Sometimes I make confessions on this blog, this is one of those times. Dressing modestly for me can be hard. I have always struggled with it. I often have to remind myself of what really matters. I don’t think I am the only one in the Mormon world who wishes she could wear whatever she wanted. I won’t be cliche and say it’s only on the inside that matters because, the outside does too! We live in the world. Fashion is huge. Fashion is fun and can really bring out your personality. It’s great to be expressive and unique. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good!
When I was in high school I remember one night I was mad at this stupid boy and finally went you know what, I’m gonna wear this shirt and these clothes and strut my stuff when I see him tonight. The plan that I had worked. He was ‘into’ the outfit, and I got cat calls wherever I walked and yes I felt sexy. At first I felt like a rockstar like I could control these boys with my body. I felt like I was in command and it felt good. But as the night went on I remember wishing I had a jacket to cover up and wishing those boys would stop yelling at me from accross the street.
I continued to struggle with modesty after that..but I’ll never forget the distinct feeling I had from wanting to be more covered up. I got my wish, I got their attention. But it felt so gross! I felt disgusted as they looked at me like a piece of meat.
When I was preparing to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I finally hunkered down and wanted to be 100% modest. I wanted to follow the guidelines of the church to exactness. I knew that I would be going through the temple and therefore be no longer wearing tank tops and short shorts in the summertime like I was used to. So I got rid of my temptation clothes and traded them in for higher cut tops and longer shorts.
The transition for me, was very real. I read about what people say are the good things that come when you dress modestly, and I found that I agree with them. I felt confident, secure, and loved. Since I do have..a larger chest..I felt really good not worrying if someone was looking down my shirt or staring at my cleavage. I thought that I would feel dumb or uglier in these clothes, but I couldn’t help but feel so good..so comfortable. This was the time in my life when I also met my now husband Josh. He knew me as the girl that did dress modestly and I love that.
Now I do understand the argument that we shouldn’t have to wear the clothes to help the boys stay focused. Wherever you go you will find a girl dressed immodestly so me dressing modestly doesn’t make that big of a difference. I get that argument completely. I think helping a boy stay focused or however you want to put it, is a nice bonus, but it is not the focus. However, I do know that those boys who are striving to be good Mormon boys often appreciate when girls do dress modestly. I know, because they told me. They admire those girls that are striving to keep the commandments and respect the beautiful body God gave them. So although dressing modestly may not be for the sole purpose of keeping those boy brains pure..what’s wrong with making it easier on them?
Dressing modestly is similar to the idea of not having tattoos, the law of chastity, swearing and so on. Your body is a temple and it is wonderful to treat your body as such. For real, your body is a gift. You didn’t create it. You have been waiting for this time to have a body, treat it with respect. Every commandment and guideline of the church has a reason behind it. We may not always know the reasoning 100%, but I know that obedience brings happiness.
I don’t think God intended for us to get all caught up in if it’s life or death when it comes to modesty. I think all He wants is for us to be happy, especially with ourselves. I think He just wants us to feel the self worth that we really are. Maybe the best way to feel that is when we treat our bodies modestly, and treasure them for what they really are.
To this day I get so frustrated having to skip over a cute top because it doesn’t have sleeves, or is too low cut in the front or back, or the dress is just barely too short. It drives me crazy. Shopping for me sometimes is not pleasurable, but stressful! I get home and my husband wonders why on earth I wear a cardigan in the summer with a sundress and not buy the ones with sleeves. Guys just don’t know what it’s like haha.
When you dress cute and trendy, you feel pretty and hip and confident. An outfit can really change your mood! I have found that when I do put an effort into finding those modest clothes (so excited there are more modest clothing lines out there!) that I feel great. Just the other day I went to a store and bought some cute clothes and when I wear them I couldn’t feel better. I don’t envy the girls in their clothes because I am comfortably in mine. I’m serious. This is not a lie! I love my cute modest clothing!
My advice to a fellow modesty struggler is just, try it out. The boys do notice what you wear. There is a message with what you wear. I don’t care what you wear, it is your choice. But if you are wondering what side I would rather be on, it’s the one I am on. I wouldn’t trade my modesty for immodesty. I wouldn’t. It’s a temptation sometimes because I love a good sundress, but it’s not worth it. What’s worth it to me is feeling that extra glow that God gives me when I dress appropriately and I don’t have to worry if something is hanging out or how someone is looking at me. It just feels good. God helps you feel good when you wear modest clothing because you are following His council. He reassures you this is the right choice. It’s better then the cat calls, I promise.
As a side note however, don’t judge women who don’t dress modestly. It’s not your place to scrutinize their choices. As the saying goes, don’t judge someone because they sin differently then you, if you view that as a sin. Be kind to one another as Ellen always says. Being rude to someone about their clothing isn’t going to fix anything, and that goes for any kind of judgmental comment. Keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself.
Just worry about you, and set an example. I know whenever I see a woman dressed modestly it reassures me that I am not alone, and I can still be beautiful. In fact, I think I am more beautiful when I dress modestly because it really make same happy.
Weird second side note: This is hard to say without coming off weird, but being trendy isn’t bad either. Some girls I know are really against wearing the latest fashions and that’s cool totally be yourself. But wearing a cute outfit can really make you feel good. Try it. You don’t have to wear really old grandma clothing if you don’t want to! If you do cool, rock it like Macklemore. But dont’ forget, it is ok to look hott!!
If you are struggling with modesty: take the challenge and when you do dress modestly, pay attention to how you feel. Pay attention to how others look at you and how your day goes. I promise, you will feel the difference.
So rock that sexy modest clothing girl. You look good! Don’t be afraid to dress modestly, even if you feel alone..you are not alone, and I support you! If you are the only one wearing that one piece, be proud not ashamed. I got your back.
If you ever get discouraged, just say a prayer and maybe go out and find a cute modest outfit to make you feel better haha.
A Few Modest Clothing Websites:
(If you know of more good websites please comment below!!)