It was from Pope Pius XI's universal standard that an American priest, Fr. Bernard A. Kunkle, developed "The Mary Standards For Modesty in Dress." Fr. Kinkle's Marylike standards were submitted to the discretion of the Church, and, as a result, on December 8, 1944 with full ecclesiastical approval, the "Marylike Modesty Crusade" was born. On two separate occasions Pope Pius XII imparted his Apostolic Blessing upon the Crusade. In his blessing he called the Crusade a "laudable movement for modesty in dress and behaviour," and extended that blessing "to all who further it".
“In order that uniformity in understanding prevail...we recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breath under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.” The Cardinal Vicar of Pius XI
- Marylike is modest without compromise, “like Mary,” Christ’s Mother.
- Marylike dresses have sleeves extending at least to the elbows; and skirts reaching well below the knees. (Note: because of impossible market conditions quarter-length sleeves are temporarily tolerated with Ecclesiastical Approval, until Christian womanhood again turns to Mary as the model of modest in dress).
- Marylike dresses require full coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; except for a cut-out about the neck not exceeding two fingers below the neckline in front and in back, and a corresponding two fingers on the shoulders.
- Marylike dresses do not admit as modest coverage transparent fabrics – laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. – unless sufficient backing is added. However, their moderate use as trimmings is acceptable.
- Marylike dresses avoid the improper use of flesh-colored fabrics.
- Marylike dresses conceal rather than reveal the figure of the wearer; they do not emphasize, unduly, parts of the body.
- Marylike dresses provide full coverage, even after jacket, cape or stole are removed.