This past November, Naomi Fry of The New York Times published a piece exploring what she finds a puzzling phenomenon: “the significant turn in fashion over the past couple of years toward almost aggressively non-provocative dressing.” Earlier in the year, the first ever modest fashion show took place in London, and NYT’s top fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, declared modest fashion the defining trend of the 2010s. Both Fry and Friedman suggest that the trend is a reflection of social, political, and cultural trends that have recently reached critical mass. Where in the past, women expressed their liberation by showing more skin, today it seems that women are preferring to take back their bodies by covering up.
Yet women who choose to dress modestly—for reasons of religion, fashion, or anything in between—still find themselves facing racks of clothing that reveal more than they conceal. The quest for modest attire that is flattering and high-quality can be a thankless and exhausting—not to mention expensive—task. And then, we may acquire a piece that we end up wearing once, which then languishes at the back of our closets collecting dust while other women are combing department stores looking for something just like it.
This is what led Mirasha Moore to establish Modest Pocket—an online platform for the sale of modest clothing at modest prices. A pre-school teacher and mom to a toddler, she has always loved fashion, fabrics, and the arts. Now Mirasha applies her entrepreneurial savvy and creative talents to make modest fashion accessible for women on tight budgets.
Inspired by thredUP, an online thrift and consignment store, Mirasha hopes to make Modest Pocket the thredUP of modest clothing. She buys high-quality, gently-used clothes from their first owners, and puts them up for sale on ModestPocket.com priced at a fraction of their original retail price.
Modest Pocket only sells clothes in excellent condition; pieces that aren’t considered salable will be donated or recycled. Mirasha determines the Modest Pocket price by evaluating its original price, quality, season, age, style, and demand. For items like tops, skirts and shoes, sellers receive a 10-20% payout depending on the price, or 30% in store credit. Dresses and handbags are more popular, and therefore sellers receive a higher payout: 20-25%, or 35% in-store credit.
Higher-quality and brand-name items valued at over $100 are sold on consignment—meaning, you only get paid if your item sells, but your payout is 60-70% of the resale price.
Modest Pocket has been steadily expanding its inventory—including a new line of accessories—and will soon be moving to bigger headquarters.
Mirasha ensures an easy and enjoyable browser experience through meticulous organization. Every item is cataloged on spreadsheets and uploaded to the site according to category, with corresponding images and specifications. Each listing is rated either “New with Tags,” “Like New,” “Great” (has been washed and worn more than once) or “Good” (items with minor, barely noticeable flaws), so you know exactly what you’re getting. The listings also display the original value of the item alongside the Modest Pocket price.
The Modest Pocket concept has a number of advantages for women seeking modest fashion. One, it eliminates the need to browse through endless listings on other sites to find the modest options. On Modest Pocket, all items available have sleeves and skirts are either knee-length or longer. Another advantage is that women looking for something really special can discover unique items that aren’t available in commercial chain stores. Mirasha reports that every once in a while, a real treasure will turn up—like a pair of Sigerson Morrison boots—and she’ll be able to sell it for a fraction of its original cost. Everybody wins: the previous owner gets rid of something she no longer needs and gets paid for it, and the new owner gets a high-quality item she will love for a price she’d never find elsewhere—without ever needing to leave her home.
“Life is too short to wear boring clothing,” Mirasha smiles, “and being on a modest budget shouldn’t mean you can’t be stylish. I hope my business helps more women find a way to express themselves and rock the trendy modest look without breaking the bank.”
Information provided by Modest Pocket.
You can check out Modest Pocket’s current selection on www.ModestPocket.com, and follow @modestpocket on Instagram, where Mirasha posts sales and fashion picks. She’ll soon be launching a blog telling the stories behind the Instagram posts.