It’s Harder For Me to Dress Modestly Because…

I have two very beautiful teenage daughters. One is curvy and one is not. And, yep, it’s a whole lot easier for my “not” curvy daughter to get away with certain looks. Just a few weeks ago, we were shopping for formal dresses and “curvy” put on a dress and looked really…well, sexy. “Not” put it on and looked really cute. Are you feeling this pain?

Today’s styles do make it harder on those of us who are a little curvier, but with a few tips you can not only pursue modesty, but look a few pounds lighter, too!

    1. Layer up. Layers really help to flatten out the curves. For those of us who are a little more curvy, we have to take advantage of this tip. I never go on stage to speak without a jacket, vest, or scarf to camouflage and flatten out the curves. (I did once, and when I saw how immodest my beautiful loosely fitting green satin blouse looked, I made a commitment to just stick with layers.) And again, the right kind of layers can really smooth out your overall look and lengthen your torso, making you appear taller and thinner.
    2. Wear shorter jewelry. Longer necklaces can really accentuate the curves, so opt for shorter necklaces. A short strand of pearls, for example, is really in style with a rugged t-shirt these days. It makes a great modest look! (Speaking of t-shirts…)
    3. Wear men’s cut t-shirts. It used to be that t-shirts were unisex. These days, girls’ t-shirts are super small and only the smallest of girls can slip into them without really bringing attention to the bust-line. You might be a little like me…one of those girls who just really has to reach for the unisex t-shirts. There are sometimes t-shirts at places like Old Navy or Gap that I can get away with, but for the most part I just say “no” to the girl cut t-shirts!
    4. Get mentally prepared to buy a bigger size. Let me be straight with you. I wear a size 8 (women’s) or 11 (juniors). I’m not exceptionally huge, but when I buy t-shirts, tank tops, or sweaters, I’m almost always pushing it with an XL. But I got over it! How? The Wall Street Journal. They took a perfect size 8 model into downtown New York and found that in most cases, she could not actually fit in a size 8. They were way too small. The industry has gone crazy and we have to just settle for buying what fits, rather than what size we want to be. (My girlfriend Janet always tells me to cross out that size and write whatever I want in the label! You could even make it a Triple 0, if that makes you feel better.)
    5. Get properly fitted for a bra. I’ve heard that about three quarters of all bra-wearing women are wearing the wrong size. The result? Spillage. Not only does it make it harder to fit well into your clothes, but it can make you look up to ten pounds heavier. I know a little about this. I was wearing a bra that was several cup sizes and a few inches off. I got fitted in a nice boutique and immediately my clothes fit better. And, people said I looked slimmer! (A girl can always go for that!)

This past year I was speaking to a group of teen girls in Indiana about modesty. There was a very well-endowed girl there who raised her hand and said, “It is impossible for me to look modest in anything at all. I wear a size __!” Since there were no men in the room, I felt free to be truthful with her. I told the whole group my bra size and they were all in shock (And not because it was on the smaller end of the scale)! “You can appear modest even when you’re curvy,” I told the group!

Take it from a sister who works really hard to be modest. You can do this. You just have to want to be obedient to God’s guidelines for saving the deepest secrets of your beauty for just one man. Hebrews says that, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” Still feeling a bit rebellious and like you have a good excuse for your sin of immodesty? I’ll send a copy of my little book on modesty called “Secret Keeper!” to the first 55 of you to leave a comment on this post. I want to help you win this!

About Author

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is completely in love with her chocolate labradoodle, Stormie. (But just for the record, she doesn't like dog kisses.) She's been married to Bob for over twenty years and loves that he brings her "freshly sharpened bouquets of pencils." She's the mom to Lexi, Autumn, and Rob. Oh, and she co-wrote Lies Young Women Believe with Nancy Leigh DeMoss!

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  • Rani

    As a Christian, I don’t think some of this advice is healthy for young women.

    We are now living in a world where the very essence of what is male and female is being threatened by people who “identify” as the opposite sex, or seek to see the differences between male and female go away. I don’t think a woman with larger breasts (like myself) or wider hips or a fuller bottom should wear men’s cut clothing simply because her figure is more noticeable. I don’t think any woman should have to “flatten” her curves. The fact a woman’s figure is more noticeable, aka more noticeably feminine is a good thing! It’s certainly possible to wear figure flattering clothing without denying our God-given physiology. Some of this advice is supporting androgyny, which I think is harmful for men and women. It’s harmful because it denies the opportunity for both sexes to recognize each other as different, and it’s harmful because it denies young men and women the opportunity to recognize and appreciate these differences and know how to behave in a proper manner.

    It is very possible to dress modestly, show minimal skin, and have a womanly figure. Why should young women be told they have to hide their curves when there are schools of thought supporting the idea that a female physiology should be “optional”? I’m sorry, but to me androgyny is not the default, nor should it be an option.

    • Emily

      I agree. I love most of LYWB posts, but less than halfway into this one, I started to feel uneasy. I promise you, I am very big into modesty – I have always been- but this post seems to take it a little too far. I don’t think girls should have to buy men’s clothing or wear over-sized clothes just to be “modest”. Not only are there still shirts out there made for girls and women that are modest (for all sizes, mind you) but also God made us to be feminine and curvy, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t have to pile on a layer of clothes just so we won’t make guys “stumble”. If a girl puts on a shirt that fits her nicely and covers most of her skin and still looks “sexy” that’s not her fault. God made women curvier than men (obviously), and we should embrace our feminineness, not try to completely cover it up so we look just like the guys. I believe we can still show our feminineness without purposely making guys stumble, (at least the ones that don’t go out of their to way to be).

      • Sarah @ Revive Our Hearts

        Thanks girls for expressing your comments. Let me assure you that no one is more feminine or beautiful in their appearance than the author of this post. Even in “less curvy” pieces of clothing, her face and the light of Christ draw you to her and her loveliness. All that to say, you can follow her advice and indeed express your femininity–and your message is louder than your appearance. That’s a plus when your goal is to bring Christ into every situation.

        Blessings to you both!

  • Chilli

    Great article. Very helpful, thanks!

  • woman

    men’s t shirts are a great idea, there’s some great colors to chose from. I wear men’s t shirts all the time