Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Modesty and "My Uniform"

I confess, modesty- my appearance- has been a huge struggle for me. In order to overcome the desire to wear what the world wears (that is, clothes that seem trendy yet are very revealing), I have given myself a "uniform" of sorts. My "uniform" has given me such freedom.  I get up in the morning and I don't have to fuss over my clothes. I know what I am going to be wearing.  I can dress it up or dress it down (depending on the shoes and jewelry I wear).  I don't have to obsess over what I "look good in". It is simple. It is basic. And it keeps me from becoming severely depressed over the state of my wardrobe. (How is it a gal can have a closet full of clothes and "nothing to wear"!?)  My husband can tell you- there have been times when my spirit has been completely ruined before church just because choosing clothes is such a stressful task.  I want to be modest, yet I want to look nice. I don't want to look dumpy and frumpy, but I also don't want to draw all the attention to myself.

Months ago, I purchased about 10 v-neck shirts. Half of them are white, and the others are a range of colors.  (They are all plain- no graphics. I purchased them from Target's Men's department because I could not find any in the women's department that were 1, long enough and 2, not form fitting.) They are very comfortable, long (so that if I lift up my arms, my stomach does not show), and do not stick to my body.  They are loose fitting, but in a way that compliments.  The fit is perfect for nursing my baby, as well. (Any woman who has nursed long term can tell you that you begin to cater your wardrobe to breastfeeding your baby. I need clothing that I can easily pull up to nurse my baby without revealing my whole upper body! Therefore most dresses and tight fitting clothing is out.  Most nursing shirts are not very comfortable, or have too many layers for our "warm" Texas weather, so I look for loose fitting regular shirts instead.)

I usually wear them with a pair of jean pants or jean skirt.  Super simple. No fuss. No stress.  Some days I may wear something else from my closet, but I usually stick to this uniform. It helps me not to become obsessed with my clothing and to keep my day moving. 

This has really helped me nip the clothes issue in the bud for me, and since I have four children... I really cannot afford to spend too much time trying on different outfits.  (You know how girls are- we can try on things that look perfectly fine, yet we feel we look horrible!)

So, a "uniform" of sorts may not work for everyone, but it is the secret to keeping my sanity in the morning (along with a good dose of prayer!), and making sure that my clothing and appearance is not a stumbling block to others.  (However, some days, when I'm cleaning, I throw on a tank top and get to scrubbing!)

I admit, I sometimes fail in this (and most definitely, my past choices in clothing have not always been God-honoring), but I'm working on it.  I really enjoy nice, trendy clothes, but my simple clothing is much more affordable!

On the subject of modesty, I really enjoyed this article from Robert Jennings.

Scanty Dress

I, for one, will be glad when the first freeze comes - not just to eliminate the bugs and the pollen, but to see the public put their clothes back on. Admittedly, if I weren't a Christian it wouldn't bother me, I'd go ahead and feed my eyes like others; but now I want to side off with God and condemn this personified pornography in a day when jogging shorts reveal more than pajamas, nakedness is justified as art, products are promoted by sex appeal, and swimming pools have become even more bold as altars of body worship.

Why do people dress scantily in public? First, it is a matter of REBELLION AND LAWLESSNESS – "I'm free". It is an attempt to deny the fallen condition of man.

Originally, man was naked and unashamed, but now sin has entered and the normal thing is to feel shame at nakedness. Also PRIDE is involved– "Look at me." It is a desire to wield the power of beauty. Third, I mention LUST, that is, a spirit of fornication and adultery. I know that most might maintain their innocence on this, but to dress so as to stir up unclean thoughts in others is to assist in immorality. It is no accident that the
prostitute dresses the way she does – she is trying to say something. And so we see cut off tee-shirts, partially unbuttoned shirts, and form-fitting clothes – it all speaks volumes.

Rape has increased 700% in the last 50 years. Can we put all the blame on the men? The devil is a tempter and he does not need help doing his work. Last, behind the scene, UNCLEAN SPIRITS are at work pouring gas on the fires of our lusts. Nakedness is inspired by demonic activity (Lk. 8:27).

No, I'm not advocating that we wear uniforms or return to the 1800's, but I am pointing out that modesty is a Biblical absolute (I Tim. 2:9). The Bible does say that the immoral will not inherit the kingdom of God. And we are in a day when 80% admit to fornication, 50% of the marriages fail, and 25% of the babies are born out of wedlock. Society is collapsing and only a return to God and His standards will stop the corruption. Let's keep our bodies for our spouse. Let's forget the short-lived tan.

The Lord Jesus died for sinners to break the penalty of sin and lives in believers to break the power of sin. God is looking for the inward beauty of humility and holiness (Prov. 31:30) – the product of a new heart created by Christ.


Juiceboxes and Wipes said...

So agree with this! I dress modestly as well, but often feel "frumpy" next to what many of today's women are wearing. I also usually wear a plain shirt with jeans. We live in Minnesota, so this is often accompanied by a zip-up sweatshirt! I have many shirts in my closet that I KNOW I won't wear because they are too tight or form fitting, but feel bad gettingrid of them only to buy new ones, but your blog made me think that over again! Spring is coming and I need to go through the closet!

Pam... said...

Good idea: simple, inexpensive and good. I do something about modesty too, while keeping feminine and not frumpy. I get long sleeveless camis, or the kind from the men's section. I have several colors. These always go on. Then, I wear anything from thrift stores, even low cut...because I have the 'under shirt' on. I know I'm always covered high, low, and regardless of material. My daughters do the same. Layering allows for variety and style, and the cami/tee under it allows for modesty.

The point is to figure out what works! Good encouragement.

Andy and Jennifer said...

Thanks for this! After 4 kids, I suddenly have a figure...and all my old clothes don't fit! A "uniform" would fit my personality and needs well.

mommyto4blessings said...

This is a wonderful idea and I'm going to do it!!!

Waterdreamer said...

This is good food for thought. Thank-you

Cheryl said...

Just found your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly! It's very thought-provoking and inspirational!

I have also been dressing this way, although unintentionally. My second child was born four months ago, and although I've lost all the weight, I'm still most comfortable in my maternity shirts because they're no-fuss, yet still nice looking. I have several of the same style... high v-neck, loose-fitting, and LONG (something that is so difficult to find anymore!) They're "Two Hearts" brand from Sears... $10/piece. And the best part is I can wear my most comfortable sports nursing bras underneath :0)

I think I'll continue, although intentionally from now on.

ayearinskirts said...

HI Mandy,
I found you from True Femininity. I've decided to dedicate myself to more feminine modest outfits too.