We may think we are dressed modestly when really we aren’t, even if we are following all the written rules. Modesty is just as much about the spirit of the law as it is about the letter of the law. Here are some ways to check for accidental immodesty before heading out the door.
- Sneaky Skin: You may not realize areas of skin that are showing because you cannot see them. Stand in front of a mirror and bend over in all directions. Check for skin showing on your backside, tummy, and chest. If you can see down your shirt, so can anyone else taller than you.
- Tight Clothing: Your clothes are too tight if you can’t pinch them, move around comfortably in them, or put them on easily.
- Glamour: Too much jewelry, heavy makeup, and incredible heel height make you look more like a woman of the world than a woman of the Lord. Modesty means not obsessing over fashion and makeovers or focusing on the “vain imaginations” of the world.1 The word modesty is related to the word moderate.2 Sister Tanner said, “A loving Heavenly Father has given us physical beauties and pleasures ‘both to please the eye and to gladden the heart’ (D&C 59:18), but with this caution: that they are ‘made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion’ (D&C 59:20).”3
- Underwear (non-endowed women): Does the inside of your underwear drawer look like an adult-store catalog? The purpose of underwear is to cover and protect your private areas, not show them off. Wearing modest underwear, whether or not anyone else sees it, shows respect for your sexual body parts and prepares you for all-covering garments. And make sure your underwear doesn’t peek outside your pants, especially when you bend or sit down. That applies to men and all endowed members too!
- Church/Temple: You can be modest but still be inappropriately dressed for church or the temple. Avoid casual wear, but don’t overdo it either—church is not a fashion show. Wear clothing that makes you look your best while still helping you and others be reverent and focus on the Savior.
- Jeffrey R. Holland, “To Young Women,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 28.
- Susan W. Tanner, “The Sanctity of the Body,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 13.