It’s not easy trying to dress modestly in the 21st century. With the “anything goes” attitude toward clothing nowadays, it can be rather difficult to go against the tide and find clothes that fit, are beautiful, and not reminiscent of cotton sacks grain used to come in. Too often now, I see beautiful, respectable girls dressing immodestly. I know dressing modestly does take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. You owe it to yourself and the world around you to dress nicely.
Modesty has to begin within yourself. Dressing modestly tells the world that you are beautiful, and you know it. You know that beauty is much deeper than body parts. You want people to see you for more than your body, so you draw attention to what you want people to see: your character, your sense of humor, your generosity, your passion in life, and so much more. Dressing modestly comes from a desire to show the world what you are more than what the world tells you you are. You are so much more than a body. This is a message that the world needs to hear more and more; this is what we do by dressing modestly.
You’ve heard it before: guys are tempted by immodest girls, so we should obviously not dress like that. It’s something that annoyed me at first, because should we really be dressing for other people? Well, partially. Modesty has to come from a personal desire to show the world you are more than a body. After you come to terms with that, yes, you do have to realize that how you dress will affect people around you. I don’t know about you, but I would never want to purposefully present myself as an occasion of sin for another person. This is why we try to keep others in mind while dressing. Dressing modestly invites the world to get to know you as a person, not a body to be used or sought after for no more than physical reasons.
But what does it mean to be modest?
Modesty is much more than how you dress. It’s how you carry yourself. It’s how you talk. A big part of it, though, is how you dress. That’s what I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about keeping things covered that should be covered, and allowing the world to see only the parts of us that they should be seeing. Here are issues (in no particular order) our culture has with modesty (especially geared toward summer clothing), and how to solve them.
Denim underwear: the problem
“What?!?!” you say? Who wears denim underwear? That’s just the thing. They’re not underwear, but that’s how they’re worn. Also known as daisy dukes, or short-shorts, these are short pants which basically cover not much more than underwear. Sometimes they are so short, the pockets hang below the hem. These are inappropriate for a modest girl’s closet because they are tight and hug the bottom closely. Instead of seeing a girl for more than her body, these draw attention to an area which should remain private.
Denim underwear: the solution
A variety of short pants are available which cover more than short-shorts.
These are casual shorts which could be worn every day during summertime. They’re not skin-tight, nor do they draw too much attention to the area. Shorts like this are available through Landsend, and most retail stores. Also avalable are fashions such as Bermuda shorts, which go a little longer.
Camisoles worn as shirts: the problem
Cami’s were not meant to be worn as shirts. They were meant to be worn under other shirts as layering. This is not appropriate for a modest girl because camis do not cover as much as a shirt does. They reveal bra straps as well as bumps and lumps that show too much of the body. Though this can be tempting to do during hot weather, there are other options.
Camisoles worn as shirts: the solution
When it’s extremely hot outside, a tank top can be worn just as easily as a cami. When shopping, make sure to find tank tops that are comfortable, not too tight, and a breathable material that won’t make you sweat buckets.
Miniskirts: the problem
Miniskirts are inappropriate for the same reason as denim underwear. They’re too short, and show too much of that region. And while on the topic, I’m not really sure how a girl could be comfortable in one anyway. Toss these out! To test if your skirt is too short, bend over and see if anything shows that shouldn’t.
Miniskirts: the solution
Longer skirts are beautiful, respectful of a woman’s beauty, and even more feminine. I do not suggest wearing floor length skirts unless it is sub-freezing temperatures outside, but ones longer than miniskirts are preferable. Some of my favorite skirts of ones that cut me just above the knee (pictured below). Old Navy has excellent ones like the one below, but they do tend to be a little more expensive than I prefer.
Bikinis: the problem
The problem with bikinis is that most of them cover less than underwear. Just because something is made out of swim suit material does not make it appropriate. Bikinis also draw obvious attention to places that should be kept private. Over-revealing bikinis do not honor a woman’s true beauty. I will never wear a bikini because I’m not comfortable showing that much skin. Though I can’t say all bikinis are inappropriate, I have never seen one I thought was modest.
Bikinis: the solution
Can you say tankinis?!?! Tankinis rock. They have the convenience of being a two piece, while still covering enough. While purchasing a tankini, be careful that the bottom is not super high-cut, and the top will stay put and not slip down. Experiment with a swim skirt too!
Necklines: the problem
Plunging necklines are too revealing. No one needs to see a mile of cleavage. This draws too much attention to the chest area, and takes the onlooker’s gaze away from a woman’s face.
Necklines: the solution
This is where camisoles are a great solution! Camis can be layered with shirts that are too short and too low. You can even purchase patterned ones, ones with lace, or just plain ones to accent any outfit.
Bra straps: the problem
Shirts that show bra straps are cut in such a way that the straps can’t just be showed away. This happens often with tank tops that have racer backs (shown below), shirts that fall off the shoulder, and single-sleeved shirts. This is inappropriate because underwear should remain private. Seeing straps invites the mind to go places it shouldn’t – where the dignity of a woman is not honored. To prevent that from happening, straps should be covered.
Bra straps: the solution
Buy shirts that cover the entire shoulder area to be sure to keep straps tucked away. You can also buy one of those as see on on TV hooks that connects the two straps, or just buy a racer back bra.
Panty lines: the problem
Clothes that show panty lines are often too tight, or are those cotton-type knit dresses that can be clingy. This is inappropriate because we shouldn’t want the public thinking about our underwear. It invites others to think about us in a way that does not honor womanly dignity.
Panty lines: the solution
When it comes down to it, know that if you have to ask if something is appropriate, it probably isn’t. Honor your inner beauty by showing the outer world that you are more than body parts. Women are intricately beautiful creatures: something we must reflect in the way we dress.
If I didn’t cover an aspect of modesty you’d like me to include in a future post, lease leave the idea for me in the comment section or send it to me.
Carry on, beautiful ladies!