You might be surprised to learn there is a large and very active modest fashion community on Instagram and the blogosphere. Nearly every day, I meet another like-minded blogger seeking to encourage women to dress and behave modestly. It’s a beautiful thing. So, for the third post in my Biblical Beauty & Modesty Series, I wanted to get thoughts on the importance of modesty from four modest fashion bloggers I follow and respect (because you’ve read you’ve read enough of my thoughts on modesty – and immodesty – in the last post). Without further ado, here is our lovely and stylish panel:
Ciara @ Veiled Free
Blaze Ann @ P31 Beauty
Tarah @ Adorned in Armor
Diana @ Dressed By Diana
Q1: What does modesty mean to you (in behavior and dress)?
Ciara: Modesty is not a thorough list of clothes I don’t allow myself to wear. Modesty is a way of life for me – associated with wholesomeness, wisdom, grace, elegance, and discretion. Without it, my beauty is worthless. Prov. 11:22 states, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.” Modesty is about respect. Respect for myself, my body, my co-workers, my friends, and my potential spouse. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” Because my body belongs to the Lord, is a member of Christ, and is the Holy Spirit’s temple, I treat it with respect. The way this manifests itself is by wearing less revealing clothing, preventing outward beauty from becoming an idol, practicing sexual purity, keeping my heart guarded from overvaluing clothes, and eliminating temptation for others and myself.
Blaze Ann: Modesty in today’s society is often associated with how a woman is dressed. Sadly, there are people who look down on modesty because they fail to understand that modesty is not just a dress standard. I believe that modesty is a reflection of the heart. The clothing part is a result of the attitude and intent of our heart. A woman who seeks to glorify God will live in such a way that reflects her faith. She will make an effort to speak and act virtuously and dress “in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Some think negatively about modesty because they see it as constricting upon a woman. I strongly disagree with that. Modesty is a choice. Personally, I think that modesty strengthens and empowers women. You and I are God’s children. We were “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14); we are royalty. When you dress appropriately, it reveals your dignity and makes you worthy of respect. Dressing modestly is about knowing your self-worth and acknowledging that you don’t need to give anything to the world.
Tarah: To me, modesty gives your heart a chance to shine. It means respecting God through how I carry myself. That includes what I wear, what I say, how I say things – all that.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ERV) says: You should know that your body is a temple[a] for the Holy Spirit that you received from God and that lives in you. You don’t own yourselves. God paid a very high price to make you his. So honor God with your body.”
Modesty brings about change from the inside out. You don’t have to give up your personal style in your personal walk with God. Just keep in mind that you represent Him and your outwards appearance may be all a nonbeliever sees. Show them His light.
Diana: “You can dress attractively without being immodest. Within the Lord’s guidelines, there is room for you to be lively, vibrant, and beautiful both in your dress and your actions. “-Thomas S. Monson
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19
The easiest way for me to know if I am being modest in action and dress is to ask myself how I would feel if I were in the Lord’s presence in that very moment.
Q2: Why is modesty important to you?
Ciara: I’m called to be modest. Numerous times the holy, God-breathed text states it. 1 Peter 3:3-4 is a prime example. Peter was not condemning ALL outward adornment (modern day decorations and accessories). His condemnation is for a ceaseless pursuit or obsession of outward things to the complete disregard of one’s character. I’m an extremely creative person and I love to express myself through the art of fashion, but I understand that “a gentle and quiet spirit” is a beauty that never decays. That’s why I place value and work into these character traits instead of my beautiful clothes that eventually fall apart, get lost, or go out of style.
Blaze Ann: Modesty is important to me because it sets me apart from the rest of this world. God commands us to “not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2); when we choose modesty, we set aside the language, behavior, and dress expectations of our society. The world’s standards are far from what God’s standards are. Dressing modestly brings me closer to God and helps me to avoid the temptations of the world. In addition, dressing modestly is a way in which we can draw more people towards Christ. One day, a person may be curious and ask you why you dress or speak that way. You may be the first person to share about God to them.
Tarah: Modesty is important to me because it sets me apart. We live in a world wear skin is in…where people like Ayesha Curry get attacked for expressing her views on covering up. It’s an honor to be a minority in that way. As long as God is pleased with me, who cares about what everyone else says?
Diana: I dress modestly because of the love that I have for my Heavenly Father and the respect that I have for myself and others. I was someone who did not always dress modestly. I used to dress “hot” and I enjoyed the attention. I soon came to realize that a truly confident women does not rely on her outer beauty for confidence. I also realized a real man does not love a woman for her outer appearance. Not only that, but I also felt closer to my Heavenly Father as I began to dress modestly.
Q3: How do you cultivate a modest heart while blogging about fashion?
Ciara: Being modest does not come naturally, because I’m undeniably desensitized by secular society – just like everyone else. That’s why it’s vital for myself to stay in the Word of God, and find like-minded women to “do life with”. The modest fashion community is growing and I couldn’t be happier! We need to connect and lift each other up with scripture/prayer, because we are the anthesis of what the world sees as “attractive”.
And most importantly – I’m called to give all glory to God – no matter what I’m doing. 1 Cor. 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Blaze Ann: I try to maintain a modest heart by listening to music that glorifies God, reading my Bible, praying, and reading other encouraging and inspiring faith based blogs, like Downtown Demure!
Tarah: I maintain a modest heart while blogging about fashion through a few ways:
- I don’t blog about celebrity gossip, I make it a point that I only cover their style.
- Whenever I try on my clothes before a shoot, I make sure I’m happy and comfortable with the look. My thought process is: Not feeling convicted? Don’t wear it, let alone post it.
- When working with brands, I don’t compromise when a product they want shared is to revealing.
- I check myself. Being humble is a virtue, especially when devoted to something that sounds vain.
- I pray before I post.
This post is a part of a new series on Downtown Demure that will explore beauty and modest according to scripture. Here’s more good stuff in this series:
- True Beauty (A Guest Post From Jasmine Gray)
- 6 Actions That Are Just As Immodest As Mini Skirts And Yoga Pants
- Why I Choose Modesty: Perspectives From 4 Modest Fashion Bloggers (this post)