Ladies and gentlemen- modesty goes both ways. It is not just for the ladies. We’ve previously written about universal rules of modesty for women. That got us thinking- what about men? Are there general, universal rules to modesty (in terms of appearance) for men? The answer is YES!
Granted, it’s all relative. Interpretations of what is considered to be modest varies between different cultures, religions, and of course individuals. As we did our reading, we came across lots of parallels between different religious sects in terms of how men are expected to upkeep their appearance. And of course, we decided to share them with you!
The rules of modesty for men narrow down to two categories: physical appearance, and clothing/behavior. Yes, clothing is paired with behavior, because as we’ve previously written, there is a direct correlation between the two.
Men are generally expected to keep their hair short. Although the accepted length varies between religions and cultures, they’re generally expected to keep the hair on their head shorter than women. The modern trends of men shaving themselves smooth for the sake of vanity is generally frowned upon. In most instances, it’s a different story if it’s solely for hygienic reasons around particular parts of the body. It’s generally acceptable for men to maintain a smooth face, or keep facial hair- but the bottom line is whichever route they choose, they have to keep themselves nicely groomed.
Men are also expected to look after their health and fitness across the board. But how much is too much? Well, it’s okay for a man to exercise to be fit and gain some muscle. However, reactions get mixed when a man goes after obtaining an excessively muscular appearance- because again- that taps into vanity.
Things get interesting when it comes to jewelry and other accessories. There are mixed opinions on men wearing earrings and/or excessive jewelry such as gold chains. In most cases, it’s okay for a married man to wear a wedding band, and there are also cases where it would only be okay if the material isn’t made out of gold, because gold is considered too flashy. It is unanimously accepted for men to wear watches, but only if it isn’t heavily adorned. The same applies with religious symbols- he can wear it, just as long as the piece itself is very subtle.
Clothing and Behavior
Because men, in most cultures, play a more authoritative role in society, it is generally expected that they dress modestly to be taken seriously. You just wouldn’t expect an authoritative person to approach their role in clothing that is tight, revealing, or flashy. Elder men are expected to inspire and set an example of modesty for younger men, as well as women and children. This assists in encouragement of modest behavior as well.
Men are expected to speak and act in ways that clearly demonstrate righteousness. Yes, popular culture does make that difficult for younger men of today, which makes it that much more important for those that are close to them to motivate them to get on, and stay on the modest track.
Are their some other general rules of modesty for men that you know of? Let us know in the comments below!
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!
Accessories are awesome! You can’t deny the fact that accessories make everyone look and feel younger, because they allow you to achieve the look you’re going after. When rocked with confidence, they can turn any modest casual outfit into a chic fashionable ensemble, or even help you make older outfits appear more up-to-date. One of the best things about accessories is the fact you don’t have to spend big money on them to look fabulous.
When it comes to choosing accessories, most of us tend to think about it after purchasing outfits. There’s nothing wrong with that if you already have a massive collection of things to choose from. The best way to approach accessorizing is to keep three important points in mind.
- Choose your accessories based on common elements with the outfit itself, such as color, texture, or style. Also, try to have accessories match with each other. For example, if you’re wearing silver earrings, opt for the bag with the silver buckle, and the shows with the silver embellishment. Don’t forget to also add some contrast into the mix, because sometimes outfits just don’t look right when they’re too “matchy-matchy.”
- Choose accessory sizes that work well with your body size. For example, if you have a small frame, smaller and simpler accessories might suit you best. If you have a large frame, that may not necessarily mean you should use larger accessories- but try giving medium sized accessories a go.
- Use accessories to attract or detract attention to different points. This one can get a little tricky, because you may not want to wear pieces that are too flashy on or near your chest and such. The goal is to stay modest, with a modern twist.
Here are our top nine accessory must have recommendations, which you can use as inspiration. Let us know if there are any you might like to add in the comments below.
Eyeglasses and Sunglasses
Scarves, Shawls, Ties
Hosiery and Socks
The holiday season is a bonanza for business, with the media making darned sure that everyone feels a guilty responsibility: To buy gifts and to make ‘em good.
Face it: gift buying success is not an exact science. What’s more, when the female target of your gift purchases – whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a colleague from work – is a difficult “fit”, we can find ourselves roaming the aisles, either empty handed, or worse, with our hands full of gifts that are sure to go right to the back of the closet. Or back to the store.
Here are some thoughts to guide you on your girl-oriented gift-giving adventures.
(1) It’s winter. Think cozy.
You don’t have to be headed for a ski resort to appreciate the warmth that’s expressed by seasonal dressing. In the winter months, everybody loves an extra layer, and outerwear is a risk-free choice; whether it’s a casual sweatshirt or a camel’s wool coat, it doesn’t have to match any particular outfit. For a low-budget option, remember: winter scarves, hats and gloves are a colorful, girl-friendly gift, and a classic expression of seasonal affection.
Women’s Loose Fitting, Raglan Style Shirt – Perfect ‘Basic’ for your Wardrobe
(2) Basics rock!
Did you know that the girl who has everything has something in common with the fussiest recipient on your list? It’s true: both have limited bandwidth for appreciating your creative shopping efforts. So why fight it? A sure-fire way to please both these categories is to concentrate on blue-chip, tried-and-true basics. Complement the wardrobe these women already have by choosing high-quality tops, bottoms and layering pieces in easy-to-match colors.
(3) You can never own too much…
…jewelry. Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but if the real stuff is out of your price range, try browsing your local department store racks for fun – and fake – pieces that can liven up any look.
Kosher Casual’s Little Black Dress
(4) Dare to buy a dress
Yes, it can be done. Keep your eyes out for classic styles that are not too fussy in the details, yet say “holiday” all the way to the hem. For example, imagine an unstructured dress in a solid-color… that’s the kind of foolproof, one-size-fits-all gift dress that is sure to be appreciated, because it can be dressed up and accessorized, creating a starting point for a personal fashion statement.
(5) And if you despair…
Don’t. Gift certificates may sound like a cop-out, but allowing the girl on your gift list to do her own shopping might be the greatest gift of all!
Modest dressing looks good on every body type, but it has some distinct advantage for those of us with fuller figures. This is not because we want to cover up and “hide” – heaven forbid. Rather, modest cuts give us the freedom we need to make a beautiful fashion statement that embraces our size… and our lifestyle.
Tight Doesn’t Make Right
Plus-size women have natural presence, and the right skirt choices can help them make the most of it. While it’s certainly true that “real women have curves”, it’s also true that when women’s curves are the focus of attention, modesty tends to go out the window. In other words, if your mid-section is encased in tight, slinky material, it doesn’t matter if your elbows and knees are well covered – the total effect is eye-catching, and not in a good way.
Let’s look at some of the fashion secrets that allow plus-sized women to choose a skirt that shows them off to their fullest advantage.
Flowing and Fashionable Skirts
Maxi, midi or to-the-knee, every skirt length can compliment the more generous figure.
Skirts that go to the ankle or even the floor are not just for formal wear. Long skirts can add elegance to everyday dressing, creating a line that draws attention away from the hips and tummy. Ramp up this “camouflage” effect by choosing a skirt with flowing detail in the lower leg area – or dramatic pleats that begin at the knee.
Mid-length flared skirts can also create an elegant line. A generous cut that includes lots of extra material creates a flowing, attractive drape that moves with you. Alternatively, you can look for a “tiered” skirt that offers a wider silhouette, while providing visual interest all the way down.
Classic, to-the-knee skirts come in a variety of styles that can work for plus-size women. Whether you’re looking for a stretchy pencil-skirt, or a more structured design, your skirt should make you feel confident about the leg you choose to show. Don’t forget to “test drive” your choice by sitting down – even in front of a mirror – and verifying the knee-coverage before you make your purchase!
Waist Not Want Not?
Women of generous proportions tend to pair their skirts with tops designed to de-emphasize the waist, by hiding it altogether. But remember: a waist is a terrible thing to mind! So keep an open mind while shopping for your next skirt, and consider waist-conscious designs that dare to define your shape. Who knows – you may decide to tuck in that tee shirt after all!
Whatever your personal style, creating a polished, put-together look is more than a matter of wearing the garments that you love. In fact, no matter how keen your fashion sense, individual clothing pieces can only take you so far. Wearing modest clothing basics does not need to be boring. For the finishing touch, remember: it’s the little things that help you make a fashion statement from head to toe.
To transform your clothes into outfits that work, save room in your closet for these top ten accessorizing essentials:
- Jewelry: Understated Jewelry: Just because a necklace, bracelet or set of earrings is subtle doesn’t mean it can’t have a major impact. Complete any look – and show you care – by choosing earrings that can be seen beyond your hairline. Choose a necklace that harmonizes with the collar or neckline of your top. A delicate bracelet or two adds a feminine touch that complements any outfit, and is appropriate for work or leisure activities. Signature Jewelry: Dressing modestly doesn’t mean fading into the wallpaper. Invest in a few bold pieces that express the strong woman you are. Whether you go bright, colorful, or “chunky” in your choice, signature jewelry adds pizzazz to your everyday wardrobe, and provides that extra measure of glamour to special occasions.
- Scarves: Take a look at your basic wardrobe. What are your favorite color schemes? What are some favorite items that work together – or don’t? A few scarves or shawls with “bridging” colors can turn isolated tops and bottoms into beautifully coordinated outfits, and increase your fashion flexibility.
- Spring Flats: Fashion polish starts from the ground up, and colorful flats are a great way to get your look off and running. Great under pants or skirts, basic flats help you move smoothly from casual occasions to more formal events, without missing a beat.
- Black Heels: These are the shoes that can lend an air of authority to your work outfits, and add fashionable propriety to the dresses you reach for on special occasions. You may have to invest some time shopping for the perfect black heels that are both beautiful and comfortable, but once you find them, they’re a joy forever.
- Strappy Sandals: For that special party or event, you don’t have to go high in the heel. Whether neutral or “out there” in color, strappy sandals put sophisticated elegance on your feet.
Just add sunglasses and a bag to accessorize any outfit
- Sunglasses: Obviously, sunglasses are great for hiding tired eyes and shielding you from the sun’s glare. But psst! Their real beauty is how, by just sliding them on, sunglasses make you feel like a star.
- Leather Handbag: A well-made, roomy purse with a strap and plenty of pockets is a must for any woman on the go. Choose something solid, functional and not too flashy – after all, how many of us want to transfer our everyday essentials from bag to bag depending on what we wear?
- Clutch Handbag: An accessory that changes the entire atmosphere of an outfit, the evening clutch is an elegant, easy way to transition between a look that says “getting through the day” and one that says “going out for the evening”.
- Weekend Tote: You take care in the way you dress. Why ruin the look by tossing your weekend clothing into something that’s less than beautiful? Doubling as an extra-roomy purse for your “off” hours, the weekend tote is one piece in which you can go to town, and choose splashy colors or materials that express your sense of fun.
- Fashion Watch: Now that so many of us are carrying cellphones and other devices, the humble wrist watch has emerged as a major fashion statement. Use an eye-catching wrist watch to offset bracelets and bangles. The watch puts a little business into your fashion pleasure, while getting you where you have to go – on time and in style.