How and when did God first awaken you to desire to dress modestly?
Lea: When I really began seeking God more for myself, I began to understand why modesty was important and began to adopt my own standards based on what I believed. I read several books that changed the way I thought about modesty, and found that as I pursued Jesus, I realized how clothing (and modesty) is an area of my life that I can use to honor Him and bless those around me.
Chelsea: When I was around 15 and I gave my life to God on a deeper level, He began to convict me about dressing modestly. We had never been allowed to wear immodest things growing up, so it wasn’t a huge shift for me on the outside. Internally though, God began to give me a desire to honor Him with my clothing and to dress cutely yet without drawing undue attention to myself.
Do you have standards for what you wear? How did you decide these standards?
Lea: I do have standards for what I wear, and most of them I decided because of how certain things felt on me. Some clothes make me just feel cute and pretty and others make me feel uncomfortable, like I’m drawing the attention to me instead of to Christ. Sometimes I find it helpful to ask friends and people I respect what they think of certain clothing items, and I’ve also read a few books that gave me different perspectives and insights as to what might and might not be distracting to others.
It’s also important for me to remember not to judge those with different standards than mine. The Bible doesn’t have specific regulations for skirt-length or bathing-suit style, and my standards are what He has convicted me of, not someone else. My job is not to judge whether or not others are being modest—but to make sure I am walking in obedience to Him.
How do you keep up with fashion trends now and make them your own in a Godly way?
Chelsea: One thing I find very helpful in trying keep up with the fashion, yet not compromise my standards is to layer things. I have lots of modest camis that I layer under cute, but lacking tops. I also sometimes layer dress pants or looser leggings under dresses that aren’t quite long enough.
Since summer is fast approaching, do you have practical tips for dressing modestly in hot weather?
Chelsea: When I can’t help it, I just “grin and bear it” as far as hot weather and modest clothing go! I figure it’s more important to be modest than to be comfortable.
But some things I do to help stay cool when I can are: choose tops that don’t need layers, cut off my old pants to make modest-length shorts that I’m comfortable in (rather than attempting to buy shorts that aren’t too short for me!), and wearing skirts that allow airflow.
Do you want to share any words of encouragement?
Lea: My biggest encouragement would be to remind you ladies that we are clothed in Christ. Far more important than what we wear is the awe-inspiring reality that when we are Christians, we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ and we can enter the throne room of God based on His righteousness and goodness and not our own. That is one of the most incredible things we can ever know or experience! Dressing modestly and fashionably is simply another area of our life where we can display the beauty, joy, and life of Christ. I would encourage you to bring it to God in prayer, and ask Him how you can dress to showcase His glory and beauty with your life and not your own. When we seek Him first, all these things, like clothing, fall into place like He promised (see Matthew 6). He is an amazing God!
Chelsea: …it is possible to dress classy and cute, yet modest! I know for myself that it can be so discouraging when I look at the options out there and think about how to dress in a fashionable, God-honoring way. Culture certainly doesn’t make it easy for us. But God is eager to help us when we truly want to honor Him with our clothing choices. With a little creativity and His grace, we can glorify Him in this important area of our lives!