Why Modesty? Ask A Guy!

This is an awesome Catholic guy named Jason Evert talking about why modesty is important from a guy's point of view. Very insightful. Check out his other videos too-- this guy rocks! -Jen

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Of course it's fun! It's a girl thing.

By Megan Walter

Okay-so we dress modest. We look for affordable prices. If you're anything like me, you can't find affordable, pretty, and modest clothes!

Here are a few things I've learned over the years:

  • Look for sales! At malls, Burlington, Marshalls (my particular fav), and anywhere else there might be something with long sleeves and long skirts.
  • Thrift shops! I've found a few nice things myself. And they are so cheap!
  • Online! There are two online shops that have a few cute tops and bottoms: dELiA*s, and Alloy. Check back often, and wait for sales. I love the t-shirts they have!
  • Make your own! Ok, so that doesn't sound very exciting, but, hey! It can be fun if you want! I mean, you can make it any size, any color, and with the help of a sewing machine, it's a snap. And that doesn't rule out knitting, crochet, etc. (I made my own poncho once!)

Where there's a will, there's possibility. If you're anything like I was, you probably get embarrassed about dressing modestly from time to time. Here's a little something for you: There was this teenage girl that was going to the grocery store. She was wearing a long black and white polka-dot skirt that touched her toes and a simple red turtleneck. At the checkout counter, some lady wouldn't stop staring at her. Just as she was leaving, the lady said “Hey wait! I wanted to tell you how pretty you're dressed! My daughter absolutely refuses to wear anything other then jeans, mini skirts and tube tops. I just wanted to tell you that you must be a wonderful person. Keep it up. And you're so pretty, by the way!” (True story.) She thought that the girl was a beautiful person because of the way she dressed! Now, isn't wearing modest clothes worth it? And looking for affordable prices too?



Megan Walter is a teenager in Virginia. Homeschooled, she enjoys writing, reading and havin' lots of fun.

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The Cold Shoulder: To See or Not to See?

By Jennifer Loch

Latter-Day Saints believe in covering the shoulders for modesty, and I recently received this email from an LDS teen:

"Ok, so i still have a hard time staying modest. Especially when summer is around. I went shopping yesterday and i found it so hard to stay away from racerback styled tank tops. I don't understand why its such a big deal, i could see spaghetti straps but racerbacks? Its not like guys get attracted to our shoulders like more feminine parts of a womens body right? I just don't understand, i've fallen in to the habit of just slipping on a tank top everyday for school, putting on a sweatshirt for seminary and taking it back off the moment i get back in the highschool building. Even my mother has started noticing. Please help me understand why tank tops are so bad?"

I felt the same way when I was a teen. I wore tank tops, and I didn't understand why I wasn't supposed to wear them. It's not that wearing a tank top is so bad; there are worse things you could be wearing, or doing for that matter. Tank tops are comfortable and I loved wearing them. But I also felt guilty that I wasn't following the rules of my religion and it crept into my mind that I could break other rules as well, so it lead to other things.

I've heard that you should think of it like a test; it's a part of the religion that you believe in, so you believe that God is asking you to do it. He's asking you to do something that you might not understand, but if you obey him you are proving your obedience to him, and he will bless you for it.

If you're looking to date a good LDS guy who goes on a mission and lives the gospel, he will be looking for the same in you. If a guy like that sees that you aren't following the rules, he might think that you don't live the gospel in other ways and you aren't the kind of girl for him.

Shoulders may not be as sexy as cleavage, but men do find them attractive. It's not something they think about, it's more subconscious. Now that I'm married and wear garments, my husband has said on several occasions when I wasn't dressed or was wearing a swimsuit "Oh, your shoulders! I never get to see them when you're dressed. I never thought about shoulders being sexy but now I see why garments cover your shoulders and back because they're really sexy."

And if you think about it, most outfits that are supposed to look sexy show your back and/or shoulders. Just think about what the female celebrities wear on the red carpet. It's almost always something that shows the shoulders or back. When I wore tank tops, I always thought I looked better in them than in tops that covered my shoulders. "I have nice shoulders," I thought. But it actually goes back to the fact that subconsciously we think of showing shoulders as more attractive, sexy or glamorous, and that's why I thought I looked better in tank tops.

When I got married at 20, it was frustrating because I didn't have much I could wear with garments. I wished I had prepared earlier by wearing the kinds of clothes I could wear with garments. I had to change my habits, get rid of some clothes, and start layering.

Sometimes I miss the cool comfort of a tank top, which makes me wish I hadn't been spoiled by wearing them in the first place. But I still buy and wear tank tops; I just use them as layering pieces now. So you can still get use out of your tank tops while covering your shoulders. Just wear them over or under something that covers the shoulders instead of wearing them alone. Wearing a little shrug over a tank top can be a good place to start.

Hope this helps!     -Jen

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No, Really – It’s a Good Thing!

By Rebecca Reichl

Sometimes modesty is just frustrating. Do you ever feel like you’re just never going to be able to get it right? Do you ever wish that you could just not have to struggle with it? Do you ever think, “You know, it would really be nice if for once I could just go to the store and buy an outfit like a normal person?”

Me too. For me, modesty is one of those practical virtues that is so pretty in the ideal. If, lying in bed at night, I were to do word associations for “modesty,” the list would be so inspiring. Femininity. Godliness. Grace. Beauty. Elegance. Confidence. Chastity. The list goes on. In my head, modesty is a sign of maturity, a sign of a girl who cares for others, a sign of self-respect and self-worth. In my head, modesty is an ideal, an admirable achievement of a lovely woman.

And then . . . I go shopping. Then, I have to get dressed for school. Then, I have to go to a wedding. Then, I get frustrated.

Modesty isn’t easy. And, while it doesn’t have to be drudgery, sometimes it seems like life would just be a whole lot easier if I could just erase my beliefs and start over again.

It’s at this point in my moment of self-pity that I need to slow down and take a minute to remember why modesty matters in the first place.

There’s a reason that I associate all those wonderful words with modesty - it’s because they’re all true! The girl who is modest is beautiful. She is elegant, confident, feminine. She respects herself, and she respects those around her.

The heart of the question is - who am I doing this for? It’s not for your parents, or for your church. Ultimately, it’s not even for the guys around us. Dressing modestly is our chance to let purity shine through. It’s our chance to be confident in our femininity, without degrading ourselves into an object. It’s an opportunity to display maturity and to uplift those around us by showing the loveliness of a tasteful woman.

The next time you’re getting dressed or going shopping and start getting frustrated, give yourself a little pep talk. Look your mirror in the eye and tell that disgruntled girl staring back at you that modesty is beautiful. Modesty is feminine. And so are you.

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From Catwalk to Church Aisle

By Brianne Ogden

For as long as I can remember, Church has been a fashion show of sorts. Whether it was trying to dazzle the Priests or outshine the other Laurels, when Sunday morning rolled around, clothes went flying.

Also, for as long as I can remember, Sunday mornings have been a frantic, frenzied, chaotic couple of hours. It was thirty minutes in the shower, shaving my legs to perfection. An hour in my closet, inevitably resulting in half of the contents on the floor in a colorful mound. Forty-five minutes spent on my hair, straightening it or pinning it until my forearms ached. Matching eye shadows, the perfect belt, a few rings, a brooch, and on those particularly rushed mornings, closed toed shoes to cover up chipped toenails. And that was just High School.

When I entered college, I found myself in a completely different playing field. Living in Huntington Beach, California for my first year, I found myself encompassed in a virtual Vogue fashion spread. My first week at church, girls were walking into the stake center like models off the catwalk.

Pencil pinstriped skirts with silk designer blouses. Authentic vintage dresses from the 50’s. Four inch heels, patent leather, bright red. Gucci, Fendi, Prada. Perfect nails to match the headband, perfect headband to match the shoes, perfect shoes to match the skirt. Every young college girl with stunningly coifed, beach bunny blond curls.

And there I was, in my pleated forty-dollar skirt from Nordstrom, the one that always got me a compliment or two back at home. Only here—it was my Schwinn ten-speed compared to their luxury private jet.

From then on, it was an hour in the shower. An hour and a half on my hair, plus the two hundred dollar dye job. It was two hours every Saturday night painting my nails, carefully inserting fake eyelashes, and ironing that Armani blouse, that had me in debt for a month, to perfection. It was fret and time spent on color coordinating every last detail.

This process was enormously draining. By the time I settled in my seat at church, I was so uncomfortable. Nothing felt natural. It was a constant battle. I had to sit in a way that my dress wouldn’t wrinkle, but in a way that showed my most flattering angle. I couldn’t move my head too much, it wasn’t worth it to risk messing up my painstakingly pinned up hair. Taking all that into consideration, bending over to pick up the hymnbook or my scriptures off of the ground was out of the question.

What was I getting out of church? Sadly, this was a question that never made it past all of the superficial, shallow worries in my mind.

I am older now. Sometimes I won’t shave my legs for a week. If my nails are chipped, I’ll deal. But there will be a Sunday here and there that if I can’t find a flawless article to wear, I feel like crawling back into bed and sleeping until my wardrobe transforms into something more satisfactory.

A couple of weeks ago while in England with some friends, I was getting ready for church when I realized that I packed absolutely nothing suitable for church. When really I had a few options, only none of them were appealing to me at the moment. It wasn’t until my friend said something to me, that my whole entire perspective on the situation did a one-eighty. She said, “Heavenly Father does not care how stylish you are.” Such a simple notion. Why had it taken twenty-four years for me to realize it?

As young single adults, living in a fashion-soaked generation, it often feels like looking cutting edge is the only thing that matters. Sometimes we give up what we want most, for what seems important to us at the time. I gave up years of my life to that superficial little devil on my shoulder.

I went to church that beautiful day in England. My dress was a little less than stylish, a little less than cute. But for the first time in my life, I cared about how my Heavenly Father saw me, and not how all of my peers saw me. I felt utterly content.

Brianne Ogden attends Southern Virginia University, where she is currently studying philosophy and serving as the Editor in Chief of the school's newsmagazine.

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Dressing Modestly Isn’t Easy! Or Is It?

By Jenna Kim Jones

Dressing immodestly has a lot more cons than you might think...
At times, dressing modestly can feel quite boring. And quite inhibiting. And irritating. Not to mention dumpy. And ugly. And... understand what I’m saying? How many sweaters can a girl own? How many extra long t-shirts and capris can a young woman stand to wear?

Dressing modestly can feel stifling but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier to dress immodestly. Stop. Before you ever slip into that kind of thought, I am here to prove mini skirt designers wrong. It may be hard to feel cute and hip in modest clothing, but dressing immodestly has a lot more cons than you might think.

Modest clothing can help girls avoid embarrassing situations.

I have several guy friends who have expressed their distaste for girls who wear low-ride pants. They have been forced to sit behind such girls in a classroom or at church or at a restaurant. A young woman guilty of this may wear pants that show her underwear and worse her lack of underwear and her, I can’t believe I’m typing this, plumber’s crack. Girls, we should NEVER have a plumber’s crack. That is reserved for overweight middle-aged men with large guts.

Low ride pants are just too low. But there is something much higher that I might argue is worse: the mini-mini skirt. I say mini-mini because I think mini skirts are actually shorter than they were a few years ago. I don’t have the body for mini-mini skirts like the ones from Abercrombie and Fitch so they have NEVER been a temptation but I’ve seen way too many mini skirts on girls who should not be wearing them. Heck, no one should wear them. Ever ride up an escalator behind a girl in a mini skirt? I feel sorry for you. The view isn’t very appetizing. Girls, don’t give free shows at the shopping mall. Put on a skirt longer than the length of my hand. Please? It’s just embarrassing.

This last embarrassing experience with immodest clothing didn’t happen to me but it was so mortifying, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl. She was at a pool party with her friends. They were having a cannon ball competition and whoever could make the biggest splash was proclaimed the winner. This poor girl was the last to jump in. She did more than make a big splash. After landing in the water, her swimsuit top was the first to reach the surface. She covered herself as much as she could, grabbed her suit, and ran inside but only after everyone had seen more than they ever should. Had she been wearing a more modest swimsuit, she could have avoided this situation. Moral of the story? Don’t do a cannon ball in a bikini? NO! Don’t wear bikinis. They don’t stay put and most of them look trashy. Consider yourself warned.

Many immodest tops and dresses require girls to go braless.

Do you know how important bras are? Now I know that there are bras with crazy straps or no straps and cups that you tape or glue on but those bras usually don’t give you the support you need. And without that much needed support, can you spell S-A-G-G-Y? Bras can be incredibly uncomfortable. That is why is it important to invest in quality, well-fitted bras. Get measured and spend a few extra dollars. It is worth it.

It is simple girls; wear clothes that require a bra.

The more skin you show, the bigger you look.

Clothes are flattering. Clothes hide parts of the body that shouldn’t be exposed. Too few clothes, unless you are a size nothing, can make you look…fat. I said it and I’m sticking to it. Come on girls, we don’t want to look fat. We want to look like we fit into our clothes. Immodest clothing often makes a girl look like she might be exploding out of them. Clothes can and should make a statement. But large and in charge is probably not the impression a young woman would like to make.

Unfortunately, the role models for young women are celebrities who spend the majority of their lives working on their bodies. They have time and money, plastic surgeons and eating disorders. Because they are negative sizes, they look a little better in shorts and a halter than say, the average size 8 American girl.

Remember, the more you wear, the skinnier you look. Unless of course you are wearing giant sweatpants and sweatshirts. In that case you just need a little fashion 911.

Ever heard the phrase, “you are what you eat?”

Unfortunately, the same goes with clothing. You are what you wear. Or at least, people might assume you are what you wear because we are all guilty of, and I’m about to use another cliché, judging a book by its cover. The clothing a young woman wears leaves a lasting impression on the people who have to look at her. This is especially true in terms of guys. It is hard for a nice young man to respect a sweet young girl who is wearing a tube top and mini-mini skirt. She could be the nicest thing but her clothes tell a different story.

And really girls, should we be putting those kinds of thoughts into a young man’s brain? I don’t think so!

Don’t be a victim of immodest clothing.

Do you see my point? Dressing modestly seems a little easier now, don’t you think? Immodest fashion is bad news. It isn’t easier to wear unless you like to show your stuff, starvation diets, and mean judgments thrust upon you. If you want to live life like that, you need more than a makeover. You need therapy!

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Modesty: The Ancient Secret of Allure

By Basya Speshel


In today's world of nudity appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair, legal pornography, and court battles over public thong wear, one might expect the value of modesty in dress and behavior to have long hidden itself under a rock. The online version of the Miriam Webster Dictionary defines modest as :

1 : freedom from conceit or vanity
2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

Perhaps the internet would seem the last place to seek support for modesty in today's world. However, there are in fact sites dedicated to a quiet counter revolution towards modesty rather than away from it. We sent questions to several sites dedicated to modesty and present here replies that will inform you about today's state of modesty on the internet.

1) What do you feel are the greatest advantages of dressing modestly in today's world?

Dara of www.modestclothes.com replies: From an internal, spiritual standpoint, dressing modestly is one of the easiest ways to help one stay on the straight path and to be close to God, but 'easy' is a relative term isn't it? One may find it difficult to dress modestly while surrounded by today's messages of beauty, but think about the other internal and external struggles you face trying to do what is right. Isn't the simple act of choosing a different style of clothing easy compared to other struggles?

From an external, worldly standpoint, a modest dresser has a better chance of giving a first impression that reflects her intellect and interests rather than her physical attributes below the neck. If one wants to give a first impression based on intellect and interests, then dressing modestly gives one this advantage. After the first impression though, modest clothing won't hold up the image if one doesn't back it up with matching conduct.

Jen of www.JenMagazine.com replies: There are many advantages of dressing modestly but I'll just talk about one. I think that dressing modestly gives girls the advantage of attracting guys who are decent and are looking for something more than sex. It's a way to weed out the guys who aren't worth the girl's time and find the ones who are.

Although girls do sometimes approach guys, most of the time girls like to wait for a guy to first show an interest in them. So a girl's dating options are then limited to the males who have shown an interest in her or asked her out. A guy looking for a girlfriend doesn't have much to go on when he looks around at girls he doesn't yet know, and the way a person dresses is one of the few visible clues that can be used to try to figure out what they are like.

A guy looking for a girlfriend who has higher morals will look for a girl who dresses more conservatively while still being attractive. A guy looking mainly for sex will look for a girl who shows a lot of skin, wears tight clothing, and in other ways seems like she is trying to be sexy or attract someone for sex. Notice that the way a girl dresses might not be indicative of her morals at all, but males will still judge her based on her clothing because it is the easiest and most obvious way of guessing what she is like.

A girl who is looking for a decent boyfriend but dresses immodestly may unknowingly be hurting her odds and instead be attracting males who will be destructive to her. Date rape is common and it often occurs when a guy thinks the girl he is dating is willing to have sex with him and then (sometimes in the heat of the moment) he finds out that she isn't. Date rape is not the girl's fault, but a girl can better protect herself from date rape by making sure she isn't unknowingly sending a message she doesn't mean to send.

2) Why did you decide to build a web site about modesty?

Dara: It took me a lot of time surfing the Web to populate my personal list of modest clothing sites after I decided to dress more modestly. I imagined how much time would be collectively wasted by current and future modest dressers if we were all doing the same searches over and over. Plus, I wanted practice building a Web site, so I thought publishing my list would be a good way to get practice while contributing something to society.

I had two reasons for adding the other links outside my own niche. One reason was simply to help other ladies find, with less effort, the kind of modest clothing they wear. The greater reason though that got me excited was that I thought I could convey a subtle message of unity among ladies of different faiths if all the links were on one Web site. We can be reminded that even though we don't agree on theology, women who dress modestly to please God have at least that in common. I know the reaction to this idea has the potential to be, "Well, that's all we have in common, because they aren't going to heaven!" But the reaction I'm hoping to elicit is more like, "Oh, I didn't know they even have standards of modesty. Granted, they're not like mine, but any woman who has the courage to follow any standards of modesty in this day and age shares something with me."

Jen: I decided to build a web site about modesty to help young religious girls; to give them a resource to turn to and help them feel that they aren't alone in their beliefs about modesty. I also wanted to provide an alternative to the popular magazines that, although fun to read, glamorize immodest clothing and behaviors.

3) What words of advice would you give to today's young lady trying to maintain standards of modesty?

Dara: If you're trying to maintain standards of modesty for religious reasons, then consider this analogy. Your teacher hands back your exam, and you've received an 'F'. You're floored and desperately glance around at your neighbors' papers to see if you're the only one who has done poorly. You are. Almost convinced that you should have done better, you ask your teacher about the exam. He says, "Oh yes, I graded your paper with the answer key for a different exam." Are you going to turn around and sit down accepting your poor grade as is? Of course not. That's not even a question. You're going to ask to have your exam graded with the proper answer key. So too stick up for yourself when you're unjustly comparing yourself to the model in the magazine. Tell yourself to quit grading yourself with the wrong answer key. Some young women are conducting themselves to receive the rewards of this life, but if you're being raised to live a Godly life, you're trying to conduct yourself to receive the better rewards of the next life, and the rules aren't the same.

Remember too that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence. You may be wistfully gazing across the room (in a public school) at a "hot" girl wishing you could wear makeup not realizing that she may be thinking of you, "Look at her. She's so self-confident and happy with life, and she's not even allowed to wear makeup or jewelry. I look hot, but my life is in the dumps."

Everyone has something. Everyone has something in their life that they struggle with—we just can't always see it. If we could see it, we'd probably stop wishing we could be them.

Jen: I would tell young ladies trying to maintain standards of modesty "Keep living what you believe. There are two ways you can look at your beliefs; you can think of your beliefs as something that makes you unique and be proud of those beliefs, or you can look at your beliefs as something that makes you different and be embarrassed of those beliefs. If you act embarrassed then other people won't respect your beliefs either; they will assume there is something about your beliefs to be embarrassed about. If you act proud then other people will see that and assume that there is something cool or interesting about your beliefs."

4) What do you think the near future holds for the topic of modesty on the internet?

Dara: I think we'll continue to see modest dressers speaking up to get their voices heard in the larger society. Modest dressers are fighting an attitude that modesty is old-fashioned and that modest dressers need to catch up to 21st century styles.

In return, I think we'll keep hearing the defensive arguments from the if-you've-got-it-flaunt-it camp that demonstrate that we're not really being truly understood, and, unfortunately, pictures on our clothing sites will continue to be the butt of jokes and insults in online groups.

Fortunately, some stores, some individuals, some journalists, some writers, and others will understand us, respect us, and maybe even try to help us—even if they don't want to dress modestly themselves.

Jen: I think modesty will continue to be a popular topic among religious people on the internet. The internet is great in that it allows people to learn about, find, and purchase things that aren't available locally, so I think modest clothing will continue to be found and sold online.

True freedom of choice can only be exercised when a person has choices. In today's world of disappearing clothing, one may feel like there is little choice left about modesty in dress and behavior. These sites and others fill the part of the spectrum that allows true freedom of choice by informing us about modesty online.

Copyright (c) Basya Speshel

About the author:
Basya Speshel writes for http://www.sewmodestclothing.com about topics in modesty. The site posts reviews of sewing patterns appropriate for modern dress, book reviews, and articles related to modest clothing. Visit today for more modest clothing resources or to post your own reviews.
This article may be freely distributed; Resource Box Must Stay Attached.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Basya_Speshel

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What's the Motive?

By Sharon Neville

Have you ever wondered why people wear immodest clothing? Well it's usually because they want to be popular and show off skin. Once they get used to showing off a little skin then they show off a little more and a little more. When people resort to being immodest it usually means they don't get the attention that they want so they’re looking for other means.

My whole life I've been LDS and I've seen people wearing shirts that are a little low, shirts that don't cover their stomachs, and mini skirts that are too high. Now in this day and age there are still people who are LDS and wear immodest clothing that isn't uplifting to the Lord. Everybody needs to stay away from that harmful source of sin. There are even simple things you can do if you're willing to put in that extra effort.

All of us need to be as far away from the border line in wearing immodest clothes as possible. People say to themselves "Oh, if I just pull down my skirt then it'll be fine". Then they get used to saying that to themselves and then they don't seem to care about it.

If we are wearing longer skirts and longer shirts then we don't even have to worry about being immodest because we always know in the back of our minds that we are keeping the Lord's commandments and listening to the prophets and what they've been saying about modesty. We should do it not only because of church standards but also for ourselves. People will respect us more if we respect our own bodies. The first step we should take is to go through our closets and throw out everything that we know the Lord wouldn't approve of!

Sharon Neville lives in North Salt Lake, UT and is going to school while living at home. She is the youngest of 7 children. She likes to scrapbook and use the computer.

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Modesty Through Example

By Jenny Longenecker

Everyone in church is always taught to be good examples because we can have a big influence on non-members. Though this may sound cliché, it is very true.

My extended family plays a big part in my life, but, outside of my immediate family, none of my relatives is a member of the church. This creates interesting moments during family parties, whether my grandmother is asking questions about the church, or my dad is saying a blessing over food in a midst of Catholics. It has also allowed me to share some things with a particular cousin of mine.

My cousin Elise* is one year younger than I and completely into the fashion scene. Several years ago when I was about twelve, we had gotten together at her house and decided to go through her closet. Elise took out some clothes that she wanted me to try on. However, I refused because they were immodest. Modesty was a foreign concept to Elise. I spent some time explaining that I would not wear tank tops, or two piece swim suits, etc.

This came into play later one summer at a birthday party for my dad’s cousin’s daughter. A Slip-n-Slide was set out for the kids. I had not brought a swimsuit, but Elise and her mom had brought two of Elise’s swimsuits: a one piece and two piece. My aunt told Elise to allow me to wear the two piece. But Elise said to her mom that I did not wear bikinis and that I would rather wear the one piece. Without any prompting from me, Elise had known what to say. By telling Elise my beliefs, I didn’t have to speak up for myself. Although Elise does not share my belief of modesty, she respects it.

I had another chance to teach someone else about my beliefs in modesty. I went shopping once with a friend of mine who decided to pick out an outfit for me. My friend went around the whole department of clothes, and nine times out of ten, picked out a piece of clothing that was immodest. I told her several times, “I won’t wear that.” She retorted that she was picking the outfit. My reply: “You can pick it, but I won’t wear it.” After awhile, my friend picked out clothes that were modest and I was willing to wear. Like Elise, she does not fully understand where I am coming from, but respects what I have chosen to wear and not wear. She also liked the aspect that in my religion, it is not just we cannot wear that, we cannot listen to that—we’ve made the decision not to.

If we want to be good examples, may I offer a quote to be of some help: “Live in such a way, that those who know you, but don’t know Christ, will want to know Christ, because they know you.” I think that is something we should and can all strive to do and be. One day our example will truly have an effect on someone, now or in the future.

*Name has been changed.

Jenny Longenecker lives in Bettendorf, Iowa. She is currently a freshman in high school. Jenny has one brother and loves to write. She also enjoys playing the flute and the piano.

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How Clothing Influences Your Relationships



By Nick Sidwell


“Sometimes we don’t realize how far the ripples reach when we throw a rock into a pond. The fact is, those ripples that we cause, may affect others though we are unaware of the damage. So, it is important to remember that our actions always have consequences and we will always affect those around us. Just like those ripples in the pond; sometimes we have no control over where they go and what happens with them. It’s best not to throw the rock.” --Josh K.

I am a student at SUU in southern Utah. I study communications because communication is all about how the messages we send change the world around us. They especially change the relationships we develop with others. Relationships have always been important to me because I knew someday I would be married forever in the temple and I needed to find the right person. And, I was married there, to the right person! My wife, Sarah, is my best friend!

When I was dating after I turned 16, I had lots of fun learning about new people and what I liked about them. I still remember being astounded when I found out that girls use signs and gestures to show guys what they think or feel. Like how they sit when they are by you can say a lot. I started noticing these little signs more and more and tried to guess if they liked me or not based on the little messages. It turns out; they have classes that teach about nonverbal communication and relationships- that’s where I am today.

Like I said, communication is all about messages being sent back and forth. Through dating I learned to read these messages and interpret them the best I could. Every thing we do sends a message and we are always communicating. Even the clothing we wear sends a message about us.

I just finished a huge research paper about the influence that clothing has on relationships. I studied a lot of people and what researchers have said about clothing and relationships. The results were very interesting, especially about immodest clothing. In dating and meeting someone for the first time, the clothing you choose tells a story about you for the other person. In the case of immodest clothing, the story in not a good one. The girls that wore revealing clothing made the other person uneasy and uncomfortable. Even girls were uncomfortable with other girls that wore immodest clothing. The most interesting was the boys’ response. It got their attention at first but most of them decided to back off the relationship or not approach them at all because they felt uneasy about the clothing.
I learned a valuable lesson. We can tell who has “… [His] image in [their] countenances…” (Alma 5:14) and we feel good around those who have the “light of Christ” because that is the message they send out through their choice of clothing. Those who know their body is the temple of the Holy Ghost have the spirit with them. Those who show off their bodies and invite the world in don’t keep the spirit with them and they make us uncomfortable. My friends and several guys I hang out with look for those who always dress modestly because we appreciate that they take our feelings into consideration. When the weather gets hot we often comment about having to always look at the ground because girls wear less clothing and our thoughts become uncontrollable. It’s a constant struggle that I hate being burdened with. It’s not fair, but I don’t think girls know or understand it.

Since studying the influence that clothing has on others, I thank girls who wear modest clothing and act modestly. They are the ones who have a positive affect on those around them, without even knowing it. I know the Lord gave us a body just like His. He wants us to be happy and “let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [Him]…” (Matt. 5:16) Thank you, to all those who send out the right message, that they love the Lord; I know he is pleased with you. I appreciate you.

About the author: Nick Sidwell is 24 and lives in Cedar City UT but is originally from SLC. He is studying Communications and Spanish at SUU (Southern Utah Univ.) He and his wife Sarah (age 22) were married in the Manti temple a year and 1/2 ago. Nick served a mission in Torreón, Mexico. Sarah is a new 4th grade teacher- and loves children. They hope to raise righteous kids someday that dress modestly and love the Lord ;)





You can reach Nick at sidwello@yahoo.com
Or at: 655 South 300 W. apt. B4
Cedar City, Utah 84720

Feel free to comment, respond, ask advice or give advice and money… they also accept Walmart gift-cards ;)

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What Guys Are Saying About Modesty

These are emails and excerpts from emails I've received from guys (posted here with permission). -Jen

"I'm not Mormon, but I really do prefer modest apparel over, well, not-so-modest apparel on girls to the extent, in fact, that I'm more likely to approach them. Is it because I don't think I can "get with" girls who dress explicitly? Quite the opposite. It's because modest clothes give me the impression that I can have a real conversation with a girl. When I see a girl in modest (but still cute) attire, I often see a girl who is more of a thinker and thus someone who is more interesting than the average girl."

~Alex, 19 years old, College Student in New York, and not your average Christian.


"I study interpersonal communication and I found out lots of neat things about the clothes we wear. The most astounding was that immodest clothing has a HUGE impact on relationships that are just beginning and when you meet somebody for the first time. All the stats showed that immodest clothing made people feel very uncomfortable, especially when females wore it. Even other girls were uncomfortable around them. The girls who wear revealing clothing are sacrificing a lot, even in relationships. They may be getting the exact opposite of what they are trying to achieve.

One of the things I really worry about is modesty and the youth... So many wear questionable clothing... It was so hard for me to deal with the unwanted visual stimulation while dating, and I still find it disturbing now at college."

~Nicholas K. Sidwell, 24

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Understanding Modesty

Modest ClothingHi, it's Jen!

When I was a teen I didn't understand modesty. When I asked my Mom why modesty was important she'd say "If you dress immodestly guys will get the wrong idea. They'll view you as an object. They'll think bad things. People will judge you." And I thought "Well that's their problem! I respect myself, and I shouldn't have to change the way I dress just because of what other people think!"

So as a young teen I didn't pay much attention to modesty and just dressed how I wanted. I was changing from a girl to a woman and I wanted to look attractive and sexy so guys would like me. My idea of the way a young woman should dress was set by what I saw in magazines and in MTV music videos.

Unfortunately, I ended up being a victim of date rape at an early age. At first I didn't want to think of myself as a victim, so I convinced myself it was something I chose-- and I mostly blamed myself. But eventually I came to realize that it wasn't as much my fault. I also thought a lot about what lead up to the incident, and although I never talked about sex or mentioned being interested in sex, I felt that it was definitely the way I dressed; the overly-sexy way I presented myself that had sent the wrong message to this particular person, making him think I was out there interested in sex in the first place. He was at fault, but it probably wouldn't have happened if I had been a girl that dressed modestly, because he would never have pursued me. He was a guy just interested in sex, and he was looking for the same type of girl. That kind of guy is looking for signals; for the girl who shows the most skin, the girl who tries to look sexy and acts flirtatious.

Here is an analogy I came up with to describe this kind of situation:

Imagine that you just got your first car. It's exactly what you've always wanted. You take it out to drive around with some friends. You go downtown and decide to go to a restaurant. You park the car, throw the keys on the front seat, leave the doors unlocked and wide open, and think to yourself "I hope nobody steals this car! That would be awful. That would be totally bad and wrong of them." You go in the restaurant to have a fun time with your friends.

You come out afterwards and the car is gone!

Now it's true that the person who stole it did something very wrong. It's not your fault that they stole it, but it's also true that you could have done something to prevent it from being stolen and you didn't. You actually enticed the person to steal the car. It probably wouldn't have been stolen if you had locked and closed the doors and took the keys with you. So how do you feel knowing you could have prevented it?

Who would actually be so careless with their car?

Are you being that careless with your body? Do you dress in a way that encourages people to "steal your car"? Do you think that you are somehow invincible to the evils of this world? Do you do whatever is in your power to keep yourself safe and protected or do you "leave your keys on the seat"? Your body should be much more valuable to you than a car. It's a temple. A gift from god.

I also realize now that to purposely dress in a way that encourages a young man to have immoral thoughts about you is to encourage that young man to sin. And to encourage someone to sin is to commit a sin yourself. So you're not innocent in dressing immodestly if you have any other possible clothing choice. There are much better ways to get a guy's attention anyway.

Over the years, I started to understand modesty more and more. It wasn't until I was an adult that I really felt I understood the importance of modesty and the reasons behind it. There are many more reasons for modesty than what I've mentioned here, but I think this is important for young girls to know: modesty is for your own protection.

-Jen

PHOTO DETAILS: Shirt: Tom Bao Fashion. Skirt: Marithé + François Girbaud. Photographer: Jill Frost. Model: Jen.

A special thanks to Jill Frost for donating these pictures!     ;-)

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