Traditional Modesty and its Importance for Women
March 31, 2022
When we think of the word “modesty,” we usually think of decency or humility. Modesty is something that often looks different for men and women in modern society, so what is traditional modesty for women?
The basic idea of modesty for women and men is quite universal. Modesty is simply put as having an attitude and appearance of humility and decency when it comes to clothing, grooming, language, and overall behavior. When talking about modesty, we must take into account the inside and outside modesty. Modesty is much more than just outer appearance, it is also the modesty of the soul. Most often a modest and God fearing soul reflects into the way one may dress, however this is not always the case. Some women may dress modest but still indulge in immodest behavior with how they talk and behave. You must remember when dressing modestly to not only show it on the outside, but live it on the inside.
The outward modesty for women has to do with her appearance, clothing, and grooming. Modesty for women has changed throughout the centuries. More than ever modesty is needed, but many don’t know where to start or are unsure of what is deemed modest. A good way of understanding traditional modesty is taking inspiration from women of the past and biblical reference, as many women of the past dressed according to biblical modesty. A starting point in understanding what is modest to wear is in relation to self respect, respect for God, and respect for those around you. You want to have humility and decency when being around others in what you wear and how you behave.
Many modern women will show their cleavage, wear short skirts/shorts, skin tight leggings with jeans, crop tops, et cetera. Exposing much of your skin is not traditionally modest, especially private or intimate areas. You want to avoid too much skin exposed when it comes to your intimate parts. This is because it’s decency for others, and humility and decency for yourself. If you are dressing for attention, sexually or not, that is immodest and not respectful to you or others. A good way to look at what to wear is, would you wear this around your grandma or Jesus? You deserve to respect yourself and can do so by covering up modestly.
Dressing modestly also saves your body for your future husband out of respect and love for him. Not everyone should be allowed to see and lust over your private and intimate areas like your breasts or bottom, it is degrading and turns you into an object to others, when you are a loved and precious child of God. Others ought to see you as a child of God to be respected, so that’s how you ought to present yourself. Not only does this affect you but it affects others, especially men. Men and women are called not to lust over each other, but if you are freely showing sexual and intimate parts of you, it makes it harder for men not to lust. The same applies for women lusting after men.
Immodesty can equally affect women. Women may become envious or insecure if you are immodest. Women may also be uncomfortable with someone being immodest in front of their spouse or loved ones, especially young children. Another example of being physically immodest without it being sexualized is if you are wearing things for attention or to make others envious. If you wear many beautiful and expensive things simply to let others know you have money this is immodest. If you do this to make others envious or compliment you, this is immodest, extremely narcissistic, and sinful. You should avoid leading other children of God to stumble. whether it be by exposing yourself sexually, or wearing many expensive and beautiful things, this can effect others and help them to stumble.
Now that we know how and what is immodest, and how it affects you and others, let’s talk about how you should dress in a modest way. One thing to remember however, is that it is not vain to want to dress nicely and properly out of respect for yourself, God, and those around you. It is only vain if you obsess over the beauty of your clothing and appearance. A woman must not only be modest in When it comes to clothing, but they should also be presentable with how they groom themselves.
Traditional modest women should always wear a dress or skirt. Even in the traditional community, some see this as too prude to only wear dresses or skirts. However at the core of our beliefs is the idea of traditional gender roles. Traditionally women would only wear dresses and skirts, the only women who didn’t wear dresses or skirts were mostly farmer women, before women joined the workforce. When women joined the workforce wearing pants became much more common and even fashionable.
Women in the workforce is a prime example of early feminism. This is women trying to become more like men, rather than appreciating their own unique feminine qualities and jobs. As traditionalists we are against the rhetoric that women can do whatever men can do, and the rhetoric that women don’t have any feminine roles or jobs and that men are capable of doing those feminine jobs as well. Pants were made and worn for men, women wearing them is a feminist idea, not a traditional one, therefore we should avoid wearing them. Men wear the pants and work, women stay home and take care of their families.
Not only are pants part of the feminist progression, they are also too revealing for women. Jeans and leggings cling to the body tightly, some jeans and leggings are even made with the purpose to shape your butt.
When it comes to wearing a dress or skirts there’s a few things to consider. Firstly, for a dress and skirt you should consider the length. The length of your skirt is recommended to be below the knee. This has been a golden standard for decades. If you wear a skirt or dress above the knees you are at risk of exposing yourself. Not only is that embarrassing for you, but for others as well. If you are going to wear a dress or skirt that is a little above the knee, it’s recommended to wear thick leggings under so that you do not expose your underwear and bare legs to others. It is recommended that a dress is not too tight fitting to those intimate parts as well. A dress should not have spaghetti straps either, unless you are to put a shirt or turtleneck underneath. With spaghetti straps, you could easily expose your bra or cleavage, that’s why it is recommended to cover your shoulders and chest. A dress should not have slits or cut fabric in the back, midriff, or legs. This all also applies when deciding what top to wear with a skirt. The shirt you choose should cover your shoulders and midriff. You do not have to be covered from ankle, wrist, and neck with clothing, however you should not be wearing anything that could put you in danger of exposing your cleavage, thighs, underwear, and other intimate parts. A woman should wear dress shoes, flats, boots, sandals, or saddle shoes with her outfits. Not only are these shoes fashionable and pair nicely with dresses and skirts, but they look respectable, proper, and lovely compared to wearing sneakers or gym shoes. When wearing jewelry, you Should be modest by being humble. Do not wear a ton of shiny expensive jewelry with your outfits, not only does it look bad, but it is immodest and vain.
When it comes to grooming, you should present yourself in a modest fashion as well. A woman should brush her hair and style it or at least make it presentable. You do not have to wear makeup to be modest and presentable, but make sure you avoid wearing too much makeup. Not only is too much makeup vain, but it can make you into a whole different person. If you wear too much cakey foundation, over lined lips, false lashes, or heavy contour, this can make you look very different, unnatural, and even make you look far worse. Makeup can be poisonous to the skin and ruin it causing acne and other issues, therefore it is not recommended to always wear it to be presentable and modest, only if you wish. Another good self grooming habit is to wear perfume and nice smelling lotions, you do not want to smell sweaty or stinky when around others. As I said before, when deciding what to wear for modesty you can use my personal Golden standard. imagine yourself wearing this outfit in the presence of your grandma or even someone more important, our Lord Jesus Christ. This tip should help you decide how to dress more modestly if you are unsure.
When it comes to modesty, not only do you want to be decent and respectful to yourself and those around you and in your life, but you should also be presentable all the time. When you are presentable and look nice there are a few things that happen. Being presentable can help you feel pretty, supported, and ready for the day. Being presentable and modest can also rub off on others and inspire them to be more conscious about how they dress and groom themselves. Dressing modestly and being presentable can also help you find a suitable spouse, someone who values these traditional values of modesty you show could be a promising suitor. Most people tend to only dress nicely for formal events such as church, parties, dinner, et cetera, however imagine a world where we dress modestly and presentable all the time. We would all look and feel so much better, and so would everyone else! Being presentable and modest can be a good first step to changing your life direction to become more traditional. Think about how you feel when you’re at home not groomed and in your pajamas, you don’t feel as good as you would if you took care of yourself. Only a few decades ago people always looked presentable and modest during their day to day life, why not preserve that small piece of traditionalism?
The inside modesty of one’s soul and actions should reflect the modesty of their appearance. If you lack a modest heart and behavior, then all that you have read goes out the window. So what is a woman’s inner modesty? A woman’s inner modesty is determined by how she carries herself with speech, behavior, and actions. The actions must have humility and decency. just as your appearance must.
A woman with an immodest heart and soul must lack humility, empathy, and decency. A woman who lacks humility will be vain, envious, boastful, and narcissistic. Women like this tend to compare themselves often too much to other women, care too much about their own beauty, and only do things to be praised. Lacking empathy is a woman who does not give to those in need, does not care for those in need, and lacks any awareness or care for wrongdoings . A woman who is not decent can mean many things, some examples of this is a woman who curses too much, gossips, or is content with having a bad attitude. the most important immodest actions are sexual deviancy. If a women avoids being sexual by dressing and appearing modest, however is being sexually active or deviant is very immodest and hypocritical. To be modest you must be inside and out, otherwise you are wearing a false mask to yourself, others, and God. If any of these bad habits may apply to you, try to apply being modest in heart and soul as well as your appearance.
A woman with a modest soul and heart is the exact opposite of all that was listed prior. Having a modest soul is almost identical to being humble. A modest soul is not hypocritical, hateful, indecent, narcissistic, et cetera. modest women in spirit are kind, loving, humble, giving, gentle, submissive, patient, pure. Women should strive to be pure in body and mind, with how we speak, behave, and think. Examples of how to grow in a modest soul is to avoid sexual deviancy and lust, staying pure and chaste is important. Women should also give to others without the intent of being praised. You should act in love and have patience. You should avoid swearing and being crude as much as possible. Submitting to your husband and respect for Men is another modest action most modern women lack. Modest actions do not have to be grand or extreme. You simply must live what you preach and live what you show on the outside. A great way to improve your soul’s modesty and humility is to look at examples of female saints. St Therese of Lisieux is a great example with her idea of the little way, doing little things out of love. You should look at how women acted decades ago before the rampant degeneracy in our world. Finally surround yourself with other like minded and modest women. They will help guide you, council you, clarify things, answer questions, and overall help make you into a more humble soul.
Answer: When it comes to clothing the price tag is always a worry for most. A dress in most stores like Target can be anywhere from $20-50+ USD. With fashion it’s always important to remember to first buy the basics so you don’t waste money on stuff you can’t style. Basic items would be a black skirt or a white blouse. These two basic items and colors can be mixed and matched most colors/styles of tops and skirts. I can write another article on the basics of fashion for any ladies interested! The main recommendation on where to get inexpensive clothing is getting thrifted/second hand store clothing! You can easily find these basic clothing pieces for very cheap at thrift stores. Often vintage or second hand clothes tend to be more modest! Another recommendation is online stores, they are often cheap! If you know how to sew you can always make/modify your own clothes and upthrift old clothes! If you don’t know how to sew, you should certainly learn how. The ability to make clothing is very cost efficient and is a very important homemaker skill.
Answer: you can certainly still be modest and have your own style! There were always so many styles in women’s clothing, even when they were covered head to toe! If your style is immodest you should reconsider why you dress that way, and how or if you could make it more modest. You can always layer clothes to cover your cleavage, arms, and legs. One style I will use as an example that I enjoy is called “cottagecore.”This style tends to be modest in itself but there are some dresses in this style that are immodest. To help with a short skirt/dress you can always add an underskirt or petticoat underneath. You can also add leggings. When it comes to your chest, you can always add an undershirt/tank top under your garment. Some modest and feminie fashion styles I recommend looking into are cottagecore, coquette, dark academia, vintage, old money, Mori girl, grandma core, etc. these are all popular modern fashion types, but fashion types can even go into the fabric, cut, etc of dresses you like. I hope this was helpful!
Answer: Finding like minded modest women to bring you up is very important! If you haven’t already joined the young traditionalists discord server you should! I am a staff member and there’s so many lovely like minded women on the server! Another recommendation is going to your church or a nearby one and seeing if they have any women’s groups. Even if you aren’t religious I think most churches would welcome you to join their women’s groups. I’m not sure of too many other outlets that exist for finding like minded women, but these are some great starting points!
Answer: There are many biblical passages on How a feminine and modest woman should act and look. There are also many traditions/rules within the catholic and orthodox church that deal with modesty for women.
Here are some of my favorite bible passages to reflect on:
To dress and act more biblically modest, I recommend applying everything I have suggested previously in this blog post. Focus not only on your outward appearance, but also look at your heart. One thing I can recommend to look into is Marian modesty. Marian modesty is dressing how Mary would have. Along with Marian modesty, a big tradition in catholic and orthodox churches is veiling. Veiling is a beautiful tradition to show reverence, humility, and submission when in the presence of God.
Looking at how women in the bible and how female saints looked/dressed can be great inspiration for modesty!