Misconception of modesty: what it is and what it isn’t

When most women hear “modest fashion,” they often think about attire for a Christian, Mormon, Muslim or Jewish woman. The word “modest” is usually perceived as something not fashion-forward, beautiful, and stylish. It is immediately associated with a particular religion, culture or tradition. Why is that? I am not sure yet... but what I do know is while it is true that modest attire is the core value of most religions, it definitely does NOT always carry a religious connotation. So what is modest fashion?

First of all, modest fashion is a choice that aligns with our personality, social status and what we want to communicate about ourselves. Think of these women: Michelle Obama, Ivanka Trump and Kate Middleton. They don’t necessarily have the same religious beliefs, but they do have something in common. What they have in common is a certain modest fashion style. The way these women dress sends a message about them and where they come from. Every one of these women wants to be taken seriously and represents her own style. Now, what message do you send out to people around you?

Secondly, modesty is one of the underlining concepts of couture fashion. If you think about it, the most expensive brands don’t have a lot of short, revealing dresses. Because revealing is not high fashion! Forget about dresses you see on the red carpet. Those are made to order and have nothing to do with actual couture fashion. Think of Prada, Chanel, Christian Dior or Oscar de la Renta. Collections from these designers are classic, elegant, and modest.

So, while the word “modest” can be associated with religions, it is not a religious statement. And while some big name designers don’t necessary use the word “modest” to describe their collections, high fashion is modest.  Modest fashion is a way to show your beauty without revealing all of your cards, thereby leaving a little mystery behind. Can’t go wrong with that!