KR: I’ve had a passion for fashion ever since I was young. I really enjoy putting together unique looks that are a little outside of the box, but still practical to wear. As a teenager I began to notice that other girls my age and even their mothers would stop to ask me where I bought my outfits. I started to realize that I had a voice when it came to fashion and that maybe this was a place I could have a positive influence.
In the Summer of 2008, my dad encouraged me to start a fashion website to encourage other girls to dress fashionably without compromising modesty. So that’s basically how Suddenly Darling came about.
WM: How do you define modesty? Is it just a way of dressing or do you think it goes beyond that?
When it comes to clothing, I think modesty is about having boundaries with the clothes you wear. Being aware of the things you’re putting on and taking the time to consider if they are appropriate or not. It’s good for girls to keep in mind that the way we dress can influence others, especially our guy friends, for good or for bad.
Beyond dressing, I believe that modesty extends into your personal values. I think it’s important to place a high value on self-respect and self worth. If you do, it will reflect not only in the way you dress but also in how you live.
WM: How can girls dress modestly while still expressing who they are through fashion?
Immodest dressing seems to be something that has found its way into just about every style out there. On Suddenly Darling we encourage girls to wear clothes they feel comfortable in, in the styles that they love, and inspire them with creative ideas that might help them out of a fashion rut. Along the way, we share tips that will help them if they come across a dress they love, but perhaps is too short or has a low neckline. So really, the sky is the limit when it comes to expressing yourself through the clothes you wear and remaining modest at the same time.
WM: Why do you think so many girls follow the media’s creation of what a girl should like while sacrificing self-respect?
KR: It’s clear to see that TV, movies, music videos and even high fashion magazines have a powerful influence upon our culture today, especially the younger generation. Everywhere you turn it seems like something is there, ready to distract you or make you think there’s certain ways to attain popularity or beauty. But we need to ask ourselves, what is true beauty? What does it mean to have self-respect? Because if your answer to those questions is based on the manufactured image that the media is putting out there, then you might find yourself running in circles and never really getting anywhere. Without strong, moral values keeping your feet on the ground, it’s easy to get swept up into the frenzy.
WM: What advice do you have for young women regarding modesty?
KR: The first thing I would do is encourage them to let go of whatever might be holding them back from respecting themselves. To recognize that there is a need for some balance between what the media portrays and how we want to portray ourselves. I would also ask them to just give it a try. Many outfits we already put on our bodies would be considered modest, we just aren’t aware of it. But when it becomes a conscious choice that you are making on a daily basis, you will begin to see how confident and proud you can be of the positive choices you make. It’s really awesome!
WM: What are some of your goals for Suddenly Darling in the future as it continues to grow?
KR: One would be to reach as many teens and young women as possible through the internet with a positive encouraging message to respect themselves, and at the same time, give them many examples of how to dress super cute without compromising.
A second goal would be to truly influence the fashion culture to embrace more balance in their examples of clothing that would be considered modest. The word “modesty” seems to have a negative connotation and is often put in a box where only turtlenecks and oversized skirts are allowed. I don’t think those clothing items are bad, but there are so many options out there that the stereotypical view of modest dressing could use a bit of a make-over.
I also want to support the many girls that work in television and movies and encourage them not to give in to lowering their standards by dressing immodestly.
Finally, I really want to provide fashion shows that would demonstrate how girls can dress fashionably yet modestly! I’ve always wanted to bring “reality to the runway” and I think that would be such a fun way to do it!
WM: How do you believe you have incorporated your Christian faith into Suddenly Darling?
KR: As a Christian, my core values come from the Word of God. My life and what I wear represent my faith and what I believe. The bible teaches us to be a mentor and to influence those around us. So I want to use the love for fashion God has given me to encourage and love on other teens like me.
KR: Just really getting down to answering the question of what you truly believe in. If you don’t have that moral compass to guide you then you’re going to be swayed by culture and the influences around you.
As a Christian, I know my value to the Lord. When you’re confident in the Lord and in His Word, it will reflect in your confidence in life and also in the way you dress, talk, act and so on.
P.S. I just want to say thank you to Wonderfully Made for giving me this opportunity to share my heart. Your website is a blessing to so many young ladies and I appreciate the work you are doing.
~ Katelyn Rose