Rewind five years ago and you would have found me dressing like everyone else. Less is more…more or less. I always dressed the way I thought ‘others’ expected me to dress. The truth is, I was never comfortable or confident in my clothing..or my body. I was always worrying about my chest hanging out, or my pants being to tight or something being too see through. It was more work than it was worth. That was a big part of my switch to modest clothing. I was tired of working so hard to look ‘good’. I didn’t like how it made me feel. Then I started to notice that when I dressed the way I felt comfortable, I was happier, my husband gave me more complements (which was what I was after all those years) and I felt like it commanded more respect when I was out in public. The moment it ‘clicked’ was after I had made several trips to the store. Once dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt and then once dressed in a ankle-length skirt and modest top.
When I was dressed modestly there was a major difference. People addressed me as ma’am. I was waited on quickly in the store. Men opened doors. I was treated like a lady. Now I kid you not, when dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt none of that happened. There were no gentlemen opening doors (even with arms full of children and groceries). There was no ‘Can I help you Ma’am?” I stood at the meat counter for 15 minutes before being waited on.
So what exactly is my definition of modern modest? For me personally, the ideal outfit is a long skirt (I prefer ankle-length), 3/4 length sleeve and no cleavage or undergarments showing. Nothing above the knee, nothing above the elbow, no low-cut shirts, no see through clothing and no open toe shoes or sandals (I have an issue with feet). Does all of my clothes meet these standards? No.
One of the biggest problems with modern modesty (at least for me) is finding clothes that fit properly, are stylish (age appropriate) and reasonably priced. More often than not my shopping is done at thrift stores and garage sales. This can make shopping very frustrating. Let’s face it, we are not living in a modest world. Low cut tops and hip-hugger jeans rule the roost and will continue to do so until people stop buying them. I hear far to often women commenting that they ‘don’t have a choice’. You DO have a choice, don’t buy it. Everytime you buy something, you are voting, with your dollars. You are saying ‘this is okay with me, I condone this.’ Where there is a will there is a way. I’m still not at my goal for my wardrobe. If you are on a restricted budget, it can be a struggle…
I have found a few things that can help you wage the war against immodest clothing. Layering shells is a must have for modest wardrobes. These wonderful tools allow you to shop anywhere you want and quickly alter your clothing to fit your personal modesty guidelines. With each being priced under $20 (or make your own for less) this is a very affordable way to expand your wardrobe. Those cap sleeve tees are no longer a problem. Low neck line, no problem.