Many women don’t buy into the revealing trends that are so prevalent nowadays and some of these women identify themselves as modest dressers.
So what does it mean to be a modest dresser? That answer depends on who you ask. What you may consider a modest outfit may not be to others. While everyone may agree that a strapless cutout mini dress doesn’t qualify as modest, defining what does isn't as clear cut.
We’ve found that modest dressing is really a continuum comprised of many factors, and we’ve identified ten. Your view on each of the following factors determines your personal definition of what is a modest look.
- Fit: For many women coverage is most important and the fit of a garment, or how tight it is, does not matter as much. For other women a loose fit is a key factor to being modest.
- Shoulders and arms: Almost all consider covering your shoulders a component of a modest look. As for arms, any sleeve length can be considered modest from cap sleeves to full sleeves. However, there may be concern over the sleeve material. Some sheer or lace sleeves allow the arm to be seen through the fabric and some women may not considered that a true sleeve.
- Upper Chest: Although there is agreement that showing cleavage would not be modest, women differ on how much of the upper chest is appropriate to show. For some the collar bone should be covered.
- Hem Length: For skirts and dresses knee length and longer is considered modest.
- Pants: When it comes to pants or jeans some women do not consider them modest and will not wear them in public. Other women will wear pants or jeans as long as they are loose so as not to show the shape of the leg. For other women as long as your legs are covered it doesn’t matter how tight the pants are. Still other women will wear tight pants as long as they are wearing a long top that hits at least mid-thigh.
- Style: For some women part of modesty is wearing simple styles and designs. Others think that as long as there is appropriate coverage and fit any style is acceptable.
- Color/Print: Bold, neon or loud prints might draw to much attention to the wearer and for some women that attention doesn’t equate modesty. For others no color or print will affect whether an outfit is modest.
- Shoes: Heels change the way you walk and are considered sexy, so some women do not consider them modest.
- Hair: For some mowhalks and pink hair are fine while others prefer natural looking styles. In some religions, like Judaism and Islam, it is considered more modest to cover ones hair. For married Jewish women this means with a scarf or a wig and for Muslim women with a scarf.
- Make-up: Some women think that makeup and nail polish are enhancements that are not modest.
Each of these factors is on a continuum and compiling where you fall for each factor makes up your understanding of what a modest outfit is. For many women where they are on the spectrum is determined by what religion they follow. The three Abrahamic faiths in particular have guidelines for each of these points.
At Mode-sty we’re focused on finding pieces that have a looser fit, cover the chest, have sleeves and hit at the knee or below. Beyond that we believe in showing off your sense of style with color and print. In order to make it easier for you to find looks that best meet your definition we have created two levels: medium coverage and full coverage.
- Medium coverage: High neckline, knee or below hemline and short sleeve
- Full coverage: High neckline, full length hemline and full length sleeves
We know that our definition of modesty won’t align with everyone but we hope to serve as a resource and inspiration for all women. Sign up for updates at www.mode-sty.com.
What do you think about this continuum of modesty? Have we left anything out? Let us know in the comments.
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