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Modesty and God

By Luiz Solimeo   
Modesty and God
What was once seen
as underwear is now
fashion! Why?

Modesty of Dress and the Love of God: An Effective Way to Defend the Family and Restore Christian Culture

“I love vulgarity. Good taste is death, vulgarity is life." Mary Quant talks to Alison Adburgham, Tuesday, October 10, 1967, http://century.guardian.co.uk/1960-1969/Story/0,6051,106475,00.html. These words by English fashion designer Mary Quant, who took credit for inventing the miniskirt and hot pantsCf., http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/mary-quant/, reveal one of the most important, though rarely pointed out, aspects of the “fashion revolution” that started in the sixties: vulgarity.

Indeed, fashions have increasingly tended toward vulgarity.

Vulgarity not only tramples upon good taste and decorum but reflects a mentality opposed to all order and discipline and to every kind of restraint, be it esthetic, moral or social, and which ultimately suggests a completely “liberated” standard of behavior.

Are Comfort and Practicality Supreme Criteria?

The rationale for introducing ever shorter skirts was “to be practical and liberating, allowing women the ability to run for a bus.” The notion that comfort, practicality and freedom of movement must be the only criteria for dress has led to a breakdown in the general standard of sobriety and elegance, not to speak of the norms of modesty.

Thus, casual dress, being more comfortable and practical, increasingly becomes the norm regardless of people’s sex, age and circumstances. Jeans and the T-shirt (formerly a piece of underwear) became part of common attire.

Though one can wear less formal clothes at times of leisure, these clothes should not convey the impression that one is abandoning one’s dignity and seriousness. They should not give the idea that one is actually on vacation from one's principles.

In the past, even leisure dress, though more comfortable, maintained the dignity that one should never abandon.

It is curious to note that many companies require employees to wear business suits to convey an image of seriousness and responsibility. This is proof that clothes do transmit a message. They can express seriousness and responsibility or on the other hand, immaturity and a carelessness.

Unisex Garb

The premise that comfort and practicality must preside over the choice of clothes had yet another consequence: clothes no longer reflect one's identity. In other words, they no longer indicate a person’s social position, profession, or even more fundamental characteristics such as sex and age.

Thus, unisex garb has become widespread: jeans and shorts have come to be worn by people of both sexes and all generations. Young men and women, the youth and the aged, single and married, teachers and students, children and adults, all mix together and wear one and the same clothing which no longer expresses that which they are, think or desire.

The Habit Does Not Make the Monk but Identifies Him


Saint Therese of Lisieux,
a model of modesty.

One could object that “the habit does not make the monk.” The fact that a person dresses with distinction and elegance does not mean, of itself, that he has good principles and good behavior. Likewise, the fact that a person always wears casual dress does not necessarily indicate that he has bad principles or a reprehensible conduct. At first sight, the argument appears logical and even obvious. However, analyzed in depth, it does not stand.

True, the habit does not make the monk. Nevertheless, it is a strong element that identifies him. Furthermore, it influences not only the way people look at the monk but the way he looks at himself. No one will deny that the loss of identity by many nuns and monks that took place over the last forty years was largely due to their shedding the traditional habits, which adequately expressed the spirit of poverty, chastity and obedience, as well as an ascetic lifestyle proper to consecrated persons.Fortunately, for some time now there has been a wholesome reaction against the abandonment of the traditional habit, a fact that has brought an increase in the number of vocations. According to a recently published book, “communities of sisters whose members wear an identifiable religious habit” are the most flourishing and attract young women the most. (Book says young women attracted to orders whose members wear habits, CNS, http://www.catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20090526.htm

The Need for Coherence Between Dress and Convictions

Given the unity that exists in our tendencies, principles, convictions and behavior, the way we dress cannot fail to influence our mentality.

Wearing a certain type of clothing constitutes a form of behavior; and when clothing no longer adequately reflect our tendencies, principles and convictions, one’s mentality begins to undergo an imperceptible change to remain ‘in sync’ with the way one presents oneself. This is because human reason, by the force of logic inherent in it, naturally seeks to establish consistency between thought and behavior.

This rule is magnificently summed up in the famous phrase of French writer Paul Bourget: "One must live as one thinks, under pain of sooner or later ending up thinking as one has lived."Cf. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, http://www.tfp.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=691&Itemid=107

The process of transformation or erosion of principles can be slowed down or impeded by a person’s religious fervor, deeply rooted tendencies or ideas, and other factors. However, if inconsistency between behavior - reflected in the way one dresses - and one’s principles and convictions is not eliminated, the process of erosion, no matter how slow, becomes inexorable.

Living Faith, Inadequate Clothing

This subtle erosion is often manifested by a loss of sensitivity regarding the fundamental points of one’s mentality. One example would be the respect one must have for the sacred.

In some way, concessions to the principle that comfort must be the only rule of dress have ended up by giving a casual note to more serious and holy activities. How can one explain, for example, that persons who have true faith in the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, and who make admirable sacrifices to frequent perpetual adoration, nevertheless see no contradiction in presenting themselves before the Blessed Sacrament wearing shorts as if they were on a picnic?

The same person who shows up thus dressed for perpetual adoration would never don those clothes for an audience, say, with Queen Elizabeth II. This contradiction shows how, though the person has maintained his faith, to a certain degree the notion of the majesty of the Sacrament of the Altar -- the Real Presence -- has vanished from his soul.


There is a general tendency in our times to establish a most radical egalitarianism at all levels of culture and social relations between the sexes, and even, in the tendency of egalitarianianism, between men and animals.

In dress, this egalitarianism is manifested by the growing proletarianization, the establishment of unisex fashions and the abolition of differences between generations. The same garb can be worn by anybody no matter his position, age or circumstance (e.g. in a trip, a religious or civil ceremony).

Chaos reigns in the domains of fashion today. It is often difficult to distinguish, by their clothes, men from women, parents from children, a religious ceremony from a picnic. Haircuts and hairstyles follow the same tendency to confound age and sex and to break down standards of elegance and good taste.

...That Leads to Infantilization

One of the aspects that stand out the most in the modern dictates of fashion is the desire to create an illusion of eternal youth, even perpetual adolescence with no responsibility, a phenomenon that has been called the “Peter Pan Syndrome."Cf. Dr. Dan Kiley, The Peter Pan Syndrome - Men Who Have Never Grown Up, Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1983

Modern fashion shows a tendency to infantilize people. A Brazilian fashion critic thus expressed herself: “For a long time now, we have seen on catwalks, both international and domestic, fashions that should be displayed at the Children’s Expo, such is the level of infantilization they suggest. Stylists over 25 years old were designing (and wearing) clothes that could be worn by children in a day care center.”Gloria Kalil, Os kidults e a moda Alô Chics! http://chic.ig.com.br/site/secao.php?secao_id=1&materia_id=867

Modesty is Essential to Chastity

In addition to the extravagant, egalitarian and infantilizing tendency of modern fashion, one needs to consider the attack on virtue and the complete lack of modesty.

The human body has its beauty, and this beauty attracts us. Due to the disorder which Original Sin left in man, the disorder of concupiscence, the delight in contemplating bodily beauty, and particularly of the feminine body can lead to temptation and sin.

That is not to say that some parts of the body are good and can be shown and others are bad and must be covered. Such a statement is absurd and was never part of Church doctrine. All parts of the body are good, for the body is good as a whole, having been created by God. However, not all body parts are equal, and some excite the sexual appetite more than others. Thus, exposing those parts through semi-nudity or risqué low cut dresses or wearing clothes so tight as to accentuate one’s anatomy poses a grave risk of causing excitation, particularly in men in relation to women.

Therefore, clothes must cover that which must be covered and make stand out that which can be emphasized. To cover a woman’s face, like Muslims do, shows well the lack of equilibrium of a religion that does not understand true human dignity. The face, the noblest part of the body because it more perfectly reflects the spiritual soul, is precisely the part that stands out the most in the traditional habits of nuns.

Just as masculine clothes should emphasize the manly aspect proper to man, feminine fashion should manifest grace and delicacy. And in this sense, having longer hair is a natural adornment to frame a woman’s face.

Immorality in Fashions and Destruction of the Family

Garb that does not show a person’s self-respect as an intelligent and free being (and, through baptism, as a son or daughter of God and a temple of the Holy Ghost), contributes to a large extent to the present destruction of the family. It does this by favoring temptations against purity. It also does this by its vulgarity and childishness that corrodes the notion of the seriousness of life and the need for ascesis (self-discipline), all of which are fundamental elements that maintain family cohesion and stability.

The struggle for the restoration of the family by opposing abortion, contraception, and homosexuality will be much more effective if done together with efforts to restore sobriety, modesty and elegance in dress.

Dress and the Love of God

The role of clothing is not only to protect the body from the elements but also to serve as adornment and symbolize someone’s functions, characteristics and mentality. Garb must be not only dignified and decent but also as beautiful and elegant as possible (which requires more good taste than money).

If the “way of beauty” leads us to God by seeing Him as the exemplary cause of Creation, the “way of ugliness” turns us away from the Creator and places us on the slippery slope of sin. That is why ugliness is the very symbol of sin and is so well expressed by the expression “ugly as sin.”


About blue jeans:  Equal shabiness for everyone

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+45 # Louise Huberty 2010-11-17 12:11
Please accept my congratulations on this article. It has been years since I have heard someone use the expression "Where is your self-respect". I was a teacher and said it to my students but they just looked at me like I was from outer space. Thank you for this timely article, I have printed it out and will make copies for my Women's group. God bless you for your work.
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+44 # Monica 2010-11-17 12:11
Bravo! Why is it people don't realize their dress demonstrates their respect for themselves--or lack thereof? Teens naturally do some rebelling, but so many have never grown up. Add to that the culture of selfishness and relativism that respects no one and we have this recipe for downward spiraling. Our hearts yearn for happiness since God made us that way. Only He can get us out of this mess. We need Him back in our culture. Pray, pray, pray.
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+48 # Marcella 2010-11-17 12:12
I commend Luis Solimeo for writing this excellent article concerning a very relevant topic. I agree with nearly all of his ideas regarding modesty, dress, the family and the love of God. I am watching, with alarm, the deterioration in modesty in our society. Young girls no longer being taught what is appropriate to wear and consequently boys more frustrated than ever in controlling their heightening libido. They are supposed to see but not touch and they are being made to see way too much of the opposite sex before they are ready to handle it. We do need a return to modesty--big time!
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+29 # kirsten 2010-11-17 12:33
I will point out that it is the convert to Catholicism who is most likely to demand a certain degree of decorum, because they are seeking the majesty that is/was the church.

In my RCIA class we had three women who thought head coverings in church were a pretty good idea, and I notice that it's the very old, and the young, that tend to show up in scarves or hats...

Of course, for those of us who grew up after the 60s, it has been very hard to develop a concept of "modest" dress that isn't also ugly, because we didn't have as many good examples. I am often discouraged from wearing long skirts, for example, from people I would most expect to *encourage* such modest clothing.
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+14 # Maggie 2012-06-05 16:50
Wear the long skirts anyway and then notice the difference in the way you are treated by most men as opposed to women wearing tight jeans and a low cut T-shirt.
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+7 # NOsmutwear 2013-06-18 12:43
Sorry, you were supposed to get a 'thumbs-up' from me but this dang i(diot)pad is so dang sensitive! Long skirts make one look slender and taller. A short skirt simply makes a female look like a prostitute. Period.
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+1 # Guy 2013-06-18 14:48
I do not care how a lady is dressed it is the way she acts I try to treat all people with respect. As far as the way I dress 90% of the time it is jeans and a nice pocket Tee even to church if it is a special event I have some nice button up dress shirts with nice shoes and I feel fine that way because I go to worship God not a clothing contest
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+29 # Diane 2010-11-17 12:48
Really good article which portrays the common sense of modest dressing.
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-5 # kenneth 2010-11-17 12:50
This article is a great overview of fashion sense according to modern Western norms. But there is nothing inherently disrespectful about shorts or jeans. God made us in His image, and he didn't give us clothes. If we put on clothing, it is for our benefit, governed by society's mores and expectations. But should the Christian care about the norms of the world?
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+10 # James 2012-06-04 10:12
Last time I checked, "shorts or jeans" were much more the "norms of this world" than traditional, modest dress. God's mores and expectations should rule how we dress, not societies mores and expectations as you say.
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+13 # Kevin 2012-06-05 11:27
Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
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+2 # Frances Clarke 2013-06-19 17:17
Kenneth, I think you are forgetting an important part of scripture, why did Adam & Eve become aware of their nakedness and try to hide from God?
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+1 # Mark Grillo 2013-10-01 15:50
Kenneth, You state: "God made us in His image, and he didn't give us clothes." Sacred Scripture states: "And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, garments of skins, and clothed them." - Genesis 3: 21. And so AFTER Adam & Eve fell into Original Sin, God DID CLOTHE us. This is precisely because after our common parents committed Original Sin, they no longer had rational control over their appetites. If we put on clothes, it is out of humble obedience to God Who clothed our First Parents, Adam & Eve, in order the help control concupiscence, which is a result of Original Sin: "For all that is in the world, is the Lust of the Flesh, and the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. " 1 John 2: 16. Shorts and jeans can cause scandal if they are immodest - i.e. short or tight; ( there is also the problem of women wearing pants at all instead of dresses ). Sincerely yours in Jesu et Maria, Mark Grillo, TOC, ROSMA
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+18 # Beth Ann 2010-11-17 12:58
Many years ago, commenting on the clothing being worn, even then, my brother coined the phrase "the cult of Ugly". Consider that besides being Truth, God is also Beauty. The originator of Ugly would then be who? As society leaves more and more room for Who to influence people, one of the most striking examples of that influence is the Cult of Ugly.
Also, if we as Catholics ignore modesty in dress we are also caving to the subtle notion that respect for the sacredness of the human body is irrelevant... a direct extrapolation of Humanism and how is that philosophy working?
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+10 # Antoinette Moncrieff 2010-11-17 13:04
Though I am a faithful Catholic college student and proud of it, I have a hard time agreeing with this article. I totally agree with modesty, and have no problem with it. But I think that the bulk of this article is largely the opinion of a conservative Catholic subculture. Modesty is one thing. We need to keep our bodies appropriately covered. However, clothing is also a matter of self-expression and personal taste. One can still have values and dress modestly but dress in a style that conservatives may have a hard time with. There are appropriate times and places for certain styles but one need not make conservative apparel a tenet of the faith. It's what's on the inside that counts and is what really matters to God. "Man looks on the outward appearance but the Lord looks on the heart." If modesty requirements are satisfied, clothing style is really a matter of choice and shouldn't really matter. Conservative opinions should not be taught as a doctrine of the Catholic faith.
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+6 # scragsma 2012-06-04 14:58
I am nearly 60, I agree on many points with Antoinette Moncrieff - and I consider myself a true conservative. Modest can be beautiful, and social customs make distinction between what is appropriate for formal occasions vs casual ones. However, I always hated dresses and skirts (in fact, I don't own any), and don't like "lacy" "dainty" frippery. Yet I think I dress adequately. For daily wear, I stick with jeans, Tshirts, and sweatshirts - clean and in good repair, not worn out. For an event more public but still casual, I replace the Tshirt/sweatshirt with a sweater or knit shirt or a button-down shirt, and the jeans with some nice slacks. For formal occasions, I have a few nice blouses to wear with a blazer and good slacks.

To me, anything much more than that is too much trouble, impractical, and likely uncomfortable, so I see no reason to go that route. Keeping my wardrobe simple is, to me, a matter of using my assets wisely and not getting caught up in worldly 'fashion'.
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-2 # peter 2013-06-19 20:53
sounds like your wardrobe is rather manly.
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+15 # True Catholic 2012-06-04 17:37
I think you are mis-interpreting the article. The writer suggests that the lack of style, or uni-sex clothing does just the opposite of what you require which is self-expression within modesty. The way you dress also makes you feel a certain way and sloppy, vulgar clothing lends itself to a lack of sel-esteem....it's a downward spiral, just look around at the World, teens immodesty because their parents are doing and looking the same....the church was founded on conservative values it's the lack and loss there of that has brought us to this point.
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+3 # James 2013-06-18 12:15
That is the "fall" of those who think that modesty is "optional". They agree with the concept of modesty but have difficulty in applying it to themselves, 'after all, aren't they dressing more modestly than those hookers downtown?" "Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." These are instructions given to us through Jesus, who is all Truth and all good. If we strive to 'fall short' when talking about modesty, we will most certainly fall short. The feminist sees modesty as confining and discriminatory while the good Christian woman and man sees modesty as beauty.
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+5 # loca 2013-06-18 11:54
That's the problem. Yes, dress to express yourself in a modest way. You don't have to dress like a Nun. If you dress provocatively, then that is the way men will look and treat you...with no respect. Being a faithful Catholic doesn't mean doing some of the things, and not others. Give your whole self, body and mind, to the Lord. It's not about convenience. Will continue to pray.
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-4 # Mia 2013-06-18 13:16
The Lord looks at the heart, but, as is said, MAN looks at outward appearances. It is also said, 'Lead us not into Temptation'. One of the problems of today's society, there's not a whole lot of common sense left these days. We shouldn't even be HAVING this conversation.
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-44 # John Early 2010-11-17 13:07
In general, I agree with the article, but do not believe in the slightest that modeling Saint Therese of Lisieux is useful or even appropriate. I remain unconvinced that she was a person to be held up as any role model. The writer, or whoever inserted her photo here, makes it doubly difficult for any young people to (dress decently), also since she has been regarded as 'saintly' since she died. Few young people, for example, want to look 'saintly'. One simply must factor in that, and deal with it.
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+18 # Lynn Schmidt 2012-06-05 11:45
What kind of comment is this? What do you mean that you remain unconvinced that St. Therese of Lisieux was aperson to be held up as any role model? Are you Catholic? Have you read her writings? I am astounded.
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-17 # Lea 2012-06-05 13:44
St. Therese was modest, yes, but by using her as a role model, are you trying to insinuate that girls should all dress as nuns?
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+12 # Jacobitess 2012-06-06 05:56
Before she was a nun, St. Therese was very fond of fashionable dress, and in fact, that famous picture of her in a black gown was deliberately darkened, because some people thought that a picture of her in a light coloured dress would shock the sensibilities of those who thought saints should look austere. St. Therese was a girl's girl who liked pretty things, so yes, she is a great role model both in character and in dress for laywomen.
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+13 # ellie 2012-06-06 10:02
Of course girls do not have to dress like nuns if they are not. The point is the importance of dressing according to ones station in life in order to express the relationship between the body and soul. Dressing as a nun influences the vows she has taken while dressing as a bum creates a lazy selfish society.
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+19 # Teresa 2010-11-17 13:43
This was a wonderful article. I try to be modest always, but as a woman, I personally don't have a problem with women wearing jeans and shorts at times, never at Mass. They also can be feminine, in my opinion. I get from this article that the author is against anything, but a dress or skirt, for women. That aside, this article spoke volumes about how people should dress appropriately. I am so shocked how even some parents will dress their very little girls, like toddlers, in fashions that would be immodest if they were on grown women like plunging necklines on a female toddler's dress. It's insidious. We try so hard to get people convicted of sexual crimes against children, but then at the same time turn around and dress our little girls such that it would tempt these very same men or even women we don't want around our daughters. Go figure that one out.
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+5 # Georgi 2012-06-06 10:11
Very true about toddler's dresses, Teresa. And how are we to expect these poor children to grow up with any notion of decent dress or behavior?

I once heard someone refer to little girls dressed this way as "prostitutes." I don't think I can sum the problem up more concisely than that did.
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+5 # Hannah J. 2012-06-06 10:27
Thank you for this article. You're so right about the inconsistency between wearing jeans in front of God and wearing a suit and tie in front of your boss or royalty. My friend always says the same thing: "If there are people who wouldn't dream of showing up for a friend's wedding in anything less than a tux, why are they content to show up for church in hobo clothes?"

Clothes inspire not only self-respect, but respect from other people. That's why royalty wear fancy, expensive clothes. Obviously there is no moral obligation to be either fancy or expensive -- on the contrary, we should maintain a certain spirit of detachment -- but the point is about the psychology. We humans tend to believe what people say about themselves, including what they say by their dress and behaviour. I display a profound inconsistency if I wear a decollete and then complain about men that "I have a face, too, you know."
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+2 # William 2013-06-19 07:25
hobo clothes.. If I recall Jesus was baptized by a man who was most likely dressed like a hobo. We should wear the best we have for the Eucharist but we also need to be accepting of others and not let our focus on outward appearance affect our love of others and turn to vanity and judgement.
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+17 # cs 2010-11-17 13:51
God bless you! This was a great article that spoke TRUTH. I am deeply saddened to see how many good families let their children come to church without thought of dressing with Dignity for themselves and for RESPECT of GOD. Ugly has become such a normal appearance that I believe most parents don't even notice if they and their children are dressed ugly.
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+18 # Nancy 2010-11-17 13:51
Thank you! Yes, modesty is beautiful, so is showing our Lord and God respect!

Saved by the blood of the Lamb ~ naw
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+15 # Sally Dalton 2010-11-17 16:02
This was a fascinating article with many good points regarding fashion and modesty. I take exception, however, that long hair is inherently better for women as it frames their face. Not everyone will look their best or elegant with long hair! Most older women look best with shorter hair except for the fortunate few who are able to retain their beautiful heads of hair and pull off a nice bun or French twist. And some women never look good at any age with long hair. I think that's a completely personal decision based on many different factors such as age, quality of hair and face shape.
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+1 # scragsma 2012-06-04 15:03
And I agree with Sally Dalton about hair. I've kept my hair short, sometimes even very short, because I feel that spending time vainly trying to make it behave takes time away from better things. Let me just keep it clean and be able to run a comb through it to smooth it a bit, and I'm happy. I don't think I look better with long hair than with short, either.
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-6 # Lea 2012-06-05 13:46
Yes, and also, isn't a modest pair of jeans better than a mini skirt? I wasn't convinced to give up my jeans, but I am thinking of cutting my hair after reading this. I think ear length would be nice....
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+4 # B. O*Hollerin 2012-06-06 10:59
Quoting Lea:
Yes, and also, isn't a modest pair of jeans better than a mini skirt? I wasn't convinced to give up my jeans, but I am thinking of cutting my hair after reading this. I think ear length would be nice....

Lawkadaisy, Lea, who thinks TFP is advocating mini skirts?

Seriously, though, you have a good point (and I suspect a sense of humour as well...). Sure, in some situations (like looking after livestock -- I speak from farm experience!) pants are the only practical and modest thing anyway. That doesn't mean we can't accept skirts on principle, and even be ready to go to a little inconvenience. There are exceptions to every rule.
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+18 # Patricia Ann 2010-11-17 16:08
I have prayed often for society's conversion from sin against God's preference for chastity and holiness in clothing our bodies that our Creator has made.
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+32 # C.B. 2010-11-17 16:17
I am still in high school, and KNOW that dressing immodestly leads to all sorts of sin. I dressed in ripped jeans, tight tops, low-cut revealing blouses and short shorts and always was trying to look "sexy". I don't think any girl who dresses immodestly does not have that inclination. I wear long skirts and proper covering blouses and dresses now, and don't even have the thought of being sexy, but of being a feminine woman for Christ. After all, Christ died on the cross, being pure and modest is the least we can do...
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+8 # Susan Hage 2012-06-05 20:43
I'm a mom of a teen and Confirmation teacher. I'm curious. What made you change your attire? Glad you saw your worth as God's child. And not eye candy used for tempting young men.
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+7 # Tom 2012-06-05 21:13
God bless you C.B. Please do what you can to be a role model for our young women and girls. It is so out of control and Dad's don't necessarily have the best methods for showing and explaining why proper dress is as important as proper language, etc. Thank you.
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+1 # Shelley 2013-06-18 18:46
God bless you, C.B., for doing what is right in the midst of what must be tremendous peer pressure in high school. I agree with you totally. I just wish I could get my high school age niece to dress modestly.
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+18 # Tom Seesink 2010-11-17 16:26
Excellent article. My compliments. It is so sad to see how people dress themselves for church - God's House. When the kids and teenagers are sloppily dressed watch then the parents. They are usually dressed the same way and visa versa. Good examples make good followers. Always was and always will be. God bless you and your work.
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+21 # Father Joshua Maria 2010-11-17 17:33
Very good article! Evidently, from reading some of the comments, even so-called Christians don't understand the causes and effects concerning the way people dress. I strongly suggest the book written by Colleen Hammond "Dressing With Dignity" which can be bought at tanbooks.com. This is a must read by every person who wants to be and/or calls himself Christian in today's western society. Keep up the good work, TFP!
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-17 # Lea 2012-06-05 13:54
Father, as a priest, you should understand that not as man sees does God see. As long as a person's clothes are modest, the style is his/her personal choice. However, I do believe people should dress more formally for church.
And, I refuse to read a book written by a person whose name translates to "girl". Perhaps TFP should write an article about Christan names.
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+3 # Jean 2012-06-05 18:42
Lea -
Where on earth did you come from? Your comments are not very Christian and you are not even addressing the real issue. I think you need a bit more humanity in your response.
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+5 # Hannah J. 2012-06-06 10:48
Say, aren't we kind of missing the point? My understanding is that Hammond tries to show girls they can be elegant without being immodest, not to dictate what style looks best on them. You surely know some of the most gorgeous and tempting dresses (I speak as a woman, meaning tempting to my wallet) have low necklines or see-through sleeves or long slits up the skirt, etc. But they do appeal to the feminine taste for pretty things. Some people are reluctant to "cover up" because they figure they'll have to make do with frowsy old dumpy clothes. After all, how many fashion designers offer modest apparel?

And not listening to her ideas because her parents picked a stupid name? Seriously?! Anyway, FYI, there are 2 Sts. Colleen, one on March 3rd and one on July 8th.
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+8 # Bernadette Wolff 2010-11-17 19:21
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+10 # Bill Grothus 2010-11-17 20:41
It is all just common sense. Too bad for God it is lost today but a joy for Satan. Grace can bring it back but one has to ask for it. God bless one and all. Amen
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+6 # MARIE CZARNECKI 2010-11-17 23:10
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-2 # L. Pingel 2012-06-05 11:25
Marie....are you from PA?
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+7 # Paul Bennett 2010-11-18 00:16
ALLELUIA!!! Finally some one talks sense!!!
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+14 # Judith 2010-11-18 10:03
I am glad there is a voice that represents so many people. I learned by example what should be acceptable and what is not in regards to what we wear. I was always told while going through school that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and should be treated with respect. Being the mother of 5 daughters, it has always been important to me and I teach them that the body is to be respected in all ways. Our girls are now mothers themselves, so hopefully, and it has been so far, the same way for their daughters. If you dress modestly, you are perceived by others as someone who respects themselves and demands respect from them.
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+4 # Tom 2010-11-18 13:51
A good read! Thank you!
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+6 # Antoinette Moncrieff 2010-11-18 15:48
I am a convert to Catholicism and a young woman as well. Yet I see no need for a conservative clothing style to be a core principle of Catholicism. Modesty, yes. Dressing conservative... no. You can't say that a certain style of dressing, if it appropriately covers a person's body and still enables one to distinguish that person's proper gender, is wrong just because you think it's ugly. That's like saying that modern art isn't art just because you happen to prefer a more traditional, religious style of art. Why do conservative Christians feel that they have to put everyone in a mold? the less original, the holier, I suppose. Admittedly I did go through a head scarf and long skirt phase but that didn't last very long. I see no need for it. I will always, always be a faithful Roman Catholic though. It seems to me that one should focus on how to love other people rather than sit and judge them by how "Catholic" and "aesthetic" and conservative their clothes are.
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-6 # Antoinette Moncrieff 2010-11-18 15:50
Why is it that the comments that dissent from this article in some way, shape or form get negative reviews and the comments that agree and support this article get positive reviews? People should be allowed to voice their own opinions without experiencing such biased reactions.
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0 # B. O*Hollerin 2012-06-06 11:06
Hey there, Antoinette! I WON'T thumbs-down your comment, then, since that bugs you, but hey! do you have a problem with the fact that a lot of people who think the same have read this article and rated? Is consensus or at least majority vote automatically a "biased reaction"? Please feel free to put your own ratings on any and every comment you like! Your voice counts equally with anyone else's.
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-11 # Antoinette Moncrieff 2010-11-18 15:54
I was never under the impression that there was anything wrong with being a pacifist. Why was this picture used?
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+1 # Barbara 2013-06-18 18:49
Antoinette- I believe this particular picture of St. Therese was used because it is the most popular and highly recognizable picture that we have of her. Please read her writings to find the answers to your concerns. She is purity of heart personified.
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+8 # Kevin 2010-11-18 18:51
Funny, On the banality of "comfortable clothes" which are no more comfortable: One day while waiting outside a pharmacy I counted the adults wearing jeans. Of the 54, one was wearing seat pants, another one khakis and the rest jeans. I decided then not to wear my jeans again. It's been at least 2 years.
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0 # Dave 2013-06-19 00:27
Kevin: I agree, and I thank you for conducting this survey. For years I have noted the irony of people thinking they are modern and independent while conforming to the herd mentality of wearing jeans. I am over 60 and have never even owned a pair of jeans since my childhood. Beginning in my teen-age years, I have always worn regular trousers or men's dress slacks. I think jeans are appropriate for certain kinds of practical labor, especially on farms and ranches, but in my opinion they don't look aesthetically pleasing on anyone, especially not on women (I long for the return of the beautifully feminine maxi gowns that were fashionable for a little while in the late 60s or early 70s after the miniskirt craze ended).
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+11 # Barbara Zganiacz 2010-11-18 21:44
I like especially the remark that the sense of order is lost in today's fashion. Cloths don't match, they are carefully disheveled and looking sloppy; the fashion is just ugly and in-modest to the point of vulgarity. It really reflects the troubled world that lost almost completely the sense of sacrum.
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+14 # LY 2010-11-19 01:52
All angels and saints of God

Wonderful article!

other excellent references --

On Christian Modesty at the Douay-Rheims bible online website.

Wear Your Mantilla With Pride

Also note that most (if not all) women who enter abortion clinics are dressed in extremely tight jeans or leggings and other forms of immodest clothing. Based one one's observations, not one woman who enters an abortion clinic is wearing a long dress or skirt. Coincidental connection between fashion and modesty, fashion and life?

If we take care of the little things, the big things tend to take care of themselves, yes?

God Bless!
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+13 # Paulette Matthews 2010-11-20 15:39
If this article touches your heart, then spread the message by your own dress code.
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+13 # Mare Mendez 2010-11-22 16:30
My opinion on this subject has been formed after having spent many years on "team vulgarity". It is due to the silence of those who have the authority and the duty to declare immodest and vulgar attire as unacceptable,disrespectful to God and to other people and in some cases sinful.
Parents, teachers and priests have a moral obligation to tell people when their dress does not fit the occasion.
I now dress modestly at all times, and I am in debted to the good priests of the SSPX who have the guts to say exactly what is at stake for souls who do not.
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0 # Shelley 2013-06-18 18:51
Amen to that, Mare!
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+19 # Judy Ceja 2010-11-22 23:41
Excellent article! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and agree. Modesty in dress is essential for all women: for young women in attracting the right kind of husband . . . one who will respect them for the rest of their life. For older women, it prevents them from causing other men to commit sin, for which they will be held accountable. For young girls, it's vital to maintaining their innocence.
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+22 # Jan Schuster 2010-11-26 01:13
I loved your article, since I have a master's degree in clothing, textiles, and merchandising, and I taught these courses at a large state university. In my dictionary, "modest" refers to dressing decently. (I like good design, beautiful fabrics, and lots of color, so "modest" does not refer to conservatism, but to dressing appropriately and decently for the occasion.) The basic problem is that girls have not been taught by their mothers and other female role models why it is important to dress modestly. God made guys very visual, and they notice every detail about how a girl dresses and grooms herself. They interpret these visual signs as messages about how a girl feels about herself, and whether or not she is trying to tempt or seduce them. So girls really need to take their role seriously as protectors of their own souls, and also not leading the guys around them to sin. It is sobering to read the quote: "According to the purity of its women shall a nation rise or fall."
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+2 # Janie 2012-06-06 11:24
I think there's a little more to it. It's men who come up with most of these styles for women, and it's practically impossible nowadays to find modest clothes in the store if you're a woman. Myself, I look for used clothes at the Thrift Store or take "hand-me-downs" from relatives who don't want the dresses any more. Some of my friends make their own clothes, but I don't think many people (myself included) have the time or inclination. Certainly, we need to educate our daughters in modest standards, but the men need to be taught, too. Traditional Catholic standards of modesty involve rules for women like skirts that cover the knees, no skin-coloured/see-thru/form-fitting clothes, necklines no more than two finger-widths down the sternum, and sleeves to the elbows. Boys are not to wear tight jeans that emphasize their sexuality or tank tops, etc. For church, shirt and tie with dress pants are completely appropriate. Women at church should avoid slacks and wear a veil or hat.
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-16 # Lori 2010-11-28 00:04
THANK YOU, Antoinette Moncrief. Well said!
I'm a convert to the Catholic Faith and I hate to wear dresses! They're very uncomfortable to me and, being short built, they make me look fatter than I am. Why is caring about how you look, ugly? Jesus added, "Love thy neighbor as thyself". So if you think you are being holy by the way you dress and then judge another for the way they dress, doesn't one cancel out the other? If people thought more on how to love thy neighbor instead of judging others this world would be a happier place..
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+3 # Jean 2012-06-05 18:47
Didn't you just read the above response? She did an excellent job of talking about modesty and didn't say that women have to wear dresses to be modest. It is just dressing decently......read it again.
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+1 # Judith 2012-06-06 11:38
If you think you're short, you've never met me. And I wear dresses all the time. I have dresses that really suit me... It's just a matter of style. To lump all dresses into The Generic Dress is as unrealistic as lumping all dogs into The Generic Dog.
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-20 # Amanda Bullis 2010-12-09 19:36
I think a little bit of revealing stuff is ok, but I just think its sad when people are just nasty in the way they dress.
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+3 # Jennifer 2011-10-24 14:41
Well, written and inspiring!
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-27 # Cal 2011-12-18 20:30
There is nothing wrong with feeling comfortable in your body. Why would God want us to cover ourselves and be ashamed of our bodies? To paraphrase 'Glee':
"It's all about the teasing, not about the pleasing."
In other words, there is nothing wrong will dressing in more 'revealing' clothes, such as a V neck or such, as long as you don't leave a whorish life style. Obviously around children and similar crowds you should be more conservative in your dress, but how you dress is a way of displaying who you are. I mean, my Youth pastor wears short-shorts and a V neck shirt. Is there anything wrong with that? God would not want us to change who we are, just so we 'appear' to be more Christian. It is between ourselves and God, no one else.
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+3 # Janie 2012-06-06 11:31
Quoting Cal:
how you dress is a way of displaying who you are.

Exactly right. Which is precisely why you don't want to dress like a wh***. (your word, not mine)
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+11 # Jeanne W 2012-05-29 17:54
What it boils down to is if what you wear pleases God or offends the concept of modesty. We should be careful of the way we dress because it does send a message. Comfort while important to get through the days' tasks is important too but secondary.

I would hope women especially would be more careful when approaching the Blessed Sacrament. It's not about you or your needs but about honoring God.
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+7 # Wanda 2012-06-04 12:18
I love all the comments, yes it is very important how we dress, especially when we go to church, I saw many times old women dressed like slots - mini skirt, low cut blouse and of course high hills 20 cm shoes, make up very strong, disgusting thing to watch, and how young girls can see something wrong when they see older women dressed this way. I think that priests should pay more attention to people's clothes and the way they dress when coming to church. I am glad that some people are aware of the problem and think like me.
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+5 # Jess 2012-06-04 15:27
What about the most popular style of wedding gowns these days, the strapless one usually with deep cleavage, both for the bride and the bridesmaids? I think it has become so boring, not to say inappropriate.
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-2 # Jess 2012-06-04 15:35
For more on this topic, go to http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pat-archbold/the-death-of-pretty. Yup, women prefer to be considered "hot" so forget about "pretty." They are what they want to present themselves to be.
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+8 # Jan S 2012-06-04 20:47
When asked why we could not wear slacks to school, my high school teacher (1968-1969 secretarial sciences) used to say, "You act the way you dress." Mrs. Richardson was not as eloquent as the author(s) of this article, but she hit the nail on the head. How far we have slipped on the scale of dignity to the human bodies God gave us.
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+4 # Desy O. 2012-06-05 11:26
What a wonderful article for these times for everyone. Thank you for speaking on something that is so relevant and hopefully inspires others to think how important this should be to everyone. Kudos to you and God bless.
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+8 # Lou Soileau 2012-06-05 11:28
As a father of four children, modesty in dress has long been a concern. But, not only modesty, appropriateness, as well. As Mr. Solimeo points out, respect for the Divine is seriously lacking in our dress whether in the Sanctuary, the Youth room, or the Confessional. Pray for a return of respect for others and for our God. Thank you for sharing this article.
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-3 # Ford Oxaal 2012-06-05 11:38
Furniture has also become uglified. It is hard to find furniture that is not a formless, gigantic piece of upholstered foam!
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+5 # Pirate4Lord 2012-06-05 11:45
This message is directed to Kenneth who said God didn't give us clothes:

Read Genesis 3:21
"And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife." (NLT)

Essentially, God was the first fashion designer. I wonder what those first articles of clothing looked like. I am certain they were not designed to excite the sinful desires of the flesh - which is what all revealing clothes do.

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+3 # Janet 2012-06-05 11:51
My YMCA has changed the traffic flow and now every woman has to go through the women's changing room to get to any other function in the Y. They still have the door that we used to go through outside the changing room. My pleas to the management about my need for modesty have not been answered. I told them it made me feel like a slave: We Vill Force You To Look at Naked Bodies. I reminded them that modesty was violated for the women changing, too. (The traffic before was people changing for the pool, mostly.) I have a physical problem which physical strengthening keeps under control. I am really heartbroken that they are taking it from me. I don't know what else to do. I wrote letters but got no reply.
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+6 # Former Jean Man 2012-06-05 11:52
It is difficult to hear people say "I am not going to hell because of the clothes I wear." If you lead others into sin because of your dress one might have an issue at the gates. I am glad you related this with the issues we have today. Most do not understand that lack of dignity and modesty are closely linked to abortion, contraception, rape, etc. Another read is Dressing With Dignity by Colleen Hammond. She makes it very obvious.
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+7 # JGM 2012-06-05 11:54
Modesty is more than a word. It is a standard & conviction of principle & decency. Immodest dress is an advertisement regardless of what folks say about relaxation & comfort to which one could justly ask; To do what?
No one could run with the heeless shoes they flood the market with or the sky high heels that women wear to look what? Taller? Why?
Modesty has been on the hit list since the 60's. It has been down hill ever since and nothing but destruction has followed in it's wake
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0 # Dave H. 2013-06-20 07:38
Quoting JGM:
No one could run with the heeless shoes they flood the market with or the sky high heels that women wear to look what? Taller? Why?

Perhaps because of the well-known psychological phenomenon that tall persons are accorded more respect. One might not think it "fair", but it's a fact.
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+7 # Nancy 2012-06-05 12:23
No jeans, shorts of any kind or other immodest clothing should be prohibited. Think about the fact that one if entering the house of the Lord, not a movie, playground, night club, etc. The Lord of all requires respect for His house!
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+2 # Jackie 2012-06-05 13:01
While I applaud the call to a return to modesty, on the flip side, I wonder how many among the modest will be as open-minded and non-judgemental against his/her fellow-person. With the stripping away of obvious clothing differences, we began to unknowingly embrace the unfortunate among us and took the time to know the person beyond the cover, formulating unbiased opinions based on actions and attitudes. As a visible minority, I face prejudice because of skin colour and ethnicity, no matter how well I dress. I implore you, in our quest for a return to a modest society, to drop your pre-conceived ideas and condescending ways against those who may, through poor circumstances or misguided beliefs, do not meet your standard. Instead find the essence of the person and educate rather than shun. Here is an opportunity to make a difference in an unprivileged person's life, and be a true example of Christ's unconditional love.
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+1 # Brenda 2012-06-05 13:32
"In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity." Blessed Pope John XXIII

Since the issue of modesty is so subjective and a "non-essential" in regard to our faith, then it's best to remain quiet. Considering that the Magisterium has not set up definitive guidelines on dress for our times, keep in mind that articles like these are mostly based on someone's opinion.

Rather than attract people to the faith by our modest attire (which I'm actually all for) shouldn't we focus rather on what Jesus focused on, i.e. love? Oh, but that hurts much more. Fixing ourselves is painful. Let's take the easier road by focusing on modesty instead so we can start pointing fingers at everyone else.

"What's wrong with the world? You and Me." Mother Teresa

What a splendid place to begin!
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+5 # isabelle DeMers 2012-06-05 13:32
This is from the Holy Ghost, just this am my friend and I were discussing modesty in dress...totally awesome, excellent article. So many souls to save and so little time. God Bless !!
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+6 # Kathy K 2012-06-05 13:53
Very good article, and so true. It's getting worse year by year as to how little clothing some people wear. A lot of the singers especially, which just encourages young people to dress the same. Modesty, at least to a degree, is always the best policy.
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+6 # rosie garcia-carrera 2012-06-05 14:08
Great article! Brings to mind a sticker we had on the car "chastity.com" and the girl in drive-thru asked me what chastity meant. People are ignorant of the fact that they offend by dressing indecently!
Keep up the good work.
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+5 # Sconsin Patriot 2012-06-05 15:14
I am appalled at the way teenagers come to Mass on Sunday. I've seen shorts, way too tight jeans and tops, way too skimpy,short skirts. And the parents don't seem to think anything's wrong! How can they let their kids leave the house, let alone go to Mass in that get-up. Actually, there should be someone at the door of church saying what one person above commented..."Where's your self-respect and your respect for the Blessed Sacrament and other people!"
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+6 # Sconsin Patriot 2012-06-05 15:18
Also...used to be if your skirt didn't touch the kneeler when you knelt in church, you were not allowed with the class in church or were sent home to get appropriate clothing. We were not allowed to wear jeans/pants to school. If it was cold out, we had to wear the pants under our skirt or dress. Maybe dress codes should be enforced again?
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+5 # PH 2012-06-05 15:39
As a Traditional Catholic who is handicapped I wear what is most easily put on & taken off: jeans & T-shirt. Am always fully covered with both. My T-shirts are unisex as women's Tees are more expensive in spite of having less fabric. They're way too tight, neckline too low, sleeves too short. I HAVE to get men's T-shirts in order to be dressed properly.
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+2 # PH 2012-06-05 15:42
Actually, those 'fashions' didn't start in the sixties, but way before with Coco Chanel who insisted on the skirt shrinking & much more!
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+5 # James Church 2012-06-05 15:55
Admittedly, my views are traditional. Going to Mass is to commune with God, to honor God, and not to impress your friends with your conforming to secular fashion trends. At Mass, you should be concerned with respecting and pleasing God, not the whims of the secular world at the time. Modesty is in its death throes, but we can restore it if we insist. Some restaurants and public places have their dress codes, so does the Church.
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+5 # Andrew Hunter 2012-06-05 15:58
Ave Maria! Any article that promotes the lost virtue of modesty I wholeheartedly support. We see older pictures from the 50's and are impressed by the unity of dress and way people carry themselves. There has to be a large scale revival of these former cultural norms for the advancement of society. An important factor in restoring a "culture of life" is bringing back modesty in dress. Fr John Hardon wrote one of the best articles on this subject. It is entitled "Modesty is always in style"
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+3 # Megan Keyser 2012-06-05 16:01

I applaud the sentiment of this article, but I have to ask: If it's wrong for men and women to BOTH wear jeans, shorts, etc., because they are wearing the same "garb," what about during Jesus' time, when men and woman essentially wore the same style clothing (i.e. long, flowing robes) and similar hair lengths? It seems a bit inconsistent to me to say one example is completely wrong, but the other was appropriately acceptable.
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+8 # Judy J. 2012-06-05 16:01
When my son walked with his sisters to a community pool near our home in the 70's, I required that not only the girls dress modestly but that he, too, was not allowed to walk bare chested in the countryside that made up our community. Always about women, men have dismantled any modesty related to their clothing, their speech, and their embrace of male magazine culture that they read for the "articles". Until men stand up for their own gender and look to themselves for standards instead of pointing to women, the problem with vulgarity will rmain along with a degraded culture too.
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+7 # michael a. bimonte 2012-06-05 17:31
Your article really hit home with me. I
especially have trouble understanding how
men & women alike can attend Mass wearing
cut off shorts, tank tops and flip-flops,
and receive Holy Communion at the altar.
The liberal mindset is the root of most
bad behavior in today's world-the idea that there really is no such thing as inappropriate behavior, anything goes so
long as one is free to "do his own thing."
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+1 # Regina Kuczinski 2012-06-05 17:43
I really enjoyed the article and agree with it deeply. There is a problem though. You need a dictionary to look up the big words. It is great for those who have a big vocabulary but most people do not speak like that to their families. Some of the nieces and nephews and grandchildren that I would send this to would probably not finish the article which is sad really because it is so true. It would have been even more effective if it was written with words more readily understood. Modesty is desperately needed with both sexes. I pray everyday for my loved ones, especially the younger ones, for this great gift that is so lacking today. I just wish I didn't need a dictionary to look up a lot of the words. I do not mean this in any disrespectful way. I really do appreciate any article to promote this lost gift. Thank you for you time.
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+6 # Stella 2012-06-05 17:50
I agree, today fashion is awful, I hate to see people wearing to Church, just like you say, "like underwear." I have a friend when she wanted to buy the dress for her son's wedding and she could not find one because all style of evening or cocktail dresses are bare shoulder and low cut.
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+6 # Kenyi 2012-06-05 18:02
I noticed many teen Catholic (girls) wear clothes and blue pants too tight and high heels at Catholic Church in my local. I think that their parents are faults!

MTV and fashions influence teens to wear nasty clothes.

Remember: Before her death, Jacinta revealed some little-known statements made by Our Lady of Fatima:

#17. FASHIONS: "Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much."

(Lucia Speaks the message of Fatima little book)It costs .50.

God bless you.
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+7 # That Hat Lady 2012-06-05 19:46
Some fashion trends are diabolic. Not only the grinning skull motifs! Here are the worst ones: Yellow contacts that make you look possessed. Furry tails. Obsessive tattooing. Cutting & slashing yourself. Weird multi-colored hair. Strange shaved heads. Multiple piercings with holes that can pass a Coke bottle. Safety pins in skin. Native neck stretching rings. Needles or metal balls under the scalp. Forked tongues. All of exists to make you look like the Beast in Revelation. Once you do it, you're a slave. It's hard to go back to normal.
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+2 # Mia Archer 2012-06-05 20:07
mini skirts..? Hard to climb steps while wearing..always in the way because they are too short. Pants for women are sensible, because they conceal at all times. However, they need to fit correctly, and many women wear them 'way too low..
It isn't always WHAT we wear.. but HOW we wear it that makes a difference, although too short, too tight..too low cut always screams for the wrong attention.
I would not like to have my freedom of choice taken away. But I think that some people need to consider what their clothing says to others. Because it says a LOT.
Muslims and polygamist wives dress very modestly.. but that also says something not good about them. Think about it.
Do I like a veil for church..? Yes, I do. I think they are graceful and attractive. Do I wear one? Yes, I do. I have two. Ones short.. one long. Both Spanish lace. Women who are immodest are advertising. And everyone knows what they are advertising...
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+6 # Kevin Guerrero 2012-06-05 20:58
Excellent article. It's exactly what we need as a beacon of light in a world full of darkness and sin.
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+12 # Tyler H 2012-06-06 07:44
Let me speak not as a Catholic, although I am. Not as someone joining the seminary in a few months, although I am. But rather as a psychologist, which I am. How we dress influences how we behave, how we are perceived and even how we perceive others. Sorry to you who don't like this post, but our identity is made up of all aspects of the human person, including dress.
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+5 # Charlene Jennings 2012-06-06 09:03
These fashions are not only ugly! but VERY offensive!!!! I am so tired of seeing women showing sooo much skin and they do not even think anything about it.
I am most offended when I am at church......even men come in looking like they are going to the beach or a party. I wonder why our Priest do not speak about this to our parishioners...... I hope my example of dress especially when I go to church and adoration will help others see and think about their way of dress. We have lost so much dignity in so many
ways...especially the way we dress.
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+6 # Debra G. 2012-06-06 09:54
I remember as a child I wanted to be covered up from the neck to the wrists to the ankles. Sad to say, my mother played a large part in breaking down my modesty to the point where I would wear a bikini in my teens. It is so sad that young girls and women just do not know how to dress properly. This article inspires me to do more to correct the way I dress now.
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+2 # Ben kulp 2012-06-07 16:02
Al Capp, brilliant cartoonist of LI'l Abner and Daisy May fame , invented all sorts of funny characters for his cartoonstrip in the daily papers. Stupefying Jones, the schmoos and others ,all funny as the comics were in those days .The one outstanding in my mind was the "Slobbovians"...a fit description of the slobs who surround us today ....how long o lord,h ow long! must we suffer.
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+2 # Elise S. Hougesen 2012-06-07 17:54
I always instructed my children that people do notice the cover of a book, and if they wanted to be "read well" they should dress with modesty, taste and practicality. It takes a lot of effort to overcome a bad impression. Please allow me to recommend the book "Courtesy Calls Again", for healthy behavior to match those refined clothes.
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+4 # patrick 2012-06-08 15:07
well, being 51 i was born 1960 on the blessed mothers day Sept. 8, i live at the beach and consider the dress ware of both sexes immoral. However, we all have the awareness of right and wrong; dress to protect, not to provoke!
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+3 # ralph rivera 2012-06-08 15:34
I'm dismayed at my church for growing are the numbers of young people improperly dressed at mass. They come in clogs; shorts and graffito Tees; skirts too short, jeans, and from time to time males wearing hats. That I cannot stand for, and I immediately tell them to take off their hat. What is
wrong with them? It really boggles my mind. When I caught my eldest kid wearing jeans to mass, I asked him if would go for a job interview like that. He emphatically said no! So I responded, "God is more important, so why do you want to go to mass in jeans?" He thought about it, changed his clothes, and I thank God everyday for it.
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+3 # AL 2012-06-08 23:27
Excellent article! What a shame people today cling to fashions that make a statement, out of their age bracket, immodesty, indifference, opposite gender, pretentous and the the like. What a shame we are living an era where people do not act their age or their gender, and their humbleness. Last time TFP ran an article on apparel attacking. I agreed with them on the issue of denim. Along with the tee shirts, a foppish, slovenly rebellous pieces of garb shows indifference, and lack of conformity to traditional attitudes.
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-2 # Ronald 2012-06-09 13:34
Very interesting approach to try to claim such subjective opinions such as the belief that woman should have long hair as self-evident facts. I believe the article would have been more successful had it been able to actually produce an objective definition of beauty. However I believe the closest anyone could possibly come to that would be, "I know it when I see it."
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+2 # johnny gonzalez 2012-06-24 00:48
I am certainly dismayed by the odd
and strange appearances people are
prostrating. i am guilty of some. For
years i have enjoyed wearing long hair
and sometimes into a tail for appropriate reasons.
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-1 # Rev. Dr. John+ 2013-06-18 12:20
This article is EXCELLENT! Having teens these days, it is a mild battle to convince our son that a t-shirt is not 'dressed,' and, while our daughter is more restrained, sometimes she dresses to provoke male interest, even while covering up her entire body!

I look at dresses from the early 1960's and before (when I was a child) and people are SO MUCH MORE NOBLE LOOKING. But then, they were also more monochromatic, and less 'multicultural'- so that has much to do with it.

Nevertheless, dressing nicely should be the NORM for the residents of Christendom, not the exception.
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+2 # TG 2013-06-18 12:29
Very good article. Wish the people that need it would read it.
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+2 # Maureen Murphy 2013-06-18 12:56
Today after attending Holy Mass, my husband, a friend, and I were having coffee together. Our conversation was the subject of the article, which I just read, and agree with fully! We are on the same page as conservative Catholics, brought up ALWAYS to dress modestly. We are constantly being shocked seeing much inappropriate dress in places never seen before in church and school, especially.
This is the fault of poor parenting in bowing to social pressure. PRAYER IS THE ANSWER! KEEP THE PRAYERS GOING!
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-1 # Anna 2013-06-18 13:02
Modesty is so hard for women to understand.
It's a virtue and grows with practice. Women who practice it and are in tune to the quiet workings of the soul will feel shame at letting it go, even a little, not because they hate their bodies but because this beautiful virtue has been planted in their soul.

It's nice to see a movement in support of modesty coming from Catholic youth. There is hope! Modesty is the safeguard of chastity and purity, virtues all but lost in this vain and selfish age.

I think we have to be careful not to make it about what a person wears but that they take a step up the ladder. The person who goes from lingerie type clothing to loose fitting jeans and a T-shirt has come a long way and we have to be careful not to discourage. Jesus never discourages. I also think it's important for mothers to model, fathers to encourage and priests to speak about this virtue, one of the jewels with which all good women should adorn their souls.
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+5 # Stephen Marron 2013-06-18 13:08
I think nuns should start wearing their habits more often. Really wear those habits.
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-2 # Sal Sanders 2013-06-18 14:18
As Beth Ann states, above, definitely the "cult of the ugly." Modernity is hell bent on demonizing the God-given beauty of our humanity and camouflaging it to blend with the garbage heap. Note how good language is, "like," at the same time, "like," "you know," being dumped as well, with F'ing this or that denoting cool hipness.
Aye, tis the demons of Hell guiding and preparing them for their eternal legacy as the smoke of Satan permeates this Century's novus ordo society.
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-1 # Marianne Frederick 2013-06-18 14:44
I loved this article--as I have been alive during the time probably the greatest changes in moral tectonic plates have occurred, and changes, too, not only in dress, but in behavior. When "the pill" came along--let's face it--everything changed. The way women behaved, the way men behaved, the way young people behave. Now, we are faced with eroding moral values and people--both young and old-- who do not believe in "shame" or guilt and who have been de-personalized by their addictive attachments to computers and technology and pacified by the wonder of acquiring things and devotion to being entertained! While we are being entertained our families are falling apart, and parents no longer know how to raise children--they must take parenting classes... elderly parents are not being properly cared for, or respected... and we're removing the Commandments from view. What is past, is prologue--let us not fall like Rome fell. Caligula also had no shame!
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0 # Polly 2013-06-18 15:46
It's about time!!! I hate seeing rings hanging out of mouths,tongues,lips etc. and piercings all up and down the ears. I can't believe that people don't realize how ugly they look. I am even more shocked by the dress worn in church. Even the Eucharistic ministers are wearing shorts and sneakers or flip flops. Years ago all the women wore dresses or skirts an blouses and the men wore suits. What has happened to the respect that should be shown in God's house
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0 # Dave Mattozzi 2013-06-18 16:05
Great read. Spot on. God Bless!
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0 # Andrew 2013-06-18 19:53
I fully agree with this article.
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-1 # Madeleine 2013-06-18 19:59
I'm no prude but the way people dress today is appalling. I have two daughters and I never let them out dressed like Hooker's.
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0 # Martin 2013-06-18 21:25
Great article. I agree that to restore Christian values and the family, we must restore modesty.
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-1 # Marlo 2013-06-18 22:08
This article should be read in every Church, given to all students at the start of school as their "dress code", and be handed out or posted for everyone to see. It is amazing how powerful the truth really is. It is sad, however, to know that, for the most part, the people who need to read this won't. And those people who already maintain a standard of decency in their dress will be inspired and strengthened, and perhaps influence others. God bless you and your work.
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+1 # Mary Garback 2013-06-19 02:20
The National Catholic Register ran an article (one year, maybe two, maybe more years ago...) about a designer of Catholic wedding gowns/clothing. She is bringing back modest gowns which are also stylish. And the article mentioned that traditional all white weddings are coming back into vogue (I was born in 1956 and don't recall ever attending a wedding wear the attendants also wore white). If the Register can't reproduce the article, searching the Internet may bear fruit.
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0 # William 2013-06-19 07:18
I agree with the modesty in dress. There is alot of clothing that seems designed to encourage inappropriate thought but I also think that too much focus on how we are dressed and how others are dressed can lead to judgement and exclusion and a lack of true acceptance because in the end there will always be those who don't go far enough.
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+1 # William 2013-06-19 07:19
I recall the some sermons from Jesus, Matthew 23:1-6, Luke 11:39. I wonder when all this goes into the realm of vanity and when we are serving evil rather than good by creating division where God wishes there to be none. I also wonder would Adam and Eve be allowed into our gathering spaces and welcome at the Eucharist wearing the very clothes that God created for them or would John the Baptist? Matthew 11: So what did you go out to see? A man in soft garments? Behold, those who are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. Be careful who you are turning away, your brothers and sisters. But yes, we should humbly and modestly come before God and offer our prayers and thanksgiving.
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-1 # Craig 2013-06-19 08:23
One can have their own "style" and still be modest. This is akin to saying reason and Faith go hand in hand.
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+2 # Dave H. 2013-06-20 08:25
Not to disparage the entire idea, but the case is overblown. Whence comes the term "vulgarity"? The same place as "Vulgate Bible" -- a word denoting ordinary people. The cult of forced egalitarianism has its fallacies. But the flip side of that coin is elitism. The author says people's occupation, i.e., economic position, ought to be identifiable by garb. Are uniforms denoting monetary status really what faith is about?! Are the Pharisees of the Bible the real heroes?!

In Victorian times people covered themselves entirely, preventing the natural production of vitamin D from sunshine hitting the skin. Didn't stop lasciviousness. The sight of a woman's bare ankle could arouse men's passions, being so uncommon. Table skirts were high fashion, since a bare table "leg" was considered an invitation to lust.

Modesty has more to do with what's on the inside than what's on the outside. As one grows in understanding, attire will naturally reflect that growth.
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+2 # marie therese 2013-06-20 14:56
I pray that beautiful articles like these are read and then passed on to others - not just Catholics - but everyone. We have to stop the brainwashing that goes on in social media. Ask others to pass this article on. . .thank you.
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