While Brice and I were in Paris a few weeks ago, we spent the first half of our days working in our hotel. After marking off all the items on our checklist, we dashed out and galavanted around the city streets, visiting family, seeing friends, enjoying delicious lunches, and of course… touring as many amazing Catholic churches and chapels as we could!
We love to walk, so we definitely know how to work up a sweat (especially in June). So I -- like any normal person -- decided to wear shorts one day to stay cool and comfortable.
Now before I go into what happened next, let me confess that I know I’m to blame. But I DID come out with a great fashion hack!
I knew there was a possibility we’d go into a Church, of course, and be unable to enter due to my shorts. I took a chance though, thinking France would be as “strict” as Rome.
So after a picnic and lots of walking, we decided to highlight our day with a visit to Rue de Bac. This is the convent/chapel where we have not just one, but TWO saints (St. Louise de Marillac and St. Catherine Laboure) AND as if that is not enough, the Blessed Mother gave the Miraculous Medal to St. Catherine Laboure in the chapel (have you read the post on the power of the Miraculous Medal?). The chair that Our Blessed Mother sat in is STILL there!
“These rays are a symbol of the graces I pour on those who ask them of me.”
“Have a medal made according to this model. For those who wear it with confidence, there will be abundant graces.”
Here’s where the (ahem) memorable part comes in. As we’re walking into the Church, from at least 30 feet… what do I see? A nun is staring right at ME! She zeroes in on my legs, points her finger, and gestures for me to come over to her. I am mort-i-fied.
It felt like a flashback to high school and getting checked for skirt lengths. As I arrive at where she is standing and pick my head up, I notice something unexpected. The nun is smiling at me, rather than scolding. She then proceeds to wrap a blue sarong (material made of??) which she was holding in her arms over my shorts.
TA-DAH! A Rue du Bac miracle?
Maybe not, but Brice and I thought it was quite funny and, honestly, I was really excited to wear the sarong in the chapel rather than my shorts. (I also think the nun appreciated the fact that I didn’t give her the typical adolescent response of a giant eye roll of embarrassment).
The sarong was quite heinous, as it was made from an awful polyester material, and the fit was a “one size fits all”. It especially was awful with the long blazer I was wearing, BUT… I can use this experience as both a ‘teaching moment’ and inspiration for a fashion hack!
I can definitely learn a thing or two from French nuns about promoting modesty in church.
So… why not carry a light and easy wrap skirt (in a no-wrinkle polyester or knit blend) in your bag or in the car, to toss on when you need a bit more coverage (like, visiting a church).
These sisters are brilliant! So here are a few of my options that I think might work just as easily for you on your travels.
These skirts look cute with sneakers, too, so you can be comfortable, bop around all day, and STILL be styled appropriately to visit churches (and dodge wagging nun fingers!).
Hope my travel lesson spares you from a situation like this!