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A Plea to Leave the Denim Underwear in the Drawer

By: Bethany Baird

I just have to say this up front so I can get it off my chest. There is no way that denim shorts –  so short and tight that they are digging into your body – can be comfortable. I don’t care how cute girls think they look, there is just no way.

I wish there was a nice, discreet, graceful way to go about this topic, but there isn’t. This is one of those topics that I have to be real and honest about.

The summer months are coming at us in hot and boiling waves.

The sweaty skin, the sticky feeling, the greasy hair and the humidity is headed our way. For some reason we, as girls, take those “summer signs” as our clue to begin undressing.

“It’s so hot outside! I guess that’s my cue to pull out my tiny crop top and mini denim shorts.” – Hot and Sweaty Summer Girl

As Christian girls who are called by God to a standard of modesty (1 Timothy 2:8-10) and purity…what are we thinking when we put on these underwear-like shorts? We as christian girls should understand these things:

We should understand modesty.

We should understand the meaning of clothing.

We should understand that our purpose is to point others to Christ.

We should understand that life isn’t all about us.

We should understand that our goal is to become more and more like Christ.

We have to live by a higher standard.

We can’t blindly follow the culture and wear whatever they wear. We must be “imitators of Christ” not “imitators of the culture” (Ephesians 5:1-2).

I’m challenging each and every one of you to take a step back and rethink the short shorts trend (or as I say in the Project Modesty Video, the “denim underwear trend”). Just because they’re “in” doesn’t make them right. Just because a celebrity wears them, doesn’t make them cute. Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it a smart choice.

I was recently talking with a mature Christian girl about the ultra-mini shorts trend and she said, “It’s super sick. It’s just booty hanging out. It’s gross.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The summer months aren’t even officially here and I’ve already seen my fair share of “denim underwear.” I personally don’t want to see your backside and I don’t want you seeing mine either.

It’s time for us to rethink modesty and rethink the short shorts trend. I think it’s time for us to take a step back and ask ourselves some important questions.

1. Why do I want to wear these super short shorts?

When you put on your super short shorts, what goes through your mind? Many of us, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, wear super short shorts (or other immodest clothing) out of a desire to draw attention to ourselves and make ourselves feel better. I want you to rethink your summer wardrobe and make sure that your heart desires to honor God with your clothing choices.

2. What are you hoping this look will accomplish?

When you purchased those mini shorts (or plan to purchase them in the future) what were you hoping to accomplish by wearing them? If your shorts are so short that they could be classified as “denim underwear” maybe you should take a step back and evaluate your heart motives.

3. What will the person behind you see?

Please, please, please stop to seriously consider this question. For the sake of everyone behind you, take a look in the mirror before you leave the house and see what the person behind you will see. Consider the guys (and girls for that matter) and take their eyes and minds into consideration.

4. What do you see when you turn around?

This question is for you. When you turn around, what do you see? Do you like what you see? If so, why do you like it? Take a good long look at what’s being exposed before you walk out the door and ask yourself if your backside is displaying a modest and pure look.

5. Will this draw eyes to your face or to your rear?

Gals – please seriously consider this question. When you walk out the door, what will the eyes of those around you be drawn towards? Will they be drawn towards your smiling face or to your backside? As Christians our job is to reflect Christ and point others towards Him. Make sure you aren’t being a distraction from that purpose.

If you have any desire to dig into this topic further, I highly encourage you to grab a copy of our brand new book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Kristen and I dig deeper into topics like this and show you how to practically honor God with your life as a girl.

I’d love to hear from you now.

Have you noticed the “denim underwear” trend?

What are you thoughts on this trend?

Photo Credit

Girl Looking off with sunglasses

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  • Celtic Princess

    Beyond the modesty issues, I find this style looks rather tacky… Especially when the pockets are sticking out from under the front… Tacky, tacky, tacky…

    • Grace O

      Haha! I agree! Plus almost every pair of them are “cut offs” with rips all over them as well! My brothers always ask sarcastically, “Why would somebody buy jeans with holes in them!?” Lol it’s completely ridiculous! XD

  • Kay

    Thank you SO much for addressing this! As a Christian teen who agrees with you and tries to dress modestly in the summer, I am well aware and sickened by this trend! It’s nothing but underwear!

  • Leanne

    Amen!! Well said!

  • Olivia W.

    Yes! This is the message that I would like to say to every Christian girl in America. I walk into stores trying to find clothes I can wear to summer camp, and there is literally nothing that meets the dress code because the super short shorts is what’s popular. Swim suits really bother me too, because they’re even worse in terms of modesty, yet for some reason you don’t have to wear much of anything when you’re going swimming…? I feel awkward wearing what looks like nothing more than underwear and a tanktop in public.

  • Mahaley Dawn Gooding

    Yes! I totally agree with you! I saw a poor girl yesterday who couldn’t have been older than 14-if that-and she was wearing these white “denim underwear” as you have so appropriately called them! All I could think was, “Why are her parents ok with her wearing this?” There was no beauty in them, you couldn’t think about anything from behind her except for how short her shorts were. It was so sad to be honest. I hope more girls read this and get an eye-opener on what these “denim underwear” are really truly doing.

  • Margot

    When I was younger I definitely wore those kind of shorts and I can confirm that they are not comfortable. In fact, they kinda chafe and it’s bad. Fourteen years old was my “Hollister” stage where I looked like a walking clothing display and I’ve really matured over The years. When I was younger I saw it as just fashion but now I see it as so much of a bigger issue and I’m glad that I dress really classy now. When people see my old pictures they are normally shocked because my fashion made a total change haha. For the better of course 🙂

    Bethany, I think it would be amazing if you could talk about some ways us as older teens can positively influence younger girls 🙂

  • Tom

    Ladies, I praise God for you and your web site. It is truly wonderful
    when I see more and more Christian women’s sites talking about modesty
    and pleasing God with your heart! Sin deceives and blinds all of us,
    and for women immodesty is a very serious matter.

    Galatians 6:7 – Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man (Woman) soweth, that shall he (She) also reap.

    Reap!?
    1.3 girls/women are raped in the United States every MINUTE! This
    statistic which is about 7 years old is saying that over 1,000
    girls/women a day are being raped! Sweet Jesus have mercy.

    Sin most assuredly has it’s consequences but Godly love, rescues those from the pit!

  • vwlover

    Denim underwear is the right word and it does look tacky. Shorts have always been “in” but it seems to be getting worse. Some stores seem to have aversions to selling Bermuda shorts.

  • Melissa VDA

    I so totally agree with you. Thanks for saying it the way it is.

  • Maggie Fipps

    Thank’s for this Bethany! As a Christian girl, I sometimes struggle with wanting to wear what everyone else is wearing…including denim underwear. I have always thought that if I was a boy, I would be sickened by the backside of these girls wearing denim underwear…I am just praying for my younger brother when he gets to middle school… Thanks again!

  • Isabel Fisher

    Hi, Bethany and Kristen! This is such a great article, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • Claire C Davies

    Burkas for everyone! 😀 Guys, Christians and Muslims have so much more in common than anyone wants to admit.

  • Katharine Menning

    FINALLY!!! SOMEONE IS ADDRESSING THIS TOPIC!!! I agree with you on this matter 100%. I am so thankful that my mom instilled in me at a young age the guidelines for modesty and how to dress modest. It is something that I always remember and will pass on to my daughters in the future.

    Whenever I am out in public and I see a girl wearing the “denim underwear” I just shake my head. How can they think that wearing that is okay? This problem is even in my youth group. There are several girls who wear the denim underwear, to youth group and even church. It puzzle me. Where was your mom and dad when you put those on this morning? And did you even take into consideration what the Bible says about modesty when you put those on? And these are young Christian ladies I am talking about. As I graduate this spring, my hope is that I can be an inspiration and role model to these girls on how to dress modestly and show them why wearing these things are so wrong.

    Again, thank you for speaking out about on this topic. It was EXTREMELY helpful! God bless you both, your families, and ministry!

  • afollower

    God bless you sister! A dear younger sister of mine keep posting your material and so I drop in from time to time to learn and glean, because for us guys who love the Lord, it’s hard for us to sometimes understand what ladies go through from the culture and such. This is a tough topic, but I’m blessed and grateful to see God-fearing sisters teach others (old and young). It’s a ladies job, but it seemed for a while that many ladies weren’t doing that anymore. I praise God that this trend is changing. ~ Have a blessed day ~ a growing brother in Christ, and servant/life-slave of Jesus, SH

  • Mikayla Orosco

    Thank u for sharing this topic. It has truly helped me to understand
    What modesty means. I’ve never wore short shorts thanks to my parents who are godly parents but as I’m now old enough to buy my own clothes ive been contemplating on whether or not to buy them. But this post has helped me not to be conformed to this world as a girl who’s on fire for the lord should give glory to God in every area in my life. Including modesty. Thanks again!

  • Thanks Kristen! I never have worn “booty shorts” as my sister calls them =) Thankfully my parents are very modesty conscience and always tell my if that shirts to tight, or that skirts too short. But your so right who wants to show of their backside? Its just kinda gross! I have this problem in my youth group as well and I think to myself “Why do your parents let you wear that to church? Did you ever think about what God says about modesty?” Anyway thank you for posting about a issue that needed to be discussed.
    Have a good summer everyone!

  • Sam

    Thank you for this post Bethany! Its such a good reminder that we should be drawing others to look at Christ in us, and in our smiling faces than in our bodies! 🙂 Can’t wait to read more about this in Girl Defined as I think you and Kristen embody this concept of modesty so so well 🙂

  • Just. Gross. I thought stubbies (do short-shorts get called that over there?) were bad, but now we’re down to this.
    The clothing stores should be careful what they push though, because with the way things are going now, it won’t be that long before people quit wearing clothing altogether! Kidding…but seriously people…get dressed before you leave the house!

  • Alicia Spaltner

    Ugh, I just got back from Lifest in a nearby city. Basically a huge Christian music festival. My sisters, my sister’s in Christ, …almost every single one…denim underwear or LESS! crop tops..transparent clothing..ect. I am 23, I have a 4 year old little boy, I have a 22 year old husband. Do those girls know how that affects others? My poor husband, how could I get mad at him when he goes to turn from an imodest girl only to be confronted with one who is even worse? Oh Lord Jesus. I am tempted to wear trendy clothes that show skin, but God so help me I will never fall to those lies from Satan. The eye is the lamp of the body (Matthew 6:22) what goes in comes out. Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves in the garden, but God said that was not good enough, so He made them clothing from an innocent animal. *Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin, but God required an innocent blood sacrifice to cover their shame* Jesus open the eyes of my sisters to this aweful scheme of the Devil! Amen.

  • Mimi

    Oh, boy, have I noticed the denim underwear trend! I have two unbeiliving sisters who wear them. I think its just plain dumb. When you get married you want to present your body to your husband in a God honering way, right? And if you wear underwear in public, how pure for your husband are you gonna be? Besides, its called UNDER wear for a reason galls! It’s meant to be worn UNDER clothing, not as!

  • Alaina

    I have to admit, that there was a time in my early twenties when I was rebellious and didn’t care to honor God, and my faith was low. I owned a pair of “denim underwear” as you call them, shorts that were so short that my backside was pretty much hanging out. I ride horses and most of my jeans are dirt stained and not so great looking in public, but instead of wearing the stained, but more modest jeans out in public, I choose to wear the inappropriate shorts. And I’m horrified to say that I even wore them to church one Sunday. I was full of pride, thought my body looked sexy, and I wanted to show it off, even in God’s house. I am horrified nowadays at what I did, and I think about how I was a disgrace walking around (especially being a distraction for the men (fellow brothers in Christ) in that church. I hate to think that I was probably a cause for lust and temptation when I went out dressed the way I did. Now I’m in my later twenties, and have a close relationship with the Lord. I have asked him to forgive me for my shameful behavior, and now I try to dress in a way that is approprate and modest. It still is a struggle, because almost all the clothing sold in stores is inappropriate, with tight jeans/leggings, denim “underwear shorts”, and see through and/or tight shirts. But I try to layer shirts with a camisole underneath if the shirt is too short, or shows cleavage so the cami covers that up, and I dont wear shorts any more, but instead will wear denim capris or jeans, and when wearing a dress in the winter that might be a little shorter than my knees, I will wear leggings underneath and a pair of ankle boots or dressy shoes, but leggings cover up any extra skin showing.

    It’s not always easy following God’s plan, but we as women want to bring people to the Lord, and we don’t want our bodies and us dressing immodestly to cause men to sin and fall to temptation and in the end, repelling them from having a relationship with God. We can’t let our sinful flesh and our vanity to take over, but we need to honor the commandments in the Bible to dress modestly. Even in the jeat of summer, when it might not be as motivating to stay covered up, in the end, we are honoring the Lord and we will be rewarded for our wise choices in how we dress.


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