As women, it seems as if we have very limited choices when it comes to the fashion world these days. Every season, the newest and brightest designs come gracefully walking into our favorite stores, enticing us to buy. The problem is, many of these styles are plagued with immodesty because of the strappy tops, short shorts, plunging neck-lines, and hip-hugging jeans. We are tempted to wear a little less on our shoulders, and get a little shorter in the leg area because of the warmth of Spring and Summer beg us to bare a little more. How do we maintain our sense of propriety while enjoying the latest fashion trends?
We get creative! We improvise! We challenge these pieces by adding extra layers to create fresh, fun, and appropriate styles that make us feel comfortable. Listed below, are a few tips on sprucing up your Spring wardrobe with some easy to wear outfits created by pieces that would be considered inappropriate.
Rescuing the racerback tank and hiding cleavage
It is tempting to throw on a brightly colored tank and go, especially on those hot summer days. Tank tops have a tendency to be low cut, and they hardly conceal your bra straps, causing women to constantly be exposing their “unmentionables” and fiddling with straps to keep them in place. If you enjoy the lightweight feel of a tank, try wearing a lightweight tee, or a half-shirt underneath. By choosing to layer the tank, you can enjoy the style, and still maintain proper modesty.
Most of us wear camisoles under our clothing these days, which is an excellent modesty piece, but the camisoles can still show cleavage, for the bustier woman. If this is a problem for you, invest in some tube tops. These pieces can help the bustier woman hide unwanted cleavage. A good tube top worn under a low-cut garment hits you straight across the chest, where camisoles dip down and make a half moon shape. It sits higher on your chest as well, and offers extra support. Purchase a tube top that is a size larger than what you normally wear to accommodate the bustier gal.
*just a note, the Bermuda length shorts our model, Charlotte is wearing are really making a come back, they are the perfect length for those of us who like to wear shorts*
Strappy or tube top dresses
The biggest hit in fashion these past few years has been the long, brightly colored strappy or strapless dresses. These dresses are a wonderful addition to your wardrobe, because of their longer length. The problem though, lies with the cut at the top of the dress. They usually have spaghetti straps, halter straps, or no straps at all. Lucky for us, there are several ways to tone down the immodesty in the way these dresses are made.
Every woman should have some type of cardigan in her wardrobe. The cardigan can be worn to hide your bashful shoulders, and add a bit of warmth when sitting in cold auditoriums. The cardigan comes in many styles, fabrics, and colors. Choose a cardigan that best fits your personality and body shape. Some styles include: the slouchy cardigan, ¾ sleeve cardigan, cropped cardigan, and the wrap cardigan, just to name a few. Adding a cardigan to your strappy dress instantly covers up the exposed neckline and creates a cute, and proper style that is calming and comfy. As the weather gets hotter, ditch the cardigan and pull out a coordinating tee or half shirt to wear under the strappy dress or tube top.
Skirts and slips
For many women my age, wearing a slip has pretty much become unheard of. Some think it isn’t a necessity and choose not to wear them under their skirts or dresses. Slips are meant to hide the silhouette that is seen underneath your garment. Many women wear their skirts and dresses at the appropriate length, which should be just at or below the knee, but do not consider the fact that the fabric is a bit light and people can still see what you’ve got going on under the dress!! Please, please invest in slips, ladies! Without the proper slip, when you step into a certain light, those around you can see what kind of undies you have on *blush*! Use common sense when purchasing a slip; beige slips are the universal color to be worn underneath, and you can also wear white slips with light colors, and black slips with darker colors. Buy slips of different lengths so you can always have one available for whatever skirt or dress you may be wearing.
The plain white truth
I cannot even begin to recall how many times I have seen women walking around wearing the improper undergarments with their white tops or bottoms. I see black, white, polka dots, zebra stripes, lace, and wires poking out from underneath the shirts and pants. The only acceptable undergarment to wear under your favorite white tee, blouse, pants, skirts, or shorts is the beige/ flesh-colored bra or undies NO EXCEPTIONS! Any woman who enjoys wearing white must invest in a good, supportive, seamless bra, and likewise for your undie choices. This is the only color that does not show up under a white garment. Your tops should also fit loosely so the form of the bra, and your bust can be tastefully concealed. Go to a specialty store and get yourself properly measured for a good, supportive bra, and take the steps to care for your bra properly for longer wear. When the elastic in the straps starts to go out, get another one. When choosing underwear, make sure the elastic does not cut into your thighs or behind because this can cause unsightly, immodest panty lines. And yes, even if your dress pants fit loosely, you will still have panty lines if you are not wearing the proper underwear. Like wearing a skirt without a slip, people can tell the kind of underwear you are wearing if they do not fit properly.
Dressing modestly in an immodest world can be done, and with creativity, we can still enjoy fashion and be an example to others around us. Our modesty is first developed within us, and shines through in the clothing we choose to wear. As ladies, we should all have in our homes a full-length mirror so we can inspect our outfits before we go out. Look for seams and lines showing from our undergarments. Keep skirts and shorts at the appropriate length. If you see cleavage, you are dressed inappropriate, even if it is a little. By protecting our bodies in this way, we are protecting the sensitive eyes of our brothers in Christ, and if you are not a distraction, we can all serve the Lord as intended. Together, in one accord, in spirit and in truth.
(Special thanks to my modest model Charlotte for putting together, and showing off these cute pieces)
Article AND pictures by Ashley Hudson
Ashley Hudson is a stay-at-home-mom with three children ages 9, 5, and 3. She and her family worship at the 7th and Beech Church of Christ in Durant, Oklahoma. Her husband, Jake, is the Campus Minister for the Student Bible Center at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Be sure to check out her blog at www.hudsonfive.wordpress.com