The Marylike Standards for
Modesty in Dress
“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 which scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.” – The Cardinal-Vicar of Pope Pius XI.
- Marylike is modest without compromise, “like Mary,” Christ’s Mother.
- Marylike dresses have sleeves extending at least to the elbows, and skirts reaching below the knees. (Note: Because of impossible market conditions quarter-length sleeves are temporarily tolerated with Ecclesiastical Approval, until Christian womanhood again turns to Mary as the model of modesty in dress).
- Marylike dresses require full coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; except for a cut-out about the neck not exceeding two inches below the neckline in front and in back, and a corresponding two inches on the shoulders.
- Marylike dresses do not admit as modest coverage transparent fabrics – laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. – unless sufficient backing is added. However, their moderate use as trimmings is acceptable.
- Marylike dresses avoid the improper use of flesh colored fabrics.
- Marylike dresses conceal rather than reveal the figure of the wearer; they do not emphasize, unduly, parts of the body.
- Marylike dresses provide full coverage, even after jacket, cape or stole are removed.
“Marylike” fashions are designed to conceal as much of the body as possible, rather than reveal.
The Marylike standards are a guide to instill a “sense of modesty”. A girl who follows these and looks up to Mary as her ideal and model, will have no problem of modesty in dress. She will not be an occasion of sin or sources of embarrassment or shame to others.
Keep this folder with you at all times to use as a guide when buying clothes. Make sure that you purchase only garments which meet the Marylike Standards. “Be Marylike by being modest – by modest by being Marylike”.