Fashionably Modest – by Jenessa (age 18)

Just a little intro to my Jenessa. Actually, she is my friend, Rose’s Jenessa, however, Jenessa and Carlee (my daughter) have been friends since they were about four and five years old. Jenessa is like another daughter to me (I seem to be accumulating a few, I am blessed to say but Jenessa was the first). Jenessa remains very dear to my heart and has some amazingly wise words to say about modesty. Here they are…..

Honor Your Temple: 

A Girls Opinion and Adventures in Modesty
by Jenessa Joy

I used to think that there were set rules for how to be modest, and how not to be. I realize now that there are lines, that separate “modesty” from “immodest”, and how some things are one and some are another. But also, I have come to notice that sometimes what is “modest” largely depends on your body type.

Now, certain clothing is inexcusably immodest, no matter the body type (whether its low necklines, clothing that is more than a little too tight, shorts that are WAY to short, etc.). But setting that aside,  sometimes, there is clothing that works for one body type and can be seen as immodest on another. Hear me out on this one. I’m an 18-year-old girl, and I am very busty. (This is not IN ANY WAY my way of bragging, and to be completely honest; for a lot of my life I felt very awkward about my bust.) With my body type wearing what some girls wear is NOT an option.  Necklines get a whole lot harder to deal with (let’s not even get into my rant about shirt sizes!), and camisoles, cover ups, and safety pinning shirts and dresses have become an art form. Getting a good bathing suit is like finding a needle in a haystack. Ick.

Okay, now, this is starting to sound like a rant article. It’s not meant to be. I’m just listing off the problems I have encountered the most on my ongoing journey to “modest” and “stylish”. Everybodies body type comes with its challenges. There’s a 99.9% guarantee that you can come up with just as many problems with making or finding things that are modest. It could be because it’s hard for your body type. It could be because the clothes they sell in stores nowadays consist of crop tops, and short-shorts. Or it could be both. My guess is the latter!

Now, being “modest” is a challenge…but it IS possible.  It’s also very worthwhile, and I know there are a lot of guys out there who are thanking you for it! Now, I could give you some goes-and-no’s to follow, things I think you shouldn’t wear, and what you should, but instead I’m going to say this: your body is your body. I cannot tell you how to dress it, or what things you can and can’t wear. I don’t know what looks good on you, and what works modesty wise for you. I’m not going to tell you that you can only wear turtle-necks, and long skirts (but if you want to that’s fine by me as well!), I’m not going to tell you that you can’t be pretty, and I’m certainly not going to tell you that being fashionably modest is impossible. Because it isn’t.

Want to know a secret? I really like clothes. I feel like most girls, and a lot of guys love clothes as well. (To be honest, most guys I know care more about clothes than I do!). My reason for loving clothes is simply because I enjoy being creative. I enjoy showing my personality, and just being different…that’s why I like clothes. I’m the type of girl who “remakes”t-shirts, wear mismatched earrings, and try to find things that are altogether unusual, and unique. Though, my go-to is a good pair of jeans, with a top, and some fun accessories. (I’m definitely an accessories girl!)

But I do have some tips for you to consider. I’ve promised you that I wouldn’t give you any “absolute no’s and yes’s” list. Like I said, I don’t know your body. But I think that, even though, I’m no expert, I have some advice and tips for you girls to consider. And these are them:

  1. LESS is MORE.
    Don’t show everything. You don’t have too. You don’t need too. The world may tell you the opposite. But they’re lying. Don’t listen to them. You are beautiful, and you don’t have to show anything to prove that. Your face, your smile,  that should show it all.
  2. “Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
    This quote is by Marilyn Monroe, and I wouldn’t ever consider her the greatest role-model, but I think this quote is great, and something to be followed.
  3. Don’t settle for something less. Don’t compromise your standards.
    I’m ALL FOR stepping out of your comfort zone…but don’t compromise your standards and beliefs! Take a stand! Don’t change or be uncomfortable because you can’t find anything else. It’s not worth it.
  4. Layers can be your best friend.
    Or your worst on a sunny day. But don’t rule those layers out. Camisoles, higher necked tank-tops, etc. There are the cute little bandeau things (if they work for you). Some necklines can be saved with a ton of different possibilities, to go under your shirts! (Literally!)
  5. Things can be altered. Don’t shut out that possibility.
    I know it’s a hassle, but it can be great, and works wonders!
  6. There are a ton of different ways to pin things, add alterations, and DIY clothing to make them more modest and in your comfort zone
    Whether it’s sewing on an extra piece yourself, pinning something on, taping (yes, I did say TAPING!), there a gazillion ideas out there to help you! Some clothing can’t be saved or remade…but some can!
  7. When in doubt…ask Dad!
    …or your friend, or your Mom, or your mentor, or sister, etc. Just someone who you know has your best interest in mind when it comes to modesty. I always go to my Mom, and possibly one of my friends, I also ask my Dad too sometimes. Especially if I’m unsure how a guy is going to perceive what I’m wearing.
  8. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Be comfortable in your body.
    I’m not telling you to show off your body, but if you find something you think is modest, and you feel PRETTY in, go for it girl! I just want you to know you are BEAUTIFUL, and that is a big part of what modesty is. It is COMPLIMENTING your body, not showing it off.
    “ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
    —1 Corinthians 6:19-20—
    I’ve hoped this has somehow helped you.
    Honour your temple ladies!
    Blessings, Smiles,
    Prayers, and Music!!
    Jenessa Joy


2 thoughts on “Fashionably Modest – by Jenessa (age 18)

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