To do or not to do: The Strapless Dress

I am all about wearing skirts and dresses to Mass on Sundays when possible. However, the jury is still out in many Catholic circles about the modesty of a strapless dress. I have lots of friends who have no qualms about wearing a strapless dress, even for a wedding, and I have many friends who wouldn’t wear a strapless dress in front of their husband (okay maybe an exaggeration but you get the picture). Until this past semester I would have definitely said I am not a proponent of the strapless dress, however I am now open to considering it.

The final project for my tailoring class was to make a strapless dress–this way we would learn the skills to produce the inner structure of a garment that would keep a strapless dress up. And I must say, one of my biggest problems with strapless dresses is that they are so often not flattering–they just don’t fit. But seeing this strapless dress on me, made for me and fitted perfectly, it is much more flattering and covers a lot more than I initially thought.



I can’t foresee me wearing a strapless dress anytime soon, so I have come up with a couple ways I would wear this dress. Whether you have inherited a strapless dress and you are against them, or you are fine with wearing a strapless dress but want to keep warm this winter–check out these styling options.

Blazer and Costume Jewelry


Cardigan and Belt


Oversized Scarf


What are your thoughts on the strapless dress?

**If you are visiting from the WIW Sunday link-up, welcome, and stop by again soon! :)**



  1. Mary · January 13, 2013

    I love the style and fit of that dress!


  2. Stephanie · January 13, 2013

    OK, first of all, I cannot believe you made that. Amazing. And I love how you styled it! You make such a good point, I think, about fit. When a strapless dress fits right, there won’t be any slippage to reveal your cleavage or your back, and because of its straight neckline, I think it can actually reveal less than some other styles. I would cover up if I was wearing one to Mass (though I did have a strapless wedding gown; you can read about it here :, but if I were going out in the summer and didn’t think my dress was too short or overly revealing on top, I’d be fine with it.


    • auntiedolly · January 14, 2013

      Thanks for your thoughts, Stephanie! That is definitely one of my biggest concerns about a strapless dress–the possibility of it falling down!


  3. Lisa · January 13, 2013

    My wedding gown was strapless w/ a sheer/ lacy bolero, but I generally wouldn’t wear strapless to mass. Hmm, sounds kinda like a double standard.
    I think you definitely have a point about the fit- I absolutely love your dress, and the fit is fabulous! My fav look is w/ that gorgeous blazer.


    • auntiedolly · January 14, 2013

      Thanks, Lisa! I think a bolero or shawl is the best of both worlds for gals who want to show humility and respect during Mass/the ceremony, but love the current styles of strapless wedding gowns.


  4. Kinsi · January 13, 2013

    I’m another gal who had a strapless wedding gown, but wouldn’t wear one w/o a cover-up into the sanctuary otherwise. It seemed like a different situation altogether- not a double-standard, simply because the formality was so high, my legs were entirely covered, and my veil cascaded over my shoulders. I felt like a stinkin’ angel, not a floozie 😉 That’s the difference!

    Great tips!


  5. Fresh Coat of Paint · January 13, 2013

    A well tailored dress is really a wonderful thing and the high/straight neckline of this strapless definitely ups the modesty level. You’ve styled it beautfully in all three shots and think either of the first two options are perfect for Mass. And seriously, you have some mad sewing skills!


  6. Magdalen · January 13, 2013

    That dress is to die for, and especially so since you made it yourself!
    I wear strapless shirts and dresses fairly often but cover up for church–not because I think it’s immodest, but to show respect to those who don’t like it. I don’t think it’s a double standard to wear strapless outside church but not in, because it’s a matter of dressing appropriately for your situation and being considerate of the people around you. It’s modest to wear a swimsuit at the beach, but not at the mall; and I think you can apply that principle to going strapless in different places as well.


    • auntiedolly · January 14, 2013

      Magdalen, that is a very good point, and one that my brother makes as well. If something is “modest” in one situation, it is not immodest in another, but rather can be “inappropriate.” I was definitely raised to show extra reverence in the Sanctuary, and like I said I don’t plan on wearing a strapless dress anytime soon, but now I am not so quick to judge others who do–especially when it fits well!


  7. Teri · January 13, 2013

    That is beautiful and I love every one of the accessorizing ideas. Although the scarf made me slightly seasonally confused, but I am not a fashion consultant. The things I worry about would not put me on the cutting edge of outfit design.


    • auntiedolly · January 14, 2013

      Thanks Teri! I am not a fashion consultant either, but I wear scarves pretty much all year round. In the winter to stay warm, and in the other three seasons to add a pop of color/sparkle. In the summer a light chiffon scarve would be great!


  8. Katie@NFP and Me · January 14, 2013

    You made that? You win WIWS! Hands down.

    I love the options! I’ve been jonesing to get in on this blazer style and I think I have to justify it now because I ‘need’ it to cover my shoulders when I wear my strapless dresses. 🙂


    • auntiedolly · January 14, 2013

      Haha, good answer, Katie! I definitely think a quality (read expensive yet well made) black or navy blazer is an essential because it is classic and will last you many many years! You have my permission 😉


  9. Mandi @ Messy Wife, Blessed Life · January 14, 2013

    I love each of those looks! Not a huge fan of strapless dresses at Mass, but with some kind of shoulder covering they are no problem!


  10. Ellen Thrifty & Chic Mom · January 14, 2013

    First of all you are talented, looks great, second of all LOVE with the black belted cardigan and love with the blazer!


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