Part 2 of Modesty . . . where is it?

(warning - immodest clothes are shown)

Only last Monday I was writing about women who want to wear whatever they like as they believe it is a way of expressing their sexuality and female “power” (LINK). I wasn't planning to write any more on this topic until I read another newspaper article on the Friday and I just had to share parts of it with you:

Teenage girls are flaunting more skin than ever, raising the eyebrows of many women as hemlines get shorter.  Girls as young as 13 are purposely - and proudly - revealing breasts, backsides, navels and backs, and wearing clothing so tight and fitted that little is left to the imagination. Fashion and etiquette experts have issued a plea to girls to cover up, with one even accusing some young women of dressing like "streetwalkers".

Ironically, Vogue editor Kirstie Clements said it appeared many teenagers were making a concerted effort to look trashy and wear little to no clothing:

"Skirts so short they didn't even cover the butt cheeks," she said. "Half a metre of stretch nylon seems to suffice as a dress. "Where have all the teenage girls gone who just look pretty and fresh, with sandals and a cotton sundress on?"

Vogue sadly doesn't seem to practice what they are preaching, just take one look at their magazine and you will find many many photos of immodest women. The photo below is straight out of the Vogue website and considered an "excellent example of mini". I don't remember seeing many young fresh faced girls dressed in pretty feminine cotton sundresses in Vogue lately, have you?

Former Cleo and Australian Women's Weekly editor turned etiquette queen Ita Buttrose (who does dress beautifully and modesty) said: 

"less is best" did not apply to the way you get dressed and I particularly liked her comment that covering up can look more "alluring" than when uncoveredShe goes on to say: "I see girls heading off to work in tops that I think are too low-cut for the office. I think some girls do themselves a disservice by letting so much hang out."

I couldn't agree more with Buttrose, only the other day I caught the lift with a woman in her 20's wearing a very short flimsy dress (I was cold just looking at her as it is winter here) and wondered why she thought this outfit was suitable for work.  There doesn't appear to be a dress code in the office any more and these young women are really pushing the boundaries.  I assume their supervisors aren't game enough to comment, in fear that they will be called sexiest or "attacking women's rights".

Shop Til You Drop editor Justine Cullen wrote in her editor's column this month in a bid to get young women to cover up, calling for:

"basic nipple and private-parts coverage" and goes on to say "Why has it become so hard to tell your average 20-something from your average streetwalker?"

So our young women are looking like prostitutes?  Why, because they are copying what they see in magazines, just like the ones below.  If fashion magazine editors want young girls to cover up they need to change the content of their magazines, they need to stand up for what they believe in (if, what they are saying is what they beleive) - otherwise all they are doing is being hypercritical.  Sending one message in text, but another in the photos.  Sadly, I think it comes down to profits and modest clothing on the front cover of a magazine wouldn't sell magazines to modern women in their teens or 20s so it isn't likely to happen. 

Just some more food for thought. 

PS - in case you are wondering - both outfits above are dresses  - not tops with missing bottoms.



  1. You are right, Jo - modest clothes wouldn't sell at this point. But this has all got to stop somewhere, unless society is ready to take nudity on large-scale!! I mean, the dresses can't keep getting lower up top and shorter on the bottom for ever, or there will only be a thread left!
    I do take comfort in King Solomons words that remind us that there is nothing new under the sun, and that life is very cyclical - everything goes around and around. In past history there have been eras when women wore less, but those eras passed by... so perhaps this era will, too.
    Something I noticed in the store recently is that 1800s style boots have come back in this winter... And sometimes I wonder when women might start covering up again and dressing "mysteriously"... Maybe I'm a dreamer, but I really hope that happens!! :)
    I must say that the quotes you used from fashionistas really did surprise me, though - and I hope those women DO mean what they're saying and start popularising less revealing clothing. They have the power! maybe we all need to write letters to the fashion-setters to give them something to think about (ie. regarding the "mystery" of a woman who doesn't bare-all)!!! :)

  2. Jo: it is getting harder & harder. I had issues with my teen just this week ~ & she's fairly pliable & fairly modest ~ over a dress she wanted for dance class. I couldn't see how it would stay up, nor exactly what it was meant to cover so even though it was her money, back it went! She is very aware of fashion, given the industry she hangs around in, but trying to be fashionable while staying modest is near impossible & I am so over the trashy street walker look. So unattractive ~ to say nothing of what it does to the men's testosterone!

    The fashion industry should be held accountable for what it is doing. It is one thing for parents to police their juniors & just not buy the trash but with so many teens earning & spending their own income these days it is much harder for many parents to hold to civilised standards without WWIII breaking out. These girls seem to have Lots of money, no self esteem. If they thought more highly of their own intrinsic value they would not sell themselves so cheaply.

  3. I think it's precisely because so many people are afraid to say anything that so many girls dress like this. They feel no shame or disapproval over wearing skimpy clothes because they don't get the negative feedback - but they do get attention from men and boys. In conservative Christian circles where I live (USA), modesty is given more priority, but unless you are part of those circles, the fashion industry and mainstream media push skimpy clothes and it's a message that too many families fail to tune out.

    Outside the mainstream, though, I have noticed more independent shops selling old-fashioned cotton sundresses and other more modest things. I'm hopeful that this means there is a market building for more ladylike clothing.

  4. Oh, and I am so tired of cleavage! It's everywhere. It is especially appalling to see young girls, barely into puberty, exposing themselves this way. So sad.

    I feel sorry for men these days. I can't imagine what they go through surrounded by so much temptation.

    At Mass last Sunday, a girl of 13 or 14,in the pew in front of my husband and me, was wearing tight, white short-shorts. She was with her parents, or so it seemed.

    What were they thinking?? How can parents allow their daughters to dress this way. And of course, she was hardly an exception.

    At church at least, there should be a dress code posted. They do it in Rome, and people respect it.

    Thanks for posting on this important topic.

  5. Clara made a good point, I am also hopeful that this is just a cyclical thing and it will pass! My dh always has to turn away or look down when talking to women who are showing too much! I just wonder about women who dress that way and why they have to show off so much to the world, I just dont understand it!!!!!

  6. Joyfulmum and Clara - sadly I don't think the modern fashions, in particular teenage fashions will change considerably any time soon. But of course one can never say never.

    Ganeida - I have to admit I am sort of glad I don't have any daughters to have to go through the problems of clothes, I am sure it is very difficult at times. Girls do seem to have lots of money these days, it often surprises me. But trashy clothes aren't very expensive. The two examples I included at the bottom of the story are only $35.00 within reach of most girls.

  7. Patricia - I couldn't agree more with a dress standard for church, I have to say I have seen clothes that are just not suitable in church - I don't understand their parents at all. When I was younger, Sunday clothes were my best clothes and certainly not something I would wear to a party. The lack of respect at church is the same lack of respect they have elsewhere though.

    Thankyou for leaving a comment:)

  8. Amy - The shops in our cities are full of immodest clothes, it is very hard (almost impossible) to find long skirts (except in summer) so I buy most of mine from eBay or overseas!! Occasionally the more old fashion stores designed of the "older women" stock clothing - at a price.

    It is currently winter here and most of our stores are full of trousers and hardly any skirts, skirts simply aren't worn in winter!!

  9. Jo,

    I'm sorry, but the last two photos you showed of the women who are wearing "dresses" is simply appauling! The first words out of my mouth were, "Yikes!"

    Yes, it seems that "less is best" is the motto these days in regards to fashion. I think most women think it's "cute" to show various body parts when in reality, it's just distracting, and makes people feel uncomfortable. In my estimation, the so-called "mini skirts" do not even classify as a skirt. They are more like a piece of fabric tightly wrapped around the hips to barely cover the "essentials."

    I also find it ironic that magazines who have no problem with showing models in immodest clothing try to "cover-up" by placing articles regarding modesty. I find this to be a bit on the hypocritical side, but as you stated, their immodest fashions are solely for profit.

    Anyway, if you find anymore tidbits about modesty, please post them. I enjoy reading them.

    -L. Rose

  10. I love your template! Where did you get it? I would love to have one for my blog, too. Great read, by the way!

  11. Thankyou - the template is from - there address appears in the corner of my blog. The banner though is mine. Thanks for dropping by:)

  12. A year later and now we are seeing transparent clothing with only undergarments or even nothing underneath. It seems they are determined to bare all after all. God be merciful unto us and especially unto our men folk!!!!

    1. What I find rather interesting is that young women will wear these clothes in the middle of winter when it quite clear that it is cold and they are cold - all for the looks and to "impress" so they are willing to go cold to be half dresses - are they that desperate. If so it is very sad indeed.

      I can't make sense of it, perhaps I am now getting too old!!


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