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Project Modesty: Being More than a Cookie Cutter Girl

By: Kristen Clark

“But everyone else is wearing it, mom! I don’t want to stand out like a super weirdo,” I said through distressed tears.

This was me having a small meltdown. Scratch that. A major meltdown.

My mom wasn’t super excited about the shirt I was wearing and was encouraging me to put on something more modest. I was thirteen years old at this point and didn’t care about modesty at all. I wasn’t interested in “being different” and dressing like a frumpy old lady. To me, modesty meant grandma garb.

I rebelliously argued with her for a while, then finally gave in and changed my shirt.

As a young teenage girl I wanted to be cool. I wanted to be trendy. I wanted guys to notice me. I wanted other girls to like me. In my mind, dressing modestly would basically ruin all of that.

For several years I gave in to my parent’s wishes for me to dress modestly simply because they were my parents. I had to obey. I didn’t want to obey. Modesty wasn’t my conviction, it was my parents’. I was only playing the part.

Okay girls, let’s be real for a minute. How often have you done something simply because your parents made you do it?

How often have you obeyed on the outside, but hated every second of it on the inside?

That was me.

Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of Christian parents force their daughters to do something (like dress modestly) and the daughter hated it. Guess what happened when the daughter left home? Yep. She instantly changed her wardrobe fashion to reflect her true heart. She immediately ditched the modest clothes and wore whatever she felt like.

Her parents were left wondering “what went wrong? Why did our daughter abandon her ‘Christian’ convictions?”

Well…newsflash. She never had the convictions to begin with.

And that is exactly what my parents didn’t want to happen with me or my four younger sisters. They weren’t interested in forcing us to look like perfect little Christian girls. They were interested in teaching us on to think for ourselves.

As a result of this mindset, my parents rarely enforced any kind of rule without sharing the “why” behind the rule.

“Girls,” they would say, “we want you to dress modestly because we believe it honors God.”

They would expand on what modesty was and why it mattered.

As I reached my mid-high school years, something crazy happened.

I started to think for myself!

I started reading dozens of solid Christian books and learned what other Christian men and women had to say about modesty. To my utter shock, the Holy Spirit began opening my eyes and changing my desires. I began to see the value of dressing modestly. I began to see the purpose for wearing modest clothing.

Slowly but surely I adopted the “modesty conviction” for myself. As I graduated high school guess what happened? I didn’t go off the deep-end with my wardrobe. I didn’t abandon everything my parents ever taught me.

I continued to dress fashionably and modestly, because I wanted to. I had the personal conviction.

Listen girls.

When it comes to being a Christian, you have to think for yourself.

You have to learn to read the Bible and gain your own convictions about what you believe. Don’t piggy back on your parents. It doesn’t last.

We live in a culture where clothing and fashion rule the day. Trends come and go every year. As girls, we’re pushed to fit into a cookie cutter mould with our wardrobes. To be “cool” we’re pressured to wear whatever the latest trends are.

Midriff styles are back. We’re pressured to wear them.

Tiny rompers are back. We’re pressured to wear them.

High waisted tiny cutoff shorts are back. We’re pressured to wear them.

Two piece dresses are back. We’re pressured to wear them.

These trends suck Christian girls in because they’re popular and fashionable.

Just because these trends are in doesn’t mean they’re appropriate to wear though. As a Christian girl, you can’t be a product of our cookie cutter culture. You shouldn’t brainlessly wear the latest trends just because everyone else is.

Think for yourself. Establish your own convictions and stick to them. Raise the bar.

There’s a major lack of young Christians girls who think for themselves today. Many allow the culture to think for them. Especially when it comes to clothing.

As a result of this epidemic issue, Bethany and I decided to launch a countercultural fashion movement.

Say hello to Project Modesty.  

Over the next two weeks, GirlDefined is going to zero in on teaching you how to think for yourself when it comes to your wardrobe. We’re going to help you break free from the cookie cutter fashion trends and show you why modesty is so valuable.

We have some exciting surprises planned for you too. One of them is our brand new ebook that we recently wrote called Project Modesty: Honoring God with Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process.

This ebook is filled with everything from why we wear clothes, to what guys think about modesty, to dozens of how-to pictures on combining modesty and fashion.

We’ll also be releasing a brand new short video filled with inspiring ideas on how to combine fashion and modesty.

Bethany and I learned to think for ourselves and we want you to as well!

Don’t be a cookie cutter girl when it comes to your wardrobe choices. Be a thinker. Be intentional. Join us for the next two weeks as we dive into Project Modesty.

Let’s chat.

  • In what ways has our cookie cutter culture influenced your wardrobe choices?
  • Are you a thinker or a trend follower? Why?
  • Do you think it’s possible to combine modesty and fashion? How?

PS: The picture above was taken from the set of Project Modesty. Our three younger sisters helped us make this project even more awesome!

Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird with Sisters

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  • Lizzy

    I’ve never worn immodest clothes just because I follow my parents modesty standards. But I admit, there was a time when I wished that I could wear what everyone else was wearing because I wanted people to notice me. Particularly guys. I wanted a guy to think I was cute and take interest in me. And I thought I could accomplish that by wearing skimpier clothing and more makeup. But recently I realized that I would be getting the wrong attention. Thank goodness I never went down that path, for I fear that it would have ended badly. Although I’m still trying to be fashionable, I’m going to try to do it in a modest way.
    As always, great post Kristen.
    P.S. That is a beautiful picture of you and your sisters! How many siblings do you have?
    P.P.S. Do you think you could possible release a makeup tutorial on Youtube? You do such a great job and I’m really anxious to learn how to do makeup modestly.

    • Hey Lizzy! Thanks for being honest and transparent in your comment! Way to go on striving to honor God with your wardrobe. Keep it up! Great idea on the Youtube makeup tutorial. We’ll keep that idea in mind for sure! 🙂

      • Lizzy

        Yay! I hope you can do it!

  • Taylor

    I’m so excited for this!!! This is going to be great! Can’t wait!!! 😀 This is a huge area of my life where I really struggle at times, especially during the summer. My parents have always told to dress modestly, and not let me wear certain things, but they never really talked much about WHY dressing modestly is important and how to think for myself. It was more along the lines of “We are Christians, so we should dress modestly.” and that was about it. I’m only a couple years away from graduating high school & I definitely don’t want to be the girl that moves out and starts to dress super inappropriately. This is going to be such a great topic! Thank you for doing this! I really truly appreciate it! 🙂

    • Hey Taylor! Thanks for sharing. Understanding the “why” being dressing modestly is just as important as doing it! We hope this series has been an encouragement to you. Our new e-book goes in depth into the “whys” behind modesty. You can grab a copy here: http://www.girldefined.com/shop Thanks for commenting!

  • Dolly

    Quick question. I try to do my best dressing modestly, wearing things like loose jeans, shirts, skirts, etc. But whenever I put together these outfits, I look terrible. I committed to being modest, and I guess if it means looking drab, I”ll do it, but I’d really like to look pulled together like you lovely ladies do. If you could share with me some of your places to get clothes, I’d be so grateful! Also, girl commenting, if you have any good places to get modest clothes, would you mind sharing those with me as well?

    THANKYOU!

    • Thrift stores are the best places to find modest clothing! Almost all my clothes are from thrift stores, and I’ve found some of the cutest skirts and tops ever in places like Goodwill and Salvation Army! Also, if you’re good at sewing at all, you could make your own skirts; they’re very simple to make and you can easily customize them so they fit your personality and look great.

      • Dolly

        Hi Royalesia! I also love thrift stores! I really like them because I pay for all my own clothes, and at fifteen, it can get tricky. Plus, I totally agree that you can get some really cute stuff there.

        As for sewing, the best I can do is sewing hot rice bags. Otherwise keep that machine from me or someone will die!
        Thanks and God bless!
        Dolly

    • Elizabeth Williams

      Pinterest has so many amazing ideas if you search for modest fashion!

      • Dolly

        Hi Elizabeth! I never thought of that! Unfortunately, I don’t have social media. 🙁 Thanks again though for the idea! God bless
        Dolly

    • Hey Dolly! We totally feel your pain. We’ll put on outfits sometimes and feel totally drabby. Over the years we have learned many tips and tricks on how to combine fashion and modesty. I think our new e-book would be really inspiring to you! We also give an entire list of where we shop as well. You can read more about the e-book here: http://www.girldefined.com/shop

      • Dolly

        Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anna

    About girls “suddenly” going off the deep end when in reality it has been going on in their heart for a long time. I don’t think that it is ever a sudden thing though… just a final let loose of everything. Definitely think it’s important to tell kids as they are growing up the reasons why we do things the way we do. Looking forward to Project Modesty.

  • Hailey

    This is great! I would love some ideas for modest workout clothes. Normally I go for a T-shirt and those windbreaker pants, or else I just wear my softball stuff, but in the summer when it’s SO hot it’s hard to find anything besides short, tight shorts.

  • Nicole

    YEAH!!! Can’t wait!!!

  • Soooo looking forward to this ebook!

  • I can hardly wait to read the ebook! I have been thinking about modesty a lot the last couple of days. Could I get y’all’s feedback on something? I am, I guess what you could call, a “modest fanatic”. I know what God wanted me to do (and not do) with showing my body and I have stuck with that. Actually most of the time I can get pretty nit-picky. A couple of weeks ago my momma bought me a couple of SUPER cute shirts. They are not too tight or short. But one of them has thin sleeves that “show” my shoulder underneath. I’ve been hesitant to wear the shirt because I’ve never worn anything like that. I’ve asked a couple of people about it and they say it’s not immodest; that you can’t even tell that’s my shoulder underneath. But I’m still hesitant. I’m not sure if it’s just me being nit-picky or if it’s an actual red-flag. My gut instinct is to not wear it because I keep thinking about it. But that also makes me hesitate. Thoughts?

    • Hey Kayla! Thanks for being so open and honest with your questions. It’s so refreshing to hear from young women who are sensitive to God’s calling to dress modestly. Keep it up! Don’t feel bad that you’re sensitive. That’s a really good thing! In our new e-book we share dozens of tips and tricks on how to transform “difficult” clothing items into something modest. It sounds like your new shirt is really cute…but if the shoulders seem too exposed to, just fix that by wearing a sleeveless tank top underneath. For more tips and tricks, check out our new e-book here: http://www.girldefined.com/shop

    • thehappygirl

      Hey @LilySetApart:disqus! I know this is a late answer, but I usually fix problems like that with a cute cardigan! You can find them pretty cheap and they’re right on trend. It’s so nice to see young ladies concerned about modesty! I just wish the rest of the world would catch on 😉 Props to you girlfriend!

  • Michayla

    I am SUPER DUPER excited to read the new ebook and follow along with project modesty! I love reading you guy’s posts; you’ve been such blessings. Thanks sooo much GirlDefined!

    Ps, you guys look very beautiful in the picture above.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Great post! I totally agree! You see so many young girls just following the rules and not having their own convictions. And of course, that never lasts. I’m glad God started speaking to my heart about this so that I can have my own convictions about modesty, as well as other things 🙂

  • Maria Wilson

    This article was very inspiring. This helps me learn how to think for myself and not fall into the fray of trending fashions.

  • Moriah Mari

    Yay!

    I think it’s possible to be modest and fashionable. Part of fashion is expressing who you are and if your modest (which I’d hope you are:) than that becomes part of your fashion.

    Excited for this series!

  • Maria V

    Awesome article! Modesty is definitely a needed topic to cover in this day and age!

  • Elizabeth

    I feel like I should note that while this article calls for young girls to “Think for themselves”…the five sisters pictured are virtually identical in dress/style/hair/etc. It seems they’ve all magically arrived at the exact same place in their “thinking”. How much independent thought is really taking place here?

    • Hey Elizabeth, thanks for stopping by. As sisters, yes, we all have similar fashion tastes. And there’s really nothing wrong with that. We each think for ourselves, but when you’re so close to someone, you naturally rub off on each other. 🙂

    • Celtic Princess

      I remember a humorous story about all of us girls dressing similarly: at our house, the younger girls always thought my oldest sister was ‘the bomb!’ so we wore pretty much whatever Erin wore. So once, when we were moving,and she started wearing a cowboy-style bandanna on her hair to keep it out of her way, so we all started wearing one because she did… no rule or anything, we just liked being like her. When we got to our destination, one of our neighbors said he had been wondering what denomination we were for a while (We’re pretty much Baptist), and whether we eat meat, because he wanted to give us a Texas-style, barbecue welcome, but didn’t want to offend us… (for the record, we do eat meat, we’re really hard to offend, and that was some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had!)

      As we’ve gotten older and developed different interests, jobs, etc. our clothing styles have morphed a bit as far as favorite colors or types of clothes, etc. but you can still pick us out pretty well based on the fact that we tend to think of similar clothes when we think of similar events (i.e. Capri leggings and a swim-skirt for Six Flags, Denim skirts or jeans of varying lengths and cowgirl boots for a fall party… my older sister and I wore practically the same dress to a friend’s wedding recently, and we left from different places and didn’t have a clue what the other was wearing!…) not because we or our parents all have the same rule, so much as that we’re really close and tend to be on the same brain wavelength pretty much all the time!

  • Sandra

    Thank you so much for sharing this.

    A few weeks ago, I found your blog by searching via Google and I read a few blogposts. Since I am a new Christian and my parents are not, I am looking for ways to live a good Christian life. Your blog helps me to learn more about the way God meant the world to be (is this a good English sentance?).

    When I first read a blogpost about modesty on this blog – a few weeks ago – I could certainly say I agree with what you wrote. This world – and not only in America, but also in the Netherlands – is about showing your body. ‘Lust’ is the main word when people talk about fashion. When reading your post I decided to py more attention on how I dress. I want to thank you so much for this eye opener and I am looking forward for more blogposts about modest clothing.

    Thank you so much and God bless you!

    Greetings from the Netherlands

    • Hey Sandra! We are so excited that you found our blog! We pray our posts and videos continue to encourage you in your walk with God. 🙂 Keep shining a light in the Netherlands. We were just in Holland several weeks ago!

  • Gisela

    I am a new Christian,4 months ago I couldn’t even think to dress the way I dress now,before,I wanted to be seen,I mean I wanted guys to have desire for me,I thought that it would validate my beauty,when I gave my life to Jesus,the Holy Spirit in the most beautiful way started to change me,even the way I dress,I didn’t have one skirt in the closet now I wear them more than jeans,I never ever thought that I could be feminine in a modest way,my little tiny dress,the one I wore to feel wanted is in the garbage where it should be,I don’t need that anymore,I can’t even imagine wearing something like that again,before I needed certain type of clothes to validate the fact that I’m pretty;now I see that I truly am.
    Kisses from Mozambique/Africa.

    • Hey Gisela! Praise the Lord for the way God has changed your heart and opened your eyes. Welcome to the family of God! It’s so encouraging for us to hear from our sisters-in-Christ from around the world. We pray our ministry continues to encourage you!

  • Santa

    May God bless the awesome work you are doing its a huge encouragement to me as a new christian. Thank you a lot
    Greetings from Kenya,Africa

    • Hey Santa! We send our greetings back to you! Thanks for reading our posts.

  • “Think for yourself. Establish your own convictions and stick to them. Raise the bar.”
    Yes!

    Even though modesty was never emphasized in my family, it’s something I’ve always naturally done. Even when I was young I was really particular about not wearing low cut tops and finding swim tops that aren’t too revealing, which always made shopping a chore for me (and honestly, it still is a lot of the time!). Looking forward to reading your series, especially since I think you girls always have such a pretty outfits in all the photos I’ve seen!

  • Amalia

    I really don’t like the insinuation that women who don’t cover themselves up don’t “think for themselves.” You want to talk about the societal pressure for women to wear crop tops, short shorts, etc., but I personally can tell you that the only pressure I’ve ever felt regarding what I wore came from slut-shaming peers, parents, and teachers. People very much like yourself. Slapping the label of “cookie cutter girl” onto women who make the personal choice to dress differently from you is degrading and demeaning, and does your gender no favors.

    • Amalia, thanks for stopping by! Obviously we have extremely different worldviews and mindsets regarding fashion and clothing. As Christians girls, we (GirlDefined) strive to teach Biblical truth on this blog. Modesty is a beautiful thing and something God desires for guys and girls to pursue. If you take a step back and look at our culture, it’s pretty obvious what kind of fashion trends and pressure is influencing the majority of women and girls. It’s definitely not modesty. There’s virtually no pressure to dress modestly today. The truth is… God created clothes to cover our intimate body parts. When we uncover, we should feel ashamed, because it’s wrong and against God’s plan for us. Modesty is our way of acknowledging God’s plan for clothing as well as respecting our bodies.

  • Emma V

    I loved this post!!! My parents like the idea of modesty but your “standards” seem different than ours. Our basic ones are it cant be to short which is over half way on our thighs and it cant show our belly. I would love to know what your guys are and raise my modesty bar lol 🙂 by the way I tried to buy the Project Modesty book and your site wouldn’t let me is there another way I could get it? Thank you!! God Bless


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