Modesty is an interesting topic among Christian women. Depending on who you talk to, you might get a radically different definition of how to dress modestly. Some Christian women define dressing modestly by never wearing pants, or by never wearing skirts that don’t hit knee-length. Others cover their hair completely and wear very baggy clothing. In other circles, modesty is rarely, if ever, discussed. And, when it is discussed, the discussion of modesty is usually geared towards women, although modesty is not just for women – it is something for both sexes to think about.
This post will be geared towards the issues for women in modesty. Regardless of what your definition is for appropriate dress for yourself as a Christian woman, I believe that it does not have to be expensive to dress modestly. No matter where you are on the spectrum of modesty, we can all probably agree that modesty is not just about what you wear on the outside but what the position of your heart is. Modesty is not just about what you wear, but also about how you behave, what your reasons are, and what your intentions are. Choosing modesty helps us as both single and married Christian women guard our God-given beauty (and dressing modestly can help keep the wrong kind of men away who might show interest in us for the wrong reasons).
With that in mind, here are some practical guidelines for starting with a desire to express yourself with a modest wardrobe. If you’re re-evaluating your wardrobe, or if you’re changing your mindset, I hope this is a help to you. As Christian women, we should never judge one another based on appearance – only God knows our hearts and if we are truly trying to please Him or if we are just trying to put on a show to look good in front of others.
Dressing Modestly on a Budget
Outfits that used to be modest on you might not be modest now for various reasons. Maybe you’ve lost weight, gained weight, or maybe a pregnancy has caused a tiny human to take up residence inside you, and you’re going to be eating for two for a while! The mistakes made due to the care that a garment requires – dry cleaning only, perhaps? – can also shrink it up and make it inappropriate. What if what used to be a proper fitting top now shows a plunging pop of cleavage and a skirt that used to be an adequate length now just barely covers your derriere? Here’s a few things you might be able to do to try to adapt your clothes before tossing them out.
How to Change Tops That Show Too Much
For the v-neck tops that show too much of your breasts, try adding an infinity scarf to cover yourself. Especially when fall and winter get too crisp for me to stay warm, I love my infinity scarves. Shirts that might normally cover you just fine can budge throughout your day if you move, so check yourself in the mirror – does this happen to you? If “the girls” are popping out all day, they need to stay put! I love my infinity scarves because I can put one on and it not only keeps me warm, but it adds a pop of color to my outfit, and it keeps my chest covered, no matter how much I move throughout the day.
Another way that our shirts can betray us is with that sliver of skin above your pants (or skirt) line and below the bottom edge of your shirt – if you’re sitting down or standing up, does your skin pop out and show? While you might have washboard abs (good on you!), you can keep it covered by placing a tank top or a camisole under your shirt, and you’ll be good to go. Tank tops or camisoles can be purchased very cheaply, and they can keep you from being exposed.
What to do About Short Skirts
If you have skirts that have become too short, you can try to make a last ditch effort before you give up on them. While leggings are not pants – and this is a misconception among many – pairing a thick pair of leggings could be a way to be able to wear a skirt that otherwise wouldn’t fly on its own. Try this and see if it’s adequate to give you the coverage you need to be adequately clothed. Otherwise, you can give those skirts a fond farewell.
Re-Purposing Un-Modest Clothing
Some clothing will simply be past its prime for you, regardless of how much you try to keep it in your closet. You can give it away to someone else that may enjoy it, but another option is to re-purpose it for your own household, especially if it’s in a condition that is no longer attractive to wear. One of the craft projects on my to-do list is to eventually make a rag rug, and this would be a great project for anyone with lots of clothing that no longer fits their lifestyle or their frame. If you can sew, you can also re-purpose your clothing into dinner napkins, rags, headscarves, or use the fabric remnants for craft projects.
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