Modern modest and how it varies between women.

What one woman sees as modest may not be modest for someone else. I think all three outfits below are modest. There is no plunging neck lines, the skirts are to the knee and each outfit is very feminine and pretty. However for some Christians, their definition of modesty is different and would only include outfits that are much longer or perhaps to the ankle. 


This is far more suitable for some women (all from Shabby Apple) — each outfit is long, the shoulders are well covered, the necklines are high and once again, they are very feminine.  I like all these outfits and they are certainly very modest to wear. 


Other women prefer to wear clothes that are very traditional in style and do not follow modern trends. And there are those who love to reproduce outfits that are common from the pioneer or Victoria era.  This makes women confused or uncertain about the definition of  "modesty" and what it means. 

Sometimes it can feel that you haven't been reading the right set of "rules" and that your rules about modesty appear to be the wrong rules. Modesty isn't about a set of rules to follow rigidly and to impose on others and since reading many blogs (and comments) on the topic, my definition of modesty is certainly not the same as some other women.

How ever you personally define modesty it is ultimately between you and God — and it is not a competition between women.

Most importantly when it comes to clothing — our clothing does not DEFINE us and nor is it the most important part of us. Instead: 

* How we spend our time. 

* How we treat other people.

* How we spread joy and kindness in the world.

* How we behave towards those we don't particular like.

* How tolerant we are of those who are different.

* How we treat our loved ones.

* And most importantly, how we spend time for God.


These are what are important in our live and not we store in our wardrobes.  


Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 
1 Peter 3:3-4 


We should focus less on what we wear and more on what we do. A quiet and gentle spirit is far more important to God than whether our skirts are knee, mid calf or to the ankle. The most modest woman can still miss the mark if her focus is pursuing worldly activities rather than being Christ in action.  And for some women — making sure that others notice she is ALWAYS modest in her outfits and letting everyone know that she is following "the right rules" is just as bad. 

Remember that there are some amazing women out there doing God's work quietly and without the need of fanfare or noise and may not be dressing to your level of modesty. 


Links of interest:

What's the issue with wearing leggings?

Why I wear skirts and dresses

The history of the mini-skirt

* Skin-tight clothing

* Is there anything wrong about wearing stilettos



Comments

  1. Your post brings up a great point! What is the definition of modesty and what's that look like?
    The best definition I've come across goes far beyond clothes and addresses the heart, much like the point of your post. That is, modesty is a heart that desires to draw attention to God, not itself. (See this sermon by C. J. Mahaney. It's the best I've ever found on modesty! http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12908209345) I feel like that definition cuts right to the heart of the issue.
    We women can be immodest not just in dress, but in our actions and attitudes by undue drawing focus to ourselves. Even men can be immodest in this way!

    Another common point is about whether our clothes are causing an undue stumbling block to men. Modest dress has always been near and dear to me heart. When I married, I was surprised when I asked my husband for pointers about my wardrobe. He pointed out some things I just had never thought of. Some examples:
    It's not just a question of a low cut shirt; but are men getting an eyeful when you bend over because they can see down it?
    Long skirts aren't automatically modest; skirts that are thin and tight to reveal the shape of a women's hindquarters or underwear lines can be a stumbling block.
    Even a high cut, modest shirt can reveal a lot to a men if it's tight. Men can stumble over just seeing the size of a women's chest, even if there's no skin showing.
    Nowadays, I really enjoy giving my husband a fashion show of any new outfits I buy. He has so much good input! There's no one like a man who can help a woman really know how to protect her brothers in Christ with her dress.

    Modesty can be easily confused for following a set of rules. In truth, modesty is about love. It's loving God and desiring people to see the One who is most lovely and worthy. It's also about love for our brothers in Christ, being sensitive to their weaknesses and temptations, even if it means not dressing the most stylishly or the way you'd normally desire.

    Thanks for writing! All women can use a regular check-in about modesty, myself included!
    -Christina


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    1. It shows that modesty isn't as clear cut and as simple when you really start to look into it. As you say, it is far more than what you wear, its also about your attitude, your gentle spirit etc.... It does require research to gain a full understanding and it needs to be check often to make sure you are on track :)

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  2. My problem is that it is so hot where I live it's hard to find clothes that are modest and not have a great stroke!! :) I love autumn and winter when clothes naturally tend to be more modest. I'm almost 6 months pregnant right now with my 2nd baby, so finding clothes that fit has been a little of an issue. Haha! I love the pictures you posted. I wished I dressed like that every day, but being pregnant with an almost two year old, I tend to wear more casual clothing around the house. I do think modesty is me a mind set though like you said. There are women who are well covered who still exude an attitude of modesty and women who don't have the nicest clothes who exude a humble spirit. Praying the Lord will grant my daughter a modest attitude as she grows up and that my unborn son will respect women and be attracted to women who are godly and modest. Thank you for your post. Your blog is one of my favorites I talk to my husband about it a lot and how much it helps me since I am a youngish mother without many older women mentors. Thank you!!!

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    1. Heat stroke, not great stroke and I'm not pregnant with a 2 year old but am pregnant and have a two year old as well!!! Haha. Sorry for an the typos

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    2. April - I can completely understand the hot weather and pregnant as I was pregnant with both my children whilst living in the tropical north of Australia where it isn't only hot its horrible and humid (and our home had no air-conditioning). I lived in sarongs when at home and big tent like dresses when out!! At home you don't need to be as modest as when out and in winter I tend to wear track pants in the evenings even though I would never wear them out.

      Thankyou so much for the boast when it comes to my blog - I was feeling a bit down as I wasn't getting very many comments lately :)))) If you have any suggestions for posts, do let me know as I always love ideas and suggestions.

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  3. I enjoyed this post very much - I think all the clothes pictured are classy! I get very irritated when I watch the news on a certain major channel that features female anchors whose breasts are hanging out and they're sitting with their legs crossed wearing very short skirts! What happened to nicely tailored jackets and blouses for so-called "professionals"? (Thanks for letting me rant!) Of course the world is not concerned with modesty. Blessings, Janet

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    1. I do love a good rant so feel free to at any time. Short skirts ride up and look terrible when sitting down :(

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  4. A very valuable point. I generally consider myself to wear 'appropriate' and 'modest' clothing, but my definition and th enext person's definition are not the same. I also believe certain things regarding women, society, societal messaging, and the role we all (men & women) play in all of that, which can influence when, where, and how I choose to dress.

    More importantly though, as you mentioned, my behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, and actions say so much more about me as a person than whatever clothing I choose to wear does. :)

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    1. Thankyou for stopping by - we are accounted to God and not to others, we can only do the best we can and if it is different to others - it doesn't mean we are wrong. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  5. This was an extremely enlightening post! :-)

    A friend of my daughter's was convicted about modesty, but was becoming self-righteous about it to her friends, but yet she herself was "pursuing the world" in other areas of her life. This experience aligned with one of the points you made.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Some women do get a little carried away with the self-righteous that they forget the reason for their convictions.

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  6. Great points! I agree that modesty isn't something that we can force on others, nor is it the same for every single woman.

    Christina
    www.ourwoodhome.com

    PS: I found your blog via the link up on Strangers and Pilgrims

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    1. Thankyou for stopping by :) And just because my definition of modesty is different to other women doesn't make me wrong and the others right :)

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  7. I think one of the most important things to remember is the Scripture that tells us: "Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Combine that with the Scripture you included (1 Peter 3:3-4) and we have a pretty good idea of what we should wear... Clothes that don't draw attention to ourselves (and especially sexual body parts), clothes that don't make people think lustful thoughts, and so on. But there are no rules or regulations in God's Word about what that actually means, and as you said, that is between a woman and God - to Whom she ultimately answers for her conduct and appearance, and her husband or father, depending if she is married or living at home.

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