Aaah, feminine modesty. What a delicate and much dramatised subject. I thought today I'd offer my thoughts on it and maybe (hopefully) get you thinking about your opinion on the subject.
So, without further ado, my opinion on feminine modesty.
I follow a few modest fashion blogs. Three of my favourites are Fresh Modesty, Sunday Best and All the Rest and the Boyer Sisters (this last one combines fashion with several other things). I even started my own fashion blog (I know, surprising, right?!) about a year ago, I think, although that quickly fizzled out because I was discouraged by the lack of comments/views etc (which was silly because I set it to 'private' so you had to request to view because I didn't want the whole world reading it lol) and I couldn't be bothered keeping it going. Phew, long explanation.
TL;DR: Fashion blogs are awesome and I had one once and now I don't.
I find it really interesting reading about other people's approach to modest dressing.
There are all kinds of different standards of modesty in Christian circles. I know girls who have committed to wearing skirts only. I also know others who wear the same sort of things you'd see average people on the street wearing (some of which I wouldn't neccesarily classify as particularly modest :P).
So the question is, why is there such a differing standard of modesty? Why do some people go to one extreme while other people go to another extreme?
The thing we usually end up coming to when we ask questions like this, is that modesty standards are something that are governed by a personal conviction. There are Bible verses that pertain to this - Deuteronomy 22:5 talks about women not wearing men's garments and vice versa; and 1 Timothy 2:9-10 tells us to adorn ourselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self control.
But there is no verse in the Bible that says "Thou shalt only and exclusively wear skirts if thou art a woman".
The Bible addresses the attitude behind how we dress (1 Tim 2:9-10, Prov 31:30, 1 Peter 3:1-5). It doesn't really discuss exactly how we must dress.
Which brings me to my opinion.
I don't think pants are wrong. I wear pants. Probably more often than I wear skirts, if I'm being honest. They are just so much more practical! I do find skirts really comfortable and would quite like wearing them mostly, but pants are just practical and easy and yeah, practical and easy (sorry, I know that sounds like they are practical and easy but the thing is that they are).
I really admire people who have convictions about wearing skirts or headcoverings or things like that exclusively. I think it's awesome. It's just not for me.
Doing kids camps (lots of activity and running round etc, wearing skirts isn't so practical) and living on land and working at a place where the uniform includes pants makes it difficult for me to wear skirts exclusively. It's not impossible, just difficult.
Actually, something interesting to note is that I always wear a skirt to church. I was thinking about that and asking myself why that is. Do I subconsciously think that it's more holy to wear a skirt to church?! Not sure. I'll think about that one. :P (If so, that's wrong! Lol.) Every Sunday I pick out an outfit that includes a skirt. Our church has no rule about it, most of the women wear pants, it's just something I (and most of the other females in my family) do.
I love the freedom that being able to wear pants or skirts brings. I don't feel there's a Biblical command to wear skirts only. So yeah, that's why I wear both (and if you wear only skirts, then you go for it, you're awesome!). Amy from Corner of Joy wrote a FANTASTIC blog post about skirt wearing that I highly recommend if you're thinking about this sort of thing.
So now we've got that sorted.
But we've still got this grey area. How short is too short? Can you wear short shorts? Bikinis? Show cleavage, midriff, straps etc?
Katie Gregoire has a very thought provoking video on this subject. She addresses the double standard in Christian modesty which is worth a check out if you feel so inclined. She brings up some things you probably haven't thought about before.
I don't wear things like singlet tops, super short shorts and midriff-showing outfits in public and I'm careful to wear a rash suit (t shirt and shorts) over my togs when I'm swimming. This isn't so much because guys are around and imagine things, for me (you've probably heard that one before :P).
I guess my standards could be summarized as follows:
- I don't really wear shorts, (and especially) skirts etc that come more than halfway up the thigh.
- Don't show midriff
- Don't show cleavage
- Try to wear clothing with sleeves (I occasionally wear singlet tops at home, just not really out in public)
And my reasons?
- I feel way more comfortable in modest clothes. Example: If I bend over and my top sort of flops open at the front (I don't know how to explain it better) I still have that much more 'leeway' before anything is obvious.
- I don't want to come across as a certain type of person. Explained well in this post on A Lovely Calling from a guy's perspective.
- It makes it so much easier to just be me. I'm lazy. I'm a terribly lazy person, unfortunately. (I'm going to be real here). My legs are terribly white, often even during the summer. This is because I can never be bothered spending time and sunburn tanning them. If I wear super short shorts it's really obvious how white and pasty looking my legs are!! I don't need to be self conscious if I wear a skirt or longer shorts. Because who wants to be self conscious?! Wearing longer clothes and more modest clothes means I don't have to worry about doing annoying and time consuming things like tanning and shaving. :P :P :P :P :P
- My main reason: I feel it's more glorifying to God. There were three verses in particular that I mentioned earlier. There are also verses about our bodies being temples of the Holy Spirit so we should glorify God with ourselves. That, for me, means not dressing trashily and trying to leave certain parts of me to the imagination.
So yeah. Yay, I'm so happy I actually managed to get all that across and you read it all! Go you!
What are your thoughts on feminine modesty? Girls, what are your 'standards'? Why?