So often we consider the effect of modesty or immodesty on the opposite sex, but what about modesty even with our own sex….in a clothing store fitting room, for example? Such a place is filled with modesty questions: “Is this too small or too big?” “Is this shirt too low or too see-through?” “Is this shirt/skirt too short or too tight?”
What strikes me is when women will ask these
questions to their friends, less concerned about modesty as they are about justifying
being immodest. I think many of you know
the type of conversation to which I am referring. Just the other day I was in a fitting room
where one woman asked if her shirt showed too much cleavage. Her friend replied something along the lines
of, “well, you’re working with mostly women, aren’t you?” At which point it was clarified that there
were a few men in the office. “Well, then,
you’ll be sure to get the men’s attention!” was the response. The women proceeded to giggle, and later I
witnessed the purchase of the item. Even
if a given area is single sex, however, this does not mean it is ok to dress
immodestly. In fact, dressing
fashionably and modestly around other women can only help encourage others to
We can also encourage modesty by replying honestly to those fitting room questions. We women certainly have the responsibility of telling friends whether something is inappropriate to wear or simply does not compliment her figure. In fact, we need to take more seriously this responsibility to our friends, especially when shopping with them. Very often, if you need to ask the question whether or not an outfit is modest, you already know the answer is very likely, “No.” Other times, it is truly a toss-up. And still other times, there might be an outfit that is inappropriate for one occasion, but suitable for another.
As a closing note, I have a question. It is easier to help a friend with modesty when we are shopping with her or when she asks us our opinion. But how can we help friends when they are not seeking our advice? What is a modest (and charitable) way of helping a friend to realize her clothing is too tight, too revealing, too short, etc?