We have been talking a lot about modesty the past couple of meetings at Bright Lights. We’ve covered why we should dress modestly and the principles in God’s Word regarding our appearance. So this particular meeting was excited as we explored practical ways to dress in way that honors the Lord.
Have you ever gone clothes shopping and aren’t able to find anything modest that you like? Many girls want to dress modestly, but cannot find modest clothes. Other girls want to dress femininely, but cannot find nice dresses or skirts. Shopping can be very frustrating! Tonight, I want to share a few ideas that are very helpful when creating a modest wardrobe.
At our last meeting, we talked about our important calling as ambassadors of Christ. In everything that we do, our goal must not be to please ourselves, but to honor the Lord and represent Him well. To help us understand this concept a little better, we heard a little story about a business that wanted to hire a secretary. Since the secretary was going to represent the business to everyone who walked through the door, the secretary was to be carefully chosen. Four young ladies wanted to apply for the job. And they each had very different ideas as to how appear for their interview.
This little skit helped to illustrate how our clothing is often the first thing people notice about us and it communicates a message to others. We want to properly represent the Lord to the world around us—that is what it means to be a bright light. By His grace, let’s represent Him as well as we can!
How Can I Find Modest Clothes?
Keep in mind that these suggestions are not a list of rules to follow. These are to give you ideas, but more importantly, this should encourage you to study God’s Word, talk to parents, and develop your own personal standards and convictions in this area.
One of the main things to watch out for with tops is that they fit you well and are not too tight. If your shirt looks or feels tight, don’t be afraid to get a bigger size. Don’t look at a tag, say “That’s my size,” and assume it will fit you. We don’t want our shirts to be too loose/big and hang like a bag on us—that tends to look sloppy and unprofessional which is not the impression we want to give others. Nice fitting shirts are not only modest, they are also the most attractive. It looks much better than wearing a shirt that is too tight or too loose.
What happens if your shirt is not high enough to be modest (i.e. v-necks, other low necked shirts)? You can often make them modest by layering. Obviously, make sure that your underneath shirt is high enough to be modest.
- V-necks—wear a shirt underneath or you can sew a piece of fabric in the v to make it modest
- Rounded necklines—wear a high rounded neckline to create a “border”
- Sleeveless—wearing a shirt underneath that has sleeves will be more modest and can look really cute if done with the right combination.
- Sleeves that are too wide—wear a high armpit undershirt, or alter the sleeves (pleats or sewing it narrower)
- Button-up shirts—if the buttons are too low, wear a shirt underneath
- Sheer—oftentimes tops can be made out of sheer, see-through material. Layering can often solve this problem; just make sure the underneath shirt is modest.
Fitted shirts usually work best for layering so that they don’t add extra bulk to your outfit. Also if they are long that adds modesty for when you bend over, lifting up arms, etc. and your top shirt comes up and gaps. Another idea is to wear a tank top backwards—often times the back neckline is higher than the front. You can also tank tops to have a higher neckline by cutting/pinning/sewing the straps (you may also need to make the armpits lower so it will be comfortable).
Remember—you want your clothing to draw attention to your joyful countenance. So when you try on a shirt, ask yourself “What is this shirt drawing attention to?” There are certain types of clingy fabric that are immodest no matter what. Also, layering doesn’t always help draw the attention to your face either, so keep that in mind.
Skirts & Pants
You will want to make sure that your skirts and pants are not too tight. Some girls think that wearing tight pants, shorts, or skirts will make them look skinnier. However, wearing clothing that is too tight is not flattering—or modest—at all.
- Pants & Shorts—If your pants are borderline, you could wear a tunic to cover the bottom and make it modest. Also, be very careful about the length of your shorts.
- Skirts—When choosing the length of your skirt, remember that you are not going to be standing all day. You will be sitting down, moving around, and carrying on many daily activities and you want it to be modest in all of these situations. It’s also a good idea to wear leggings underneath your skirt—especially when you plan to be active. If you your skirt happens to fly up, the leggings will help to keep things modest!
Suggestions for modest skirts:
- Have you ever found a nice skirt at the store, only to find that it has a huge slit up the back or sides? A creative way to deal with this is by sewing in a kick-pleat. This is something that even a beginning seamstress can do. You can look on the internet for directions.
- Another idea for finding long modest skirts is buying a sun dress, cutting off the top and sewing in a simple elastic waistband.
- Also, with maxi-skirts in style right now, you can actually buy a long skirt. However, keep in mind that they can be tight/clingy. An idea for dealing with this is buying a larger size and use a headband or belt to hold it up.
- You can also make a modest skirt out of a pair of jeans. I posted instructions this on the BL resources page here.
Most young ladies wear swimming outfits that they would never consider appropriate at any other time. But what makes it okay to dress immodestly just because they are at the beach? Modest swimwear is not difficult to come up with—you just sometimes need to be creative and think outside of the box! A couple of options:
- WholesomeWear & other online companies
- You can wear a regular one-piece swimsuit with swim shorts & a quick-drying athletic t-shirt over top (there are a lot of girly-looking guy’s swim trunks out there—mine are white and gray with sparkly flowers!). One thing to be mindful of is things can become see through when they are wet. Since my swim trunks are white (and my underneath swimsuit is black), I also got some fitting athletic shorts to wear underneath for added modesty when wet.
Other Things to Consider
- Logos—does it draw attention to the wrong place? Is it something you want to represent?
- Weather—consider the weather and activities you will be doing when choosing what to wear (i.e. don’t wear a light flowing skirt on a windy day… don’t ask me how I know!)
- Make-up—if you choose to wear make-up, remember that less is more! Make it look natural. Overusing make-up (eye make-up especially) can make us look dark and worldly, and that is not the impression we want to give at all!
- Jewelry—an excessive amount of jewelry can be distracting and gives the impression that we want people to notice us. Again, less is more.
- Hair—don’t covet someone else’s hair. Choose a style that works best for your hair and remember that natural looking, feminine styles usually look best!
- Secret Weapon!—Do you need a quick fix for your clothing? There is a “secret weapon” that can be very useful in helping to make something modest—safety pins! They are useful for button shirts (making the shirt “button” up farther) and skirt/pants waists, etc.
- Body Shape—It’s important to evaluate what we wear and if it looks appropriate for our body shape. Just because someone else wears something doesn’t mean it’s right or that it will look nice or modest on us!
- Mirror Check—use a mirror to look carefully at your outfit to make sure it is modest. Lift up your arms, bend over, and check your arm holes to make sure you can’t see up/down/through your shirt. Use a light source to see if you need a slip.
- Ask your Dad—Dads often have great advise on what’s modest or not, and might notice something immodest about your outfit that you might have overlooked. Talk with your parents about your family’s standards for modesty and honor them in this area—your clothing also reflects back on your parents!
Modesty is possible! With a little creativity, we can change many outfits to make them modest. Modest clothing does not have to look “frumpy” or old-fashioned, but can look nice and very cute! Again, these suggestions are not a list of rules to follow. It’s so important to develop your own personal standards and convictions regarding modesty before the Lord, with the help of your parents. It’s also important to develop godly convictions now instead of waiting for a time when it could be struggle for you (i.e. the next time you go clothes shopping, go swimming, etc).
Remember, modesty is an attitude of our hearts. We can be completely covered outwardly, and yet if our heart is not modest, we still won’t be communicating a godly message to those around us. So above all, ask the Lord to help you to develop a meek and quiet spirit—inward beauty that is very precious in His sight—and that your outward actions would reflect this work of God in your heart.
For our activity, we made little reminders that inward beauty is of most importance to the Lord. It was so fun to see everyone’s creativity!
Do you have any practical modesty suggestions? I would love to hear them!