I have been on a spiritual odyssey lately and part of my wanderings led me to a website by Isabel, also known as "Quaker Jane." In a particularly stirring account of being led to Plain Dress almost in spite of herself, she writes about how she began her shift to plain dress through "a particular style of bonnet":
After several months of Googling thousands of pages deep for the word "bonnet," I found what I was looking for on a website about "prayer coverings." This discovery was quite disturbing to my feminist mind. And yet, I would wake up in the middle of the night and go to the website and moon over the bonnet. I felt possessed. I finally bought the black bonnet and a white cap, put them in the closet and breathed a sigh of relief.
The way she describes this process is almost as if she were being "wooed" by the bonnet, this idea of the bonnet and what it represented, and she didn't stop until she found her way to a new religion and a new way of life.
Her story is rooted in a religious search, but I think there is something universal there -- the feeling of wanting more and of needing to distinguish oneself from the surrounding world. I wonder how many of us -- religious or not -- found our way to the modesty conversation for the same reasons.