What we wear says a lot about us. Think about it: when you go to a job interview, you dress in a nice business outfit and maybe throw on a blazer so the interviewers can see that you’re professional and worth hiring.
So, why does it change outside of the interview? I didn’t truly realize how abnormal it was for people to dress modestly until a guy who worked at Rockefeller Plaza told me and my two friends that “Modesty is the way to go.” He seemed so impressed that three 20-something-year-old girls would dress modestly.
This is not OK. We cannot expect to be treated respectfully if we dress inappropriately.
I see people walking around on the street in skirts and dresses that barely cover their butts, shirts that really should be worn with at least a tank top underneath, and leggings worn as pants that leave very little to the imagination.
As an Orthodox Jewish woman, I cover my knees, elbows, and collar bone. I don’t wear pants or anything too form-fitted. I don’t wear anything that’s see-through without wearing something underneath it.
It’s true that this makes for some very hard shopping. Not only do I have to try things on to make sure they fit, but I also need to make sure that it covers me properly and that when I wear something underneath it (if needed), it won’t look horrible.
But I wouldn’t give that up for anything. I look at some of the things people — not just teenage girls! — are wearing and I cringe. Why do you need to show off your butt and breasts? Then, women get insulted when men can’t focus on their faces. If they were covered, it might be a little easier for them to do.
And, honestly, I don’t understand it.
People make judgments about you based on what you wear. Why wouldn’t you dress to impress?
I’m not saying everyone should give up pants, stop showing a little neck, or wear things above the knee; I’m saying be tasteful: modesty isn’t for religious people only.
Here’s a good way to tell if what you’re wearing is appropriate. When you get dressed in the morning, would you be uncomfortable seeing a priest, a rabbi, the president, your boss, or your parents like that? If the answer is yes, then you probably shouldn’t be wearing it.
When people look at me, I want them to see a strong, independent woman who’s girly, sassy, friendly, just a little crazy, and who values herself.
My clothing is my way of showing who I am and I don’t need the world to see me and think, well, she’s probably a working woman.
Being modest doesn’t take away from who you are — it can only enhance it by letting the world see you for you, and not for the curves or skin they can see.