Modern and Modest: Convictions and Conformity

Welcome to the first post in my new series, Modern and Modest. Over the past few years you've heard my voice on modesty, what it means to me, and why I choose to practice despite my misgivings. One of the reasons I've kept this blog up despite some noticeable gaps in writing time is the feeling that I was connecting with a broader public engaged in similar discussions. I've particularly enjoyed connecting with women from different backgrounds, faith communities and perspectives, learning what "modesty" means to them.

Our first post comes from Shey, one of my favorite bloggers. A resourceful schoolteacher, Shey has a knack for refashioning vintage pieces into tailored, one-of-a-kind items you could easily imagine in an exclusive boutique. Read her take on modesty below.

  1. What does "modesty" mean to you? Why do you choose to dress modestly? Modesty means a way of living that reflects propriety at all times, including behavior and dress wise. I dress modest because it makes me feel good and beautiful. I also dress modest because it´s a way I can honor God.

  2. What are your personal modesty restrictions? Describe a daily look. Are there places where modesty doesn't apply or situations in which the rules change (ie: your bedroom, your home, the beach, with your spouse, with family)?  Some modesty restrictions for me are anything that is tight or leaves little to the imagination. Anything too short that will make me feel uncomfortable. I rarely wear pants or shorts as a daily outfit, in fact I only wear shorts to the gym but I do wear the basketball shorts because they are a bit longer, sometimes I wear tights under those because the shorts can roll down when I´m working out on the floor. I don´t wear sphagetti straps. A Daily outfit for me is a knee-length skirt, tucked shirt, belt and heels or flats. When I go to the beach I do wear a swimsuit and a cover-wrap over it.

  3. Do you dress in a typical style for your religious community, if you are part of one? If not, how does your style differ? How do you feel about members of your religious community who choose to dress differently? I honestly admire those who dress modesty, including those whose beliefs differ from mine. As far as those who choose to dress differently, well we all have different convictions, and I respect them all.

  4. Have your modesty standards changed over time? How so? Yes my standards have changed over time, I started wearing jewelry and make-up again not long ago.I think I finally came to peace with having my own convictions and not following others just to conform.

    I think I finally came to peace with having my own convictions and not following others just to conform.

    I feel better than ever and my faith has not been affected by these changes I think I finally came to peace with having my own convictions and not following others just to conform. I feel better than ever and my faith has not been affected by these changes quite on the contrary, I used to be secretly resentful for having to follow other convictions that were not my own and I did not understand.

  5. Do you find modesty empowering, restrictive, or somewhere in between? Is it something about which you feel passionate? Honestly I find modestly empowering most of the time but there are times when it can be restrictive for me, like when it´s super hot outside and everyone is wearing tank tops and teeny shorts and I´m wearing long sleeves. It´s okay though because it´s my choice.

  6. How do you balance your personal style with modesty requirements? Are the two the same? I do follow some trends but I always modify them to something modest. Just because I dress modestly doesn´t mean I can´t have a chic dress style.

  7. What role does modesty play in your religious observance, if you are religious? Where I´m at modesty is not as rigorous as before and I don´t think it´s preached as much about it, everyone is allowed to have their own personal convictions and I like not having the pressure to follow certain dress guidelines. 

  8. Do you dress in a style typical for your geographic location? If not, have you ever felt out of place or overly conspicuous because of your appearance? I do think I dress typical to my location, maybe my hems are a little longer but I still can blend in. Not long ago a followed certain dress guideliness that were a bit more rigorous and at that tine I did feel a bit out of place, more so because friends would often comment about why I didn´t wear certain things like pants, jewelry or make-up.

  9. What role does your spouse/significant other play in your clothing choices? I´m currently single but I do have a son and I want to be a good example for him.

  10. Does blogging or reading modesty blogs strengthen, weaken or somehow alter your relationship with modesty? What has been the impact of going public with modesty? I think blogging strengthens my relationship with modesty, I always get supportive comments of followers, some who don´t follow modest guidelines, so it´s been positive for me to blog about my modest style.

  11. Anything else you'd like to share about modesty, being a modest blogger, your motivations or the impact of modest dressing? Share here. I just want to encourage those who are thinking about dressing modestly or who currently dress modest to keep up the good work and be an example to others. =)
Interested in contributing to the series? and being featured on the blog? Simply click below to fill out the survey.


Marie Danielle said...

Lovely post! Shey is a great blogger, one of my favorites! :)

Shey said...

Thank you so much Nina for posting this. =)

JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic said...

Very much looking forward to the thoughtful discussion from this series, Nina! I really liked reading her take on how she's adapted her modesty standards over time to fit her personal life, especially trying makeup and jewelry. 

Chandra said...

How cool! I'm so happy that you started this series! I'm excited about it! As I filled out the questions it really got me thinking (well, reevaluating) about modesty and why I dress modestly.



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