet of prom dresses idea as a YW project.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1IbEuq2gf8

In that one they made shrugs to go with the dresses.

As to the topic at hand, I am not a total fan of shirts under tanks but I MUCH prefer that to the very iffy dresses and way of dressing I see on a lot of kid these days.

#42 coloradoperkins

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:01 PM

I am borderline about the modesty issue. I am ok with tank top straps as long as they are wide enough and positioned to cover the bra nicely. Tiny spaghetti straps are a bit much.

In my association group, most choose to cover shoulders altogether. Under NO SITUATION would I do a shirt under a tank or sleeveless dress-can't stand it! We do plenty of cardigans and shrugs though.

#43 YaelAldrich

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

Now that I have seen the pictures above, I groan and say this look is very popular amongst certain flavors of Orthodox Jews. They squeeze themselves into expensive shells (that's the word we use for those skin tight shirts underneath) and plop another non-modest (to our version of modesty) shirt on top. I hate it!!!

I have two shells like that but they go underneath cardigans or other long (full or 3/4 sleeve) shirts.

I don't think it is particularly modest for your arms to be that tightly outlined. JMHO.

Call me crazy!

#44 Melissa in Australia

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:19 PM

I don't think it is particularly modest for your arms to be that tightly outlined. JMHO.

Call me crazy!



I always thought that the look of super tight skivvy outlining clothes was the result of a sudden weight gain, and the poor person could only just squeeze into their top... or perhaps they were wearing a pressure suit....... You mean all my sympathy for the poor person was mislaid

#45 YaelAldrich

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:25 PM

I always thought that the look of super tight skivvy outlining clothes was the result of a sudden weight gain, and the poor person could only just squeeze into their top... or perhaps they were wearing a pressure suit....... You mean all my sympathy for the poor person was mislaid


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#46 Crimson Wife

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:50 PM

MIL gave oldest DD a spaghetti strap "dress" last summer. I don't permit DD to wear it unless it's layered over a specific cap-sleeved white T she owns and paired with leggings. It's a cute outfit when she layers it but the "dress" is WAAAAAY inappropriate on its own because of the straps and the mid-thigh length. I don't know what MIL was thinking giving it to a 9 1/2 y.o. :confused1:


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