This article lists quotes and tips on teaching modesty effectively to young women. Lots of links to modesty resources and activity ideas.
Modesty is a difficult concept to teach youth who are bombarded by inappropriate dress
touted as acceptable, or even required to be “cool”.
I think the most important statement on teaching modesty to Young Women was made by Susan Tanner during her 2004 Fall Workshop message called “Let
the Fire of the Covenant Burn in Your Hearts“:
Teach the good by showing the good. This invites the Spirit, which is the greatest
teacher. Too often we see leaders who try to teach a certain standard by showing the bad
example. For instance, if you want to teach modesty in dress and appearance, don’t
begin by showing all the immodest styles. Youth see the bad every day in their lives.
We show them the good. A nice example of this came when David Warner of the Church’s
Cultural Arts Division was working with a group of youth who were to help in a satellite
youth discussion. He opened the For the Strength of Youth booklet and showed them a
picture of some attractively dressed youth and said, “Come looking like this.” We must
teach them to be good, as he did, by showing them the good.
Following is a very large list of links and resources that will be of help
to you in teaching modesty to youth:
Modesty Visual Aids
- Modest is Hottest Bookmarks
- Don’t be a Dummy
- Don’t Short Change Yourself
- Shelter from the Storm
- Mixed Signals
- Don’t Fall For it
- Be your Best
Modesty Object Lessons
- Make a Modest is Hottest T-shirt
- Modesty Matters is a skit
by Lisa Hansen that uses fairy tales and Disney music to teach principles of modesty. It is SO FUN!
- Modesty Princesses – a
short version of the Modesty Matters script, by Gina D.
- Dressing Your Best – learn
that you can look great and be modest at the same time by having an expert
come and do a proper clothing fitting for each young woman.
- Modest Clothes Shopping –
Take the young women (and mothers) out to a mall or shopping center to search for inexpensive,
stylish modest clothing. The goal is not to buy clothes, just to show that we can find
modest clothing if we look.
- Modest Shopping + Fashion Show –
I really like this activity because of the fun element of shopping, and the thought
questions that were included with the fashion show that really made the Young
Women think about modesty.
- Modest are Hottest –
We wanted to stress to our yw about the importance of modesty. By listening to the Young Men, it
really meant a lot to them. The t-shirts were a big hit and we told our girls as long as they
were wearing shirts like the one we gave them then they will always be modest
(because it had sleeves, high neck and was long enough).
- DI Modesty Night –
Take the young women to DI to try on modest clothing — some for fun and some for real. Teaches
girls they can find cute modest clothing, and that it can be fun, too.
- Mock Modest Fashion Show–
Reminds young women to be modest — gently.
- Modest Snow Activity –
A fun way to teach about dressing modestly out of doors!
- Modesty Song –
Use the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” to see if clothing is modest.
- Newspaper Modesty –
Learn about modesty while making fun clothing out of disposable newspaper, then display them
in a fashion show.
- Design your own modest formal
to the annual Modest By Design competition.
- Do what several Young Women’s groups have done all over the world: hold a
Fashion Show. Invite your local paper or radio to cover the event.
- Some units have held Modest Proms where young men and women can have a great time
without immodesty. Think of ways to involve youth groups from other religous
denominations — Mormons aren’t the only ones concerned about immodesty.
- Brainstorm for ideas for a New Era Poster/Mormonad on Modesty.
- With your youth leaders’ approval, invite several young men and young women to be
on a panel discussion. Have the young men give their feelings on modesty and how a
young woman should dress. Have the young women do the same for the young men. (“What’s
in It for You”, New Era, January 2004, page 49)
Articles for Modesty Lessons
and Modest – Jacquelyn Benson, Mary Lee Call, and Emily O. Jennings, New Era, January 2005, page 37
Your Style – Caroline H. Benzley, New Era, January 2002, page 28
Up! – Nikki Miner, New Era, May 2003, page 45
Stress – Meagan Nelson, New Era, March 2001, page 10
Dating Smooth Sailing – Susan W. Tanner, New Era, October 2004, page 28
the Right Swim Wear – Judith Rasband, New Era, April 1983, page 20
than Hemlines or Haircuts – Joseph Walker, Ensign, February 1992, 22
- Dressing modestly is important because those around us judge us by how we appear.
- What you wear tells others who you are.
- What you wear shows your respect (or disrespect) for places you go and people you’re with.
- What you wear reflects how committed you are to following the Savior. If you ignore how He’s asked you to dress, you’re saying, “The Lord isn’t important to me.”
- The Lord has provided some appropriate dress and grooming standards in For the Strength of Youth.
- What you put on your body “talks.” And everyone who sees you “hears” what you’re saying. (Preceding bullets from”Q&A: Questions and Answers,” New Era, January 2004, page 16)
- Dressing modestly invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
- When you are well-groomed and modestly dressed, you can influence others for good. (Preceding bullets from “For the Strength of Youth, page 15)
- How would I feel about my clothing if I knew the prophet were to visit in my home?
- Is my clothing a good example of what a Latter-day Saint girl or woman should wear?
- Modest Quotes – are
in the forum from people like William Shakespeare, Mandy Moore, and Ralph Lauren.
Dallin H. Oaks:
“Young women, please understand that if you dress immodestly, you are magnifying this problem by becoming pornography to some of the men who see you.” (“Pornography,” Ensign, May 2005, page 87)
Spencer W. Kimball:
Another of the many things that lead to unchastity is immodesty. Today many young women and young men are smug in their knowledge of the facts of life. They think they know all the answers. They talk about sex as freely as they talk about cars and shows and clothes. And a spirit of immodesty has developed until nothing seems to be sacred.
One contributing factor to immodesty and a breakdown of moral values is the modern dress. I am sure that the immodest clothes that are worn by some of our young women, and their mothers, contribute directly and indirectly to the immorality of this age. Even fathers sometimes encourage it. I wonder if our young sisters realize the temptation they are flaunting before young men when they leave their bodies partly uncovered….
I am positive that the clothes we wear can be a tremendous factor in the gradual breakdown of our love of virtue, our steadfastness in chastity (Faith Precedes the Miracle , 163, 168).
Susan W. Tanner
Everything about your appearance, your speech, and your demeanor should bespeak that you are a literal spirit son or daughter of Heavenly Father. If we truly understand the significance of our bodies in our Father’s plan, we will show great honor for our bodies. When you dress and act modestly, others will treat you with respect. (Make Dating Smooth Sailing New Era, October 2004, page 28)
“Suppose that a female angel were to come into your house and you had the privilege of seeing her, how would she be dressed? … She would be neat and nice, her countenance full of glory, brilliant, bright, and perfectly beautiful, and in every act her gracefulness would charm the heart of every beholder. There is nothing needless about her. None of my sisters believe that these useless, foolish fashions are followed in heaven. Well, then, pattern [your lives] after good and heavenly things, …” (in Deseret News [Weekly], 30 Apr. 1873, 196).
Things to Remember
Stories About Modesty
“Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone told a story about the son of a king who understood who he was and how he should act. King Louis XVI of France had been taken from his throne and put in prison. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who had captured the king. Because the young prince was to be the next king, they wanted to destroy him morally. They knew that if they did, he would never be able to become the king of France.
“These people took the prince to a faraway city, where they tempted the boy with every filthy thing they could find. They tried to get him to eat foods which would quickly make him lose control of himself. They used terrible language around him all the time. They tempted him with evil women. They exposed him to dishonor and distrust. He was surrounded constantly by everything that could make a person lose his moral values. For over six months he was given this treatment. But not once did the boy give in to temptation. Finally, after doing everything they could think of, they asked why he did not do these things. He replied, I cannot do what you ask, for I was born to be a king (adapted from The King’s Son, New Era, Nov. 1975, 35).
“We too were born to be kings (see 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6). Our purpose in life, however, is greater than being the king of a nation. We are children of God, and we were born to become like Him. Achieving such a goal is impossible if we are not modest and virtuous.” (as quoted in Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part A, Personal and Family Responsibilities, 19: Teaching Modesty and Virtue in the Home, page 139)
True to the Faith
Central to the command to be modest is an understanding of the sacred power of procreation, the ability to bring children into the world. This power is to be used only between husband and wife. Revealing and sexually suggestive clothing, which includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, and shirts that do not cover the stomach, can stimulate desires and actions that violate the Lord’s law of chastity.
In addition to avoiding clothing that is revealing, you should avoid extremes in clothing, appearance, and hairstyle. In dress, grooming, and manners, always be neat and clean, never sloppy or inappropriately casual. Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. If you are a woman and you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of modest earrings.
Maintain high standards of modesty for all occasions. Do not lower your standards to draw attention to your body or to seek approval from others. True disciples of Jesus Christ maintain the Lord’s standard regardless of current fashions or pressure from others. (True to the Faith, Modesty, page 106)
The Latter-day Saint Woman
We can measure our standards of modesty by asking ourselves:
We should practice modesty within our own homes. Even small children should be modestly dressed and taught about modesty.
We are responsible for the effect our dress standards have on others. Anything that causes improper thoughts or sets a bad example before others is not modest. (The Latter-day Saint Woman, Part A, Gospel Principles and Doctrine, Lesson 9: Chastity and Modesty, page 60)
Quotes from non-LDS Sources
Modest Shirts for Layering
Some enterprising people have invented clothing lines that help
young women stay stylish and modest:
- LDS Grand – has a variety of
modest cap sleeved t-shirts and long sleeved t-shirts for layering.
Modest Formals and Wedding Dresses
Young Women often claim they can’t find modest formals — but here is a long list of online retailers
that sell a variety of modest wedding dresses, modest formals, and modest gowns:
- LDS Temple Dresses @
LDSGrand.com – has a selection of simple and elegant dresses for temple worship.
- LDS Formal Wear – lets you list your
gently used, modest formals to sell to others! List your dress for free until it sells.
A great idea! Buy other’s modest used formals at super cheap prices.
- Simply Elegant for You – features
simply stunning modest formals and modest wedding gowns.
- Modest By Design – holds a modest formals fashion
show called Modesty in Motion demonstrating their dresses each year.
- Eternity Prom – Has stores all over the United States. Also has a
modest prom dress design contest. You can also enter to win
a free prom dress.
- Latter Day Bride – features
simply stunning modest formals, modest wedding gowns, and invitations.
- Sabrina Nicole – Modest formals.
- Great Lengths – Knee Length
shorts, sister missionary-type skirts, and modest formals. Recently added a number of new styles, including
a variation on the corset-style dress.
- Dreszing – Modest formals,
many variations on the two-piece formal gown.
- LDSProm.com – features a modest prom dress finder. You
can request a free catalog of their fashions.
- A Formal Choice – a variety of
inexpensive modest formals. They’ll add sleeves to any of thier tank-style dresses for
- Latter-day Bride – has modest
formals and wedding dresses.
- Lorna’s Bridal – a large selection of modest Bridal
and prom gowns.
- Totally Modest – has modest wedding gowns.
- April’s Modest and Modern Creations –
features unique modest wedding dresses.
- Beautifully Modest –
has modest formals in a number of price ranges from $89.00 on up. They also feature modest wedding dresses,
temple dresses, and a free wedding or formals catalog.
More Modest Clothing
- Visit Jenny’s Modest is Hottest Store to
find T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and track suits with her Modest is Hottest logo.
- Modest Are the Hottest – tshirt sale for
- Make your own Modest is Hottest T-shirt
new “Modern and Modest” – clothing section has modest skirts, pants, jackets, and shirts. Kudos to Nordstrom’s
for responding to customer requests (Remember
that your comments do matter to businesses!)!
- Knee Shorts – features knee-length shorts for men and women. Also
has polos, shirts, capris, and jeans.
- Great Lengths – Knee Length
shorts, sister missionary-type skirts, and modest formals.
- My Wife’s Closet – has very inexpensive, handmade
- MikaRose – After many frustrating attempts to find modest
dresses for special occasions, BYU graduate Michelle Lawson decided to take matters into her own hands, and created
MikaRose, a clothing company specializing in versatile and modest clothing. Check out the new href=”http://www.mikarose.com/“>contest.
- FunkyFrum.com – specializes in stylish modest apparel for women. Fashionable selection includes long skirts, modest tops, modest dresses, suits and special occasion pieces. Sizes 2-24.
- Sierra Brooke – Unique modest clothing store featuring
new and used clothes. The used clothing is under “Brooke’s Closet”.
View Everything Modesty
The lists above do not include everything modesty-related on this website. Click this link to see EVERYTHING MODESTY.
More Modesty Resources
- Jen Magazine
is a free online magazine about fashion and Modest Clothing
you’d actually wear! I especially like her page of
Modest Fashion Fixes that has photos and suggestions of
what to do if your existing clothing is immodest. Jen’s also recently added
Clothing Bargains page with links to modest clothing that you can
- Modesty Turns Heads – LDS Youth in
Tuscon, Arizona, USA, created this website to teach others how to promote modest dress in their
communiies. These Youth held a modest fashion show that received lots of
media attention and
results from retailers. They also collected signatures on a petition asking retailers to provide
more modest clothing options. The website shows pictures of modest formals, casual, and sports wear from the show.