Modest dresses: a needle in a haystack

Dressing modestly is a choice easily made by many, a decision carefully pondered, and held with conviction – but the reality of actually finding modest dresses is a different story altogether, particularly in Australia. A few years ago I saved precious pennies for a new work dress. I organised for a child free Saturday so I could explore the aisles of the nearest major department store, which was half an hour away. I spent hours, searching meticulously. Every. Single. Rack.

The store was filled with quality designs, surely I’d find the right modest dress, right? Stunning styles would catch my eye, and with a hopeful heart I would take the hanger and hold out the dress, only to find that if it had sleeves, it was too short, low cut or sheer. If the dress was long enough, it had a high slit up the back or the side, or more often than not, a knee length dress would be sleeveless… or low cut… or sheer. When I did discover a dress that was knee length and had sleeves, and wasn’t low cut, it was, well, not quite my style… large floral prints aren’t my thing and didn’t really fit with my corporate wardrobe.

Eventually, I settled. No one likes settling, especially when shopping is a rare treat. At this point my hair was frizzing, my face was melting, I’d taken my clothes off a few too many times, and worst of all, I was hangry. Dejected, I picked up a black knee length dress, that I would describe as a modest dress, if only it had sleeves. Why sleeves? Sleeves mean that bra straps remain as underwear instead of outerwear, sleeves remove the need to make sure side boob isn’t an issue (please excuse my bluntness), sleeves also give a more polished look and provide a terrific slimming effect on people with larger arms. So, back to the dress. I still have it. It’s a beautiful thick fabric for cooler weather, with a touch of spandex so it sits just right and feels just right… but really, would it really be so hard to add sleeves!?! I only ever wear it with a black bolero or Halftee – which is fine, but a dress is meant to be a one piece, designed to look fabulous without the extra layers.

It was not long after this experience that we started planning Omika. I was well and truly fed up. It shouldn’t have to be so hard to live our values and live our lives with conviction, knowing that we didn’t compromise.  We shouldn’t have to search for hours, only to come away with something that doesn’t tick all the boxes.  Modest dresses shouldn’t be a needle in a haystack. I researched for hours – the more stores I searched, the more I found that even amongst thousands of dresses, modest dresses were only a tiny speck, in one case, making up only 3% of the store’s collection. It took me hours – no one wants to search for modest dresses for hours – time is precious – shopping for a dress which ticks all the boxes quickly descends from fun to frantic.

We hope to make it easier for you – let Omika do the searching for you. We search worldwide for designs which are both stylish and modest. The longer we’re around, the more designers we’ll discover. You can see our collection here at

Your definition of modest may be different, or perhaps you feel indifferent to the term, but there’s no denying that most women love dresses that provide more coverage – it’s so much more comfortable – it’s easier to relax and be yourself, you can focus on being in the moment instead of whether your dress is hiking up or falling down. All women encounter events or places where modest dresses are more appropriate than others, and let’s face it, more coverage is universally flattering. Find your perfect modest dress at Omika, click here to visit us.


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