Modesty is very important to me. My church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons), has said this about modesty:
Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. 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; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19).
Our clothing expresses who we are. It sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. When we are well groomed and modestly dressed, we can invite the companionship of the Spirit and exercise a good influence on those around us.
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, when we get married in the temple, we begin to wear sacred underwear, called garments.
The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants made in the temple. The garment should be treated with respect at all times. It should not be exposed to the view of those who do not understand its significance, and it should not be adjusted to accommodate different styles of clothing. When worn properly, the garment provides protection against temptation and evil. Wearing the garment is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior.
The garment comes down to our knees and covers our shoulders. We keep the garment covered, thus wearing shirts with sleeves and shorts that come to our knees.
I believe very strongly in modesty. And I believe that we should start teaching our children when they are young. This means not allowing them to wear certain clothes.
I do not let The Princess wear tank tops. The shirts always have sleeves. If she has an outfit that doesn’t have sleeves, we put an undershirt on with it to keep her modest. She also doesn’t wear swim suits that don’t cover her stomach. I know that tankini’s have become all the rage, but I have seen a lot of them that don’t keep the stomach covered, especially on kids. So we just avoid them. The shorts she wears are longer than most. I try to get them as long as possible.
I also do not let my boys wear tank tops or run around without their shirts on.
I know a lot of people think that’s silly, especially with the boys, but I’ll tell you this. My mom had the same rules for me while I was growing up, and when it came time for me to get married in the temple and begin wearing garments, I only had to get rid of a few pairs of shorts. All the rest of my clothes were modest enough that I could continue wearing them. All of them. I was used to dressing modestly, so it wasn’t a shock to start wearing the garment.
I am so grateful to my mom for teaching me to dress modestly, and I will continue to teach my children the same.