6 Actions That Are Just As Immodest As Mini Skirts and Leggings - Dowtown Demure

6 Actions That Are Just As Immodest As Mini Skirts & Yoga Pants

6 Actions That Are Just As Immodest As Mini Skirts and Yoga Pants - Dowtown Demure

Let’s play a game. I give you a word, and you tell me what immediately comes to mind. Ready? First word: Immodest. You likely either pictured Donald Trump or a scandalous female wearing a mini skirt, or *gasp* yoga pants!

In modern Christian culture, immodesty has become synonymous with revealing and tight clothing, just as modesty has become synonymous with conservative clothing. Clothing gets a disproportionate amount of attention when it’s only one limited application of modesty as discussed in the Bible. Modesty is more so about our attitude, behavior, and motivations than it is our dress. In a culture saturated with social media and slogans like “modest is hottest”, it’s far too easy to promote modest dress with an immodest heart.

I think it’s time to flip the conversation about modesty and explore the other side of it, particularly what immodesty looks like beyond seductive dress. But before I dig into the keywords of this post, I think it’s necessary to define them:

Immodest:

  1. (adj) having or showing a high or too high opinion of yourself or your worth
  2. (adj) of clothing: showing a lot of your body in a way that is considered improper

And just for kicks…

Modest:

  1. (adj.) not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities: not showing or feeling great or excessive pride
  2. (adj.) of clothing: not showing too much of a person’s body
  3. Bonus: The definition of the Greek word that translates to modest (kosmios): orderly, virtuous, decent, and well-ordered.

With those basic definitions in mind, let’s examine 6 common behaviors that are just as immodest as any miniskirt, legging, or other article of clothing that’s widely considered immodest.

Judging women who don’t share your views on modesty

Yup, I’m going there, but mainly because I used to be that girl. Perhaps you’re convicted to refrain from wearing pants or makeup. Perhaps you feel convicted to ONLY wear ankle-length skirts and dresses. If that’s how you feel you can honor God with your dress, that’s wonderful! I encourage you to dress as you feel convicted. However, be wary of imposing your personal dress code on others and harshly judging women who don’t share your views (because such judgment implies the belief that your dress code is more righteous). The Bible doesn’t outline a strict dress code for all of humanity, and neither should we. (Edit: While we weren’t given a detailed dress code, I do believe God has set standards for decency that include covering our nakedness (see: Genesis 2:31).) Instead of jumping to judgment, let’s encourage each other to come to scripturally guided understanding of modesty that encompasses both heart AND dress.

Flaunting expensive clothing

Another difficult lesson I’ve learned is that clothing doesn’t have to be provocative to be immodest. You can wear the most conservative maxi dress but still be immodest if it’s a Dolce & Gabanna maxi dress paired with a Chanel purse and Prada sunglasses. The intent of such an extravagant outfit is to display how luxurious and expensive one’s tastes are. And that vain motivation is exactly what Paul is speaks against at in 1 Timothy 2:9-10. He doesn’t condemn *all* pearls, braids and everything concerned with fashion and beauty (I mean, he does actually command us to dress ourselves, but respectably). He’s calling us to examine the motivations behind our dress, particularly when we get dressed for worship. Is the intent to draw attention to our wealth and style, or is the intent to focus on God?

Spending an excessive amount of time in hair and makeup

This point is similar to the point above, so I’ll use the same verse. In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul singles out braids, pearls, gold and costly attire for a reason. The women who wore elaborately braided hairstyles and extravagant clothes during Paul’s time were trying to emulate royalty. Ultimately, they wanted to impress other people by showcasing their wealth through the intricacies of their physical beauty. Although braided hair is commonplace today as is gold and pearl jewelry, we can fall into the same trap of trying to impress others with our appearance. If you can’t leave your house without a full face of makeup and perfectly coifed hair, ask yourself: are you trying to look respectable, or are you trying to draw attention to yourself with your beauty?

For men: going shirtless

Yes, I’m primarily writing to women because that’s my audience. But I must include this point because too many conversations focus exclusively on women. While there is no hard and fast dress modest dress code, there are rules for decency. Even in today’s very liberal culture, it’s considered decent for men and women to cover their chests, particularly when members of the opposite sex are present. Just as women are expected to cover the top half of their body, men should be expected to do the same…even on the beach or while playing basketball.

Posting excessive photos of yourself on social media

Nobody, I repeat nobody, needs to see your selfies every single day. Nor do we need to see every single item in your closet. As with all things in our walk, our use of social media requires balance and a strong dose of humility. As a fashion blogger with an active Instagram account, I know it’s hard to maintain that balance while trying to contribute to visual conversations about modesty with the intent to encourage other women. So, I encourage you to find that balance through prayer..and maybe not post every single day.

Preoccupying ourselves with fashion more than good works

This is a difficult point to make because I’m guilty of this behavior. While I absolutely don’t believe it’s a sin to want to look pretty or dress well, I know major heart issues arise when improving our physical appearances takes precedence over our spiritual responsibilities. Let’s not forget that we were created not to be exceptionally beautiful in our modest clothes but to do good works (Ephesians 2:10). So let’s spend less time obsessing over our appearance, and more time planning how to help members of our congregation, evangelize to our communities, and show the love of Christ to people around us who need it.

The purpose of this post is not to nitpick or be controversial. I simply want to challenge our understanding of modesty so conversations aren’t so narrowly focused on dress. My good blogging friend, Erin of Clothed in Sunlight, expressed the meaning of modesty perfectly:

“We tend to separate modesty the virtue and modesty in dress in our minds. They are not separate. The second is an extension of the first. The key to modesty is humility.”

I’m also writing this post to challenge myself just as much as anyone else who may read this. As a fashion blogger, I constantly fight to maintain the humility that should accompany my modest apparel. So here’s my challenge: Instead of focusing solely on how modest our clothes are, let’s also consider whether our actions are as modest as our clothing is.

I want to hear from you, friends. Do you agree that the above actions are immodest? Are there some actions I haven’t considered?

This post is a part of a new series on Downtown Demure that will explore beauty and modest according to scripture. I hope you’ll join me on this exciting journey through scripture and share your lovely thoughts! New posts will go up every Tuesday for the next 2 weeks. Here’s more good stuff I have planned:

You’re Also Going To Love:

If you loved this post, you’ll also love these posts full of tips for building a modest wardrobe.

      6 Tips to Find Modest Workout Clothing How to Build a Stylish & Affordable Modest Wardrobe  Modest Brand Spotlight: A Review of my 1st eShakti Dress

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The Comments

  • Avatar
    Katie Forsyth
    02/02

    YASSS, Liz! I hope you can hear me applauding you all the way from Georgia! Everything you said here is 100% on point, modesty is very much a heart issue, not just a clothing issue!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Katie Forsyth
      02/03

      Haha, I thought I heard a faint “yasss” somewhere. Thank you so much for the encouragement, dear! It was not easy to write and release this post, so your kind words mean more than you know!

  • Avatar
    Elizabeth
    02/02

    You are 100% on point with this! I used to hear that a lot “Modesty is more than just what you wear. It’s a heart issue.” And I would be like “Yeah, yeah, I know. But I’ll think about that later.” But it absolutely is! What we wear is super important, but that’s only a PART of modesty. I’ve seen people who were dressed modestly, but their actions/attitudes were far from it. I don’t say that judgmentally, just to prove a point! I have to ask myself that at times “Am I doing this to reflect Christ, or trying to get attention/approval?” It’s so important, so thanks for posting!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Elizabeth
      02/03

      Yes! Sometimes cliche phrases like that, although true and important, start to lose their meaning after a while. That’s why I really wanted to dig into modesty from another angle, and I’m so glad you get it and agree! The question you posed at the end of your comment is SO important and one we all need to ask ourselves more often. Great thoughts, dear!

  • Avatar
    Esther
    02/02

    Well said!

  • Avatar
    Tom
    02/02

    I praise God for you Liz! There are always penalties with sin. Immodesty is a savage beast that brings rape and violence to women on a great scale! It also makes women “Things” not humans in the minds of men. I pray every woman tells other women about modesty and pleasing the Lord. God bless you!

    • Avatar
      Ruth
      > Tom
      05/13

      What a horrible thing to say! Rape is a MAN’S CRIME! Burka clad women are raped more often as bikini clad women. Women are not to blame for the evil that men do.

  • Avatar
    Barbara
    02/02

    Great! article. and yes! i agree that, the the way of dress is not the only thing that is immodest. They are also in ones actions, ones attitude and thoughts. these things can misrepresent our heart.

    As a mother most of us teach our girls to dress modest the rules of what you can and cannot wear and as they (child) mature they may stem away from that way taught and begin to dress and act immodest.

    Unfortunately we are living in an immodest world. We as women – first see the fashion trends and in our desire to be attractive and some women tend to act the way they dress.

    So what do we do?

    We can only pray that one comes to their own conviction.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Barbara
      02/03

      Amen! We can plant good seeds through good, scriptural teaching and living holy lives. But ultimately it’s up to each individual person to come to their own convictions and follow them. And we should certainly pray for our loved ones to reach such a point. Thank you for your good comment, Auntie!

  • Avatar
    Soraya
    02/02

    Absolutely agree!

    Modesty is more about one’s conduct than one’s clothes

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Soraya
      02/03

      Thank you, Soraya!

    • Avatar
      hannah
      > Soraya
      04/20

      This is absolutely correct. I would always dress modestly like a good christian girl should. however my modest full length dress would have had a waist high zipper while I was wearing stockings or my modest thick blouse would have a cupless bra. It was very easy for me to quickly unbutton or unzip in the presence of a guy I liked.

      he would see

      he would lust.

      I would button or zip up again so I would once again be oh so modest and pretend I didn’t know why he couldn’t stop staring at me and following me.

  • Avatar
    Stephen
    02/03

    Great blog! My wife and I own a children’s clothing store Whoopsie Daisy Clothing and it’s a struggle to make sure clothing keeps it’s correct place and to find clothing that represents modesty. Immodesty has become such a standard that it’s has warped what is normal, immodest values buys immodest clothing. That makes it hard to continue selling modest clothing and stay in business in this current society. It’s hard to watch kids wear skin tight expensive athletic clothes every day and not feel down about that. It’s hard stick to our guns about what we sell and stay in business.

    I know the blog was more about modesty/immodest as a value not just as clothing choices….but the clothing choices are a type of visual scale of the value.

    Anyway, I really enjoyed your blog. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Samantha
    02/03

    Loved this article! But, is the verse in 1 Tim, wasn’t that because that was how prostitutes dressed at the time? I may be wrong though.

  • Avatar
    Taylor Jones
    02/03

    Elizabeth,

    I can’t tell you how much I needed this post! I’ve been thinking about this a lot and trying to find a balance. I started my blog to help others but mostly myself, I don’t want it to become a stumbling block though!

    Thank you for your thoughts!

    Taylor

  • Avatar
    Lisa
    02/03

    Bravo! I wish more Christians could read this, especially those with blogs and on Instagram. I agree wholeheartedly. Even church is often a fashion show.

  • Avatar
    3Fourteen.wordpress.com
    02/03

    You’re right. Modesty has more to do with the heart than what we wear. What we wear is only an expression of what’s inside. The Bible says in Matthew 7 “By their fruits you shall know them”. I would be careful though with classifying some things. We must also remember that the demand of the new testament is “the just shall live by faith”. If we also look in Romans 14 we see that anything not done out of faith is sin. When you say “flaunting expensive clothing..” it’s something that it’s really subjective because someone else may look at you and say you “flaunt expensive clothing”. We shouldn’t waste so much time nitpicking and splitting hairs on issues such as dressing. We are no longer under LAW but under grace. We must be led by the Holy Spirit in all we do. That’s the bottom line.

    “If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were still living in the world, do you submit to rules and regulations, such as, “Do not handle [this], do not taste [that], do not [even] touch!”? (these things all perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men. These practices indeed have the appearance [that popularly passes as that] of wisdom in self-made religion and mock humility and severe treatment of the body (asceticism), but are of no value against sinful indulgence [because they do not honor God]. Colossians 2: 20-23”

    I pray the Lord helps us to live lives that will be pleasing unto Him.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > 3Fourteen.wordpress.com
      02/03

      Great point, Shope. We are called to live under grace and not the law (which is why, I venture to guess, God doesn’t give us an exact dress code, and why I think we shouldn’t enforce strict dress codes on others beyond what’s objectively considered decent and modest). But being led by the Holy Spirit also entails living obediently to the instructions we have been given (i.e., scripture), and there are several passages that warn against materialism and flaunting one’s wealth, including 1 Timothy 2:9-10. To your point about misclassifying actions, I deliberately chose the word “flaunt” instead of “wear” because flaunting implies an intent to provoke envy by ostentatiously displaying something. That’s what I’m cautioning against, not simply wearing expensive things. The intent of this post is not to nit pick or split hairs over trivial issues (and I apologize if it comes off that way), but to point to actions that may signal greater heart issues(and these are actions I have been guilty of but didn’t think twice about until someone examining scripture brought them to my attention. I merely want to encourage readers (particularly those interested in fashion and active on social media) to further examine their actions rather than take them granted. Thank you for your good comment, sister!

  • Avatar
    Clara Hazelwood
    02/03

    You are absolutely right that modesty is an attitude of the heart. Somewhere I was taught that modesty meant to “not draw undue attention to yourself.” It’s hard for me to find the balance. I dress what I believe is modestly, and yet I tend to fall on the side of not doing enough, for example with makeup and hairstyles, to keep myself presentable in public.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Clara Hazelwood
      02/06

      Hi Clara! Thank you for your comment. My question to you is why do you feel like you’re not enough ? Is it that you feel you’re too plain (I certainly hope not) or that you feel you don’t dress modestly enough? If your sincere intent is to dress decently and behaving in a way that reflects your commitment to Christ, it would seem you’re doing just what you’re supposed to do.

  • Avatar
    elsie.a.london@gmail.com
    02/03

    Great article. I SO appreciate your willingness to speak truth even if it won’t always be well-received. This post was challenging to me personally since in 2016 I have entered into the world of blogging and instagram in a serious way. From judging other women to spending an excessive amount of time on hair, makeup, and outfit, immodesty can be sneaky. But always ugly. And always detracting from our truest goal of glorifying God. Thanks again for publishing an article that is incisive and convicting. You are being used by God, sister.

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > elsie.a.london@gmail.com
      02/06

      Wow, your sweet comment just made me smile! Thank you, Elsie! I completely identify with the struggle to identify and fight immodesty – you’re right, it’s a sneaky beast – which is why I decided to write this post. Thank you for understanding my overall message (and not being offended by it as a fellow Christian fashion blogger). Keep using your platforms to give God the glory!

  • Avatar
    Hannah S.
    02/04

    This is a fantastic and much needed post! Thanks Liz!

  • Avatar
    Erin Rebar
    02/05

    I love this post so much! Each of your points are spot on. The last point especially resonated so much with me because honestly, it’s always such a struggle to to find the balance between the desire to look and feel beautiful, and to remain humble and think about things other than appearance. Especially when doing a fashion blog when part of your “good works” requires thinking about things like clothes! Great job! This post really got me thinking. I love how honest it is.

    Also, thank you so much for quoting me! I am truly very flattered, and I really appreciate it. Since I’m just starting out, I struggle a lot with getting readers and your quote/link helped quite a bit! 🙂 Thanks Liz!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Erin Rebar
      02/06

      Oh, you’re so very welcome, Erin! I bookmarked your post as soon as I read it and knew I had to quote you when I decided to write about modesty again. You’re right, finding that balance as a modest fashion blogger is difficult (and not a balance I can confidently claim to have obtained), but your heart is clearly in the right place: focused on Christ! I appreciate you and your efforts to promote modesty in heart and dress!

  • Avatar
    Ivanna
    02/06

    This is a beautiful reminder about what modesty is supposed to be! I can honestly say as someone who really tries to uphold my own standards of modesty, that I don’t think about this enough. Thank you for writing boldly!

  • Avatar
    Cassandra
    02/08

    Yes to this post! Modesty isn’t just about how tight your clothing is or how much skin you are showing. It’s about attitude. Love how you included comments on flaunting expensive clothing and posting too many photos on social media. Everyone should read this post!

  • Avatar
    Erica @ Coming Up Roses
    02/08

    I can’t applaud you enough for your grace, tact, bravery, and writing prowess. Bravo, Liz.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Erica @ Coming Up Roses
      02/09

      You are too sweet! Thank you, Erica!

  • Avatar
    Ivanna
    02/09

    Great post. I believe everyone has their own conviction but as Christians we should have common sense on what we wear and post.

  • Avatar
    Karin Rambo
    02/10

    I really like your first point! It seems like women are so judgmental towards each other! We just can’t possibly know where someone is at or what struggles they have and heaping judgment on them isolates them instead of drawing them in.

  • Avatar
    Kenzie
    02/17

    Elizabeth,

    Thanks for asking the hard questions. It’s so easy to think we have our hearts in the right place and I needed the reminder to check my heart constantly and ask if my actions are for God’s glory or my own. Good thoughts!

  • Avatar
    Natasha
    02/23

    I just found your blog and this article touched my heart… I’m living in Switzerland and feel that modesty is here absolutely not in anymore, which makes it hard for me to maintain my modest style. But as you said and as it’s said in 1. Sam 16:7 “God looks at what is in our hearts not what appears to humans eye” 🙂 and keep on your work and quoting bible verses!
    Love from Switzerland

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Natasha
      02/25

      Thank you so much, sweet Natasha! I’m so glad you stumbled upon my blog and that this post encouraged you in some way. Keep dressing with HIM in mind even though it’s not “in” in Switzerland. You never know who you can be encouraging 😉

  • Avatar
    Christina
    12/16

    You make a nice point when highlighting the internal or personality qualities which signify a lack of modesty. It’s probably well appreciated that you relate these qualities back to scriptural concepts.

  • Avatar
    Maya
    01/10

    Really enjoyed this post, Liz. It’s nice to have a clear cut guideline from someone so close to the word since there’s not a specific one in the Bible. 🙂

  • Avatar
    Jennifer Brannon
    03/07

    I found your blog through my instagram feed today, and just wanted to say how much i love it! what a beautiful lady you are, inside and out.

    and yes… 100% agree that the outside flows from the inside, which is infinitely more important! if we get the inside right, the outside will naturally reflect that inner reality, allowing Christ to shine through us!

    • Elizabeth
      Elizabeth
      > Jennifer Brannon
      03/12

      Hi Jennifer! So happy you randomly found my blog and couldn’t agree more your sentiments. Hope you’re having a blessed Sunday. <3