what modesty isn’t

So many blogs and online articles will talk about what modesty is.  The dictionary defines it, Hollywood talks about it, and I’ve even written several posts on it too.  I think the very word conjures negative thoughts because it’s often seen as a bunch of outdated and oppressive rules that weird religious women have to follow.  But let me let you in on a secret…I choose to dress modestly because I WANT TO.

With all the talk about what modesty is, I decided to share some of my own opinions on what modesty isn’t.  Notice I said “my own opinions”?  That’s exactly what this post is.  I’m not putting words in anyone else’s mouth.  I’m not representing Christianity, my church, or anything else except ME with this post.


I realize there are lots of women worldwide who do not have a choice in their modest dressing, so the following list is what modesty isn’t to me.

Modesty isn’t…

  • forced on me by my husband, church, or family.  I made the personal choice to dress more modestly as a way to honour God and my husband.
  • a set of rules I have to follow. Personally, I don’t subscribe to someone else’s rules and guidelines for modest dressing.  I believe there are certain things meant to be kept between husband and wife, so I cover myself in public.  My personal guidelines have taken some refining but I will happily share them if you ask.
  • taking away my choice to wear what I want.  I CHOOSE not to wear low cut tops, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t dozens of other options for me.  And if I want to wear a low cut top, I can modestly do so by layering a tank top underneath.
  • about bad body image. I’m not wearing knee length skirts because I think my thighs are too big.  I’m not wearing looser clothes because I think I’m too skinny.  On the contrary, I dress modestly because I have so much respect for my body that i want to keep it under wraps for a certain special husband ;)
  • meant to create shame about our bodies. Every body is beautiful, and should be saved as a gift for your spouse.
  • limiting me in any way.  I still go to the beach in a bathing suit.  I can ride a bike.  Chores are done in hot weather while wearing a skirt.  I can still shop at the mall.
  • boring and restrictive.  I don’t wear only homemade clothes in shades of brown with no shape or interesting details.  Like I said above, I can find clothes that suit my tastes and standards at the mall.  While I’m not a follower of trends, it is possible to do that AND dress modestly.
  • outdated. People think modesty has no place in our culture since “times are changing” and often equate it to something from our grandmother’s generation.  While modesty certainly was practiced more back then, I feel like we need it now more than ever.

Do you agree with my list?  Is there anything else that modesty isn’t? 

About Christina

20-something; rural dwelling; wife to David; homeowner; pretty good cook; wearer of skirts; friend to all cats.

8 comments on “what modesty isn’t

  1. Great posts Christina! My feelings about modesty are very similar. No bathing suit for me though! Can’t find one that covers what I want covered.

  2. Hi Christina! My thoughts on modesty are very similar. I think modesty is not just to obbey a rule, it makes sense when you really feel it in your heart.
    And also it’s a way to protect us from unwanted looks and words from others.

  3. I agree with you Christina.

    My parents had me late in life so I wore somewhat dated clothes when I was growing up – mainly navy, grey and browns – flat shoes, long skirts etc. I accepted it at the time and many of my friends dressed similarly. When I was in my early 20s my parents passed away and I started to experiment more with different colours and slightly shorter thigh length skirts. I still felt modesty was very important in how I dressed and my husband respects my values.

    One major step in the evolution of my modest dressing took place quite recently in my 30s when I bought my first ever pair of trousers (pants). Several of my friends had started to wear trousers and showed me how they could be worn modestly with a tunic or long top and I wanted to try some as well. I always make sure my rear /crotch is well covered in public and I feel just as modest in them as a skirt. I think my mother would have been shocked to see me in trousers though!

    • Thanks for the insights, Rebecca! I totally agree that pants can be worn modestly, although I don’t wear them often simply because I find them uncomfortable.

  4. Yes, I most certainly agree with you.
    I am coming from a not so modest family but choose to be modest (if that makes sense). Bathing suits are tricky, I think – this summer I have begun wearing a surf shirt. I have a one-year-old son and this way I don’t have to worry about him pulling anything lower than I want LOL.
    Thank you for this encouraging post.

    • It must have ben tricky decided to dress modestly if you have not been brought up in that school of thought. The surf shirt is definitely a good idea if there are little ones around!!!

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