The definition of modesty varies between different religions, cultures, and demographics. In some religions, it’s okay for a woman to expose her collarbone, and in others, it isn’t. In some religions, it’s okay for a woman to wear clothing that covers the knees and elbows- and it others, it isn’t. There are places where women are freely able to wear bright prints; places where they can only wear subtle prints; and places where they are better off focusing on solids.
The variations spark lots of debates. For example, if Woman #1 is wearing a knee-length skirt without stockings, and Woman #2 is wearing full-length relaxed-fit jeans- who’s dressed more modestly? There are many who would say Woman #2 is dressed more modestly, because she isn’t exposing any skin. However, there are also many who would argue that Woman #2 is being immodest simply by wearing pants, because she is giving out a visual of the parting between her thighs, which Woman #1 has concealed. There are also many who would say that both are being immodest, and Woman #1 should have thick stockings on, or wear a full-length skirt in order to be considered modest.
It gets mind-boggling at times, because it’s tricky to satisfy everyone. One can’t help but wonder- are there universal rules to dressing modestly? We think so! We apply these rules to our collection, to ensure overall satisfaction.
Here are some (generally) universal rules that come to mind:
Clothing that features see-through materials are generally not modest. This even applies to dresses that are otherwise designed in a modest fashion. If parts that are meant to be covered are actually exposed- that’s not favorable. Not even as a tease. Have a look at the picture below, for example. But if it’s a sheer layering piece that is going to be worn over a shell- that’s perfectly fine, and looks really cool too if anything.
Short shorts that expose too much of the thigh are generally not considered decent. In many cases, shorts of any length aren’t permitted at all. But in the case of short shorts, those are generally frowned upon whether worn by men or women, unless for a brief period with a sufficient reason (such as athletics.) Here’s an example below that would pass only because he is playing tennis.
Just as clothing should not reveal the chest of women, it also shouldn’t reveal the back. Here’s an interesting pic of three contrasting styles. The woman in the middle is clearly dressed most appropriately. That’s actually a really pretty dress!
Tall woman don’t have as much wiggle room with clothes as shorter women do. Something that’s medium-length would look very long when worn by a short person. Yet, that same article of clothing would look immodest on a taller woman, simply because of her longer limbs. Taller women should always purchase longer items accordingly.
Dressing modestly is not at all limited to just women. Men are expected to dress modestly as well, because immodest thoughts and actions can go both ways. Also, doesn’t it simply look better when everyone is well-dressed?
Let us know of any universal rules to dressing modestly that we might have missed, in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
People tend to have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to women who choose to dress in modest attire. Even though modest fashionistas don’t necessarily dress to attract attention to themselves, they still can’t escape the judgement that often comes their way.
We decided to run through some of the most common assumptions that are made, and debunk them. Because come on- they’re ridiculous!
Modest Women Are Only Able To Dress In One Way
Not true at all! Granted, the very definition of modesty does vary between individuals across all regions. Even so- there is generally a lot of wiggle room when it comes to different styles of individual pieces, and (obviously) when it comes to accessorizing. Modest clothing in general comes in a lot of varieties, and can easily be made to look fashionable, modern, trendy, and practical.
Women Who Dress Modestly Are Not Proud Of Their Bodies
To the contrary- they are very proud of their bodies, which is exactly why they don’t feel the need to expose it. Of course, modest women are just like everyone else, and may have their own insecurities about certain looks or features on them. However, they don’t generally find themselves suffering in order to stay covered. They discover ways to make it work for them, and rock it.
Modest Women Can’t Dress According To The Weather
Oh yes they absolutely can! It’s not all that difficult to find modest pieces that are airy and breathable for the summer, and pieces of mixed materials that retain body heat for the winter. In the fall and spring, they know how to layer up to stay warm and trendy, without looking frumpy.
Modest Women Don’t Want To Look Sexy
Well, yes and no. No, they don’t want to expose everything in order to be sexy. But that is because they know it comes from within. They wear what makes them feel cool, comfortable, and polished. In turn, that boosts their confidence, which is without a doubt, very intriguing.
Women Who Dress Modestly Are Feminists
Okay maybe, but what does that have to do with anything? There are feminists that bare all in the name of feminism, and there are feminists that cover all in the name of feminism. Women who dress modestly generally do so as a matter of choice and style, sometimes as recommended by their religions, and for their own personal empowerment.
Modest Women Are Prudes
That’s not a fair generalization. Anyone can be a reserved, shy, and naive person without sexual experience. And there are plenty of women who choose to stay covered, but are also very loud, proud, and sexually experienced. One has nothing to do with the other.
What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
When one mentions Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the first thoughts to come to mind would typically be her grace, charm, and modest style. It is for this reason the world still speaks of her with such high praise. She was a true fashion icon, and interestingly enough if you look at her pics, you will see that her style is evergreen. Images of her never appear dated. Jackie was, and forever will be a trendsetter in her own right.
Here’s a look at some of the trends she dominated. And when you’re ready to duplicate some of her casual styles without breaking the bank, have a look at our collection.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments! What other trends did Jackie Onassis pioneer?
Always Amazing Hair
There’s a charming quality to classic headshots of the past, especially those of modestly dressed little girls that are clearly enjoying the all-star treatment. Can’t blame them for enjoying playing dress-up! It’s beautiful to catch a glimpse of them dolled up in their darling dresses, smiling with pure joy and happiness.
Here’s a look at some images we gathered, that are guaranteed to make you smile! By the way, don’t forget to check out our collection of modest casual skirts, shirts, and more for the lovely little girl in your life!
Cropped Tank Top
Leafing through the clothing racks at the average department store, women who choose to dress modestly sometimes don’t find much to choose from. Tops are a particular source of trouble, because so many of the available shirts are designed with necklines that reveal too much cleavage.
But there’s good news – a low-cut top can be brought up to standard, so you don’t have to pass it by after all. If you’ve found a shirt that works in terms of its color, fabric, sleeve and hem design, there are plenty of ways to doctor the neckline, so it can become a real asset to your modest wardrobe.
Here are 5 neckline fixes to try:
- Head out to the thrift store and purchase a colorful tank top that harmonizes with the color of the top you want to adjust. Look for something that’s much too small – a children’s tank will do. Then cut out a triangle that can be sewn inside that plunging neckline. You can also attach this add-on coverage with snaps, to allow for different color combinations.
Kosher Casual’s TeeNeck®
- For a more delicate look, a lace-edged triangle will do the trick. This will also dress up a casual top.
- If you don’t have the time or inclination to get out needle and thread, commercially-available neckline extenders known as “TeeNecks” are a great option. Pop these over your head, then wear the shirt you need to fix on top. TeeNecks give you the coverage you need, without adding bulk.
- Layering that low-cut top over another shirt is an obvious way to breach the gap between the fashion designer’s vision and your standards of modesty. If the weather’s cool, layering a full shirt can add cozy comfort. It not, choose a cropped top. Cropped tops are built to stay stably in place, while adding coverage only where it’s needed.
- Sometimes skimpy tank tops – the type you wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in public – can actually serve as a modesty solution. Try wearing a tank top backwards as an under-layer (after removing any tags that might show). This brings the neckline up to where you need it, and turns a low-cut shirt into the basis for an outfit you’ll be happy to wear.
Women who choose to dress modestly come from all kinds of backgrounds, and their reasons for dressing modestly vary. Moreover, a commitment to modesty can harmonize with a huge range of styles and personal tastes in fashion. So the question remains: what does it actually mean to dress modestly?
If there’s one “golden rule” that sums up dressing modestly, it’s this: your clothing choice should enhance your attractiveness as a total person, rather than attracting the eye to one particular part of your body.
Think about it – a hemline that’s just a little too short draws eyes downward toward your legs. Heels that are just a little too showy and high can do the same thing for your ankles, even if your knees and lower legs are modestly covered. And of course, an overly-revealing neckline will make your chest the star of the show.
While all of these fashion faux-pas are problematic in terms of the rules of modesty – however we define them – the greater problem is how this type of immodest dressing causes us to be seen as a collection of body parts, rather than a dignified, and attractive human soul.
There’s no question that our clothing choices affect the way the world sees us. That’s why modest dressing is so important – it creates a beautiful “frame” for showcasing the beauty we all hold inside.
“Attractive, Not Attracting” – A Strategy for Teens and Parents
Teaching the benefits of this fashion philosophy to our daughters can be difficult, especially when we don’t want to get into power struggles about modesty. So here’s another shorthand method for determining an outfit’s overall modesty quotient.
Ask your daughter to look into the mirror and answer the following question for herself: Is what I’m wearing “attractive” or “attracting”?
Even without getting into a discussion of specifics (or taking a disciplinary ruler to her shirtsleeve!), most girls recognize that subjective moment when clothing crosses over into impropriety. This little exercise will also help her form a firm foundation of self-respect, knowing that she understands and controls that fine line between wearing an outfit that enhances her beauty and expresses her spirit, and wearing one that advertises her “availability”.