Mysterious Fashion – Why I’m Covering Up

So a couple months ago I became obsessed with new vision for my wardrobe that I’m calling MYSTERIOUS FASHION.

As soon as the vision came to me, I immediately went to my private beauty forum and wrote a long post about it. I was pretty surprised at how strongly some of the other forum members resonated but it makes sense given the current state of the world, which I’ll go into more detail on below. The following is a shorter version of my original post (if you want to read it please apply to join the forum here):


Mysterious Fashion is largely inspired by the Modest Fashion movement I see in religious/conservative fashion influencer communities. I’ve been feeling so drawn to it lately and deeply contemplating the use of fabrics to conceal the body rather than reveal and exploring how that makes me feel about myself. 

This is one of the top results for Modest Fashion on Pinterest and I LOVE it:

This new style direction is really a journey that began when I first came to Indonesia a few years ago. This is a predominantly Muslim country and the most conservatively-dressed place I’ve ever lived.

There’s a wide spectrum here – some Indonesian women/girls wear Western clothes, some wear traditional clothes and cover their hair, etc, and many switch on whim. Even when wearing Western clothes they tend to be more covered up though, especially in contrast to the Western tourists and expats who wear very revealing summer clothes, bikini tops with short shorts etc. Which was how I wanted to dress when I first got here, finally free to be WARM after nearly a decade in the chilly Northwest.

I recently saw some Western girls in the parking lot of a convenience store on a relatively busy intersection in an otherwise conservative village, standing around in string thong bikinis. They were receiving SO much attention from passersby obviously, and I sincerely didn’t feel judgmental of them but more like, imagining myself in their shoes and recognizing that that would NOT feel good to me at this point in my life – despite loving my body more than I ever have. 

Again, this is about ME, I’m not judging others’ fashion choices. I’m just explaining the context surrounding this new direction.

“I am feeling called to use fabric to artfully shield myself from the increasingly chaotic vibes.”

Basically I am realizing, through all this, that I’m literally tired of having my raw body exposed to the world. Like when the energy is frenetic how I cut my nails short and braid my hair? It’s the same vibe but for my whole body. I am feeling called to use fabric to artfully shield myself more from the increasingly chaotic vibes. Not out of modesty exactly, because it’s not based in any moral beliefs and I still ENJOY Western standards of sexiness, but more for energetic protection. 

So here are some things I’m really feeling for my Mysterious Fashion era:

  • Layering
  • Sheer fabrics
  • Highest quality natural fabrics (silk & linen)
  • Revealing at most one body part, like only legs or only arms/back
  • Perfect tailoring & drape rather than relying on stretch fabrics for fit
  • Blazers, dusters, and trenches for moving around in public especially if my outfit is more form fitting
  • Scarves and hats
  • Vintage silhouettes especially when it comes to swimwear

The specific challenge I’m facing is the tropical heat & humidity. I feel like “mystery” is very relative so if I maybe just aim for “more covered up” than my peers than that might have the energetically protective effect I’m looking for.

Here are some more looks I love:

This is not a tropics-specific moodboard obviously. If there’s enough interest from my Equatorial readers I may go more into detail on exactly what I personally am wearing. Let me know in the comments!

And here is my Mysterious Fashion Pinterest board, but first some disclaimers: I’m focusing on cuts that I like, not color here (I’ll write another post about my ongoing journey with Personal Color Analysis), and I recognize that some of these pieces are not very “mysterious” at all and I probably saved them as a layering piece:

So how do you feel about Mysterious Fashion? And where are you at in the sartorial journey? Comment below, and if you’d like to discuss in greater detail with a community of kindred spirits please apply to join my membership community, The Slow Beauty Immersion, here. Thanks for reading!

Xo, Kiki

1 thought on “Mysterious Fashion – Why I’m Covering Up”

  1. i so resonate with this.

    i am non-binary and after shaving my head and coming out last spring, i became so deeply in tune with how clothing makes me feel energetically. i spent most of the year not wearing skin tight or revealing clothing while i called my energy back to me, after years and years of hypersexuality and performative feminism.

    nowadays i’m much more in tune and feel safe to bask in my feminism, I have worn tight and revealing clothing, but after this summer i’m realizing just how much energy i leaked and how much i felt exposed. so i naturally have been gravitating (back) towards mysterious fashion.

    this was a beautiful post + very affirming, thank you for sharing!

    – ara_kvne on Twitter

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