The Marylike Standards in Dress



For more information on Catholic modesty please visit 



1. "Marylike" means modesty without compromise -- "like Mary," Christ's pure and spotless Mother.


2. Marylike dresses have sleeves extending at least to the elbows; and skirts reaching well below the knees.


3. Marylike dresses require full coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; except for a cut-out about the neck not exceeding "two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat" and a similar breadth under the back of the neck.


4. Marylike dresses do not admit as modest coverage transparent fabrics -- laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. -- unless sufficient backing is added. However, their moderate use as trimmings is acceptable.


5. Marylike dresses avoid the improper use of flesh-colored fabrics.


6. Marylike dresses conceal rather than reveal the figure of the wearer; they do not emphasize, unduly, parts of the body.


7. Marylike dresses provide full coverage, even after jacket, cape or stole are removed.


8. Marylike fashions are designed to conceal as much of the body as possible, rather than reveal. This would automatically eliminate such fashions as slacks, jeans, shorts, culottes, tight sweaters, sheer blouses, and sleeveless dresses; etc. The Marylike standards are a guide to instill a "sense of modesty." A girl or woman who follows these, and looks up to Mary as her ideal and model, will have no problem with modesty in dress. She will not be an occasion of sin[....].


Keep this guide with you when buying clothes. Make sure that you purchase or make only garments which meet the Marylike Standards.

''Be Marylike by being modest -- be modest by being Marylike."




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Comment by Kate Jackson on January 24, 2017 at 7:40pm

Hi Anne, I know exactly what you mean - we did the same some years ago. In fact we tried to start up a sewing club on first Saturdays at St Saviours (SSPX) in Bristol... do you attend that chapel and do I know you?

Comment by Alison Romano on October 9, 2016 at 12:02pm

Dear Anne

congratulations on making yourself a skirt.  I enjoy sewing and try to make modest dresses for myself and my grandchildren.


Comment by Benjamin Carter on October 9, 2016 at 9:17am

I bought a sewing machine and with a little help from YouTube managed to make myself a long skirt as I was unable to find any modest skirts. I will look for dressmaking classes so I can make my own clothes, just an idea if anyone has trouble finding modest clothes.


Comment by Dawn Marie on March 10, 2016 at 10:56am

Dear Judith,

It's a good idea to keep in mind the wonderful saying "all things in moderation".  Personally I do not wear jewelry nor make-up except for my wedding ring and my slave of Mary ring on my right hand.  But that does not mean that a lady who wishes to wear some modest jewelry would be wrong to do so especially if you are married.

Love in the Immaculata


Comment by Dawn Marie on January 9, 2016 at 8:02am

Dear Mary Anne,

Please feel free to download anything from the Crusaders you wish at any time :)

The video is not ours however, it is embedded here from youtube.  I don't know for sure whose video it is exactly, we just posted it here.

God bless you always!!!


Comment by MaryAnne on January 9, 2016 at 12:44am

Also, the Video of Padre Pio On Modesty is transmitted so quickly that we are unable to finish reading every sentence mentioned therein and so lose the continuous flow of the Article On Modesty.  Could we have a print of this Video on the site?  Much appreciate the trouble you take. God bless you.

Comment by MaryAnne on January 9, 2016 at 12:40am


May we have the messages of Padre Pio in print on the Crusaders Site?  Be blessed for all the trouble you have taken to put these Videos online but a little more trouble, perhaps?... which will go a long way for many souls around the world.  Todays fashions are atrocious and so we too tend to think that everything is OK if we wear a skirt just knee-length, and other things as well that Padre Pio speaks of in the Video - On Entering a Church.

Comment by Rose on May 23, 2014 at 10:02am

Thank you for the quote Sarah! :)

3x Hail Mary + prayers for purity

Comment by Sarah Louise Rita Armstrong on May 22, 2014 at 1:58am

Prayer for Purity:


"To thee, O Virgin Mother, who was never touched by any spot of original or actual sin, I commend and entrust the purity of my heart."

(300 days)

Comment by Sarah Louise Rita Armstrong on May 22, 2014 at 1:56am

" Truly modest clothing reaches below the knees whether one is standing or sitting. It has sleeves extending to the elbows. Quarter-length sleeves are nevertheless tolerated, but be careful: if they are too short or loose, bodily movements expose to view what should be concealed."

- from The Marylike Standards of Modesty in Dress by the Sisters of the Society of Saint Pius X, Browerville MN USA.


I hope this helps, Rose. :)

Comment by Rose on May 21, 2014 at 6:40pm

I'm never quite sure about the sleeves- I know that it says these should be to the elbow, but I've seen girls and women from many traditional parishes, including in photos in newsletters etc, with shorter sleeves. Is this issue more flexible than, say, skirt length?

Here in the UK we are lucky that many of the classier high street brands have some lovely modest skirts each season- companies like Monsoon for example, and these can easily be found for a fraction of the RRP on Ebay.

Comment by Sarah Louise Rita Armstrong on March 17, 2014 at 6:18pm

It is so hard to find modest clothing for women that is Marylike. On ebay australia there is a seller called sewinghome6 that sells modest clothes for girls and women. The seller is based in Texas, USA and handmakes all the clothes she has to sell. She sells dresses, nightdowns, skirts, pinafores, blouses and many other beautiful items of clothing. If you cannot sew yourself or do not have the time it is certainly worth a look. People who dress modestly, although strange to the modern world must be very beautiful in God's eyes. God bless you.

Comment by Adella Bush on November 1, 2013 at 6:48pm


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