Many religious groups have a strange approach towards modern life. The Muslim Wahabists, the Old Believers, the Hasidim, snake handlers, traditionalist Catholics, and the Amish all seem to try to fight modernity by creating an order that accentuates selected parts of the past to the point of being grotesque. Female dress is one of these things. A typical woman hundreds of years ago probably did not look like a Hasidic wife or an Old Believer maid wading in the wheat. She certainly did not look like the traditionalist Catholic wife piling out of her white van with eight well-groomed kids in tow. The customary style of dress would not have been an issue. It would not have been an object of serious reflection. That is because being a reactionary is not the same as being traditional, just as being conservative may be just as much about creating an ideal image of the past as saving it....
The veiling of woman was merely the closing of the door on nature as seductress: woman, like nature, is the servant of the devil, and she can only be controlled by hiding her charms. Ultimately, it was the bourgeois philosophy and religious thought of Descartes and Luther that turned man decidedly inward, so that he is left staring at his own reflection: a Narcissus trapped in a dead cosmos.
One could thus say, in some sense, that just as modernity is a war against the local, so it is a war against the feminine. I mean this not in a political sense, but rather metaphysically. Perhaps the only reason that the flesh unveils itself now is because we have tamed it, compartmentalized it, and brought it under control. In other words, we have emptied it of meaning. Those who advocate the styles of “modesty” only play into this paradigm in that they continue the early modern fear of woman and nature under the guise of “traditional piety”. They are just as modern as anyone else.
Now, I think there is something so wonderful about free-flowing and draped colorful cloth, especially on a woman, and it's nice to see, especially in a setting like traditional liturgy that is already transporting and "romantic" in its aesthetic. But this has also all bizarrely been tied up with a fear of women's sexuality by men who project the blame for their own alienated lust.
Don't be left staring at your own reflection. Let yourself be seduced.