We are two sisters who share a common problem of Traditional Catholic women: the fashion industry makes it very difficult to find clothes that are attractive and modest.
If you are a woman, you know what it feels like to walk an entire mall and leave with nothing.
Unfortunately, many of the modest options that do exist are not particularly attractive. But being modest should not have to mean you feel dowdy or bland. On the contrary, Kate Middleton is an example of a woman who dresses with class and a sense of modesty, and her style is admired around the world.
A year and a half ago, my sister and I began designing our own line of modest women’s dresses. Our company is called Paris Bloom and we design feminine dresses that are classic and modern.
In more ways than immodesty, American clothing has devolved in past decades. Paris Bloom dresses are well tailored and made with quality fabric. We’re bringing back fit and quality construction details that were expected in the 1950s but which are not found in the cheap, disposable clothing sold today at places like Walmart.
It is also important to us to support American jobs and just wages. We partner with a Dallas-based manufacturing company that is family-owned. Our pattern-makers, cutter and sewers are thrilled to have our business because they have families to support. Less than 3 percent of clothing consumed by Americans is Made in USA. The apparel industry has taken a huge hit from offshoring since the 1950s. It’s charitable to support local garment-industry businesses that still exist and help them grow. We do this in the spirit of Rerum Novarum.
We are encouraged by the interest we’ve received from not only Traditional Catholic women, but especially from weekly Mass-attending, Novus Ordo Catholic women. These women have told us they desire to dress more modestly, but are struggling to find their way. They get no help from the fashion industry, but their priests also do not guide them.
Most priests are afraid to bring up the modesty topic from the pulpit. Although the Vatican itself has standards you have to follow to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, these guidelines are generally not enforced in Novus Ordo churches. It’s important to start educating society on the modesty topic again, but it’s equally essential to offer better clothing choices.
Our company is a small way we can take Catholic Action to re-introduce more modesty into the world and help women feel dignified and beautiful. Historically, Catholics have played a tremendous role in all aspects of arts and culture. If we want to rebuild Christendom, Catholics need to get involved in the fashion industry and work to restore order and beauty.
Our first collection launches on August 23. You can find us at parisbloom.com.