Tips for Making a Strapless Dress More Modest

by on March 7th, 2015
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It seems that all formal dresses for sale lack any sort of sleeves and necklines. For girls who don’t want to bare their upper chest area, their backs, or even their shoulders, creativity is needed to transform a formal dress into something she is more willing to wear. As someone who likes to buy formal dresses on sale and at the thrift store, I have used these tips to turn immodest dresses into dresses for more modest women and girls.

The easiest way to fix a strapless dress is to add straps. When purchasing from a retail store, I always ask the merchant if there are straps for the dress. Several times, I have had them disappear in the back of the store and bring out matching straps or a matching sash that can easily be turned into straps for the dress I am purchasing. Sometimes I get enough fabric to add double straps on each side for a creative effect and extra security. When I can’t get straps with the dress, I purchase generic straps from the sewing store (as close of a match that I can find) and add beads and gems to add to the dress and straps to help them blend into the dress.

Add a shawl collar to the dress. Find a matching or coordinating long shawl and experiment with it to decide how you want your shawl collar to fit. I like to tie it around the shoulders so that it lays across the bust and upper arms just exposing the shoulders with the knot in the back. Then I use pins to arrange it just right, making pleats and attaching it to the dress. Finally, sew the shawl in place and remove the pins. When wearing it, you can have a loose tie in the back as the shawl is securely in place.

Add store bought items to your strapless dresses. Bolero shrugs are always a nice addition to a strapless dress. If you are worried about keeping it in place, use hook and eye clasps or jeweled brooches. Find a stretchy lace blouse to wear under the strapless dress. This was very effective the first time my daughter wanted to wear a halter dress formal, but did not want her back exposed. She felt very well covered up and even with a girl who showed up in the same dress she looked like she was wearing something completely original. You can go as far as to take a pretty sheer or lace top and cut the upper bodice and sleeves off to add to the strapless dress.

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