Modest Dress

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A discussion at the supper table tonight that started off as our eight-year-old daughter talking about how much she wanted a Bratz doll ended up turning into a discussion about modest dress.

It was kind of interesting because I learned that our daughter equated modest dress with unrevealing clothing. I recognised an opportunity to explain to her that it included other things as well.

We explained to her that modest dress included clothes that covered our bodies appropriately. We also told her that modest clothes included clothes that were not extravagant; that were not extreme in style; and that did not draw attention away from the person wearing them.

We explained that this didn’t mean that one had to wear wrist- and ankle-length clothes made from gunny sacks. The clothes we wear should be pleasant and functional without attracting attention from the wearer.

22 thoughts on “Modest Dress

  1. I think this is an extremely important point. Many people completely miss the vanity aspect of modesty. I would venture to say that many clothes worn by LDS kids are technically up to the standards but are actually quite vain and ostentatious.

  2. how do you define extravagant? Define extreme style? So if a person was wearing a very bright yellow shirt, which would definitely draw attention from the person who was wearing it, would they be considered as wearing something immodest? What if yellow was their absolute favorite color? At the campground a couple of weeks ago an older man came into the pool area and when he took off his shorts he was wearing a speedo. Now that is another topic of discussion how those should not come near men but the point I am making is it definitely took our attention away from him. He was completely covered and was wearing a bathing suit at a pool area so he was appropriately dressed but is that considered an extreme style? If yes then that would mean that all competitive swimmers and divers are immodest as they all wear speedos or some version of it.

    Women that belong to the Red Hat Society definitely draw attention from themselves as you stare at some of the hats they wear. As most of the members are very elderly and are usually dressed to the wrists, necks and well past their knees would they be considered as dressing immodestly?

  3. ex·trav·a·gant (Ä­k-străv’É™-gÉ™nt)

    1. Given to lavish or imprudent expenditure: extravagant members of the imperial court.
    2. Exceeding reasonable bounds: extravagant demands. See synonyms at excessive.
    3. Extremely abundant; profuse: extravagant vegetation.
    4. Unreasonably high; exorbitant: extravagant fees.
    5. Archaic. Straying beyond limits or bounds; wandering.

    ex·treme (Ä­k-strÄ“m’)

    1. Most remote in any direction; outermost or farthest: the extreme edge of the field.
    2. Being in or attaining the greatest or highest degree; very intense: extreme pleasure; extreme pain.
    3. Extending far beyond the norm: an extreme conservative. See synonyms at excessive.
    4. Of the greatest severity; drastic: took extreme measures to conserve fuel.
    5. Biology.
      1. Characterized by severe, usually oxygen-poor environmental conditions.
      2. Having an affinity for such conditions: an extreme microorganism.
    6. Sports.
      1. Very dangerous or difficult: extreme rafting.
      2. Participating or tending to participate in a very dangerous or difficult sport: an extreme skier.
    7. Archaic. Final; last.
  4. I really hate this recent push to desexualize modesty by pushing it into utilitarianism.

    Now apparently we will not only never have a great Mormon composer, or a great Mormon novelist, we’re never going to have a great Mormon fashion designer either.

    I’m going to go curl up with my Eliza magazine and then go do something that can’t be construed as understated.

  5. What we wear reflects what we are inside, or it should.

    Covering up in a decent way goes hand in hand with what kind of modesty we internally possess. I cannot see separating the two; they are married.

    If you are modest inside, then dress modestly outside.

    If you are modest outside; you must run true and be modest in spirit and daily living.

    We must do our best not to justify one or the other separately. IMHO. God Bless! – Adrienne

  6. I believe in modesty and practicality.

    The North American culture accepts women’s swimwear next to their skin. Why does the North American culture not accept men’s swimwear next to their skin? What is the aversion to the male form? Why the double standard? Why the sexism? Why the unfairness?

    I encourage men and women to compare wearing form fitting swimwear swimming and getting in and out of the water to “trunk” style swimwear.

    I do not believe a form fitting swimsuit is necessarily inmodest, indecent or “gross”, “ewee”.

  7. It sounds like you really capitalized on a wonderful teaching moment. Anytime you can teach the principles behind modest dress you are doing your child a favor. Good job!

  8. One has to be comfortable first, in anything he or she wears. If it is getting too much attention that is enough to be uneasy. Good you could explain this to her in a simple way.

  9. My problem with fasion these days is that the t-shirts I love always have such short sleeves that aren’t at all modest. It’s almost impossible to find t-shirts with sleeves these days– these little cap sleeves and sleeve-less shirts are what you find in most stores. I’ve finally figured out what to do by using sleeve extenders called “sleevies”…. you can buy them on sites like Amazon by searching for “sleevies” or “sleeve extender” and they’re great.

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