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July 05, 2007



If a friend doesn't know she's being immodest (say, her skirt flies up when she's dancing, or her underwear shows when she bends over), you can discreetly say something to her. Or if she complains about people staring at her chest, for example, a friend might point out that if you show someone something, they're going to look.

But as for completely unsolicited advice, imagine how you'd feel if a friend told you that you'd be prettier if you wore more makeup or showed a little more leg.

Anna S


I think the best way we can help our friends is to show a good example of pretty, modest, feminine and dignified dress. And of course, when asked our opinion, answer honestly. Also, when shopping together, we have an excellent chance to 'introduce' a new style to our friends. Show them that modest does not equal frumpy.


I don't think there is a way to give advice on one's appearance, dress, etc. when advice is not being sought. The only strategy I can think of is to compliment often when modest apparel is being worn.


Here is another question for the group: how does a boy tell his date that what she's wearing is immodest? It's pretty easy for me to keep a light sweater in his car so he can do the "you must be cold; here, you can wear this" line, but it doesn't work in the summer.


I don't think he can, nor is it really his place. If it's important to him to spend time with a girl who values modesty then it has to come from her, and him in choosing such a girl in the first place. I'm generally against "falling" for people and then trying to mold them--I don't think it's fair to anyone.

But I'm sure people will disagree and that's fine. I'm prepared to admit I'm wrong if you can convince me otherwise!


Spudmom: Do you mean "immodest" as in the place where they are going for the date has a rule, written or unwritten, that ladies cover up a little more than what is conventional? If so, he might tell her before the date, "Most of the girls at the church dances wear something to cover their shoulders."


My husband occasionally offers unsolicited advice, as does my younger sister. My husband is usually the most tactful about it, and phrases it in a way that makes the clothing at fault instead of me (that top is not flattering, those pants look a little too snug, etc). My sister is more brutal "you're going out in THAT?!" (any skin is too much skin, at least when it's on me)... With my friends I try not to give unsolicited advice, although I will point out if an outfit is not the most flattering/suitable, and I try to do it in a tactful way... although I agree, it is MUCH easier when you're asked for an opinion.

Meghan Grizzle

My first job was cleaning fitting rooms at a department store during swimsuit season, so I have a lot of first-hand experience with fitting-room modesty. Women asked me all the time how they looked, and it took a lot to be polite . . . I actually found it difficult to be honest, especially since my goal as an employee was to sell.

I feel like ultimately it's best to tell our (really good) friends when they're showing a little too much skin. I am always thankful when someone reminds me. Or when someone tells me I have something in my teeth. Better a friend tell you . . .


I'm sorry, but can you tell me, why it's your business to tell other persons what and what not to wear? Why can't you just let every women wear what she likes to, whether it's a miniskirt or a niquab? I don't tell you to wear shorter skirts oder more revealing tops, so please, stop telling me that I have to dress like you want me to dress.


As stated, a good friend does not let another friend step out of the house looking like a hot mess.

I have no problem telling a friend that her bra is not doing its job anymore, that her lip gloss looks like she used Crisco, that her thong is trying to show off, that she's got a way too obvious VPL, that her high heels look like she is about to crack an ankle.

We have standards for ourselves and each other and if any one of us wears something that we think is maybe too tight or revealing, we speak up, even in a joking way.

However, we do so realizing that we are all grown women and though some of us might be crazy uncomfortable with what someone else has on, if that person is honestly comfortable and having a blast wearing it, we let it go...because its ultimately her choice and she's still the same friend who cracks us up or tells us our hair is looking a little crazy in the back.

Irene M.

//Here is another question for the group: how does a boy tell his date that what she's wearing is immodest?//

He doesn't. As long as her clothing meets specific dress codes (church, restaurants, etc) and she does not ask his advice, then he really shouldn't say anything.

It is incredibly nice of you to set aside an extra coat for your son's dates. However, your time would be much better spent helping your son to treat all people with respect and dignity, not censor or critique thier clothing choices.

Nicole D.

Dear Cassie,

I can really relate to your article, just the other day i went to the movies and saw a bunch of young teenagers dressed very inapropriately. It is very good that you are posting these blogs, it seems like it is really getting the message across to readers. keep up the good work!

Efrain R.

Who the hell made you queen of modesty. People have different levels and extremes when it comes to what is considered modest or not. Just because one person doesn't approve, doesn’t mean that that is where it should stop. You talked about how the lady bought the shirt that showed some cleavage, so what? Women have breast, breast means cleavage, and cleavage means attraction. It’s not a macho thing, it has scientific proof. We see it in the animal kingdom all the time. Its one of those things that we kept from evolution. Maybe the woman was trying to attract a mate. Is that bad? I take it that you’re an overweight super-conservative Jesus freak. That’s the only way someone would have so much resentment towards showing a bit of skin.
Plus, if your friend is wearing something that is too tight or too short, leave it alone, she probably isn’t stupid and purposely wore it that way. No one tell girls to dress like that, they do it because they have that freedom. If you don’t like the way people dress, don’t look at them. Problem solved.
You sound like a bitch, so you’re probably not going to post this because it makes you look like a close-minded asshole. I’ve seen the comments; you rarely allow those that oppose you. You only allow weak ones, that way it makes you seem more right than you actually are.
It’s a new era, learn to live in it.


To Efrain R: i found your post extremely insightful. Not as an example to aspire to, but rather as an example of how hypocritical people can be. If someone has friends with standards, theres nothing wrong with telling them if something is too revealing (they may not realize how other people see them!!!), its a courtesy! As far as the "overweight super-conservaticve Jesus freak" comment is concerned, i would like to ask you not to stereotype: im a young athletic woman who has never been to church, and yet i am totally for modesty and dressing appropriately. People have the right to make their choices, and their opinions. After all, the people above dont seem to be supporting the commenting on random people on the streets dress-code, but rather their friends, or people who ask. So why should we sugarcoat our answers, or conform them to society's ideals? And as for attracting a mate, not all men have as a requirement for women: must show cleavage and lots of leg. You have the right to choose your own opinions and clothing, now its time to allow others the same.


Effrain R.,
I found your post interesting for two reasons. First you rightly point out that we women now can wear what we want (read: choice). Second, you point out that showing cleavage is like baboons making their bottoms bright red during mating season.

While I think you are correct, I don't think we really have much choice or freedom today at all. We must show skin, or we're "prudes", not "with it". I prefer to view the body as a mystery, which is why I clothe mine as such.

While we are not baboons, we are animals. But above all we are social creatures. We need to love, which means respect for the other to find fulfillment. Survival and reproduction are not enough. That's why we can insist on revealing our cleavage at a more opportune time, to this end.


One thing I am trying to do to help this issue of friends and modesty is NOT complimenting someone if their clothing/behavior, etc is not up to the standards I think they should be at. This means I might compliment someone on her headband, but purposely not comment on her uber-tight shirt.

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