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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Practical Checklist for Modesty

When you shop, keep in mind the two biblical guidelines for Christian women’s dress: modesty and moderation. (To help you remember what they are, think of M&Ms—Modesty & Moderation.) Always try clothes on in a fitting room. Look at the piece from all the angles you can.

Checklist to See If Your Clothes are Modest:*

  • Is it too tight? If any part of your outfit looks like shrink wrap, it’s way too tight!
  • Is it transparent? Under transparent clothing, always wear something that would be decent by itself.
  • Slacks or skirts shouldn’t show off hips, underwear, or skin. Never let any skin be seen between your top and your slacks or skirt.
  • Skirts and slacks should at least be long enough to cover or almost cover your knees. Slits should not be higher than knee-length. Take care that a skirt isn’t transparent to the light. (Wearing leggings or tights under a short outfit has the same effect as wearing the same outfit with hose. Just because you are wearing something under it doesn’t make it modest.)
  • Be careful with low necklines and with showing too much skin. Modesty means decency. Take special care with clothes you plan to wear for exercising or playing sports. Make sure you can bend over or reach up without showing anything.
  • Underwear should stay inside your outerwear and not show through it.
  • Your mirror is your best friend! Look at yourself in a full-length mirror from every angle you can. (If you don’t have one in your home, buy one.) Are you covered? Do you think you look modest? Does anything look too tight or does something call attention to any part of your body that you don’t wish to emphasize? Do your clothing and accessories attract attention up to your beautiful face? 
  • Does your father (or husband) approve of the way you’re dressed?
  • Would you feel comfortable, dressed as you are, if Jesus were standing right beside you?

God desires that we reflect His beauty and for us to be sweet and modest and feminine. When you choose your clothes, be a little bit picky. Pray before you shop, and try everything on. If you’re careful, you can dress like a woman who loves the Lord.

Q Can I dress to express my personality?
A Of course! God gave you your personality and your preferences. Just make sure you remember M&M (modesty and moderation).

Q Can I dress in the latest fashion?
A It depends. If the most modern accessory or article of clothing is modest, moderate, and if it doesn’t advertise an evil lifestyle, if it is beautiful and feminine, yes, you can dress with style.

Q Can I copy what my friends wear?
A Are your friends godly women? If so, and if they follow God’s dress guidelines, of course you can follow their lead.

Q Some people think you shouldn’t pay much money for clothing. Do Christians have to look poor and wear the same thing all the time?
A What did the Virtuous Woman wear? What did Jesus wear? Follow their examples.

Q Is it really wrong to braid my hair or wear jewelry? (1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3)
A Those passages also refer to costly clothing. Is it wrong to wear clothing? No, but it’s best not to be ostentatious. That goes for hairstyles and jewelry, too. The key is not to call attention to our bodies, our selves. We should call attention to our character instead.

Q I want men to take me seriously and to respect me. How should I dress?
A Men always respect a woman who has the character to consistently dress modestly. On the other hand, men tend to judge a woman who dresses in revealing clothes as “cheap.”

Q I know a woman who dresses like a man. Is that okay?
A The Bible always talks about women’s clothing separately from men’s clothes. Our guidelines are modesty and moderation, and our clothes should be different from men’s. If someone cannot tell from a distance that you’re a woman, something is wrong with your choice of clothing.

Q If you could sum up in three words how a Christian woman should dress, what would those words be?
A 1. Modest 2. Moderate 3. Beautiful

Q A Christian woman should strive for what overall effect when she dresses?
A She should reflect the beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ.

*This checklist is an edited version of the one in my new book, His Ways, Your Walk. There’s a whole chapter dedicated to a Christian philosophy for women’s dress with a more detailed checklist.  


  1. What an excellent list! Thank you for your help. :)

  2. I really appreciate your blog. I am preparing a ladies devotion on True Beauty, and have been reading your posts about fashion and modesty, and they have been a great help in preparing my lesson. Thank you for sharing so much wisdom and help for ladies.

    1. Thank you, Jessi! You encouraged me today. God bless you as you teach your ladies!


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