What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “modest fashion”? I think of barely there makeup, high collars, long sleeves and flowing, ankle-length skirts (because God forbid any woman to wear pants, just kidding). But really, as a Christian woman, there’s not a lot to glean from in the Bible when you’re looking for modest fashion advice or guidelines that address today’s generation. In fact, there aren’t many verses on how the Proverbs 31 woman dressed, except that she wore “fine linen and purple” (verse 22). She was a wealthy woman with the means to purchase elegant clothes for herself and her family, but where do women fit into the equation today? How can we look cute (even sexy, at times) while upholding the standard of modesty our faith requires? I recommend starting with the following guidelines:
- Realize that you are already beautiful! If God can love you just the way you are, then why can’t you do the same? I’m guilty of belittling myself and my natural beauty sometimes, but if you could just learn to love and accept yourself, your entire outlook on beauty, fashion and life, in general, would be much more positive. Any extras like makeup, jewelry or trendy clothes are just icing on the cake.
- Base your self-worth on your good character instead on how you look, how you compare to others or how others perceive you. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to please everybody, so you might as well stop now. Take stock of all the great things about yourself and be secure in that.
- Make sure your appearance speaks well of you. Now that I’ve addressed the inner you, let’s consider the outward image you present to the world. Dress not only for your own satisfaction but also dress to impress. Dress so that your appearance and the way you carry yourself overall attracts positivity, demands respect and compels others to recognize that you are confident and secure in who you are. First impressions make a huge difference, so every day when you get dressed, ask yourself, “Does my appearance speak well of me?” This is not to pressure yourself into being on trend all the time or putting on a full face of makeup. Instead, keep your approach simple and make sure that your appearance reflects that you believe in and value yourself so that others will simply follow suit.
- Always dress to flatter your figure. Trends come and go and even come back again, so, my rule of thumb here is to center my wardrobe on items that are classic, timeless and flattering to my shape. If something doesn’t fit quite right, try getting an item tailored to fit your body or enlist the help of a friend, stylist or personal shopper. Some department stores even provide complimentary styling so take advantage of the extra help when you can get it.
- Have fun with fashion, try new styles and be bold enough to experiment with different looks. Read up on trends, browse your favorite magazines and blogs to see what’s out there and try new things. What’s the point of being stylish if you’re not enjoying it? So have fun!
Photo Credits: Brandon Towns (aka Billy Summers)