Spring is here and summer will be coming in a hurry. Do you know what summer means? Summer means that the clothes are shorter, lower, and at times not even there. Fall is my favorite season for more reason than one. I enjoy the warm weather that summer brings, but I dread it for my brothers in Christ as well as young ladies that are trying to find cute new outfits.
Yep, you guessed it! This is going to be another post about modesty! I can almost see your eyes roll, but bear with me for a minute. I promise that I’m not going to ask you to wear a sheet down to your toes, with a parka and a fur hat in 90 degree heat to be modest. I’m also not going to ask you to wear some horrid combination between pants and a skirt. I’m not going to say that you need to go by a sewing machine and learn how to sew (although some basic knowledge doesn’t hurt) I’m not even going to say that you are only holy if you wear skirts all the time. I am only going to ask one thing of you.
Before you set out for your summer activities, Think about our brothers in Christ.
If you aren’t a Christian, I’m not going to ask you to stop reading. I actually encourage it, but if you aren’t a child of God, i want you to know that I don’t expect you to take any of my advice. I also want you to know that I’m not judging you. I just want to give you something to roll over in your mind.
If you are one of God’s children i want you to seriously consider what i have to say. I’m also not judging you, but at least give it some thought.
Okey dokey, here we go!
I have quite a few guy friends. I have some pretty awesome relationships with these guys too. Believe it or not, i have had multiple guys thank me for dressing modestly! Yes, you read that right. They have thanked me! They have thanked me for taking some extra thought into what i put on my body in the morning. They have thanked me for helping them in their battle against lust. They have thanked me for keeping them safe. Guys have commented to me that they don’t have a problem looking at me in the eyes because there isn’t anything else screaming for attention.
It’s a pretty well-known fact that guys are very visual. They are “turned on” by how much skin they can see. I don’t want to suggest that that’s all that draws them, but i think almost any guy will tell you that that is a part of what attracts them. (Correct me if I’m wrong guys!) Almost every place that a guy goes he is bombarded by images of half dressed women, girls in super short shorts, and tops that meet in the middle. It’s everywhere! On billboards, cars, stores, even at church! No matter where a guy goes, he is going to face it! Imagine what this is like for our brothers in Christ! They dont want to fall prey to the sin of lust. They are striving to keep themselves pure for their future spouses and for our Savior! When these men come to church, they shouldn’t have to avert their eyes. They shouldn’t have to worry about being distracted by what the women in choir are wearing. They should be able to go to church and be at least somewhat safe from temptation. But in many of our churches, that is not the case! Guys have to watch where they look just as much at church as anywhere else. I don’t know about you, but that just isn’t right!! I don’t want my brothers in Christ to be so distracted by what I’m wearing that Christ can’t speak to their hearts. That makes me responsible for their sin! I don’t want to stand in the way of what Christ wants to do in the hearts of the future leaders of our churches and families. By dressing modestly I am doing my part to help my brothers in Christ follow and obey the Father.
I’m a young lady nearing the end of her teen years. So i totally understand wanting to look cute and all of that stuff. I understand wanting to fit in with your friends and not look like a misfit. I understand wanting guys to think you’re attractive. I understand what it’s like to watch a guy give you “elevator eyes” (AKA: look you up and down) and then snear and snicker at the lack of skin he can see. I understand what it’s like to have to return a new outfit because your parents said “no”. I understand what it’s like to go to a store and walk away empty handed because everything was too tight, too short, or made you look like a grandma. I understand what it’s like to choose something to wear only because it is something to wear, not because you love it. These things aren’t fun. When you are rejected by guys because of your modesty, it can hurt. It’s sometimes hard to return a cute skirt that you just bought only to get home and your dad tell you he won’t let you out of the house in it.
I would like to suggest though, that it is possible to look cute, even beautifully attractive and modest at the same time.
I want to first warn you that there is nothing wrong with your body if you go to the store and cant find anything that fits you right. Dressing modestly is all about being creative. Find what works for you. Here are some of the helpful hints that i have discovered over the years.
1. Guy shorts aren’t just for guys!
Have you ever tried to find ladies athletic shorts that cover at least half of your thigh? It’s nearly impossible! But, almost all guy shorts are longer! If you don’t want them to actually look like guy shorts, get some plain black ones and roll up the waist band a couple of times. This usually will give you a modest length without the crotch of the shorts going past your knees. If you aren’t a fan of plain black, occasionally they will have some in other colors like white, or even red or orange. Just a note of caution though: Pay attention to what shorts your guy friends are wearing. There is nothing more embarrassing then the guy you have a crush on noticing that you’re wearing the same shorts. (I may or may not be speaking from experience here.)
2. It is possible to find shorts other than guy shorts.
The summer before my senior year of high school i pulled out my summer clothes only to realize that i did not own one pair of feminine shorts. This was not okay, so out I went in search of some feminine looking shorts. Whatever you do, DONT shop in the junior’s department for shorts. If you’re trying to be modest just don’t even start there. You won’t find anything except frustration. I recommend starting in the misses department. Once there it is fairly easy to find denim (I love anything denim), khaki, or even some crazy colored shorts that come to about the mid-thigh. Last year i also found some shorts that were in the athletic department that were almost like loose yoga shorts. They are another favorite choice.
3. Your favorite pair of blue jeans can sometimes double as a cute pair of capris.
This is a recent discovery i made. I had this pair of blue jeans that i absolutely loved. They were wearing out and my mom had threatened to dispose of them, but I couldn’t let that happen, so i got creative. I rolled up the jeans to about my mid-calf, evened out the folds, and BOOM! New capris for summer!
4. The maxi dress is still in, and I love it!
I’m the kind of girl that likes to be outside and play in the mud, but i also like to be girly sometimes too! The maxi dress is just about the best thing since sliced bread. I have found several maxi dresses that are like a t-shirt at the top, and come all the way down to your ankles. I have also found some V-neck ones that can be made modest with a t-shirt underneath! These dresses are cool, comfortable, cute, and modest. I mean, what more could you ask for? I do have one warning on these though. You have to be careful that the dress isn’t see through. No one wants to see your underbritches. This is an easy fix too though. Find a full length slip to wear underneath. The one i have has a V-neck which doesn’t help if the dress is see through up top, so i just wear it backwards. No one can tell and all underbritches are concealed!
5. Don’t be afraid to go up a size!
The size on the tag does not define you. If it really bothers you, rip it out! I’m not a very chubby girl, but i have to wear an XL in shirts that are designed for juniors. Anything smaller is usually too tight, too short, or too uncomfortable. When i shop in the ladies or misses departments i can usually wear a small, but it borders on the edge of being too tight so i almost always go for a medium. I would much rather a shirt be too big rather than too small.
5. Undershirts are your friend, but don’t think they are fool proof.
Yes, tank tops are great undershirts for those V-neck tops, but don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s going to stay where you put it all day. It won’t. I promise. There is nothing more unsightly than a girl yanking up her undershirt all day. My advice on this one is to be selective in which undershirts you buy. If you are going for spaghetti straps ones, make sure you get the ones that are naturally higher necked and have adjustable straps.
6. Thrift stores are also your friend.
Thrift stores are great for finding shorts, and even occasionally tops that are modest and cheap!! Yeah, i know, sometimes there are some out dated items, but every now and then you will score a brand new item with tags still attached! (Not long ago i found a pair of brand new name brand jeans that were originally $60 and i only paid $10) I also know that sometimes you will find some pretty nasty things. But give it a couple of good washings in super-hot water and you should be just fine!
7. Safety pins, ear rings, double-sided tape….
Every girl needs these items as a part of their modesty kit. Safety pins are great for pinning up slits in skirts that come too high, or tops that gap too much. I have used earrings to keep together buttonless sweaters that want to come open too far. I know it sounds crazy, but it really works! I just attach the earring to the front of the sweater where a button would go and then put the back on. Double-sided tape has many many uses. It keeps straps in place, keeps shirts from coming open when you bend over, and works wonders if the hem ever comes out of your maxi dresses.
8. If it looks like it should belong under your clothes, it shouldn’t be seen from underneath your clothes.
I know lace shirts are huge right now. And honestly i love it! I love the tops that have the lace that comes over the shoulders! But unfortunately Lace=see through and see through=immodest. I say this with great sorrow as one of my favorite shirts is like this. I am currently working on a plan to make this work (possibly adding a shear panel behind the lace). But in the meantime, I just wear a white shirt under it.
9. If it’s immodest just don’t buy it!
If you know something isn’t going to fit you right, then just don’t buy. I recommend trying everything on before you purchase it. That way you only buy things that are going to work for you and you won’t be tempted to wear something that isn’t appropriate. Yeah, I hate trying on clothes too, but it’s better to try something at the store, rather than have to come back to the store to return all of the things that you fell in love with. If you are running short on time you can use this trick that my math teacher used to use. If you lay out a shirt flat and it is considerably narrower than you are. It’s too tight. Easy, right?!
10. Finally, #10. Help each other out!
Get a group of your girlfriends that are willing to make a commitment to modesty and go on a shopping trip together. Grab some Starbucks. Try stuff on. (Grab the most immodest thing you can find and try it on the dressing room. Just please don’t take pictures and post them all over Facebook!!) Make modesty fun! I personally like going with my mom. She is great at letting me know if something is a little bit too tight, short, or awkward. Keep each other accountable. If you notice a modesty issue with one of your girlfriends, pull them aside and mention it to them with a sweet spirit. Chances are they didn’t notice and will be glad you said something. Whatever you do, don’t ask your guy friends if an article of clothing is modest or not. That puts them in a horribly awkward position. Just don’t do that to them. I have a great relationship with my dad. So in my house he has final veto power. If he says it draws attention to the wrong places, then his word is law and i don’t wear it.
Yeah, I know that sometimes being modest is a lot of work. But once you have it down, it’s not too hard to keep it up. I think a little extra effort on my part is worth it if my guy friends don’t have to struggle when they are around me.
Guys that are trying to live rightly and appreciate when young ladies put forth some effort to help them out.
Another beautiful day with sunshiny weather.