Are Your Clothes Really Modest?

Are Your Clothes Really Modest?

by Jen

By Francesca Nishimoto

We may think we are dressed modestly when really we aren’t, even if we are following all the written rules.

Modesty is just as much about the spirit of the law as it is about the letter of the law.

Here are some ways to check for accidental immodesty before heading out the door.

  1. Sneaky Skin: You may not realize areas of skin that are showing because you cannot see them. Stand in front of a mirror and bend over in all directions. Check for skin showing on your backside, tummy, and chest. If you can see down your shirt, so can anyone else taller than you.
  2. Tight Clothing: Modesty not only means covering skin, but also covering curves. Men are just as interested in tight clothing that shows off every line of your body as they are in clothes that reveal those curvaceous body parts. Your clothes are too tight if you can’t pinch them, move around comfortably in them, or put them on easily.
  3. Glamour: Flashy, big, and too much jewelry; heavy, unnatural makeup; and incredible heel height make you look more like a woman of the world than a woman of the Lord. Modesty means not drawing attention to ourselves, obsessing over fashion and makeovers, or focusing on the “vain imaginations” of the world.1 The word modesty is related to the word moderate.2 Sister Tanner said, “A loving Heavenly Father has given us physical beauties and pleasures ‘both to please the eye and to gladden the heart’ (D&C 59:18), but with this caution: that they are ‘made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion’ (D&C 59:20).”3
  4. Underwear: Does the inside of your underwear drawer look like an adult-store catalog? The purpose of underwear is to cover and protect your private areas, not show them off. Wearing modest underwear, whether or not anyone else sees it, shows reverence for your sexual body parts and prepares you for all-covering garments. And make sure your underwear doesn’t peek outside your pants, especially when you bend or sit down.
  5. Church/Temple: You can be modest but still be inappropriately dressed for church or the temple. It won’t hurt to ditch the casual wear for three hours. Don’t overdo it either—church is not a fashion show. Wear clothing that makes you look your best while still helping you and others be reverent and focus on the Savior.

1 Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28.

2 Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 13.

3 ibid.

Francesca Nishimoto, mother of a cute baby boy, lives in Mesa, AZ, where her husband is finishing school. She graduated from BYU with a B.A in English Language and a minor in editing. She enjoys writing children's stories and blogging.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

dancegirl15 July 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Thanks a ton for this article.  I think its important that girls everywhere (especially LDS) know that tight clothing is considered immodest.


Lorinda August 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

I agree with this article. The part about guys seeing girls curves…. concerns me a bit. I think there is sometime so much attention to the guy part of modesty when being modest is about so much more than guys. I also agree that too tight of clothing is immodest,  but not because it shows curves. A YW has curves and they are going to show, tight clothes or not.


PC August 22, 2011 at 11:42 am

Take a look at Impel's jeans. Is this modest? The web catalog advertises "painted on" skinny jeans with ridiculously high heels.  I'm not a prude, but seriously?


Francesca August 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the great comments!
Lorinda, I agree that there is more to modesty than the guy part. That's what Jen Magazine tries to address when picking articles to be posted here–that which goes beyond what we always hear at church. However, I disagree with what you said about tight clothes. That is about guys, otherwise why would tight clothing be immodest since they can still cover? Of course curves still show, but a lot less suggestively under looser clothing.
Although modesty is more than just for moral purposes, it mostly is for moral purposes. When Adam and Eve were pure and innocent, they did not wear any clothing. They did know bad from good and did not have any inappropriate thoughts. It wasn't until they had fallen that they discovered their nakedness, knew it was wrong, tried hiding, and then were given clothes.


Sarah March 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A link to this article has been placed in our post called "The Modest Kosher Fit" (
Thank you very much for sharing this article.


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