I have heard women say that they would wear skirts more if it was not for the frumpy, farm girl look that goes with it. Here are a few tips I've learned over the years for looking modest AND elegant and avoiding the frumpy look.
1. Try to avoid wearing jean skirts. The dressier the fabric, the more put together and elegant you will look. I like to wear black skirts on an everyday basis and dress them up with cute blouses, jackets, and scarves. Wearing a more formal looking skirt (not necessarily more uncomfortable) will help to create an elegant AND modest look.
TIP: Look for skirts at consignment and thrift stores! If you get dishwater or baby food on it, it will not be a big deal.
2. Shoes! Wearing elegant shoes helps to feel elegant too, and think and behave like a real lady.
TIPS: Some of my favorite places for shoes are consignment stores (usually very lightly used) and on sale at department stores. Shoes really aren't hard to find.
TIP: Look for belts at thrift stores or on sale at department stores like Kohl's or Target.
4. Wear jewelry to complement your outfit. Don't be afraid to dress modestly either. Look at this somewhat rugged looking, warm coat. It doesn't look at all frumpy. I think it helps to add bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. It also makes a big difference to have confidence when you are dressing modestly and feel and act like a true Catholic Lady.
TIP: Find pretty accessories at Claire's or at department stores on sale. I like to shop at the end of summer or after Christmas, when the best sales are available.
5. Layer. It is easy enough to make a dress or blouse modest by adding either a cardigan over it or a shirt under it. I am so glad I learned this trick because I no longer have to pass up those cute tops that are just too revealing. I just add a shirt underneath to fix both the gaping neckline and short sleeves.
TIP: It is possible to find inexpensive layering shirts and cardigan sweaters at thrift stores or on sale at outlet stores. Buy a shirt a size smaller than you normally would if you plan to wear it under a dress or blouse.
6. Hairstyle is very important to get an elegant look. Wearing my hair up makes me feel more elegant than when I leave it down.
TIP: I find some very pretty hairstyles on Pinterest.
7. Hats! This is more a matter of choice than anything. Hats help to create that dressy, elegant look for a special occasion. I honestly thought I looked terrible in hats, until I tried it. Hats really help to create a ladylike, modest and elegant look!
TIP: Look at department stores! If you shop in the late summer or autumn it may be possible to find hats on clearance.