Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Modesty Through The Ages- Fashion Friday Series February 22, 2013


It’s Fashion Friday! Today we’re doing a post based on the poll from last week. We will be talking about how modesty has changed and where we’re heading next. I hope you join me on this adventure!

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:6-7

Once upon a time, modesty didn’t really exist. In the time of Adam and Eve, no one knew what modesty even was. Then Adam and Eve brought sin into the garden, and quickly, modesty become a thing of necessity. The shame of being naked hit and clothes became necessary from that point on up until today.

Dress from Etsy- 1800s Inspired StylePhoto By Photo Couture LTD

Dress from Etsy-                 1800s Inspired Style
Photo By Photo Couture LTD

Gone With The Wind

Gone With The Wind

Fast forward to the 1800s. I know, I know. That’s a super long stretch but it’s where I want to go next. When you watch a lot of movies based on that time period, it looks like everyone wore a sleazy bustier with cleavage pouring out the top. While there were some, they are fewer and farther between than what you would think. If you look at what MOST well dressed and well respected women of the 1800s wore, it was more classy and conservative. I will say this though, it looked EXTREMELY uncomfortable and time consuming. Definitely not for me.

Flapper from the 20's Photo by War Wick Fashion Group

Flapper from the 20’s          Photo by War Wick Fashion Group

The rolling twenties rolled around shortly afterwards and I feel this was a big step towards “old school” modesty being a thing of the past. Women became more flashy and more comfortable doing so. It wasn’t as expected or required of women to be modesty and through the next century, as women’s rights increased and changed, so did the clothing, or lack there of. When I see the changes that have taken place in less than two centuries, I’m blown away. It took thousands of years to get from Adam and Eve to the 1800s and less than two hundred to get to where we are today.

When I look at all the potential “reasons” for this change in modesty, I have to imagine that the availability to media has changed everything. Once upon a time, it took months for a letter to get from one person to another. Pictures were rare, few and far between. Being able to spread the word of anything was next to impossible. Nowadays, you blink your eyes and you can see hundreds of things go across the screen. If someone wants to make a movement, all they have to do is try and usually something will happen.  Not always big, but something. All someone has to do is try and you get things like bell bottoms…or leggings.

Hole the WallPhoto by Leonard's Legmann

Hole the Wall
Photo by Leonard’s Legmann

The same can be said for low cut tops, super short shorts, and bikinis that cover less than sexy lingerie. It’s a lot like seeing a hole in the wall. The first time, it looks awful and needs to be fixed right away. The second time, you make a mental note that it has to be fixed in the next few weeks, and before you know it, you see it every day and all of a sudden it doesn’t really bother you anymore. I mean, sure, it’s still a hole in the wall but it’s not really THAT bad.

That’s the way I see it, at least. I want to be counter cultural. I want to teach Emma that she can be stylish AND modest. She’s doesn’t have to show her whole body to look good. She can respect her body while also following her own fashion identity. I’m not I would ever want to call my fashion identity “sleazy” and I’m not sure anyone else would. Sometimes, I think it just happens. In our house, we’re trying to figure out how to not let it happen. Here’s how:

  • We are teaching Emma how to respect her body starting at an early age.
  • We are teaching her by example. I try not to wear anything I wouldn’t let her wear myself. If it’s not appropriate for Emma, it’s not appropriate for me. Bottom line.
  • We are teaching by her current wardrobe choice. Let’s be honest here- Emma probably has some of the cutest clothes out there today. And guess what? Not one crosses the modesty line. If we can do that now, we can do that at sixteen, too.
  • We try to not let Emma get too big for her clothes. When she’s too big for them, tops become midriffs and pants become way too tight. Yes, I know that may seem silly but I think it sets a standard. I can’t tell you how many girls I’ve seen with clothes they would have to peel off. Ew.

So this is we’re doing it at the Linkous house. How are you promoting modesty at your home?


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