Modesty in Clothing

Everyone has their own idea of modesty and confidence when it comes to clothing, but what takes it too far on both sides of the spectrum?

Finding the right balance of confidence and modesty can be tricky.

Kalyn McLeod via Canva

Finding the right balance of confidence and modesty can be tricky.

Kalyn McLeod, Columnist

Today, there are so many different senses of style, trends, and types of clothing in general, so deciding what to wear can be hard enough. But one huge factor that plays into choosing an outfit is how others will perceive you in relation to the idea of modesty.

Everyone has their own definition of modesty. Some believe modesty is not showing an inch of skin, others feel that modesty is just not dressing in crazy inappropriate clothes. To get a sense of what some students believe modesty really is, I sent out a survey. Many responses were along the lines of not revealing or inappropriate. But some responses explain how modesty is more of a social construct. Aubrey Fuller, freshman, explains how she feels that modesty is presenting yourself in a way that makes others happy, and keeps you unnoticed, not always wearing something you’re comfortable in or that you like.

I am all for wearing what you want, and what you feel confident in. However, I do personally feel that it is a little inappropriate to go out in public half naked. Many people also have this idea that in order to be modest you need to wear a long dress or be completely covered. But in reality, modesty comes in many different ways, and in many different outfits. To show this, I had a list of different outfits, and asked students which they would consider modest. Leggings and a tight fitting shirt, a long dress, shorts and a T shirt, skirt and tank top, jeans and a crew top, basketball shorts with a loose shirt all were outfits that 75% of survey takers believe were modest. A hoodie and sweatpants was seen as the most modest outfit, with 87.5%. This shows that modesty comes in so many different ways.

One final question I asked on the survey was what you would do or think if you saw someone in a revealing outfit out in public. Mezaan Crosby, eighth grader explained that “it is important to remember that everyone has different beliefs, and that it’s their body and they can wear what they want.” Some thought that no one should go out in revealing outfits, whereas others applauded their confidence. But no one said they would go tell that person to change or that their attire is inappropriate. In short, everyone said that they would mind their business, and let them do what they want.

Clothing is a way people express themselves, so let people wear what they want to wear. Everyone feels confident in different things; don’t change that by making comments on what people wear. It’s okay to not agree with someone’s outfit choice because it doesn’t fit your definition of modesty, but it’s often best to ignore it and go one with your day.