This is the final post in my miniseries on modesty. If you are looking to dress more modestly I’ll be sharing some tips on how to set guidelines for yourself and reevaluate your wardrobe.
Now that I am married I feel like modesty is more important than ever. Apparently lots of other people agree because when I search “modest fashion blog” in Google it tells me there are about 7,440,000 results. All those blog authors have their own reasons and rules for dressing modestly and I’m no exception: I cover my body because it now belongs to my husband. I avoid clothing that has short hemlines, shows a lot of skin on top, is see through or very tight.
When I decided to dress more modesty I had to first figure out what modesty meant to me. Was I okay with wearing pants? What length of skirt is acceptable? What is considered low cut? Is it okay to show my shoulders and upper arms? How tight it too tight? What about sheer clothing? Were high heels appropriate? Those are just some of the questions modest fashion bloggers pose on their sites. Here is what I determined for myself:
1. Pants are okay as long as they are not skin tight. Yoga pants shall not be worn in public or in the presence of other men (like when David has his friends over)
2. Skirts and dresses must be longer than fingertip length, preferably just above the knee.
3. Tops will generally be one hand width beneath collarbone or a tank top will be worn underneath.
4. Clothing tightness will be determined on a case by case basis. I’m not comfortable wearing skin tight tops, nor do I like baggy ones.
5. Sheer clothing is usually not worn purely for practicality. Sheer dresses that require a slip won’t be worn/bought and tops that require a tank top or other shirt to be worn underneath will be assessed as needed.
5. High heels will still be worn, as I have no problem with them.
6. I am okay showing my arms and shoulders, but will not have exposed bra straps.
Once I figured out my standards I looked at my closet to see what had to go. There wasn’t much since I regularly purge to find anything that no longer fits or doesn’t get worn. I’ve included some picture below of some items I’ve recently given away and why.
Since I regularly go through my clothes I didn’t need to try on every item to see if it fit the way I deemed modest. But when you go through your clothes I highly suggest trying everything on and seeing how it looks in a full length mirror. You really have to be ruthless here. If something doesn’t fit your new standards, it either has to be donated or altered in some way. I know there might be some pieces of clothing that you really love, or has sentimental value…if that is the case, see if you can alter it or wear it in a new way. If you are saving something ‘just because’ (a concert shirt from when you were in middle school, for example…that is WAAAAAy too tight now but sometimes you want to wear it anyways…) then pack it away with your special things so you won’t feel the urge to wear it again. I have a favourite sweater than I wore for our engagement photos. It is soft and warm and I LOVE it. But now, almost 4 years later it is very tight. I can’t bear to get rid of it, so I use it as a layering piece for under dresses.
If you have a dress that you decide is too short, wear it with leggings instead!
Have a long sleeved shirt that is now too tight? Wear it under a sleeveless summer dress to make it practical for cooler weather!
Did you decide that you will no longer wear sleeveless dresses or tops? Wear a cardigan over, or a tee shirt under!
Pants too tight? Wear them as leggings!
There are ways to make your current clothing work, in accordance with your modesty standards! It’s not realistic to assume everyone can go out and buy all new clothes, so I’m a huge advocate for repurposing.
If you go through your clothes and find that you can’t really modify the way you wear them, it might be time to buy new pieces. Shopping can sometimes be overwhelming, so I invite you to refer to this post on how to do it effectively. Knowing what you need and making a list are key!! If you are struggling to determine what is modest and not, I’d be more than happy to help! Shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I’ll do my best:)
I really hope you enjoyed/gained something from this series. I certainly enjoyed writing it! Modesty is a topic that most people dismiss or associate with weird religious people. They think being modest means dressing the an Amish person, but it is so much more than just outside coverings. Modesty, for me, was about covering myself to save my body for my husband. Now that I am married, I dress modestly to keep my body for my husband. I am also being modest for the sake of other husbands out there that I may come across in daily life. I don’t want my husband to be around women dressed in skimpy clothes, so I should not be one of those women to someone else’s husband. Does that make sense?
Ultimately, I can’t tell you how to dress. It’s a personal decision between you and God. But whether you are single or married, modesty is important!
I’d love your feedback on this series! Let me know in the comments below.