Who else LOVES this time of year? All of the houses decorated for the holidays, and sale signs in store windows, and the scent of pumpkin spice still lingering in coffee shops makes my heart smile a little bigger than usual. I've sat and thought for a long time about how to make this gift guide & decided it would be best based off of my collaborations. I mean, what's better than hearing where to shop from someone who has, loves, and wears/uses the products from the companies listed below? If I don't end up providing what you hoped for, PLEASE message me so I can edit/add what you feel was missing. I'm currently learning how to be more tech savvy so the next time I do this will for sure be more advanced ;)
Clothing of all styles & sorts:
- @esteezonline: ALLLL of Annette's skirts and dresses are flattering for every body type, always modest & they're super cute!!! I'm always able to dress them up or down which is another great perk of the clothing she designs. (Also, her stories with her Hubs Dayhan will have you laughing all day long if that isn't enough!)
- @gracefulcollection: Everything I've been gifted from Gracefulcollection is always modest, super comfortable, and TRENDY AF!!! They also have accessories which is always a huge bonus to me.
- @themimiboutique: Mimi recently gifted me a super soft, comfy, and stylish ruffled sweater dress & her shaggy fur vest. Other than these two products Mimi has tons of dresses, adorable vests, shirts, skirt, hats for women and kids, belts, mugs & more!!
- @junees_: Has pretty much EVERYTHING for women and children. I am obsessed with everything I have from Junee's- the sweaters, skirts, dresses, shirts that I have are all super flattering & fully modest.
- @mayasplace: sent me their adorable combo tunic dress. This dress is super soft, & can be styled a bunch of fun ways. Other than this specific dress you can find SOO many other dresses perfect for the remaining fall & winter months that are coming our way!!
- @two12fashion: The ONLY place I get belts from is two12fashion. They have every belt, every color, for every occasion. I have transformed outfits with a simple rope belt. I believe belts are a necessity in a woman's wardrobe. If you know someone who can use some glamorous & trendy belts shop here. You'll never need another place to go.
- @hats4.less: If the name doesn't already give it away, they sell the latest style beanies, caps, & headbands for the BEST prices!! They have products for women and children - best place to get a holiday gift for a momma & her kids OR to match your BFF.
- @urbanfinessela: EARRINGS EARRINGS & MORE EARRINGS!!! I love & want every single pair they have. They are super trendy, not heavy (on my ears) & add SO much to every outfit. Any pair would make the perfect gift for any fashionista.
- @thestyledbeauty: This company has jewelry of ALL styles!! When I say ALL I actually mean ALL. I have a matching aztec style Druzy stone earring and necklace set & neutral stone dangle earrings from them. I wear them to school, work, dates, weddings etc. They add SO much to simple outfits.
- @berryedtreasures: If you LOVE personalized hats, & jackets the best company to order from is berryedtreasures. Tzipora makes the coolest products, I'm super super happy with my initial winter beanie & initial summer fedora. Get matching inital beanies or jackets for the whole Fam or your closest friends. EVERYBODY will love this as a gift!!
- @pineappleheaddesignco: CALLING ALL MY MUG LOVERS... this is for you. You know my favorite "Future Mrs. Safer" mug?!? & my "Eat, sleep, slay , repeat" to go tumbler with my insta handle on it?!? You must if you follow me. I got these amazing gifts from this awesome company. They create the nicest personalized drinkware out there!! You're welcome.
- @ezkogifts: You don't follow me if you haven't seen my awesome personalized clutch from ezko's. They have many more things you can personalize other than clutches & they are NEVER basic. If you want your gift to stand out personalize an ezko product!!
I hope this list of clothing & accessory companies helps you shop for your grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, friend or and other lady figure in your life! I hope you all end up getting all the holiday gifts you're hoping for- but if you end up getting an avocado or kale chips be happy with the avocado or kale chips. They've been super trendy lately.
It's that time of year again. The time where we are being judged for all the things we've done right and wrong over the last 365 days.
We stand in our Shuls (temple, synagogue, prayer place or whatever else you call it) and beg for our lives. We stand there and say "I'm so sorry for this... I'm so sorry for that... Oh yeah and that too". We beg God to still see us of value & worthy enough to be here for another 365 days. I have a question, the day after will you still be in your Beis Yaakov finest? Will you still be speaking badly about people behind their backs? Will you still be running to pray? A bunch of you, yes. A bunch of you, no.
That doesn't make you a bad person. It makes you Human. You're only a bad person if you stop trying. If you slip up once and say "Well, there isn't a point to keep trying. I'm clearly not good at this."
When I stand before God on this very holy day I don't beg for my life & try to prove I am worthy enough to be here. Who am I to approach God and say " Hey! Bud! remember me? The one who messed up? I'm genuinely so sorry for doing XY&Z (lets not forget every other letter of the alphabet... in every language...) but can i like have one more chance? I'll won't let you down! I promise!". I used to say that year after year. Looking back on that I'm like Ha! to think He even looked at me and said "Rachel Sara, you're right! Here are another 365 days!" it's embarrassing.
This year I've stood firm with my belief that God has a plan, and everything truly is for the good. God will give me everything, all the tools (actually EVERYTHING) I need for every moment in my life. I HAVE every tool I need to get through the next 24 hours of my life. That is a hard thing to believe. That doesn't mean I sit back with my feet up and say "if i'm supposed to have this it will just appear." No No... I will sometimes after a hard day just scream in my car. Loudly. "WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU THINK I CAN HANDLE ALL OF THIS. I'M TRULY HONORED, BUT RELAX!"
Struggles in life are beautiful. That's God's way of saying- You can be so much greater than you are today! Just push a little harder.
For me a struggle (even if its a first world problem) is adding $100+ worth of clothing to my cart in Zara, H&M, Nordstrom, Asos, SheIn, etc. I sit down and think to myself, will having this clothing make me worth it? Will I have more friends? Will I get more followers? Will I be worthy of greater opportunities? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!
I am worth EVERYTHING, even if I didn't create @modestisthenewblack.
I am worth EVERYTHING, even if I didn't have a stunning engagement ring.
I am worth EVERYTHING, even if I never got to travel the world.
I am worth EVERYTHING, even if I don't become a special education teacher.
You are not what you have. You are not what you've created. You are not your job.
Imagine (we'll use me for an example) not having any of these things. No stunning ring, No closet full of a crazy amount of cothing, No cool places to mark off my bucket list, No job as a special education teacher. No @modestisthenewblack.
Who would I be? after all of that is subtracted from "me" who would I be?
I WOULD BE JUST ME. I would be a person. A Jew. A daughter, Sister, Granddaughter, Niece, Cousin, Fianće, Friend, & Mentor.
I would still be caring, I would still be giving, I would still be loving.
You are worth everything, even if you had nothing. How do I know that? BECAUSE you just had another 365 days. For 365 days God WOKE YOU BACK UP!!!
Do whatever you want, but in my opinion don't go making promises you know you'll break. Don't promise you'll be modest every second when you know its a struggle. Don't go and promise you will never talk badly about someone behind their back, it happens. Don't promise when you leave Shul after Neilah you won't curse ever again, when that habit has been so hard to break!
Promise you will TRY YOUR BEST to recognize your struggles are for the good, You will TRY YOUR BEST to find & use the tools given to you to get through your hardest and happiest times. Promise you will TRY YOUR BEST to do better, and when you fail once or twice or 100 times this year, you won't stop trying to do better.
My hope for all of you this year, is that God gives you every tool you need to conquer every up hill battle you will have this year. I hope these peaks and valleys don't cause you to give up, I hope they help you see that great potential within each of you. I hope this year each of you get another 365 days to do better. You can make a change in this world. If you are here today, you have the potential to make a difference. If it's as little as changing 1 person's life for the better, or the entire world. That ability is within you!
I am worth everything, even if I had nothing.
Repeat that to yourself. Repeat it until you believe it.
For a while now I've been really busy and caught up with life. As a result of that I unfortunately neglected my blog.
I'm back, and hopefully won't get side tracked for too long again!
This past year has been filled with many up's in my personal & professional life, Thankfully!
I decided to be brave and ask companies if they'd like to collaborate with me after I was sought out 5 times. I can happily say I have collaborated with 20+ companies since I last posted here. My hope is for that number to keep growing with the amount of followers I have. My goal for @modestisthenewblack hasn't changed much. My top priority is to inspire women with my style. I struggled as a teenager with modesty until I had one amazing mentor change my whole perspective. I hope to be that inspiration for other girls and women in the same position I was in. I'm not a preacher and I don't believe everyone MUST dress modestly. I believe everybody MUST do what makes them happy, comfortable, and most importantly what makes them feel beautiful.
I used to think of dressing modestly as covering my beauty, I was so lucky to learn that it enhances my beauty instead. I feel the most beautiful when I'm covered. That doesn't take away my interpersonal conflicts though. I have moments where I think "Will anybody I know really be there?" "If I did run into someone, do I really care that much?". So real talk, I have gone to the beach this summer and wore a one piece with shorts (I know, I'm horrible) and I have gone to the gym wearing a tank top and leggings (GASP!).
IT FELT GREAT!!! FOR .2 SECONDS...
I love more than anything to just tan all day in the summer. So I tested it out when I went to the beach the sun on my skin felt amazing, but inside I was letting myself down. I usually wear shorts with a short skater skirt over when i go to amusement parks. I went this year in a SWIM DRESS!!!! and... IT WAS CUTE & COMFY!!!! I was concerned about how to sit on roller coasters without it going up, thankfully it turned out not to be a problem.
The point to dressing modestly is to have fun with it. I will not pretend to anyone I am perfect and I cover everything all the time. I struggle with it, but i can confidently say its worth the struggle (for me at least).
On a personal note, I got engaged in July!!! (WHOOHOO!!!) So even though I'll be swamped with school, work & wedding planning I will set time aside to write more posts.
Hope everyone has been well! Sorry for my absence!
To all of those in the Caribbean, Texas, Florida & unfortunately more places I hope you're all healthy & safe. My heart goes out to all of you.
I was recently asked a question that I never really have a normal answer to. “Rachel, What does modesty mean to you?” I pondered that for a while before answering. In my religion (Judaism) we’re giving guide lines, & measurements to make modesty easy to dress by. To me, modesty isn’t about the measurements. Modesty is the realization that you’re beautiful just how you are, and confidently believe so. You can conceal and vouch for your goods to anyone who questions them, because you know your worth.
Steve jobs invented many apple products we use and love today. We weren’t offered these goods for free. With proper advertisement & being confident in his product Steve was able to sell 575,000,000 iPhones. Steve didn’t give us each free phones to prove the worth of his product because that would take away some of its worth.
Men & Woman shouldn’t feel the need to just hand themselves over to prove their worth. Dressing modestly to me is the proper advertisement and confidence Steve job used when putting his new products on the market. Giving ourselves over for everyone to enjoy in my mind is asking for approval because you’re not sure how worthy you actually are. People buy certain products and run toward the products that say “limited edition” because once they have the product that theoretically means nobody else can. Thats the goal of modesty for me. I dress modestly because I know my worth, not because I understand every guideline my religion handed over to me.
I used to think dressing modestly was for people who had to cover their bodies because society told them they were unappealing to look at. As i got older I’ve learnt to appreciate the guidelines handed over to me. I owe a lot to my biggest role model, Rachel Chafetz for helping me see modesty in a positive light. This incredible woman took me to my favorite stores to teach me how to dress the way I do today. I hope this post inspires my readers the way my Teacher inspired me four years ago.
Know your worth. Be confident with yourself. Now that i do, I wouldn’t give that up for anything. All i wish to change is that I knew my worth sooner.
Time after time I run into people who make judgmental comments about others. I can't say I never did that, I have done it many times. I realized the hurt coming from my mouth were issues I had with myself, not with the people I was trying to put down. Thankfully I've almost full outgrown that bad habit, but let me tell you it will always be a work in progress. I used to judge people who were different than me because I couldn't relate to them. The biggest issue with that is we can all relate to everyone if we do it with an open heart and an open mind. Once you realize that each person is constantly thinking "I wonder what they think of me right now?" you'll notice nobody is actually thinking about you specifically. That realization right there shut down all of my insecurities and helped me work on the problem from its root.
I'm here talking about people calling others fake, less than them just because they changed their 'old habits'. I USED to dress way different than I do now. I got the comments "Wow, I never seen anything so fake in my life" and much worse. I've been discouraged to walk down the path I'm currently walking on because others were too insecure to make changes in their own lives. NEVER tell a person they are fake because they're trying to change their ways. Just because someone once saw something one way doesn't mean they can't come to a different understanding and act upon that. Especially if you saw someone doing something 'right' and suddenly they stopped don't start saying the person is crying for help, or is having a mental breakdown.
We were all kids who once annoyed our parents while we contemplated which flavor candy we should get because we were only allowed one. When we become adults its our choice to try one and always stick to that one flavor or raid the entire candy store until we finally come across the flavor we like best. Even when we do find it, we may eat our self sick of it and have to choose a different favorite flavor.
Humans are all indecisive, it just depends with what for each person. Stop judging others for taking positive steps for themselves, just because that same step isn't positive for you.
To all my followers, friends, and family trying to break bad habits don't be discouraged by all the negativity you'll get slapped with. Keep going. In the end if you're happy with where you are thats all that matters. You're not fake if you change your mind, you're just really great at making sure you're choosing the perfect lifestyle for yourself.
Recently I witnessed an encountering between two woman that really appalled me. I was hanging out with a couple of friends, all dressed differently with a coed crowd. Around the block there was a party where girls were dressed up in all different sorts of pj’s. One girl decided to turn to her friend and began to bash a girl she never met before. The girl being bashed wasn’t exactly modest and the girl bashing her was more covered but still not modestly dressed. The room went silent as the girl said “I don’t get how girls can walk out dressed in shorts like that!”. Mind you it was really cold, and the shorts were very short but being invited to a college pajama party you should be expecting that. If a girl is dressed in a certain way where if she moves slightly her body is indecently exposed, I can’t say i’m for that. However, modesty is a struggle thats different for each person. I would NEVER under any circumstances mock, or speak badly of a girl dressed that way. That girl is comfortable where she is in life, and thats a beautiful feeling. For someone who should be an adult to act like a middle school girl and make rude comments is disgusting. I wouldn’t want girls like that around my own boyfriend or husband for obvious reasons but I would never publicly embarrass someone bc my opinion is different than theirs.
To all the woman out there who never let go of the middle schooler in them, PLEASE let go & grow up. We live in a world with so much baseless hatred, we don’t need to add to it. We have many people already seeking to mistreat us, we need to treat each other with the respect we want in return. If you can dress more covered, but bash someone who isn’t you’re failing at the idea of modesty. Modesty isn’t just with how you dress, its how you speak and act publicly too. Embarrassing & putting down another because you’re still an insecure, judgmental child isn’t okay. Women empower one another, girls compete and put down each other. If you’re half way through High School or in College please act like a lady, and keep mean thoughts and comments to yourself.
Sorry for the rant, needed to share this. Have an amazing weekend!
This is how you play:
Society starts the game by saying “Society says…” with an action to follow.
You need to do the action Society commanded
If you move a tiny bit out of the lines, Or do something that didn’t start with “Society Says” You’re out of the game.
Ready? Set? Go!
ROUND1: Society says…
“ Have a thigh gap, no matter what the cost”
“ Woman, act dumb - guys find it more attractive”
“ Wear booty shorts”
“ Cover up”
“ Keep quiet if you’ve been assaulted, you asked for it”
“ Contour your face, chest area, and body”
“ Be yourself”
“ Don’t have stretch marks”
“ Use makeup, flawed skin is UGLY”
“ Be a size 0”
“ Make sure your eyebrows are on Fleek”
“ Kim K your butt”
“ Kylie Jenner your lips”
“ Be white- White’s are beautiful”
But don’t worry everyone, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
This game I just demonstrated for you seems a bit rough doesn’t it? For me personally the last time I had a thigh gap was when I was 10. My body type is petite & curvy and I love every inch of it. I wasn’t always that way though. I’ve looked in the mirror countless of times feeling less beautiful than I actually am. I’ve said I was fat, sighed at the sight of my stretch marks, got frustrated when both eyebrows weren’t on fleek, and the worst of all got mad when contouring was the reason I was breaking out. Society tells us all the new “In styles”, most of which are expecting the impossible from every human being or society completely contradicts itself as a whole. The issue with all of this is, we are society.
We expect so much from ourselves and everyone around us. We forgot how to appreciate natural beauty, we forgot what its like to make eye contact with people when we speak to them. I have two questions for all of you..
How can you let someone decide what beauty is, if they haven’t looked up from their phones to see it in real life? Most of the pictures on the internet, the ads on busses and highways, TV commercials are all filtered, photoshopped, or enhanced. Are you going to keep letting our twisted society decide wether or not you’re beautiful? I know I’m not.
Great update on society:
Earlier this week I saw an article stating there are finally realistic barbie dolls on the market. This news couldn’t have made me happier than it had. As I looked at pictures of them I was able to see Barbies that resemble all types of beautiful woman. Tall, Short, Petite, Curvy and ALL beautiful skin tones & races.
There is still hope!
I often find men cat calling at woman who are showing some skin. As disrespectful as I thought it was to woman, I also understood that if you look good someone is going to tell you. We all compliment people in different ways, and for some men whistling and cat calls are their way of doing so. I used to think that if I dressed modestly, there would be no more cat calling and people wouldn’t find me attractive. Turns out even when you make the effort to be modest, the cat calls just don’t stop. I still get stared down now that I’m dressing modestly. Seems a bit frustrating, right? I personally was very frustrated by it. I kept questioning why I had to cover my body if I was getting the same reactions. I finally discussed it with a teacher. My teacher told me that a lot of men are attracted to least covered part of a woman’s body. If you’re wearing a mini skirt, short shorts, or a low cut shirt its a bit obvious a man isn’t focusing much on your face. That being said, if all those distractions are covered, and the only thing you’re really showing is your face a man is going to pay attention to your face.
Another take on this issue- Men are attracted to mysterious things. Whats so mysterious about a woman who dresses modestly? You would think there would be none. However, modest woman have an advantage in the world these days. Most woman follow regular fashion trends society deems as the ‘new black’. Our newest trends have been crop tops with high waisted skirts, jeans, or shorts, The cut out dresses, Rompers with knee high gladiator sandals. These are all really great fashion trends that if i could wear, I would. In another lifetime I’d be a Coachella going, rave loving teenage girl who can wear all those adorable trends. In this lifetime though, I can just live through my old experiences doing so. The mystery is within the mere action of dressing modestly. How on earth do we have the courage and confidence to completely swim against the current? That is the mystery that attracts men to modestly dressed woman. It leaves them wanting to know more about your way of thinking, and what you’re hiding beneath your beautiful modesty.
As you can see, the fear of being unattractive to others if you cover up, is something you shouldn’t be afraid of. After all you’ll always be prettier than one person, and another person will always be prettier than you. Being unique is what really makes you beautiful and catches the attention of others. Know you’re beautiful. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that should matter to you.
In conclusion do what makes you feel beautiful in your eyes. If you feel more beautiful in societies newest trends rock that look for those of us who can’t. If you feel more beautiful dressing modestly, rock that look for those of us who aren’t there yet. We’re beautiful no matter how we dress. The question you need to ask yourself is are you dressing for YOU, or them?
When I first thought about dressing modestly my first thought went to "How can I possibly do this in the summer?" Putting the awkward tan lines aside for a second... My secondary concern was "How on earth will I not die of a heat stroke with all these layers?" After spending a year in Israel's hot climate I saw most of the woman here do it on the daily, so I can at least try it out. My school had a modest dress code, not a uniform. We were asked to have our clothing meet the areas we needed to cover, but we can wear whatever style pleased us. I went out to some Israeli stores and bought myself modest lightweight T-shirts to wear on hiking trips and really hot days to respect what was asked of me. (The shirts I bought with me were a bit too warm) I soon came to the realization that seasons aren't really the issue with dressing modestly, the fabric of our clothing is. If you buy lightweight clothing in a material that is known not to make one sweat as much, you won. You will always sweat. Even if you're hiking in a sports bra and shorts, you'll honestly sweat just as much as you will covered up. I can vouch for that. I've worked out in the comfort of my own home not so modestly dressed, and hiked in Israel's summer heat covered. I sweat just as much both times. I am one of the many who are guilty of making excuses on why we can't be modest in the summer. Test it out for a day, Modesty is fairly easy in the winter. The summer is where the modesty test is hardest! Good luck if you try it out :) Back to the tan line issue.. A teacher once told me a beautiful thing about awkward tan lines. When you get married its really important to make your spouse always feel special and to always keep him interested. When you have those awkward tan lines you're telling your husband and have proof that the only people who have seen past a certain point on your body is you, and him. The more you cover, the more he feels is kept special just for him. Obviously there are also ways to fix unwanted tan lines to avoid these issues, but if you're not into them I hope what my teacher said helps you have a positive perspective on the issues many woman are concerned with during the summer months.
Having a modesty blog is honestly challenging. On one hand you can really inspire woman, on the other it can look as if i’m being judgmental and turn woman off to the idea of modesty. I want you all to know that I don’t judge at all. How can I judge anyone if I once walked in their shoes? If anything I know the struggle is too real! Most of the fashion fads out there that woman wear today I wish i could wear. Many woman look super cute with cuffed jeans, heels, & T-shirt topped off with a blazer. I know I can look super cute wearing them too, and when i’m tempted to buy the look i try it on in the dressing room instead. I know exactly where you’re coming from. I mean seriously, If you can look appealing in everything, why limit yourself? That was my mindset until I had a deeper understanding of what modesty meant and how it would help me. I couldn’t understand the correlation between self respect, being confident or insecure and covering my body. To me they were all different issues that never crossed paths. However, today I can say that I do feel more confident with myself as a person dressing modestly. When I didn’t dress modestly I had some days where I felt confident about my body, and other days where I felt like every body part revealed suddenly gained 30 pounds. Modesty isn’t the path for everyone. Many people find it to be scary, its a big change. The decision is yours to make and nobody has the right to judge you based on what you feel is best for you. I’m here to show you that modesty can become easier after time. Its a journey, but its a journey I don’t regret and would never change.
Our world is changing drastically. Confidence and insecurity have gotten completely mixed up in society over the years. We all are aware that it is more appealing to the eye when more skin is showing. Many insecurities people have are when they start to get older their spouse or partner will go searching for someone with a body more attractive than theirs. Modesty keeps you attractive for all the years of your life. The person you save your body for knows that the vessel YOU are carried within is solely for them. Your body becomes something the two of you can always share together. Just as a kid feels special when someone says “You’re the only person I told this to. Don't tell anyone else”, modesty is telling the person you settle down with “This body is only for you. I’ve never showed anyone else, or haven’t in a while.” My mission is to show the world that modesty doesn’t mean one is insecure. - Rachel Sara