Long dresses and long skirts just aren’t my cup of tea. In my teen years I would squirm when ever I had to wear long skirts out on the town. Who would ever show interest in me wearing long skirts or a baggy jeans I would question? Guess I am just never going to ever get married I sighed. Dressing modestly wasn’t one of my top priorities.
As I grew up and had more control over what I could wear, I felt powerful, being able to strut my stuff and loved the stares and attention that followed. Whether it was my desire for affirmation or being able to capture a man’s attention, it felt darn good.
As females I am sure you can identify with wanting to dress in the latest fashion and look sexier than the next girl that thinks she is all that. We are socialized to believe that the shorter the hemline and the more skin we reveal the sexier we look. But should this really be the case? Through fashion we showcase our personality, sure that is perfectly OK, but do we really need to be skimpy about it?
In this article, we will be unpacking:
Dressing modestly in the Bible
Benefits of dressing modestly
Rules for dressing modestly
How to dress modestly in summer
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Dressing Modestly: The Evolution of Fashion
Fashion has evolved so much over the years. We have seen hemlines get shorter, and more skin being revealed over the past few years. While it may have been inappropriate to show cleavage a few years ago, it is totally acceptable and the norm in this decade. Check out this video created by Glam Inc. that highlights how fashion has evolved over the past 100 years.
Dressing Modestly: Why Christian Modesty Is Not About Rules
The Webster dictionary defines modesty as: “ the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention”. When persons think of modesty, they thing of long skirts and perhaps turtle necks, but its more than that. You can have on a long skirt and still be immodest. A long tight fitting skirt that snugs and accentuates all the right areas of your body, to me is the same as wearing a short mini skirt, because it stirs up all the same sexual emotions.
Dressing Modestly is A Lifestyle
1 Timothy 2:9-10 NIV says, “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes. But with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” Modesty, is more of a lifestyle and not so much about a style of clothing. It is not about us; it is about honoring God with our body. It should not be about making a fashion statement, saying hey “look at me” but rather hey I am a child of God. It is us decreasing so that God might increase.
Dressing Modestly Doesn’t Mean We Are Ashamed of our Bodies
Dressing modestly doesn’t mean we are ashamed of our bodies. It is actually the opposite, we believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are a child of the King and we are respectful in how we carry ourselves in public as it reflects God and in turn ourselves. We do our best not to mar our family name or do anything that would hinder the reputation of our families, why then should the concept of fashion be any different?
2 Corinthians 5:20, NIV says: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” You make a greater impact by standing out from the crowd than trying to fit in with the crowd. People will likely get curious about the reason why you dress a certain way giving you an open door to talk about your belief. Romans 12:2 (N.I.V) says: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Dressing Modestly Helps Others
Another reason to be modest is that you shouldn’t try to be a stumbling block to others. Even the most devout Christian can fall to temptation. Let us help out one another by dressing modestly. Yes, sure they may still lust after you while dressing modestly, but at least, you are guiltless, you aren’t the one deliberately pushing them into temptation. As females we hear it a lot that we need to dress modestly, but it also applies to the males as well. The way you dress can be a stumbling block to females as well.
We were all given the freedom of choice and in reality, we can do as we please. Wear that short skirt, show some cleavage, you name it. We most certainly will get the attention we desire. Words of affirmation, the whistles and the stares, all short lived if I may add. In that moment, there is only one thing that is desired. Don’t sell yourself short, know your worth. Don’t be desired just because of what’s under that skirt but more so, who you are inside.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.” 1 Peter 3:3 N.I.V
I totally get it, wanting to be fashionable and doing what seems the norm, but I promise you, there are others just like you. You don’t need to do what everyone else is doing to fit it. You make an even bolder fashion statement by not trying to be like everyone else.
Dressing Modestly Fashion Hacks
Dressing modestly doesn’t mean you need to dress old- fashioned. You can still look good and be modest, you just need to put in a little extra work. With that being said, here are a few of my modesty fashion hacks.
Camisoles – These are lifesavers, I typically get these in either black or white and wear them under shirts where I am looking for a little extra cleavage cover.
Safety Pins – Where camisoles don’t work well with what I am wearing or the time is very hot, safety pins are super helpful.
Cardigans – I love cardigans! I wear them with pretty much everything to the point I think my husband would really love to put a ban on them. But they are also lightweight and works with tank tops or outfits where I want extra skin coverage or just want some warmth. You can also invest in longer cardigans to give you that extra coverage when wearing close fit outfits. An alternative to the cardigan are jackets, they have the same function and allows you to switch things up a bit.
Shirt tied around waist – I am not really sure what to call this one, but we will work with the tie around. Again, this can provide you with additional coverage in the rear. Just use a flannel shirt or any plain button down shirt and tie it around your waist to execute the look. Here is a short video to show you how to do this.
Swimwear – This one is a hard one. There are various more conservative options that have popped up for swimwear outside of bikinis that you can check out at your local swim store. Alternatively you could consider board shorts and a top.
Here is the key that I want you to take away when it comes to dressing modestly, in everything be temperate. Being moderate doesn’t only apply to fashion. As you spend time in the word and your relationship with God blossoms he will guide you towards truth and convict you on what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 N.I.V. What are some of your tips for dressing modestly? Drop them in the comments below.
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