There are so many definitions for modesty around the world ranging from covering only bare minimums to leaving only the eyes showing. How are you supposed to know what is good enough? What modesty guidelines should a Christian girl follow?
As Christians we called to be generous. God challenges us to give more than necessary to our neighbor and to Him. Jesus says in Luke 6:29-30, “To anyone who slaps you on one cheek, present the other cheek as well; to anyone who takes your cloak from you, do not refuse your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you.” Be generous with your possessions, time, and self. Even if someone treats you horribly with their words and actions, Jesus teaches us to be generous with love and forgiveness.
Likewise as a child of God we are called to be generous with how much we save of our bodies for God and your spouse. Too often modesty guidelines are a set of rules which give us the minimum requirements to achieve modesty: “Don’t go higher than the knee.” “No lower than four inches from the collar bone.” “Don’t make it as tight as skin.” Modesty guidelines are a good starting point, but I would like to challenge you to go farther and deeper. Instead of focusing on specific guidelines and thinking, “What is the most I can get away with before I’m immodest,” instead ask yourself, “What more can I save?” How much more can you generously save for your spouse through your dress, speech, and actions? It is pointless to be modest in clothing if one acts and talks in a way that draws attention to the same things that immodest clothing would. This does not mean we shouldn’t try to look pretty and desire the notice of others; God wants us to take care of ourselves and try to be and look the best we can. How can we act happy and confident if we dress grungy and sloppy all the time? Dressing and acting modestly becomes a testament of not only our worth but also helps others focus more on God.
All this talk on modesty and realize I’m not asking you to go so far as to hide every inch of yourself behind clothing or lock yourself in your room for the rest of your life; there needs to be balance. Your body isn’t shameful; it is beautiful. You are beautiful. God created each of us as perfect pieces of artwork and if I am ashamed then I am calling His work junk. We shouldn’t hide the beauty of God shining through us, but we should instead accentuate it in a respectful and reverent way.
While I’ll give you a few basic guidelines below, I encourage you to embrace the idea that modesty is not a long list of dos and don’ts. Instead it is a way of thinking, a way of life. When you put on your outfit for the day, when you choose your words and actions make each choice a conscious decision on how much you want to save for you spouse’s eyes only. Modesty isn’t all about a set of rules to which we must stick, it is a choice on how to live. If you’re struggling, turn to the Virgin Mary and pray for her help and guidance in modesty.
If you read my last post here you know why modesty is important, but now I want to give you a few examples of what I consider modest to just give you a starting point and idea. I am in no way perfect with everything about modesty myself. These are a few ideas of what I do, but don’t feel that you have to stop there. If you want to save more and be more modest that’s awesome!! You need to pray about it and decide where God is calling you.
Bathing suits are definitely the hardest piece of clothing to stay modest with today. But even if it takes a bit more effort and time to find the right bathing suit it is completely worth it. Luckily rash guards and swim shorts have been getting more popular and it has been easier to find modest swimsuits. Below is what I bought for my swim suit and I haven’t any regrets. In a modest bathing suit I’m more comfortable because I don’t have to constantly be pulling at things or worried about what’s showing and I can walk with confidence, not worried about having the “perfect body” or what others are thinking. Plus if I need to run into a store I don’t have to bring a cover up! #lifemadeeasy! 🙂 (One thing to remember, often rash guards and board shorts don’t have liners. A sports bra and bikini bottom work great for underneath.)
Note: comment below if you want me to do a post in Feb./Mar. with links to some good priced modest bathing suits so you don’t have to waste time searching.
If shorts are the same size as your underwear what is the point of wearing them? (Okay, no, wear shorts! 😉 ) Personally I make sure that the bottom of my shorts reaches at least farther than my longest finger reaches if I put my arms straight at my sides. I know it’s hard to find shorts like that, but if that’s the case you can just buy second hand pants, cut them and then roll the ends a couple times to prevent fraying.
It is not attractive nor is it respectable for someone to be able to see a girl’s underwear whenever she bends over or sits down. Measuring at 5’10”, it is hard for me to find skirts or dresses which are modest. Typically I go for maxis which give a nice womanly touch of grace or leggings under dresses that are just above my knee. If the dress is shorter than that, rule it out. A good rule of thumb is if the hem of the skirt doesn’t touch the ground when you kneel it’s too short. You can still look beautiful with long skirts.
If it’s skin tight, if people can see every curve and muscle, it’s as if you don’t have anything on even if no skin is showing. Our clothes shouldn’t be too baggy, but they shouldn’t be like our own skin. Wear clothes that accentuate your beauty in a graceful and feminine way. I make sure there is enough fabric to pull away and it is thick enough to not show every curve.
Whenever I go shopping I make sure it isn’t skin tight or it will show the outline of undergarments. I also make sure the neckline isn’t too low or loose, otherwise it will reveal everything underneath when I bend over. I like to not go lower than four fingers from my collar bone. Layers are wonderful too. I have a stash of layering tank tops to wear under my shirts. This adds thickness, can help raise a neckline or lower a waistline of a shirt, and it also helps prevent the bra from showing through the fabric.
Hopefully these pictures have not only given you an idea, but also show you that you can still be beautiful and feminine in a modest way. There is a lot to keep in mind, but after practice it will get easier at finding modest clothing. I like to go to second hand stores because I find a wider range of options, instead of just the fad in malls. Plus it’s cheaper and I can get 3 shirts for the price of a brand new one! 🙂
Come check out my other post: Why Is Modesty Important?
Would you like me to do a post in Feb./Mar. with links to modest bathing suits? Would you like a post on modesty hacks? Let me know in the comments below. 🙂
A big thanks to fred1267 for requesting a post on modesty guidelines. I’m so excited to get my first requested post! Don’t be afraid to comment with any questions you have or topics you would like thoughts on!