I am wondering what other women are wearing on feet and legs? I have found shoes, socks and leg coverings to be the hardest items to figure out in my modest dressing over the years. I have been wearing a black shoe from Kmart that looks like a woman's old fashioned high top boot/shoe but that is not always available. Also, I'm in a cold climate and so in winter I have to switch to boots of some kind. For stockings I wear black knee socks but then the trouble is with the legs. Except in summer I wear leggings (stretch exercise wear?) and either the tops go over or into the socks. This keeps my legs nice and warm and covered. But this is never perfect - either the leggings show or they push the socks down.
Also, in summer I wear modern sandals (Teva type or some such) but I'm really not comfortable with my feet showing any more (Interestingly, the longer I dress modestly the more covered I feel I want to be!). Also, I definitely need to make some bloomers to wear under the summer dresses! Altogether too airy underneath.

thank you all for your replies.

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Hi Barb,


I found thigh-high socks at a local store Joyce Leslie.  They're the consistency of socks (versus tights or stockings) and slide easily into my shoes.  The area above the socks is not covered so I realize for your climate this may not be ideal, I'm not familiar with bloomers but perhaps this will help.  NY has cold winters (although this winter has been mild so far) but it seems to work.  I'm not outside much in my plain dress, only from car to Meeting House.  Hope this helps.



Thank you both for your ideas. I do sew but the idea of looking out for pajama pants at the thrift stores is good too.I have a pair of flannel ones I could modify for winter. Karen, can you tell me where you get the footless woolly tights? I rely on salvation Army for my leggings and they seem to be getting scarce - are they going out of style?? I inherited a pair of wool knee length "longies" from my grandmother that are so soft and nice under my skirt. I wonder if those are still made.She also wore a wool undershirt that went mid thigh. Just interesting how things have changed.


I'm losing cartilage between the bones in my feet, so my Rheumatologist told me to wear men's athletic shoes.  The toe is wider in men's shoes, and I have "duck feet," narrow at the heel and wide in what is called the "toe box."   So, I wear plain white, cotton athletic socks with these shoes, because this is the healthiest choice.  I do have a pair of plain black nice shoes that have good support, and the same style in brown, but I save those for special occasions. 


To make yourself some under knickers, get the plain, bleached muslin which is usually less than $2/yd.  Some of the economy patterns have simple pants patterns that will work, or wait until your local fabric store has McCalls or Simplicity patterns on sale.  Hancocks sometimes has these for 99 cents!  


For Quakers, I believe "plainness" is a function of our Simplicity testimony, which leaves us each open to what works for the individual as opposed to adhering to a strict dress code. 


peace & blessings,



Betsy Packard, Lexington Friends Meeting, Lexington, KY

Hello Barbara Smith. I live in a fairly mild climate and seem to dress similarly to you. Leggings, calf-length socks and shoes/boots in winter. In summer the same unless it's too hot in which case I tend to switch to knee-length shorts, as I've not yet made any long bloomers. I am physically active and need to be able to ride a bike, sit on the floor, climb over things, so I always make sure I am fully covered underneath the skirt. God bless!

Ditto Karen M., and I have found wearing light fabric, dark colored loose trousers (with mid-thigh tunics) most of the year works for me.  If it's hot - mid 90s F or above, I generally wear more open footwear and possibly light cotton socks.

My work includes agrarian types of labor, so skirts aren't always practical.

I live in a windy/wet climate that does tend to have a couple of fairly cold months each year.  I wear long skirts (between the bottom of my calf and my ankle) year-round.  In summer, I wear lightweight nearly knee-length shorts underneath with sandals.  In cooler months I wear knee-high black wool socks with black longjohns - sometimes more modern synthetic material, sometimes wool.  I've given up trying to wear them under my socks and just pull them on over - it all is black anyway, and not very noticeable.  My shoes in winter are simple black oxford type shoes.  I do need boots and do not currently have any appropriate for town wear - I often wear my farm/muck boots about the yard.

I live in northern Sweden with long cold and dark winters and although this is my secon plain winter I have worn skirts for most of my life and I do not find winter wear challenging. My most common wear under the skirt is leggings or 'long underwear' (basically like leggings but 100% cotton). I also have some cotton and wool tights that I wear. I also wear knee-length wool stockings or legwarmers depending on temperature. I own two pairs of wool knickers which go to just over the knee and that keep my more private parts warm. They work out very well for me and they seem to make the whole body warmer too.

I wear either my 'näbbskor',(literary meaning is beaked shoes) a traditional Swedish shoe with a beak-like toe which are light and easy to wear but not very warm or very warm modern shoes from a Finnish company. They are black and quite plain but modern in style. I autumn and spring I tend to wear 'näbbskor' or regular trainers. I summer I wear sandals and go barefoot. I hate wearing cotton socks so once the wool ones are too warm I go 'natural'. Here is a link to my blog with a picture of näbbskor: http://elliha.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-beaked-shoes-nabbskor.html.

I use pettipants under my skirts either with or without stockings/tights.  They are especially nice in the summer.

I love salwar kameez!  I think they are the most practical garment  known to womankind!   8-)  And they can be made in anything from a cotton that can be tossed in the wash after gardening, to wools, silks, ANYTHING!  Plain, patterned, embroidered . . .  


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