my guidelines for blouses & tops
Question #1 - Does it show my midriff? Nobody but your husband show know what your tummy looks like. When you try on a top, raise your arms all the way up. If the top comes up enough to reveal your stomach, it's immodest.
Question #2 - Does it show cleavage? If the shirt shows your cleavage, it's immodest. This can be tricky because there are loads of shirts and blouses that have plunging necklines and plenty more with simple v-necks that look high enough but truly aren't. If you are a full figured girl, this can be especially challenging. You can layer a tank top or camisole under a low cut blouse to help. Target sells Cami Secret, which is a mock cami that you can wear under tops that are too low and adjust how high the neckline can be.
Question #3 - Is it too tight OR too loose? I understand wanting to have a fitted top, but you don't want one that is so skin-tight that it leaves little to the imagination. And on the flip side of that, you don't want a blouse so loose that when you bend forward, everyone gets a view of what should be covered up.
Question #4 - Is it just too revealing? I don't wear spaghetti strap tops. I have a couple that are used as camisoles. I have a few sleeveless tops for summer but I don't wear a top that shows my bra strap. I also don't wear blouses that are sheer or see-through unless I have a thicker cami or top underneath it.
my guidelines for pants/shorts and skirts/dresses
Question #1 - Is it too short? This is for shorts, skirts or dresses. My rule of thumb is to the knee. My shorts usually touch my knee or go below it. I have a few I wear to swim and wear around the house that are higher, but overall, the knee is the goal. Skirts and dresses all touch the knee. Now, keep in mind that some skirts and dresses rise up considerably when you raise your arms or when you sit down. Those are immodest because they rise up and show too much. And when I sit down, they can show my upper legs and even my thighs to people sitting opposite of me. No, thanks.
Question #2 - Is it too tight? Even if your body is covered, it doesn't always mean that your outfit is modest. I have seen some floor length dresses and skirts that were so tight and revealing that it made me embarrassed. Edith Head put it perfectly when she said, "A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to prove you're a lady."
Obviously, it is not always easy to find tops that fit the criteria I have. There have been lots of times when I was given clothes that were not as modest as they needed to be. Before you toss those pieces, keep in mind that they CAN sometimes be salvaged. Here is an examples:
This top doesn't have a plunging neckline, but just shows too much skin. What's more, it can show your bra strap. An easy fix? Add a cardigan. It's simple, easy, and you stay modest.
This is typical summer attire. But it's immodest. The shorts are much too high and the top will definitely show the tummy.
This is a lovely example of a modest summer outfit. The jean shorts and skirt touch the knee. The top covers the stomach, shows no cleavage, and is thick enough to hide the bra straps.
I have a dress very similar to this. It touches the knee but when I raise my arms or sit down, it raises up....a lot! My fix?.....Leggings! I bought a cheap pair of leggings and wear them under that dress. My sisters often wear them under shorter skirts and dresses as well.