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10 Ideas to Help You Combine Fashion and Modesty

By: Bethany Baird

The moment summer hits is the moment modesty seems to go out the window. Shorts shrink into underwear size. Shirts are so small they don’t even cover the mid drift. Clothes are sheer and basically see through.

It often feels like being trendy and fashionable means wearing close to nothing.

Despite how popular the itty-bitty clothing trend seems to be, we don’t have to accept it.

We can rise to a more decent and respectable standard.

Just because underwear size shorts are “in,” doesn’t mean we have to wear them and let our cheeks hang out. Just because teeny-tiny-cleavage-revealing-belly-button-displaying shirts are “in,” doesn’t mean we have to wear them.

We as Christian women can choose to display our bodies in a way that says, “I value and respect the body God has given me and I don’t have to wear tiny clothing to prove I’m cute or fashionable.”

I’m challenging each one of us to present our bodies in a way that portrays decency, honor, and respect.

I’m challenging each one of us to dress in a way that represents the holiness and purity of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I’m challenging us to dress in a way that acknowledges our worth and identity is found in Christ alone.

Here are 10 ideas to help you combine fashion and modesty this summer.

1. Turn Old Jeans into Bermuda Shorts.

I know it’s hard to find shorts that don’t look like underwear. I get it. It’s hard, but not impossible. I encourage you to get creative and think outside the box. Grab an old pair of your jeans and cut them off to a length that is modest. Wash them in the washing machine to get that modern fringe look.

2. Tie a Flannel or Denim Shirt Around Your Waist. 

This is one of my all-time favorite looks. I’m actually wearing a flannel shirt around my waist right now. I love it because it covers up the back of my jeans in the rear area. If you haven’t tried this look, you’ve got to give it a try.

3. Wear a Dress Over Your Jeans. 

Dresses are such a great and versatile option. As a really tall girl, I’ve always had problems with dresses being too short though. Instead of ditching short dresses, I’ve decided to add jeans and wear them together. The dress covers the rear area and the jeans cover the thighs and legs. It’s a win/win combo.

4. Add a Button up Shirt Under Your Dress. 

There are so many cute dresses that just need a little extra coverage up top. Instead of ditching the thin strapped dresses, just add an adorable button up underneath. It makes an adorable classy later and adds some great modest coverage.

5. Always Have One Black and One White Camisole on Hand. 

Camisoles are lifesavers for the girl striving to combine fashion and modesty. I wear a camisole almost every single day. I buy thin ones (so that I’m not sweating even more) and wear them under my shirts. It helps cover any cleavage issues and any see through issues. I highly recommend them!

6. Buy Real Denim (Not Jegging or Super Stretch Denim). 

Real denim is hard to come by these days. It seems like most jeans are made up of super stretchy material. The jeans are so tight that they leave little to the imagination. When I shop for jeans, I look for jeans that are made up of real denim material. Real denim adds so much more structure and seems to leave a little room to move in.

7. Order Online In Tall for Extra Length. 

Ordering online is a huge win! Most stores sell dresses, skirts, shorts, shirts and jeans in long. That means extra length on everything. Talk about a big time score. Even if you aren’t tall like me, I encourage you to order your clothes in tall to get that modest extra length.

8. Shop at Stores Geared Towards Women (not teens). 

There is a major difference in clothing styles depending on where you shop. If you shop at a super trendy store geared towards teens, it’s going to be hard to find modest clothing. If you shop at a store geared more towards twenty-somethings, you will have a much easier time finding modest clothing.

9. Follow a Modest Fashion Blogger for Inspiration. 

It can be really hard to come up with creative and fashionable looks. I encourage you to follow some modest fashion bloggers. My younger sister, Rebekah, runs an amazing modest fashion blog. Check out her blog www.hellomodesty.com or her Instagram account for fun, creative, and modest ideas.

10. Find Your Worth in Christ Alone

We, as Christian women, need to regularly remember that our worth is in Christ alone. He created us, therefore He decides what gives us value. We can’t add to our value and we can’t take away from our value. We are loved and worthy because Christ says we are. Not because of what anyone else says. We don’t need to prove ourselves to those around us. We just need to walk in the worth Christ has already placed upon us.

Which of the ten steps were most helpful to you? How can you combine fashion and modesty this summer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any additional ideas you might have. Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts.

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  • Sophia

    These are great tips! Thanks so much! 🙂 I’ve been thinking a lot about modesty lately, so this was perfect timing.

    As a tall girl, (I’m 5 11 :P) I often struggle with dress length. Something I’ve found helpful is wearing a petticoat (they’re feminine, fun and inexpensive online), under some of my dresses. I let it peek out an extra inch or two under my dress, and it helps lengthen the dress so that it at least hits my knee.

  • Melissa

    My greatest help for making clothes more modest is a halftee. I absolutely love them, as many camisoles still sag on me. I purchase the ones with a little cap sleeve so I can wear sleeveless shirts and dresses and still have my shoulders covered as well as a modest neckline.

  • pumpkinpatch14

    I think it’s important to add that we must not pride ourselves in dressing more “respectfully” than others when we choose to cover up more. We don’t suddenly respect ourselves more when we do so. I can be putting on more layers but with the intention of people to respect me and that is disrespecting myself, diminishing the worth of Christ in me and is sin. It should be done as a reflection of the hidden beauty of Christ – the work of Christ in our hearts and minds – not in defiance of the culture around us. I liked the ending heading with ‘Find Your Worth in Christ’ but i think your article still has undertones of ‘if you dress like the world you probably don’t respect yourself, therefore find your worth in Christ’ and I think that still misses the point. It should be done solely to honor him with our bodies and to glorify him (which I know you girls agree with) not in defiance of society’s culture. Culture will always be an issue. Cleavage may not be an issue in one culture but shoulders and knees heavily so in another. The beauty of Christ however is absolute and unchanging. I usually agree with your articles and am a fan! but just not so much with this article…

    • Shanae Butterworth

      She’s giving a guideline for ladies to incorporate, not an end all mandatory my way or the highway. But yes we should take God into consideration for everything, including our clothing choices!

  • Tiana

    It gets really hot in the summer where I live (down south Louisiana), and I have to say that I disagree with some of your suggestions. I’m more of a tomboy than a girly girl. I literally own 2 dresses. And they’re both short. One of them is strapless and the other one is spaghetti strapped (I know this has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but this one is super cute. Its blush pink and has a sweetheart neckline. It’s gorgeous). Anyways, they’re not un modest, just short and strapless. I don’t like long dresses at all. And I also don’t like the idea of wearing jeans under your dresses. What’s wrong with wearing a short dress? It’s cute and fashionable, and doesn’t get you sweating in the 98 degree weather. And I can’t shop at women stores because I’m super short (i’m 13 years old and i’m 4′ 10″). So I have to shop at teen stores. And I really don’t like real denim. All my jeans are skinny jeggings, and they’re not un modest. They’re super soft and comfortable and are cooler and are more stylish than the thick denim jeans. Just thought i’d share my opinion.

    • Brianne

      Hi, Tiana! It gets really hot where I live, too. I live even farther south than you, in central Florida. It’s almost always 95-98 degrees here. It’s REALLY hot, but that doesn’t mean I should dishonor the Lord for the selfish reasons of staying a bit cooler or being more “trendy” like the world. There are TONS of ways to dress modestly and still keep cool. For example, if that gorgeous dress you described is too short, maybe sew a fringe of ruffles or lace on the end to give it some length. Modest dresses don’t have to cover your ankles, just make sure they end at the knee. There are tons of gorgeous clothes that are modest, you just have to get extra creative! I personally only wear skirts, but for jeans, sacrificing the Lord’s will just to wear a jeggings is prideful. Jeggings are just leggings made out of denim-ish material, and they cling to your skin in a very immodest way. There is absolutely no ways for jeggings to be modest unless they are worn under a shirt, tunic, or dress that is long enough to cover your rear area. As for height, I get it. I’m short too. I’m 5’3″ now that I’m 17 years old, but when I was your age I was 4’10” too. There is no reason you can’t shop at women’s stores, because a lot of them have a “petites” section made specifically for short people. Also, if you just don’t like shopping at women’s stores, just find modest clothes elsewhere, but it is much harder. I personally like to order vintage clothes that are in good condition off of eBay, since vintage clothes tend to be modest in general. The most important thing to ask yourself is, “does wearing this outfit bring glory to God and point the attention to my face?” If not, don’t wear it. If you say, “yes, this outfit glorifies the Lord and makes people focus their attention on my face,” then go ahead and wear it. Blessings! 🙂

      • Christine

        Encouraging to hear this from someone in your age group. May God Bless you and may you keep strong in Him always. Every blessing in Him, Tirzah Christine

    • Val

      A couple of years ago I started thinking about modesty, I was 23, and I started researching about this virtue I didn’t thought a lot about for the first 23 years of my life, I read articles and books and tried to decide where I stood on the matter. It is a process, so my ideas about it might change in the next years but this is where I stand now: modesty is a virtue, one of the virtues that Christians should strive to possess. It is also a virtue with very practical applications.
      I don’t believe that modesty is merely about clothes and I believe that why you wear what you wear is as important as what you wear (I would love to talk further about this but I don’t want this comment to become an essay).
      Since we wear clothes everyday I had to choose what my standard is, and I think i found it, when I think about modesty I think about something Coco Chanel said: if the dress is ugly you notice the dress, if the dress is beautiful you notice the woman. I think that it is the same with modesty: i don’t want people to notice parts of my body before they notice me. When people see me, if their eyes are drawn to my legs, chest or another part before my face, the dress I’m wearing is not the right one for me 🙂

  • Brittany

    Number 10 is legit!
    And 5. Is a must!

    There’s a cool barlowgirl song about modesty it’s called clothes. Makes me laugh because they joke about how dumb immodesty is! Lol

  • Maria Crowe

    Yes! Awesome post! I as a teenage girl sometimes struggle with modesty. If you have a shortish dress just put leggings under it and if it is hot wear flat shoes with no shocks so it doesn’t look like you’re wearing tights. Also, I would totally recommend the jean shorts idea! Go for it! And I absolutely love tying the shirt around my waist, I love it! And you don’t have to worry about covering your bottom if you do. Love what you girls do! 😉

  • Bethany,

    Excellent tips in here. I do, however, think that turning old jeans into Bermuda shorts is overdone. I would like to add that using skirt extenders is also a great way to make your skirts more modest!

  • I’m with you on the camisoles. I wear one almost every day as well, and use more colors to jazz things up a bit. Get idea!

  • Sophie Olsinski

    Hey! You mentioned that you wore thin camisoles under shirts and I was wondering where you got your camisoles from? 🙂

  • Bethy

    I understand what you’re saying about wearing our clothes longer and more covering, but what about the fit? Like is it still immodest to wear form fitting shirts or pants? I’m asking because my parents will not let me wear ANYTHING that is “form fitting”. I find nothing wrong with wearing my pants like that as long as I cover my rear area (with a jacket or flannel) but my parents literally make me wear all of my clothes extremely baggy and oversized… It doesn’t make me feel very good about myself honestly… I feel like I’m very hefty and fat when I wear my clothes like that. It doesn’t really make me feel confident about myself sadly…
    Is there any other teen girls out there who’s parents are like this?? Of so then how do you make it work?

  • Schylie

    Thank you for these 10 tips! Love them! I haven’t thought much of #4, and #8 is definitely great. Whenever I go thrift store shopping, I check out the dresses, but can almost never find something that isn’t too tight, too low, too short, or too open. I try to make things work, but it’s not easy. I find myself having to wear a camisole under and then a cardigan or jacket over! Thanks again for these!

  • Amy

    I know someone who says women should only wear skirts and not pants. I don’t think this is right or Biblical really. What do you think.

    • Follower of THE LORD.

      I agree with that person honestly… the Bible is our final authority and it says in Deuteronomy22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God”.
      Pant are a garment that mostly pertain to man. Just like skirts are something that pertain to women. Wearing skirts are feminine and that’s what God wants us women to be like!
      I hope this helped!


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