What Guys Are Saying About Modesty

by Jen on January 31, 2005

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

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

kathryn February 11, 2005 at 9:28 am

I like this. I think it’s interesting to see a guy’s point of view and just how much what we wear influences things, especially since it’s harder and harder to be modest. ^____^

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Girl From Utah February 13, 2005 at 12:47 am

I would totally have to agree with EVERYTHING that was said. I am a High School Student in Utah, and modesty is one of the biggest issues. Even in a predominantly LDS High School, a lot of the girls still wear revealing clothes. It saddens me to think that some people see my religion (LDS) as one that people dress immodest sometime. Being Modest Counts! When a girl is modest, she gains a lot of respect for herself, as well as other people gaining respect for her. I cannot begin to tell you how many guys have thanked me for always dressing modest. It really does pay off! My guy friends always treat me with a lot of respect! I’ve seen the same guys be not as respectful to girls who don’t wear modest clothing or have respect for themselves. It may seem pretty crazy, but it’s the truth!!

If you are a girl reading this and are struggling with modesty, don’t wait any longer. Change you’re whole wardrobe! It’s a lot easier to do it now than in a few years (especially if you are still in High School). If money is a problem for you, just tell mom and dad that you are trying to dress more modestly and want to get rid of all your immodest clothes, and ask if they can help you out. This is a step for staying on the Straight and Narrow path. Tell them this, it might help them understand. If they don’t, still do what you can to dress modest! Old Navy has a new kind of short called “Bermuda” shorts, and the inseam is 10-14 inches! Those are great! Also, if you can’t find any long shorts, or cute capri’s to wear, boy shorts work just as well, and sometimes they are even more comfortable than girl shorts. You might have to look a little bit harder for modest clothes, but it IS worth every second! Quit procrastinating, and get modest!

If you are a boy reading this, tell the girls that are modest(if you really do feel this way) “THANK YOU FOR DRESSING MODESTLY!” It makes it easier for girls to wear modest thing. Girls like to do what guys like… so if you like them modest, make sure you tell them. The only thing I can offer you about being modest, is to make sure you don’t have inappropriate things on your shirts. There nothing more I intensly dislike than that. I know I’m not the only one out there either that intensly dislikes it! The second thing is, wear a belt! We don’t need to see what color or type of underwear you have (boxers, briefs, or boxer-briefs…)! I’m not saying this to make myself sound like a “goodie-goodie” or a self-righteous person, I’m just putting it out there, for the guys to see… I won’t ask a guy on a date or to a dance if he has those kind of problems(underwear, and bad shirts). It’s not the kind of envoirnment a girl wants to be around. I promise! Which means, the only kind of guys I hang out with, are the modest guys.

So basically, as this comes to a close, everyone please follow Heavenly Father and the Prophet and be modest. Girls, if you want the good guys, be modest! Guys, if you want the good girls, be modest! There’s almost nothing more important than being modest, so get it done!

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britneyjc February 13, 2005 at 1:53 pm

girl from utah summed it all up, thanks. it would be so cool if a guy thanked me for dressing modestly- maybe that will happen one day. i hope any guys reading this realize that we (girls) appreciate when you dress modestly too. I don’t know if it is just around my area (Idaho)or my school but it has suddenly become popular for guys to wear girl’s pants. they’re already tight and low on girls so you can imagine what a guy wearing those pants would look like… it is a relief when i see a guy NOT wearing girl pants. I hope you guys realize modesty doesn’t only apply to us.

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Laura from Virginia February 27, 2005 at 4:20 pm

LDS girl from VA, the article was very interesting. I plan on going to SUU so I’m glad that people there advocate modesty. I am in the minority when it comes to modest dress at my school and sometimes it is hard. Thankfully I have friends(both guys and girls) who support my decision to dress modestly. Especially now as Prom is coming up, and with there being so many pretty dresses that are not modest out there it is hard to stay modest. But when I am reading an article like this, I am glad that I choose to be modest.

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a little confused March 12, 2005 at 10:00 pm

it’s reassuring to hear that guys like modest girls more than ones that show it off. the women in my family have started to really take a look at the way we dress (we aren’t LDS) and we have been a little confused about what defines modesty. When we evaluate other women’s dress, we will see their attire as being simply attractive and modest but my brother and dad see it as being inapropriate. and they can’t explain to us why. all they can say is “it says all the wrong things”. but why? guys, let us know what exactly is modest because as most people know, men and women do not think alike. what we think is ‘cute’ and ‘beautiful’ is seen as ‘sexy’ to men. i’d like to look good and be modest at the same time but i can’t quite figure out how to do that. i’ve gone to various stores and online looking for this but the clothing i find is either frumpy and/or for older women or way inappropriate. i don’t know if anybody else has this problem but it would be nice to have some examples or pictures or guidlines for modest, tasteful, attractive dressing. and i also think that a group of guys who’d like to see more modesty should get together and maybe draws some pics of this. guys telling us what they see would be aweseome. so, help us out, if you can. please and thank you.

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Rae Michael April 1, 2014 at 9:14 am

good question. there is no exact definition for modesty in the Old or New Testament (that I know of) but there are many, many things you can take into consideration (below). also, understanding physiology (the way we were made) and loving others more than ourselves, are two things that can help. remember that Love is the greatest thing and that is the motivator. Love to others (respect), Love to ourselves (self-respect) and Love toward God (obedience and pleasing Him).

A few things to consider: (the study I have done included history and Hebrew or Greek where passages refered to clothing etc.) In the Old Testament God would mention the exposure of the buttocks and thighs as being a shame. (you can research this) We do not know why that is but it IS. He defines honor and shame and He is trustworthy since He created us and knows our value and our psyche (what makes us whole). He wanted the priests to (Exodus 28:42) to cover their thighs lest they be seen. In the New Testament Paul was describing how Christians are like a body and in that passage he makes a statement where we can gleen something on the subject and definition of modesty which was then and now still normal and good: see I Corinthians 12:23, 24 where he says we cover the parts that require more honor/are not to be seen/private parts.

Let it be said that there is responsibility on the wearer and the see-er. We dress modestly for God for other and for ourselves. IF (or when, that is) we see someone dressed immodestly (male or female) we can honor them by "covering them" by averting our gaze. Love covers a multitude of sins. I teach my son that if he sees a girl who does not know her value that he is to look away to honor her. See the difference in the approach? The motivation is love not condemnation. Yes she is pretty – so much so that she needs revered even if she won't revere herself. It is true he has to not lust after her and we remember that James teaches (James 1:14) that temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires – what is in our hearts – not what is missing from their wardrobe. I had one female friend say "Some men would lust after women even if they were in a burlap sack" and I had a female friend from India (one of the most modestly dressed regions) affirm that kind of mentality. So though we have a responsibility to be respectful and love other people enough to not set them up for failure, as it were, we also cannot control someones heart or thoughtlife. 

An important question is what does it mean to cover? Is fabric lying against the body in perfect outline truly covering? Is 2mm of fabric covering? Especially if that has spandex in it? 

We know that Paul says that there are parts of the body (though he was using it in a different context) that require special care. We saw that God referred to thighs and buttocks with some reverence. I believe that covering does not mean merely removing the skin from sight (though I have heard some people say because God hates the "flesh" no skin whatsoever should be exposed. Overboard and misapplication of the word flesh which referes to our old sinful nature.)

What is one to do? Yes it is arduous to find modest yet feminine (as in beautiful too) clothing but it is so gratifying even if the number of outfits are lessened. Texture, material, design, color – all of these make up a piece of clothing and though it takes some time and creativity, it is possible! As a personal example: I will go to the thrift store and find dresses that I consider too short to wear alone but I wear them as shirts over pants. There are very nice shoulder sweaters (you know the type that just cover the shoulders and come to about the rib cage) that can be worn if the "dress" is strapless. Layering is wonderful and for summer where that may be too hot, there are enough long shirts on the market (if you keep your eye out for them) to make cute outfits. Little by little using combination of quality and stylish clothing, a beautiful, cute (not frumpy!) wardrobe can be made. That was just an example not to be an answer to the whole question of modesty because I am on a journey too. I have read countless books and a few times have gone through my wardrobe and removed anything that didn't make the grade. One thing to consider on pants or skirts is the cut. If a skirt has so many darts in it and is designed a certain way that it perfectly rests agains the buttocks than that is not "covering" though it is still a skirt. What is "covering" about something that is perfectly obvious? We have to be honest and objective and not live in fear or heaviness or guilt but motivated by love and creativity. And yes, sometimes we'll fail but our hearts are in it, it is going in the right direction and it is helpful to get a man's opinion (who has your interest at heart).

When it comes to swimmear – there are swimshorts now available and swimshirts. A swimsuit under swimshorts and a swimshirt can be worked out and funcitional though that is still tricky when it comes to the spandex/2mm idea.

Basically, for a woman, one wants to dress beautifully yet not distractedly. Form fitting draws away from greater things such as our face, our purpose in life, and can draw away from the most attractive God we serve. God certainly is not frumpy as the creator of sex – he just has an idea of exactly when and where our bodies are best honored. And how. I for one have chosen to believe He really does have my best interest at heart.

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Rae Michael April 1, 2014 at 9:56 am

p.s. although I put the emphasis on our choice of clothing and of each person's personal responsibility for their own thought-life, I have at times, after praying first for guidance, spoken to a woman or young woman on her choice of clothing and the effect it was having. There is a place for conversation (in a sense, if they made it public than it is open for public discussion though this is done after consideration, motivated by love and with respect) and it is important that our churches address modesty (male and female) but in a respectful way that leads to life and not condemnation.

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Anonymous March 17, 2005 at 3:16 pm

There is an awsome site its called barlow girl.net or barlow guy.net its all based off of a band called barlow girl who are commited to purity. the barlow girl site has a page were hunderds of guys talk about immodest clothing on girls, me personally, when i were im modest clothing get very nevose and shy, because I am very skinniy and curvy ( not trying to be proud but i am) i usually end up wereing granny pants cuz i cant find any that are modest. my dad is a big part in my modesty, everytime i buy clothes he checks them and makes shure that they wouldent be a stumbling block for guys. I think the most emmbarising thing would be to be exposing and distracting to a guy. Like while im in church or in my youth group, if you sit down and your shirt dosnt meet your bottom thats im modest. i also think that shorts that say things on the back are very im modest cuz they draw your attention to your backside. your begging people to look at you butt. and some guys will take that as a ticket to go a mile.
A girl from Texas

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anthony March 23, 2005 at 5:54 am

it’s a difficult perspective for me to understand coming from a non religious background, i live in london and work in the film/media/design industry.
here in london it is a true multicultural city with all colors creeds and beliefs, yet i dont often find myself thinking …hmmn she’s not wearing modest clothing, or ever really feeling uncomfortable with what someone is wearing.
to say that “modest clothing” has a huge impact on relationships is a little ill-informed, it might well do within your sociological structure, but for the vast majority it is not a defining factor in a successful relationship.
what you wear reflects your personality your interests and more importantly your flair!
it seems a shame to me ,that people feel that they have to cover themselves up for some reason, to be honest arent there more important things to relationships and life in general?
just a thought or two.

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Rae Michael April 1, 2014 at 8:13 am

anthony,

your honest reply is refreshing and interesting (given your background as you described). it opens eyes to other views. however, it is not that these people's view is ill-informed. there is a true effect on the mind – and thus relationships – when skin (especially certain parts) is exposed and curvacioius bodies are highlighted. you can research that. if we have become accepting of it it is not a compliment on our society. and we aren't exempt from the negative influence. on the flip-side as you are trying to point out, there are things that lead to whole relationships but dressing modestly actually supports whole relationships. these people are informed and wise.

 

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Jen March 23, 2005 at 8:16 am

You’re coming from a non-religious background, so I understand that you don’t get what we’re talking about here. Everything discussed here presupposes Christian beliefs because it’s a website for Christians, specifically Latter-Day Saints.

Modesty is one of the finer points of doctrine for us. It’s not necessarily something that’s going to make or break you. It’s something that you don’t come to understand until you’ve grown to a certain point spiritually. I know I didn’t understand it for a long time. I talk about that a lot here.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that we’re like chefs talking about the subtilities between different herbs, and you are coming in with the perspective of someone who has many great qualities but hasn’t been educated in cooking, and comment that you don’t think there’s any difference in the taste of the herbs.

I’m not trying to be rude, again, I totally understand your perspective because I used to have the same perpective. But we’re coming from totally different games playing with different rules.

So are the chefs going to say “He’s right, there’s no difference”? No, we just think to ourselves how you really don’t understand where we’re coming from.

If you were coming from the perspective that there should be no sex before marriage and that a woman’s body is sacred and should be saved for her husband only, then and (usually) only then would you find yourself thinking “she’s not wearing modest clothing” and feeling uncomfortable.

The issue here is: What are you thinking when you see a girl dressed in next-to-nothing? The most probable answer to that question is exactly what we are trying to avoid as Christians by dressing modestly.

You’re right that “what you wear reflects your personality your interests”. So many Christian/LDS girls who plan and want to remain virgins until they are married also want to look sexy like the women in music videos so guys will still like them and want to date them. What they don’t understand is that guys interperet their “interests” by their choice of clothing. So guys get the wrong idea about them and the ones who ask them out are the guys interested in sex right now, not the ones who want to wait like they do. This often leads to bad situations for the girls including date rape.

The whole modesty thing is about protecting our bodies and treating them the same way you would treat a million dollars in cash. Like I’ve said in other places on this site, if you had a million dollars in cash, you probably wouldn’t walk down the street with it fanned out in your hands. You would cover it out of common sense because it’s so valuable to you and others, not because you’re “not supposed to” show it.

One of my goals is to show girls that they can definitely show their “flair” without giving the wrong impression about their “interests”, and the flair should come out in the personality, not just in the clothing.

Thanks for your comments!

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anthony March 23, 2005 at 9:42 am

i totally understand your points, and to some extent agree despite my lack of religious understanding.
i must point out that i was in no way trying to be derogatory in my previous post.
the turnkey point here is self expression, so long as the idea of keeping yourself modestly attired, does not clash with your full expresion of yourself then i see no problem at all, the thing that worries me is the assumption that all guys will think only one thing if you are dressed in a certain way, that is as bad as guys saying that all girls dressed in a certain way are inviting attention.
i know many women here in fashion who can go out and wear outrageous stuff, but it is not tarty! it is, i feel, more about choice of clothing, and social stereotyping. If a girl is to wear something that is associated with a certain section of society, i.e. r&b; then she will be associated (like it or not ) with the goings on of that fraternity.
however! if that girl chooses to dress in a classy elegant individual way, then that in turn empowers her femininity! humans are humans we will always conform to stereotypes, only those of us that are aware of the psycology of this can surreptitiously
sidestep it and allow ourselves to be A: in control B: confident in self image.
it is at the end of the day, reguardless of religion, just common sense isnt it?

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Anonymous April 21, 2005 at 2:21 pm

I completly agree that modest is the hottest i am more comfortable bein around people who are modest in appearance than those that aren’t and it boosts myself confidence when i hear guys say that they prefer modesty over immodesty.

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Alexis May 22, 2005 at 9:45 pm

Hey gals and guys!! I’m not LDS but I thank you guys for embracing modesty. I’m an old fogey (age 41) but I haven’t grown up so far that I can’t understand younger people… you don’t get older without being younger first!! It is hard for me to find clothing that is modest and that I enjoy wearing. I usually end up with the huge T-shirt and jeans look. Thanks for realizing that modest is best… if you show everything all the time, what else is there to know about you? The old saying is true… you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Love to all,
Alexis

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Rachel September 12, 2005 at 11:30 pm

Hey there! I’m not LDS either, but my religous beliefs are actually quite similar to those of the LDS.
I too have tried to be modest, and yet to look like everyone else. This, in most cases, does not work. The fashion industry is all about “what’s hot,” or “what’s not,” and modest usually is NOT “hot.”
Think of what a flower looks like: It is simple, it is real, it is an individual, it is beautiful, and it is exactly the way God created it.
I’ve heard women compared to flowers, and if we are, then shouldn’t we be everything a beautiful flower is?
(I hope this doesn’t seems too weird :-p)
As the saying goes “modest are the hottest” yes, but modest is also pleasing to others, pleasing to ourselves, and pleasing to God.
Our Savior didn’t die so that we could flaunt the bodies He gives us for service.

I think this is a great website, and I’m glad I stumbled across it!
Keep up the modesty!
Rachel

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Esmarelda September 18, 2005 at 6:49 pm

Modesty is very important to me. I am saving myself for marriage and I think that when I marry i want it to be for the person I am and not for my body. Guys often think “shes sexy” rather than “shes beautiful” when they see a girl wearing next to nothing practically. I think that immodest youth or people are not showing respect for themselves or others. I’m LDS but i know many other people who are not LDS and still feel the same way. Its not “a religious thing” For me,it is but I think im more of a confident person because i choose to be modest and *MODEST ARE THE HOTTEST* lol.. haha but those are my thoughts 😛

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flame October 6, 2005 at 1:00 pm

I think that Modesty can be totally in. I have friends who like to wear modest clothing. I feel uncomforable wearing immodest clothing and being around other girls when they don’t dress modestly. And Girls, Just so you know When you’re imodest, you can terify a guy! My brother whent to a couple of proms one year. The first one was at our school. The girl was modest and VERY pretty. (and by the look on his face he thought so too!)They had a great time. The second one though was not quite as fun. it was with a different girl and she was wearing a sleavless dress and he told me afterwards that he had been extremely uncomfortable. So try to stay modest, for the sake of the guys!

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Shiela November 7, 2005 at 8:05 pm

Hi! Everyone,
I try to dress modest,and it is hard to find cute modest clothing. I don’t want to look like granny moses. I find I have to do a lot of sewing and work on cloths that I buy to make it have a modest look. The guys I know respect the girls that wear modest cloths and feel uncomfortable around those that don’t. So it is worth the trouble to be treated special. So Go Girls! Lets stay modest!!!
Shiela

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One Rung November 12, 2005 at 6:50 pm

I’m not a Christian of any denomination.

Regardless of what a female wears, date rape or any other rape is never okay.

However, like Jen said, if you flaunt it, you can expect it to be stolen (i’m paraphrasing here).

Even males who wear the “style” of baggy pants with very low rise so that their boxers or briefs are showing or even the cleavage of the buttocks are sending a message. The message is not even about sex, but who’s who (strength, strutting, etc).

Flair and elegance are ok.

I don’t feel old. I’m 46.
I feel attractive, fit, healthy and confident.

People say I look anywhere from ten to fifteen years younger than I am.

The difference now is that I dress for me – not to make an impression on a young man. The truth is, the impression I’m apparently making to men young and old is that I look terrific and no one feels uncomfortable.

I can swim, stay out in the heat, in the cold, walk, or dance.

I can garden, go to work, whatever.

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Anonymous January 3, 2006 at 1:23 pm

I’m really sad about the immodest clothing to but I’m so glad that the new fashion that deals with layering is alot better especially since now I can wear a miniskirt but with it over the pants or a pretty skirt. And I’ve been having a lot of fun with it especially since I can still be in fashion and not be immodest. And still when new guys meet you they rather would talk to you then a girl who is showing off to much of her.

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Anonymous January 23, 2006 at 1:52 pm

It is really difficult for me as a girl, because I see guys and I get the impression that they want to see the cleavage and the skin tight clothing. I am really uncomfortable in those types of clothing and I really want to be recognized, but not as a person after something that I am not implying.

I agree with a lot people that it is harder and harder to be modest.
I found that if I can look hard enough I will find the clothes I am looking for, but most of the time I almost have to compromise my standards to actually find clothes, especially shirts.

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Anonymous April 5, 2006 at 7:40 am

I think it also depends in what kind of person we are looking for.
If a girl wants an LDS guy with high standards, she should dress modestly.
A guy who keeps the commandments and respects women is gonna look for a girl who dresses modestly.
We can not ask for someone modest if we are not modest ourselves.
Come on girls!! You don’t have to dress immodestly to get our attention!! There’re only a few guys who see it that way, to me, modesty is the first thing I look for in a girl.

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Anonymous May 21, 2006 at 10:36 am

I’m sorry, but I have a huge problem with the bent of this post. I myself dress very modestly, I don’t even own any type of shorts at all, always pants or long skirts, no cleavage, I never wear sleeveless shirts, midriffs, etc.
BUT I really really hate how the emphasis is always on how women should dress modestly to keep men from sinning, to get respect, etc. Where is the condemnation for men juding others based on their appearances? The condemnation is ALWAYS on the woman for dressing that way- and I’m sorry, but the not subtle at ALL references to date rape, and the shocking statement “if you flaunt it, you can expect it to get stolen”? Are you kidding me? As a victim of sexual molestation and attempted rape (while I was wearing a floor length skirt on a Sunday after evening church) I am moved to tears. If a person is walking through town after dark, and they are robbed and beaten up, do you say “Well, I mean, hey, you asked for it- what were you thinking, wearing your nice watch and new sneakers? Stupid. You were asking for it.” It doesn’t make much sense when you apply it to that situation, does it? Seems kind of insensitive, heartless, and cruel? Let’s take it a step further- “Those people in the tsunami? Hey, they knew the risks of where they lived”…or how about “Phhttt, that older woman having a baby, and now it has Down Syndrome? Didn’t she KNOW that the risk is upped with age? I don’t feel bad for her at all”….or “Hey, Katrina was bad guys, but you know what, they knew they lived in a hurricane prone area”.
This type of thinking removes all responsibility from men. If the shirt I wear is all that prevents a man from raping me, the problem is with the man, not with me. And okay, if he thought I was sending out wrong signals, fine. But once I say “no” and make it clear? Are you actually saying it’s still my fault that he can’t respect my obvious rejection? And different people have different standards of what is seen as being sexually available- btw, I know many many guys who saw that “Mormon girl- worth the wait” shirt and said “Wow, as soon as I read that all I could think about was sex!”
I’m sorry. I whole heartedly embrace modesty standards, but this post….I’m just…I’m really really upset. I really can’t believe what I just read. Women and men should be modest out of self respect to themselves, because of respect to their bodies. But if they aren’t dressing so, that doesn’t make them fair game for men who “can’t help themselves” because of what they wear. I’m sorry, but especially Christian men should be able to look past that image and see Christ in someone- is it hard? I’m sure it is. But it is also really degrading to men to characterize them as sexually controlled, drooling cavemen who must be kept at bay by women’s diligence to modesty. I feel moved to ask you to check out feministmormonhousewives.org
See what many devoted, loving, temple married Mormon women are talking about, what it means to be a women and a Mormon.
I really respect the effort put into this site, and all the work done, and I’m impressed. But I really think, if a girl stumbled on this, and was a victim of sexual abuse/rape, it would be ridiculously easy to read this and immediately think “What did I do to make him do that?”

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Jen May 22, 2006 at 2:26 pm

Sorry you are offended by it, but you are taking it the wrong way. I am a victim of date rape and I know I could have prevented it and I know exactly why it happened. I’m not saying it is all because of the way I dressed, it is also because of the way I acted, and it is because of putting myself in bad situations, but it all goes hand-in-hand, and the way I dressed played a big part in attracting the wrong type of guys . What was said was meant to be a precautionary warning to girls, not a condemnation of the way people dress or girls who are raped. No one is saying that girls who are raped brought it upon themselves. We are condemning the rapist. What I say is said from personal experience and learning from my mistakes and trying to help other young girls not make the same mistakes. You read it as if I’m pointing a finger at what others do. Go back and read it again.

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Anonymous May 25, 2006 at 8:56 am

Regardless of what you said, did or wore, of course you know now what you could have done differently now- I don’t think anyone, knowing they could be raped, would still go into a situation. I understand that it was meant as a caution, and I was not so much commenting on the article as I was the tone of the article and comments made. The problem is, if you say no, and someone continues, it is completely, one hundred percent, THEIR responsibility- regardless of what they are wearing. Rape is the only crime I can think of where victims are repeatedly blamed and told they brought on the crime. I included my own experience because I think it is important to also tell girls that dressing modestly does not guarantee that men will treat you with respect, and it doesn’t guarantee that no one will rape you. Did you know that prosecutors, when picking juries for rape trials, WANT not female, but MALE jurors- sociologists have studied this and it comes from women not wanting to admit that the rape victim did nothing to bring on the rape. If she did something, then other women can say “oh, well, that was dumb, I’d never do that” and it makes them feel like they are in control. If they admit that women are vulnerable to men simply because of power- and it’s not about sex, it’s about dominating another person, invading their space, submitting them to your will- then they have to come to terms with the fact that they too are vulnerable to the same attack.
My point is that, in my opinion, what you wear has little to no bearing on whether or not you are raped. Does it have a bearing on how men look at you? Absolutely. But if a man has so little respect for women that he would rape them, he would do it regardless of what the woman is wearing- if it was all about attractiveness, elderly women wouldn’t be raped by teenagers, extremely obese (I don’t mean this as an insult, just a reference to our culture’s beauty standards) people wouldn’t be raped, nuns wouldn’t be raped, etc.
It’s hard to say you know what you could have done to prevent it, and then sincerely say that you place the blame on the rapist. Theoretically, we could all do almost anything to prevent any calamity from befalling us- but by living our lives in such a way as to constantly be evaluating every possible harm that could befall us because of other’s lack of control, or sinful natures, would be literally impossible.
That’s all I meant by it. Also, I do realize that some people are offended by anonymous posts. I am living in Japan and using an internet cafe, and they don’t let you create passowords, log ins, etc.
I just wanted to clear up what I meant by my post, and my feelings behind it. I am not trying to say you are wrong, or I am right. I just had a very strong emotional reaction to it, because my own healing from abuse was severely hindered by being told by my own mother “well, you do wear some flirty clothes” during a time when I was devoutly Pentecostal- no makeup, only dresses, no sleeves above the elbow.
Wow, this is really long. Sorry. Again, this site really is wonderful and I admire all of your hard work and dedication to it. Good luck with your little one. I meant no offense by anything I said here. God keep you and bless you and your family.
Meagan

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Jen May 26, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Thanks, you too ;).

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Anonymous June 5, 2006 at 2:00 pm

I so totally agree with everything that was said about modest clothing. I am a homeschooler going into the 11th grade and am finding it harder and harder to find modest clothing! i am so glad that someone agrees with being modest.

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Brandon M. June 6, 2006 at 12:13 am

Dear Jen,
You rock! This is a great website! I am a convert to the greatest church in the world which happens to also have the best and the brightest, hottest modest women in the world, I am truly proud to be L.D.S. 3 and half years ago I could have cared less about modesty in regards to women. As a spoiled, only child, frat-boy from the Mid-West(where women tend to bundle up quite a bit because of the weather)i loved seeing the ladies in what I now realize was inmodest clothing. Heck, I didn’t even know a thing about the church, and my major was “RELIGION”!!!!! However, since becoming a true convert to a true church, I can honestly say that Heavenly Father expects us to dress as “Children of God” and we will be held responsible for not doing so. We have a great task to share the Gospel with others and we(guys and gals) can start by being modest in the way we dress. It all starts and ends with “Choosing the Right” and Choosing the Right is being modest. As a convert i understood this; as a married man and someday a father, I respect and appreciate this concept more and more everyday. Sincerely,
Brandon M.

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Anonymous July 23, 2006 at 11:41 pm

yes im LDS and i like to see girls in modest cloths

I live in california and alot of girls hardly wear anything
they r continuasly sent to the priciples office

to sum it up, girls who dress modestly look prettyer and stay out of the priciples office

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Mother of 8 December 3, 2006 at 6:16 pm

I have to say I am really impressed with what “Anonymous from Japan” had to say. You wrote so eloquently and understandably. Four of my eight children are girls and I have always insisted on modest dress yet you have put all aspects of modest dressing into perspective for me. You have opened my eyes to other aspects of dressing modestly that I think are not often addressed and I thank you for bringing it to mine and everyone else’s attention. God bless you for the courage it took you to write what you did and thank you!

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Anonymous January 17, 2007 at 5:39 am

I am not a Mormon, but I know that modesty is more than just “important.” My boyfriend pointed out to me that many of the things I had considered to be modest were not. He warned me that if I had to adjust my clothes to be modest when I sat or slouched, they weren’t really modest at all.

Even certain materials send the wrong messagees. The very pretty feminine lace that makes girls feel adorable makes boys feel…like the girl is wearing her underwear on the outside. I was disappointed to discover that, but I don’t want to send the wrong message, even if it is very subtle.

A skirt that is below the knee while standing is still revealing while sitting, I saw in a picture of myself…I was most embarrassed! The saftest lengths are mid-calf and longer. Unless you intend to stand all the time, a skirt that reaches just below the knee is still immodest, unless it is a VERY full skirt. Don’t believe me? Try crossing one leg over the other and ask a trusted (not male) friend to stand in front of you and tell you what she sees. You can’t see your legs from your angle, but the rest of the world can!

It’s been a struggle for me to change my wardrobe, since I’m strapped for money, and most retailers don’t sell what I need. It would be most helpful if the websites that sell modest tees would also sell modest blouses, skirts, and dresses at an affordable price. The cost of adding modest undershirts for everything else adds up quickly! Also, if I can’t buy it online, I probably can’t buy it at all, since none of the retail stores are located east of Utah. Ya know, not every modest lady lives in the west!

Oh yes, and really, there are non-religious people who consider modesty to be important as well. I don’t agree that you have to be more spiritually developed to recognize it…true, the closer you are to God the more in tune you will be with His standard for your clothing…but the fact of the impact of our clothes is unavoidable and undeniable. Anyone who says “they don’t notice” is either purposely ignoring what is all around them or is too used to seeing bare skin to notice…or they’re just blind or dead. My boyfriend’s non-religious co-workers noticed immediately when they saw me that I looked different, although they couldn’t put into words how. When he pointed out that I could look pretty and be modest, they all agreed that my clothes were the difference. Most of them, upon first seeing me said I looked like I was “smart.” They called me beautiful, and it wasn’t because they could see my body–they couldn’t see it at all.

How does a person deny the fact that men are visually stimulated? They just are–whether or not they are religious!

I don’t believe there’s anything subtle about the difference between modest and immodest dress. It’s noticable. The only reason people think it’s subtle is because they’re surrounded by nudity on every side! Perhaps a man who “doesn’t notice” is just so accustomed to being visually stimulated that the stimulation has to be of a more “in your face” or outrageous flavor to “do it for him.” Why else is pornography addicting? The people who produce it KNOW it to be true! That’s a shame. Nobody is REALLY air-brushed, and it damages the pure and sweet intimacy of marriage when a woman finds that she must compete with something that isn’t even real.

The men I’ve known who didn’t think modesty was important told me I ought to wear tighter and more revealing clothes. When I aksed why, they told me it was because I was “sexy” and I should show it. One man in particular was bewildered as to why I was uncomfortable and offended when he talked about my body–in his mind, he was trying to pay me a compliment!

I’ve known other young men who are careful with what they look at–they have never spoken disrespectfully or even looked at me in a way that made me uncomfortable.

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Anonymous March 26, 2007 at 12:26 pm

It is VERY interesting to see the guys’ point of view.

Wearing modest clothing IS important. I would never want my guy to be uncomfortable in any way because of the things that I wear. Now I can’t wait until this Wednesday to show him that I can wear pants that aren’t skin tight.

We have to remember that even our shirts can’t be chest tight. Not even a little bit…poor guys.

As a Mia Maid President, I’ve seen many dresses that are immodest in my group. I dress modestly and try to be an example to them…you know I think that the Young Women should have more classes on modesty—dressing modestly—

I’ll have to ask my guy about how he thinks I dress. I know my guy will love me more as I dress modestly. We as young women I think underestimate how we can shape and influence a guy’s life. If he is constantly surrounded by young women dressing immodestly there is a much more less chance that he is worthy of the priesthood, MUCH less willing to live the gospel. I know that I can be a good influence on my guy…and that I will help him to keep on being worthy to someday serve a mission when he’s old enough.

…note…hey gals, if you think you look big in modest clothing, try exercising. It not only feels good, but you also are more less self-consious.

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Anonymous May 26, 2007 at 2:19 pm

I totally agree with the whole modest thing and it is good that there are sights like this becasue it is getting harder and harder to find modest clothes in department stores or malls! Just wondering and I probally should already know what is L.D.S or whatever people keep calling themselves? Great site

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Caili Gal August 1, 2007 at 1:57 pm

yeah i so agree
it is so funny though that some girls want that “special” attention. they act like nothing is wrong. and guys go along with it. they pretend nothing is wrong when in reality nothing is right. living by the beach though makes things slightly more difficult not to find myself thinking, what if i was like these people and i wore those things? would i get more attention? not so much that i want it and i think it’s right or anything, but sometimes it gets hard. but i honestly feel that when i put on a one piece and i see my friend in a bikini i am making the right decision. also being 13 takes its toll. but i have trudged through it. i know i can make it and things will all work out.

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kayli -16 October 14, 2007 at 12:16 pm

guys you have NO idea how great it is to hear that you appreciate modesty. it really makes it enjoyable to be modest. as a mormongirl i know first hand how frustrationg it is to have to search for clothes that fit my standards. but just those simple comments from guys saying they prefer modest girs makes it definatly worth it.
thanks 🙂

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kayli October 14, 2007 at 12:21 pm

guys you have NO idea how great it is to hear that you appreciate and prefer modest clothing. it really makes it enjoyable to be modest. as a mormongirl i know first-hand how frusrationg it can be to find clothes that fit my standards(esspecially bathing suits). But those simple comments deffinatly make it easier and more fun.
thanks 🙂

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Anonymous December 6, 2007 at 2:00 pm

I feel for the guys. I use to be one of those girls that thought everyguy is the same, he just wants it. and even though I was dating a guy for a long time he said that he was grateful that I dressed modestly which shocked me becuase I figured he would rather be with the “Hotter” skimpier girls. I’m not together with him anymore but that made me relize that guys do care even though they like to look. sorry this isn’t bashing guys one bit, i have alot of repect for guys and what they have to live with.

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Anonymous April 17, 2008 at 11:49 am

In reply to the girl who asked what men consider to be modest, let me make an attempt (please forgive me for being blunt):
– no cleavage showing
– no bare midriffs showing, even when raising arms or squatting down
– no “plumber’s cracks” showing when squatting down
– no tight tops
– please wear bras that are modest even when you’re cold (we had a sister leading the music with that problem a month ago—I’m sure she was clueless…).
– no tight pants

While I’m at it a couple of observations:
– be aware of the view someone in front of you will have down the front of your top if you stoop over. I appreciate it when a girl or woman holds her top close to her to preserve her modesty.
– Elaborate, clever or confusing text across the chest of your T-shirt causes men to be staring at your chest trying to figure it out—is that really what you want?

It takes incredible effort these days for a man to preserve the modesty of a woman who is making no effort to do so on her own. It’s so refreshing and relaxing to carry on a conversation with a woman who respects herself enough to dress modestly. I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend in the last couple of years of sisters sporting cleavage in church meetings, often sisters who’ve been to the temple. Where did they get the idea that was OK? Do they have any idea what difficulties that creates for men who are trying to carry on a conversation with them and still maintain the spirit? Heaven help us!!

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Leos Toro March 24, 2009 at 10:36 pm

You are all either very much in-bred, which doesn’t suprise me in a community such as yours, or you’re just downright idiots. There is more to a person than the clothes s/he wears. The reason all of these girls have such a huge problem with modesty is because they have been repressed their whole lives. Being modest in the rest of the world is second nature. Nobody is showing off skin where no skin needs to be shown. Granted, summer rolls around, but, what are you supposed to do when you’re playing a game of beach volleyball – throw a long skirt and turtle neck on? You are all pretty twisted. Nobody cares if your shoulders show girls. Now if you’re a little out of control with your cleavage , then, yes – have some respect for yourselves. Enjoy the sun safely and don’t feel repressed by these bltantly ignorant ideas on extreme modesty.

If you’re so concerned about it – turn to the muslim idea. Go wear a hijab. Then all the boys will like you – which apparently is your only defense for such a trivial practice.

Empower yourself and know that you are more than just a physical being. There are more dimensions to you than the style and cut of your clothes. If you’re so concerned, try different designers like ralph lauren orclub monaco, or anyplace really and be smart about it.

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Lilly June 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

These are really good entries & comments. Honestly, I think the key to modest dressing is being comfortable in your own skin. Also learn to dress for your body type. Whether that be curvy, straight, skinny, tall, petite, etc. It's true that boys do respect girls who dress more modestly. These girls are attracting the right type of attention when they dress modestly. But you can still look attractive & sexy while still dressing modestly. The key is to smile, keep it classy not trashy! Pencil skirts & Maxi dresses are great looks. Also observe the way other girls who dress modestly (lady-like) dress, they can be great inspirations. 

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Ellie Rae August 27, 2012 at 7:59 am

I am a Bible-believing Christian. And while I believe modest dress is important and that it is a mandate from God, it will not protect you from a rapist. Rape is a crime. We should not blame the victim. Rape is not about what the victim is wearing. A wrong conclusion many women, Bible-believing Christian or Feminist, make, is that rapists are normal men who are simply momentarily lust-crazed and grab an immodestly dressed woman. The Christian woman's answer: wear modest clothing. The Feminist woman's answer: tell him no means no and give him a karate chop. Both are equally naive. Rapists are not normal men. they are Sociopaths. They stalk. They hunt. Their victims are simply women (and men sometimes) who are available and who are easy targets. Modest clothing and saying no will not protect you. These men are not normal; they are psychopathic criminals. With plenty of practice. They have one lust, and it is a blood lust (many eventually kill their victims), and they get sexually excited over hurting and humiliating and killing their victims. (Read "The Stranger Beside Me" by Ann Rule, about Ted Bundy.) 
If the rape victim is at fault, then she/he belongs in prison, not the poor rapist who was simply minding his own business and lured. Think about that. My husband graduated from a police academy and said that they NEVER blame the victim in a rape case. It is all about the rapist, who is a criminal.
Victim awareness is key, as is knowing that rapists are not normal men. Self-defense courses may help, but victim awareness is more helpful — staying out of dangerous situations.
And, Jen, NO, the date rape you endured was not your fault. If you were "asking for it," why the need for rape, which is a crime?? (But victims actually like to blame themselves; it is a coping tool — "If I don't do 'THAT again, it won't happen again." That may or may not be true.)
When normal men are caught up in uncontrollable lust, they 1) look at porn — and many look at porn, which is wrong, but do not become rapists; 2) masturbate; 3) get their wife or girlfriend to be frisky with them; 4) take a cold shower or a long walk. When sociopathic men are caught up in an uncontrollable sexual blood lust, they hunt, stalk, find an easy target that is available, use a weapon, force sex (or symbolically rape with a bottle or broomstick if they can't get an erection), and in extreme cases, kidnap, torture and kill.
If a rapist saw a woman walking down the street naked, he's probably run and hide, because he'd know she's more crazy than he is.
Friends and family members can also rape. This is a crime, folks. 
Modest clothing, a mandate from God, may (or may not) keep normal honest men from lusting, or from making inappropriate comments or taking inappropriate liberties; it will not protect you from a criminal sociopathic rapist, because rapists are not normal men. 
Sorry for the book.

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Kala September 23, 2012 at 6:58 am

 Women beauty (or sexappeal) cannot be hidden by clothes and no reason to be.What u describe as modest as i see it is like wearing combat armor in the street ,it draws attention. Women are not prize or booty or object to be hidden and guarded for the "proper" man,  women are human beings and by that simple fact have the right to accept or deny any advances on them.A man can have lustfull thoughts about women because she has stunning eyes , charming voice  or specific hand size even.All u christians and mormons utterly paise human spirit  ,inner beaty, the soul but in the end u all have sick obsession with the flesh forgetting that the body is just a vessel.
I want to ask do you realy think that males are nothing more but savage primordial beasts?
I am a man and by the BOOK am given ULTIMATE freedom , so stumbling down is MY choise not a women mistake 
According to your religions u are created in the gods image why is that shame and urge to cover?
And at last why the hell nobody talks about MALE modest garment?

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Girl from California November 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

"All u christians and mormons"?? Really? Maybe we wouldn't have to cover up if 'men' like you were more in tune with our religion. I bet that you don't even know WHY we 'utterly praise' human spirit, inner beauty, and the soul. We praise it because they're the only things we really, truly have.  In the LDS religion, after we die and go to the spirit world, none of our mortal material possesions come with us. Only our spirits, inner beauty, and soul.
Men's clothing is a big problem, also. My main complaint is that belts seem that they are almost absolete because men don't wear them.
So, please, men…wear belts and cover your underwear. You look like a penguin with your pants down to your knees. Its extremely unattractive. Thanks :)!

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