The Return of Modesty Dressing: How Covering Up Became the New Showing Off


Johana Benitez, Staff Writer

In an era of Kardashian selfies and dresses that show way too much on the red carpet, was it inevitable that modesty dressing would come back into fashion?  Nowadays on social media, we see an unrealistic image of how a woman and a man should look and want to dress. According to these outlets, the perfect body image for a woman is an hourglass figure and revealing clothing. For a man, it’s tall, buff, and usually shirtless. In reality, not everyone is comfortable with wearing clothing that reveals a lot. Sometimes, wearing clothes that cover up can create a better sense of self-respect.

Examples of modesty dressing are head-to-toe dresses or turtle necks with long skirts. Modesty dressing is a style that prevents others from viewing people, especially women, in a sexual way. This clothing trend allows people to see the inner person, instead of the physical person. Everyone that decides to dress modestly does it on different terms. For example, some dress this way because they feel more comfortable, or because they want people to see their inner beauty.

According to the article “Modest Dressing as a Virtue” by Naomi Fry, Fry explains how modesty dressing requires a degree of awareness when it comes to covering parts of one’s body. She states, “By embracing the covered up look, you declare yourself part of a particular psychographic tribe, one whose members don’t just dress for other women, but for a particular subset of other women – those who get it, who are sophisticated enough to understand that opting out of conventional beauty standards makes for its own kind of conceptual, better than the fashion.” This clothing satisfies a woman’s spiritual and stylistic requirements, for reasons of faith or just personal preference, in a way that dressing for the attention of others does not.

In her article, Fry also points out the contradiction of being a feminist and wanting to wear revealing clothing. She says that “Feminism continues to promise women that stripping down will somehow empower us. Feminism promises us that sexual liberation will somehow bring about the respect that we desire. As woman were told that ‘undressing’ is empowering for our gender, but that’s not really true.” By contrast, modesty dressing is more daring than wearing revealing clothing because women don’t have to care about what others think of them. They’re not scared of being different. In this way, they experience freedom through their clothing expression.

Destiny Eucebio, a senior at Brentwood High School, stated, “I personally don’t like that style for myself but people should wear whatever they feel comfortable in.” Another senior named Katherine Garnett added, “I think it looks really nice. It’s really different to the type of fashion we have now – it is very humble and covers a lot.” It is good to see that girls are supporting each other’s fashion choices, regardless of whether it fits their personal styles.