Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What Does Modesty Look Like?

"A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper."
-Cardinal Vicar of Pope Pius XI 1930
In 1930 the Vatican found it necessary to give out these guidelines to women in regard to dress.  They are a good rule of thumb for The Catholic Lady.
But it is not difficult to define modest dress for women.  It helps to consider the following points:
-We are creatures of God.  As Christians we believe in Original Sin and thus the purpose of wearing clothing at all.  We know that God created all people to glorify Him and one day enjoy the happiness of Heaven.  We seek after happiness by our nature but we understand this desire cannot fully be gratified until we enter Eternal Life.  In the meantime we reject materialism and fashion in the worldly sense.  We appreciate feminine and elegant garments because they please God who made femininity beautiful.
-We are women.  God defined our nature to be complementary to the masculine sex, a very beautiful thing when we accept it.  Embracing femininity requires serious consideration of what we wear since we should love being ourselves and therefore love the contrast of men's and women's clothing.  We wish to protect the nobility of this relationship and the mythical ideal of chivalry.  Thus, modesty.  We are also repulsed by the modern trends of unisex clothing and defy the horrible abomination of homosexuality and same-sex "marriage" with our modest and elegant dress.
-We believe in tradition.  It is very important to consider tradition when choosing our dress.  Centuries of Christian civilization determine that long, full skirts are a beautiful definition of feminine elegance and grace since this style accents our natural traits.  We think about the good taste that our ancestors had to refine their dress based on their heritage, coloring, temperament or work.  Is this why I love the charming fashions of more virtuous eras?
-We stand fast.  It is so easy to slip these days when all around us is a cultural war against traditional femininity.  It takes constant effort to resist modern fashion.  It is necessary to analyze each fashion trend as it emerges since we cannot trust these trends are coming from a good source.



  1. Very well said! My daughter & I thank you for this post. :)

  2. Thought you would appreciate these two articles, in case you haven't seen them yet. The first is from a Christian lady blogger about her own personal choices in modest clothing, and the second is a defense of her article and virtue in general after she got burned by the media.




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