I recently read an article written by the editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine, Farrah Storr, about her decision to dress in a more modest fashion, in connection with her rediscovered Pakistani heritage. In the article, Storr talks about the modern-day surge in demand for modest fashion lines, and you only have to look at the Instagram hashtag #modestfashion to see loads of images of young, modern, stylish women covering up their bodies in a really purposeful manner.
Churches seem to have a lot to say about what women, particularly young women, should and shouldn’t be wearing. There’s often a danger that women are dressing modestly because they feel they have to, like it’s sinful to show any part of their bodies. We believe that for each and every one of you, it is your decision to wear what you want to wear, in light of your own belief in the bible. God cares so much about you that He wants to be involved in every decision – so bring it before God if you are unsure of your outfit choice! If you feel comfortable after that, then go for it! There’s no issue with taking an interest in fashion and loving putting together outfits you love!
So why would some Christian girls (as well as loads of girls of other faiths and even girls with no faith), choose to dress modestly, and should we be considering it?
Well, lots of women say that it empowers them, because it means they get to control how much people get to see of their bodies. It also could mean that they can better avoid the male gaze which can sometimes be really intrusive.
Many professional women also say that it makes them feel less self-conscious and more powerful, and makes people look them in the eye, rather than scan their bodies. Some women also say it is a visual representation of the fact that their worth is well beyond what they look like, which can be really helpful if you’ve ever struggled with placing your worth in how you look.
Whatever the reason, modest dressing can be amazing and powerful, if it is your choice. If you feel like you have to cover up when you don’t want to, then it has the opposite effect. What your family, male Christians, or the church is pressuring you to do shouldn’t force you to dress in a way you don’t feel comfortable. Equally, the pressures of society shouldn’t force you to reveal more than you want to either.
Style is never limited to one way of dressing, and covering up from head to toe doesn’t necessarily make you a better Christian, so ultimately, the choice is up to you and what your faith in Jesus leads you to!