Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Modesty and Quality: Tuesday Thoughts

When you think of "modesty", what do you think of? Do you think of someone who is "ashamed" of their body?  Do you think of turtlenecks and full skirts? I don't.
I recently have been thinking a lot about modesty and what it means for me. It was actually triggered by receiving yet ANOTHER Victoria's Secret catalog.
Note: No one I know arches their back by the pool like that and if everyone's bra fit like that I am pretty sure everyone would have an ill fitting bra.
BUT ANYWAY how is it that those catalogs always find me, no matter where to or how many times I move?! I don't buy their stuff. My son saw the catalog in the mail and asked me what those girls were doing in the most bewildered tone. (I will refrain from reviewing their quality. Cough.)

On to modest dressing...according to a couple of definitions of modesty are

regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; simplicity; moderation.
Note that  it doesn't say "you have to be boring".  Maybe the solution lies in "regard for decency"
I am not talking about dressing in designer clothing and being afraid of your body. I am talking about thinking about where you are going, what you will be doing and dressing accordingly, with special care to cover the places that should be covered. If I know that I am going to Lowe's to buy bags of dirt, I  wouldn't wear a ballgown or shorts that don't cover my butt. Both are not well suited for my activities. 
Why would anyone EVER wear a dress so short that they have to keep pulling it down over their bottom?  If someone is going to insist on wearing clothes that are too short, why bother making sure they cover anything, really? Isn't the situation an oxymoron? I don't want to see thongs at Church (footwear or otherwise). We need to recognize the specialness of events and places and dress accordingly, with respect (and being respectful is not dressing like a in revealing clothing if you are a children's librarian). Why do we dress in a minimalistic manner, that is, just good enough to be clothed?

For me, as soon as I had to half climb into a car to put my child in a carseat (which is a weird position, by the way), I realized some items in my wardrobe just weren't appropriate for my activities anymore. Of course, I want to be comfortable, but that is entirely possible without shorts that become revealing.
I have a theory that dressing modestly and appropriately has something to do with the abundance of junk clothing that is readily available. If sheer "layering" t shirts (yeah, brilliant JCrew, make a crappy see through tshirt, call it "Vintage" and charge $29.50 for it, as opposed to your better fitting and better quality cotton "Perfect Fit Tee for $24.50, but I digress...) are popular and no one is going to actually layer them, we all end up looking...well...sloppy and see through. Think the stores are going to add an extra inch or two to a skirt? That costs money. Perhaps they have done a little bit of dictating what short and skirt lengths we wear? Of course, people buy this stuff (remember, every time you buy something, you become part of the mathematical formula that reorders it for the store) and continue the cycle.

I am just really, really tired of seeing every one's butt. 

So, what do you consider modest? Do you think modesty has a place in our society?
For me, modesty is making sure shorts are longer, skirts are at the knee or below, and v-necks are worn with a camisole or not worn at all. This is not about "shame" or negative body image. If my child needs to nurse, I have no problem discreetly nursing her.This is about being appropriately dressed. Would you wear a scuba suit to an interview for a CEO position? Would you wear a nightgown to Target?

For you hardcore modesty lovers, consider this post "modesty lite".  =)


  1. Love this post, Veronica! I completely agree... I myself would have loved to live back in the 30's or 40's. Stylish and modest fashion... Seems like people these days don't care anymore! I even blame some of the fashion lines... It's so hard for me to find a dress or skirt these days that isn't crazy-short. You're completely correct with the Victoria's secret models. I love that Kylie Bisutti (a former VS Model) left the brand, and wrote a book about her experience and views on the industry. Here's a great article on that.

    1. Thanks for your comment Jordan, checking out the link now...
      Yes, its hard to find something modest length (and I am not even 5'2!!) I cant imagine taller people finding anything.

  2. I completely agree! I went to our local outdoor mall last night (without the kids!) just to walk around and get some alone time. We had such beautiful weather. Anyway, I was shocked to see most of the teenager/college aged girls walking around and what they were wearing. Honestly...and I am not made uncomfortable very often....I was made uncomfortable in one instance where I watched a kiosk worker blatantly staring at this woman whose shorts were so short, her backside was hanging out. Anyway, I think the catalogs are interesting too. I recently got a magazine in the mail that had an ad for KRAFT salad dressing (not even close to lingerie!) that had a mostly naked man in a provocative position. Now that my kids are getting older, I'm much more aware of that stuff.

    1. It just blows me away how in our faces all of this is! And EW on the salad dressing! Crazy, its like nothing is safe for the kids to see anymore!

  3. Absolutely well said! Yes, and I totally agree with your description of modesty. Did you by chance see the Evolution of the Swimsuit by swimsuit designer Jessica Rey It's a short video and totally fascinating!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! I did see the video, she is great! Love her swimwear too!


Thank you in advance for sharing your lovely thoughts.