A dress cannot be called decent…



“A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper.” 
Donato Cardinal Sbaretti, Prefect of the Congregation of the Council- 1/12/30

 Do you have a problem with this?

How and why?

Share with me! I so much want to help you overcome this starting today!

With love,
Rita Xo 🙂

©Copyright 2014 Rita Davidson  All Rights Reserved.

IMG_0905Rita is a Catholic wife, and mother of seven, with three autistic boys. Currently a writer, & published author, she is a former hairdresser, professional make up artist with a degree in Natural Health. She is now a Young Living Distributor. After overcoming a stroke, disabilities, and more, they recently lost everything in a devastating house fire that made them homeless for six months. She is determined to lead souls back to Christ by carrying their crosses with Joy!


19 responses to “A dress cannot be called decent…”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    Hi Mrs. Davidson,
    After reading your book “Immodesty Satan’s Virtue” that I found among my Mom’s books I do not have a problem with this. But didn’t you say that there was a revision that said it is okay to wear quarter length sleeves until the culture turns back to higher modesty standards? Just wanted to check with you. I really enjoyed your book especially your chapter about lost femininity. That is part of the reason I started my website with friends. I would greatly appreciate if you would stop by our website. We started it after completing an ENDOW class last summer. It is for promoting femininity,modesty and the dignity of girls. If you have any suggestions we have an email that is posted on the about page.
    Thank you and God Bless

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Hello Rachel,
      And God bless you for your wonderful work! I did drop by and look forward to getting more updates from you. If you’d like me to write up a guest post for you, just let me know?
      Yes, there was a revision for quarter length sleeves in my book,
      “2. Marylike dresses have sleeves that extend at least to the elbows, which excludes, then, sleeveless dresses, tops, short sleeves or cap sleeves. (Note: quarter length sleeves are tolerated, with Ecclesiastical Approval, for the time being until Christian womanhood again turns to Mary as the model for Modesty in dress.)” available on our website here: Marylike Standards of Dress
      Keeping in mind, we can often find elbow length sleeves, but this concession was made considering the limited clothes at the time. (1960ish) so, be sure to only use it when absolutely needed as an option. I will have more on this topic coming up soon!
      God bless you Rachel !
      With love,
      Author; Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue (2001) and more…

      1. Rachel Avatar

        I would love if you would guest write for us! I will look around for elbow length shirts more now. I wish I knew how to to sew. Then I could make clothes exactly the way I want them. I think I will look into that! 🙂

        Thank You!

        1. Rita Davidson Avatar
          Rita Davidson

          Thank you Rachel,
          Yes, if you want to contact us at our Contact page, I”ll see about a guest post for you! Please just email me there so I can get your contact email. Thank you!

          And if your interested in sewing it’s actually very simple. Have you ever read the instructions I gave in my book, Immodesty, Satans Virtue? I gave some simple instructions in there for a skirt? Perhaps that book needs to come back in print for everyone?
          hmmmmm 🙂

          God bless you!
          Author: Immodesty, Satans Virtue (2001) and more…

  2. Amy Frank Avatar

    The biggest problem is finding clothes that fit the bill. I’ve had to sew most of what I wear and luckily I sew. The other problem is that some women really hate to see me dress modest and say nasty comments to me. I think most of them are feminist who feel that dressing modest, having children and caring for the family as bad things. Luckily I just married a wonderful man on the 17th of May that supports my dressing modest.

    1. Sarah Avatar

      Hey 🙂 I just wanted to say that Father Ripperger talks about this !!! 🙂 But I think you should go listen to what he has to say about this, which is attached on the link here:

      If that doesn’t work then you can find it on sensustraditionis.org
      Under modesty, and it’s given in parts so it’s “V” and Father starts talking about the statement around 6:55
      Also I thought that’s it was Cardinal Siri that quoted that , but maybe I’m mistaken.. Ha

      1. Rita Davidson Avatar
        Rita Davidson

        Thanks Sarah,
        That was a great sermon thanks for sharing!
        God bless you!
        Rita 🙂
        Author: Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue (2001) and more…

      2. Janice Harder Avatar
        Janice Harder

        Thanks for the website for Fr. Ripperger! He is a great priest!

    2. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Congratulations Amy!!!!!
      I”m so happy for you and your new marriage! I pray God will bless you with many graces and happiness.

      I’m so sorry to hear you have heard nasty comments about your dressing. Just pray for strength and forgiveness and don’t worry about what they say. Remember, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first..”
      God bless you for your committment to modesty!
      Rita Xo 🙂
      Author: Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue (2001) and more…

  3. Helen Avatar

    Great (and much needed) article, Rita!

    One thing we can all do is to let stores (and clothing catalogs), etc. know that we are looking for modest clothing. We need to be specific in requesting higher necklines, longer skirts, etc.

    I wish, too, there would be more of an attempt made to make modest prom dresses. Some are extremely revealing. Maybe those who do a lot of sewing could have a side business in creating modest prom, wedding, bridesmaids, etc. dresses.

    I wish I sewed! I have to hunt through the store racks, instead.

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Thank you Helen for your comments!
      So glad you enjoyed the article and great idea about letting stores know what we are looking for too. I haven’t had much trouble finding longer skirts though. And necklines haven’t been too bad too. I think we all need to learn to shop better and realize there is alot we can do with the regular store offerings too.
      I hear from alot who don’t sew, and I’d really like to change this for them! Sewing really frees you to having a bit more variety. 🙂
      If anyone here sews for a business, feel free to contact me about what you do so I can pass it along! 🙂
      God bless you,
      Author: Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue (2001) and more…

  4. melissa babin Avatar
    melissa babin

    As a big breasted woman I have always found it very difficult to find shirts that literally cover everything! It has made me very self conscious about my chest. Through the years I have found some shirts and have put tank tops under to cover up more but sometimes it is hard. As far as up to the elbow well most of my shirts are 2″ above the elbow but I don’t find this is an offense or not modest it is not a tank top showing all of my arms. As far as skirts well I am well below the knee to hitting my ankles. Thanks for your blogs I enjoy them and learn much. If you have any ideas or clothing line that covers womens chest appropriately please let me know. Thanks.

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      So good to hear from you! And I have the same issue as you with being well endowed up top. 🙂

      Have you found me on Facebook? I Post alot more pictures there of how to dress. I don’t do anything special, but if you see what I wear you will have a hard time seeing that I too am, large up top, (I think?) Layers help, a little larger clothing not so fitted help, but I haven’t found the need for special clothing?

      I’m going to have a blogpost with more pictures next week so I want you to watch for that and let me know what you think. I’m working on more new ways to help everyone to make this as simple as possible!
      God bless you and Mary keep you,
      Author: Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue (2001) and more…

  5. Marilyn Avatar

    I wish more women knew just how immodest they look when they don’t follow those simple guidelines! But I actually tweak them just a TINY bit. I know Padre Pio insisted the women wear skirts no less than 8″ below the knees. Well, for us very short ladies, this would look ridiculous, IMO, and also be awkward for those of us who have mobility issues. For us, as long as the skirt covers the knees comfortably when sitting, that’s good enough for us. As for the sleeves, I believe that a normal short sleeve is enough, and is also much easier to find, and to wear, in warmer climates. As long as the underarm area is totally covered when the arms are raised up, that does it for me. And I also prefer a V-neck shirt over a regular round neck. As long as absolutely no cleavage is in danger of being exposed, even when bending over, I am good with that. Those are our personal family guidelines. I just found someone to sew is some skirts, since we are having a very difficult time finding decent things to wear. I am almost completely getting away from my previously often worn capri pants! That is quite an accomplishment for me, and I am thrilled to be headed back in the right direction.

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Whoohoo Marilyn!!!
      Good for you! I want to hear how you progress and how this all works for you!
      It sounds like your tweaking a ‘little bit’ is what you need right now. We had 95F yesterday and that’s just spring weather, so heat comes here too. The more we pray about it and realize we can always do MORE for Our Lord the more we will see it is all possible.
      All things in good time…:)
      I want to keep hearing your progress! 🙂

      God bless you and keep you always~
      Author: Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue, (2001) and more…

  6. Evie Avatar

    You should try checking this company out… they don’t have a lot of elbow length options in their formal wear, but they do custom work to accomodate a range of modesty standards. And their prices are pretty rockin’!

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Thanks Evie!

      God bless,
      Author: Immodesty, Satans Virtue (2001) and more..

  7. Paulina Avatar

    As a Catholic convert from Messianic Judaism, I was delighted when I came across both your book and these standards, for they are practically identical to the standards found within the Orthodox Jewish community. Therefore, I was already dressing this way (elbow length sleeves, high collar, skirts to the knee or below), but wondering if I would stick out too much within the Catholic community. Thankfully, I have since come to know many lovely women online who also embrace these standards as Catholics.

    Finding clothes that fit the Mary-like standards shouldn’t be hard. I find most of my clothes online at Jewish stores such as koshercasual.com (very affordable) or at my local thrift store. It is quite easy and fun to find modest clothing!

    The only challenge, for me at least, is sticking to longer sleeves in the summer. It’s weird, but when I was in Judaism, I didn’t have a problem with this whatsoever! Maybe it was because my friends also dressed this way.

    1. Rita Davidson Avatar
      Rita Davidson

      Thank you Paulina for your comment!
      I have a great awe of Jewish converts who have come full into the Catholic faith!
      I loved your comment and it shows how we are related in a way to the Jewish faith. Very interesting.
      And you are so right once you make the choice to dress modestly finding the clothing is easier than one would think. 🙂
      My book, “Immodesty Satan’s Virtue” from 2001 now going into it’s 3rd edition, after being pulled safely from our fire. You might enjoy reading it if you haven’t already?
      And your sleeve problem is interesting, it helps to have friends that dress as we do, and many Catholics still do not understand the need for modesty.
      Thank you for sharing and God bless you!
      With love,
      Rita 😉
      Author of bestselling, “Immodesty, Satan’s Virtue” (2001) saved from the ashes, returns in 2015!

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