Just what is "modest modern?" Modest clothing isn't all that a big deal. You wear a skirt or a dress that goes below the knee--the girls lately have opted for ankle-length as a group--the tree trunk skirts were in style so they all went for them in denim. And while they wear short sleeves, a high neck is a requirement. The whole idea is to draw attention to your face, and what's wrong with that?
In the first 1 hour specials the girls were younger--preteen age and were wearing pinafores or prairie dresses and they got some criticism for that. I think it was more their age than their religion that dictated the dress back then. Now that they have hit their teen years they care a little bit more about fashion, they've also traveled more (NYC anyone?) and see what others are wearing. Their parents have no problem with style as long as it's modest and Michelle has said that--modern is perfectly fine. In fact Michelle says the girls pick clothes that are even more modest than even she herself would choose.
Why do they dress alike? Some say cult. Jill was asked that in an interview question on one of the shows and the answer was simple she giggled through the whole thing as if it was obvious---"because girls want to dress like their friends!" Think about it, at any mall or public school look at a group of girls hanging out and they look identical. How is that any different from the Duggars? Are those girls at the mall or public school accused of being in a cult? No they are just "in style." They are all pierced, tattooed, and wearing black shirts and jeans and dressed the same, yet say they are "individuals" and people ask the Duggars why their girls can't dress individually--huh?
I was like Michelle and entered my marriage still wearing pants. I was also into mini skirts. I sold all my mini skirts on ebay. I love the long dresses and skirts and to be honest I don't miss pants one bit. Seriously, it's like wearing your nightgown all day long! Ok so I gave away the secret! It's just more comfortable!
There was a scene in El Salvador where one of the Duggar boys was wearing "board shorts"...the shorts that fall well below the knee. Normally we don't see the boys in shorts. But when discussing clothing Jim Bob did say shorts below the knee for boys were allowed. A few of the girls have worn skirts on film that are higher than ankle length--mid-calf. Again their rule is below the knee. Anna has been wearing mid-calf skirts lately (and from a strictly fashion standpoint UGLY plaid skirts lately what's up with that?) Poor Anna and Josh are having trouble dropping the baby weight--it's ok Anna, I've been there--mine's 3 and I'm just now losing it.
I wrote a little about labels earlier, but name brands have popped up. We've seen them numerous times shopping in thrift stores and of course name brands wind up there. They also travel a lot and it wouldn't surprise me if they'd visit a second hand store while on the road (especially NYC if they had the time--JACKPOT). But these could be product placements. However for younger children it's highly likely they are used. You can find used name brand clothing from yard sales most likely than thrift stores. I was at a yard sale yesterday with piles of boys items from The Gap and we've seen a lot of the mid-size Duggar boys wearing a lot of GAP items. No way of knowing if they are new or used. Josh is wearing a lot of aeropostle and american eagle---new or used or product placement? No way of knowing unless someone can document it.
So, if the girls decided to wear jeans, what would happen? Afterall....Jim Bob does allow them to hang out with cousin Amy, who wears pants, dates, listens to heavy metal, and lives a very vocal non-secular life---so the girls aren't THAT overprotected.