October 23, 2014
"Modesty is more than a fashion statement, it's a daily decision to dress like the child of G-d you are."
Ever wondered about different religions and what they regard as modest clothing? Here we will go through the main modesty laws for; Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and Indigenous cultures.
Islam has a strong emphasis on dress code. Many Muslim women will wear a Burqa- a garment covering the full body with the exception of the eyes. Others will wear a Hijab covering their head and neck and can wear anything as long as it does not expose skin, or is too revealing. It is common to see Muslim women wearing tight jeans and fashionable clothing.
Christian Mormon’s believe; “If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20).” They refrain from wearing revealing and tight clothing, as well as extremes in clothing and overall appearance. Skirts that cover at least as far as the knee is considered to be modest, and shirts that cover the upper arms and shoulders without showing cleavage. Giuseppe Siri of Genoa stated trousers were unacceptable for women but many women have tried to expand on this law.
Traditional indigenous cultures, such as some African and traditional Australian aboriginal cultures, are more relaxed on issues of clothing, though how much clothing is expected varies greatly. In some African cultures, body painting is considered to be body coverage, and is considered by many attire. In many African religions below the knee skirts and loose blouses are the norm. The spots that should never be revealed in public are the midriff and upper thigh. Sleeveless tops are also not popular. Tight shirts with sleeves are accpeted. Breast feeding in public is normal so showing cleavage is not a big issue there.
Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish women wear skirts to their knees, and blouses that cover the collarbone with sleeves covering at least until the elbow. See-through materials covering those areas are not enough. Clothes cannot be too tight, or too bright in colour, or have text written on them. Many wear tights or socks to cover their lower leg. Others are more relaxed and will go with bare legs below the knee, as well as wear bright clothing and have writing on the clothing. Some also allow the collarbone to be shown as long as the cleavage is covered. There are many different opinions on these issues. Less restrictive branches of Judaism tend to adopt the fashions of the society in which they live.