Recently I have been thinking about the two aspects of modesty: covering up and being discreet. The following questions have come to mind:
- Is it okay to be covered, but in flashy clothing?
- Is modesty something we should draw attention to or does that counteract the very concept?
- Is it possible to dress immodestly in modest clothes?
As I get older (I turned 27 a couple months ago) I am thinking about the kind of image I want to reflect. While it was once a priority to look trendy and stylish in my modest attire, I am begun shifting my attention to building a modest wardrobe that I am comfortable in, even if it not the most trendy or modern outfit.
Before I address the questions listed above, I want to stress that these are only MY opinions and conclusions. What I believe and practice may differ from you, and that is fine. I don’t ever want to condemn someone because of her views on modesty. When I decided to write my thoughts out in this post I wanted to simply share them in hopes of encouraging someone else. I am not pointing fingers at anyone or saying that my way is the right way.
These are questions I have asked myself and reflected upon.
Is it okay to be covered, but in flashy clothing?
In my opinion, this doesn’t really work. Why? Because part of what modesty means for me is not calling attention to myself through my clothes. I could theoretically still be covered in a long skirt and high necked, loose fitting top, but if the colours are bold or there is a large print or a lot of details, I would not consider that a modest outfit. My conviction is to wear clothes that both cover me in the way I am comfortable, AND do not cause me to stand out in a crowd.
Is modesty something we should draw attention to or does that counteract the very concept?
This is something I have been criticised for because I have a blog that talks about modesty. One of the online dictionary definitions of modesty says “Modesty is defined as the act of showing reserve in behavior or clothes.” I suppose it would be considered immodest to talk about how modest I am, since the very word means being reserved and not calling attention to oneself. Let me address the people who call me hypocritical and an attention seeker…blogging about my modest clothing choice and my beliefs on the topic is not something I decided upon lightly. I wrestled with how much is too much modesty talk on my blog. For the last few years I was keeping my outfit posts to a few times a month, and I have tried to tie my modesty posts into scripture and explain how it is important to me as a Christian. The reason I blog about modest dressing and behaviour is because I want to encourage other women. I know that it can be a difficult thing to commit to, especially if there is a lack of support from family or friends. So I hope women in need of encouragement and motivation can find it here.
Is it possible to dress immodestly in modest clothes?
Similar to my first question, this one addresses the fit of clothing instead of the details or designs. Let me tell you about my favourite sweater. It is soft, warm, pink, and cut beautifully. My in-laws gifted it to me for Christmas one year and it is special to me. However, I have been wearing and washing that sweater for many years, and over time it has become smaller and tighter. Looking at it on a hanger you would agree that it is modest since it has a high neckline and long sleeves, but it is quite snug once I put it on. Theoretically it is a modest garment, but NOT on me. I have come to this conclusion about many dresses and skirts as well. Just because something covers, doesn’t mean it is modest. Let me stress again that this is MY opinion. God has convicted me to be more mindful of my clothing choices and I believe I honour Him and my husband through what I choose to wear.
If you are new to Our Wood Home, you may be thinking that I dress in shapeless sacks which is how I can say I truly dress modestly. If that is the case, I encourage you to take a look at any of my fashion posts!
So now that you have read my opinions, I’d love to hear yours! How would you answer each of the three questions I posed?