Monday, May 14, 2007

This One's for the Girls: Modest Summer Dressing

In my daughter's youth group, they've been going through a program of teachings on modesty & purity. I'm really glad that this is being addressed with our teenaged girls, because even a blind man can look around these days and be stunned at what some teenagers are wearing in public. Modest dressing isn't all that complicated, and it doesn't take more than some pretty minor adjustments to make all the difference in the world.

Last week, Jessica came home from youth group with a "Cleaning Out Your Closet" checklist for modest dressing. I never made any suggestions to her to do so, but a couple of days later, she cleaned her entire room and left a bag of clothes outside her door. Apparently she was motivated :-). I'll submit the list here (with only a few, small revisions) for both teenagers and their moms, (summer IS just around the corner, girls!) with the hope that you'll find it useful. This may already be posted online somewhere, and I'm not even sure who the author is. All the same, here it is:

Cleaning Out Your Closet
(A yes answer may mean you need to clean that particular item out of your closet)

Blouses and Tops

• If your blouse buttons up, is it so tight that someone sitting beside you might get a glimpse through the gaps between the buttons as you move around?
• If someone is standing over you, or you bend over, could someone get an eyeful of cleavage?
• Are any of your tops so sheer that others can see the lace on your bra?
• Do any of your sleeveless shirts or tank tops reveal your bra straps, or require that you not wear a bra?
• Do your shirts reveal any part of your abdomen or back if you do the "halleluia test"? (lift your hands above your head)
• Do any of your shirts have sexually suggestive slogans? (such as "sexy" or "flirt")

Jeans and Pants
• Are any of your jeans so tight that someone could read the date on the dime in your back pocket?
• Do you have to lie down on the bed and suck in your stomach so you can zip up your pants?
• Do any of your jeans ride your hips so low that your underwear can be seen from the back?
• Do you own any pants that have lettering on graphics across the seat to draw attention to your rear view?

Skirts and Shorts
• Do your skirts or shorts come above your thumbnail when your arms are at your side?
• Back up to a full length mirror and then bend over to touch your toes. Are your panties on display in this position?
• Do any of your skirts ride excessively high when seated?
• When you are wearing a particular skirt, could someone sitting or standing in front of you catch a glimpse of your panties or upper thighs if you fail to keep your legs crossed?
• Regardless of the length of your skirts, do you have any slits up the front, back or side that could draw a guy's eye too far up your legs?

• If you choose to wear thong underwear, does the waistband show when you squat down or bend over?
• Do you have bras that you like to wear because you know the pretty straps will show when you wear certain tops?
If all your clothes pass this test, you know that you are on the right route to dressing modestly.

I thought it might be useful to point out that I didn't intend for this to be an exhaustive checklist of any kind. More than anything, it's a STARTING place for young ladies and older ladies to take a good, honest look at themselves and their clothing choices. Some young women and ladies never really give this much thought at all, and I thought this might be a good way to introduce the topic.

I hope it proves to be a benefit for someone.