Diary,  Fashion,  Fashion Guide

Dressing modestly

When I was talking to my friend the other day, she asked me why I dress the way I do. She didn’t mean it in a mean way; she didn’t even mean it in a way to judge. She was genuinely curious about why I dress the way I do. As she stated that if she had my figure, she would dress differently than I do. I have had this conversation with other friends in the past as well. It is interesting to me as I didn’t even necessarily notice that I dress ‘differently’ than they do.  You might wonder what I mean by different as different is very well, different for everyone. I tend to choose modest clothing. Now, this does not mean I dress ‘better’ than my friends; it sometimes doesn’t even mean I dress more ‘covered up.’ But, it does mean that the idea behind my clothes has a different meaning for me. For years, I have had a more modest look. I also feel I never dressed very provocatively. Or at least, my idea of provocatively. This might have to do with my family (i.e., the values they thought me), and insecurity as a younger girl.  I also believe that modesty looks different for everyone; I think (as I hardly talk about it unless friends bring it up) that it mostly has to do with how I carry myself in the clothes. So, modesty, let’s talk about it.

What is modesty?
There are multiple definitions of modesty

1. correct or socially acceptable behavior and clothes, representing traditional cultural values
2. the tendency not to talk about or make obvious your abilities and achievements
Today, we will be talking about the first one, although we all work on the second one. As I think bragging isn’t something you should do.

A more narrow definition
So modesty is dressing socially acceptable; alright then, this is quite a broad definition. We should not go to work in our bikini in our culture. Not doing that doesn’t mean everything else is acceptable. I think modesty is mostly what you find socially acceptable in a given situation.

    • You might believe that skirts shouldn’t be permitted in the workplace
    • Someone else might find skirts acceptable as long as they are long skirts
    • Someone else might think all skirts that cover the bum in a good way are acceptable.
    • Someone else could find trousers unacceptable.

You see, in one culture, you can have a lot of different opinions. I think it does not necessarily matter what someone else wears. I do believe that there are general rules. I do not need a bum slip or any other slip, for that matter. We are at a park, where there are children. Showing your bum is unacceptable. But I could not care less about the length of your skirt. It’s your way of living, and it’s not my place to judge. Now, if someone asks for advice when shopping, I wouldn’t recommend certain items. Also, more generally speaking, I like it when people have one thing short, so either a short bottom or a more short top and not both. Again, my personal opinion, but I think that is one that a lot of people share. Bottom line, what I define as modest might not even come close to your definition and that is okay, everyone is on their own journey.

Modesty is not just for women.
This conversation is not just about women; I cannot count how many times I have seen men walking without a shirt in really inappropriate places. If it is abbs or a beer belly it does not matter; a shopping center and the biking lane are not places to go without a shirt. I don’t think we can only talk about women when we talk about modesty. I think it is easier for guys as they have fewer outfit choices in the sense that most men wear one of these four outfits

    • long trousers, long sleeves
    • long trousers, short sleeves
    • shorts, short sleeves
    • shorts, half sleeves

Only for certain people?
I have seen that when talking about dressing in a modest way, many people mention their faith. This might give people that do not share the same faith or are altogether not religious that dressing modestly is not for them. This belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Therefore, it is important to mention that it is absolutely for everyone. Like I said before, dressing modestly is different for everyone. Where I find short sleeves totally okay, someone else might want to cover up their arms. All of it is okay, as long as you know what the reason is your cover-up. For me, it makes me feel confident to dress in a way I like. To not have to worry about picking something up when I drop it. I don’t worry about sitting down at a terras. Now, you might have never had a problem with any of those things, which is fine.  For me, though I feel awkward when I wear certain items of clothing. Also, it can change depending on my location; what is scandalous here could be quite covered somewhere else. Or the other way around. I think you need to assess things your own way. I believe we as humans are smart and capable enough to find out how we want to dress. If you feel wonderful with the way, you dress if you dress, let’s say sexy, and you love that. That means that dressing in that way is your threshold for modesty and good on you for knowing your style so well. This is the beauty of difference; we are our own person, with our own experiences and our own definition of modesty. And those can exist next to each other; it is not our place to judge others. As for my friend, she would dress differently than I did when she had my body. This doesn’t mean she would not dress modestly. I also think that women especially should stop talking about the clothes of another woman. The way you view modesty has nothing to do with your values.

Being polite
If you are friends with someone and you see some slip-ups, you can guide them. Meaning if you know someone wants to dress a different way and you are shopping, you can pick something up that is more in line with how they want to dress and encourage them to try it. Or if your friends’ skirt is weird around her waistband or if she has a stain on her jeans. Or maybe when a friend is wearing something see-through. We look out for one another; we tell each other in a private and friendly way. They might not have noticed, and if they did and it is purposeful good for them, it’s once again not our place to value someone based on their clothes. Sometimes, we meet people where they are, and their hearts will change over time. Maybe, they never do, and that is also okay.

Now, I do have some tips that I would like to share with you. The thing is, you do not need to take any of my tips or ideas to heart. But it might inspire you in some way, shape, or form. I do have more tips and ideas so that I might make another post in the future.  Before I go into my tips, I want to add something else. I have read a lot about how certain items of clothes are always immodest because they are lustful. I do not believe that to be true. I know people who look quite modest in a body cone and others who look very sexy and alluring in a maxi skirt. It’s not only about what you wear but also the way you wear it, and once again, it’s not our place to judge another person. You don’t know what they are going through. For all, we know the girl you are judging is on a modesty journey, but this is all she has in her closet and cannot effort anything else.  If you know someone like that, you can give tips such as adding a jumper around the waist or wear a cute jean jacket, adding a cami underneath. So many cheap options they might not have thought about before. But go in kindness. Now, for my tips:

    • Cami’s are a girl’s best friend; adding a cami to a top or a cami dress to a dress can really lift an outfit. Also, when you buy a cami, adjust the straps so that it sits the right way for you. I find that for me, the straps are usually a bit too low for my taste. Adjust them when you get them so that you do not have to think about them again.
    • As a tall girl, I have to give this tip. Many brands online have a tall collection making their skirts a bit longer, which makes them not as cheeky for us tall girls.
    • Another great tip is a-line skirts as they tend to run a bit longer in most stores. Also, it’s trial and error, so try them on make sure you are covered when sitting down and tying your shoelaces.
    • Try a dress, I had sworn off dresses for years mostly because other girls did not wear them, but dresses are such an easy item to wear. You put it on, outfit done. It’s effortless to make it modest by adding a cami and getting a dress in length comfortable for you. Dresses are such a nice addition to your wardrobe

The next time, I might be talking a bit about it, not because I will tell you what to do. As that is not my place whatsoever but more along the lines of behavior, as I think you might need some help in walking the walk if you talk the talk. And that is totally okay and a learning curve for almost everyone. More like this, click here. If you want to read something else, click here. Fancy something else? Click here. Follow me on my socials for updates on Instagram and Twitter and TikTok.

 

Lots of love,
Melissa

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