Change in modesty?

why does modesty change within a given culture? i understand it’s quite a cultural thing but how did we get from floor length gowns and robes for men and women at a given time, to long dresses and pants but not touching the ground and to shorts and t-shirts now?

have we slowly been sacrificing our modesty? or were their shorter garments for hot weather earlier on that i just don’t know about?

and who’s to say that the clothes we consider immodest now won’t be the norm soon? am i making sense?

I believe in part, that when Western culture shifted from the European countries (cold) toward NA (cold to very hot), the practical need to shroud the live body became less important.

Also, formality (which many confuse with modesty) became less important, and that too had an impact.


What you ask does make sense. I think some changes in fashion are warranted. It may be that we discover that wearing extra long dresses and being “bound” cause to many health problems and passing out in women. So, fine I can understand some change.

But other stuff is just plain obscene. My paternal great-grandmother used to say that some people would wear “cow piles” is someone told them it was fashionable. She was right.

There is clothing produced today that simply moves beyond the pale of indecency. Some of it is even made for small children and is suggestive and exploits their bodies. Gross. I think we have to be mindful of why we NEED clothing and how it makes us appear in the eyes of God. The market can only change according to what we buy. So, if the change that has happened is not practical or due to better protection, safety then it is something we might really question and be more selective about encouraging.

What is modest or immodest, erotic, lurid and arousing is cultural.

In the south seas women were bare breasted without notice, but if legs were exposed it drove men wild. The west seems fixated on the tops of women while other cultures ignore this. In cultures where women are completely covered an exposed ankle causes arousal.

It is all cultural and temporal, changing with time.

NEED clothing and how it makes us appear in the eyes of God.

We need clothing only for climatic reasons and to redirect certain types of behavior. Not to satisfy the control urges of those who conflate modesty with formality.

And clothing cannot affect the opinion of God. Nothing and nobody is hidden from God, after all.


I think a lot of this has to do with respect, and formality. Think of the uproar when Mrs. Obama wore shorts on Air Force One (when she was going to vacation). It was considered too informal. You would never see a powerful political woman (think Angela Merkel, Condy Rice) walking around in something that is going to cause people to look at her body disrespectfully.

A small group of self-proclaimed “fashion designers” decide what body shape is perfect and what bold, daring – meaning very to grossly immodest – clothing will be put on models as a sign we are moving into the future, as opposed to two weeks ago. WE don’t decide anything. “Fashion buyers” from all the retail stores pick and choose, not us. If you don’t like what’s on the racks, you can make your own.

It’s a game that has hurt women severely over the last 4 decades. I am never going to a beach again because I don’t want to see a bunch of brainwashed teenage girls running around in what barely qualifies as underwear. WAKE UP LADIES!

You have and are being exploited. Right now.


What I find strange, that here in the US, when someone is in hot weather, they try to wear as little clothing as possible, but in most other parts of the world, in VERY hot regions, the norm is keep every part of the body covered in layers and robes, (especially in desert regions), NEVER see anyone wearing shorts or tshirts!

They also swear by wearing cloth wrapped around their heads, to cut down on sweating…again, here in the US, when its Hot, people try to shed clothing, not add more. Maybe if they paid closer attention to how people dress in VERY hot parts of the world, they may find better ways to keep cool here in the US.

You are making a great point herr. I am from Latin america very close to the ecuator where the temperature never goes down 80F during the day and I can tell you that outside very specific circumstances people don’t wear shorts. Men wearing shorts is seen extremely immodest (women can get away with shorts on certain circumstances but men unless they are at a beach and pool no no) and half of the fashions used here under well is because is very hot no one uses it down there and when tourist get dressed like that (minimum amounts of clothes) people look at them like crazy.

People in our culture have failed to understand that what you wear sends a message to the others. Women like Cindy rice know that and are too smart so they know that what they wear is going to affect how others look at them. Unfortunately our culture has brainwashed people into thinking that what you wear has nothing to do with your character and many fall into that.

*Most *other parts of the world? Where are these places? If the area is under Sharia law, it doesn’t count.

They also swear by wearing cloth wrapped around their heads, to cut down on sweating…again, here in the US, when its Hot, people try to shed clothing, not add more. Maybe if they paid closer attention to how people dress in VERY hot parts of the world, they may find better ways to keep cool here in the US.

Is that the actual reason they wear a cloth around their heads? Most head coverings are for religious observance or cultural reasons (status) so I’m curious about your source.

As others have suggested some of the wearing of clothing to completely cover the body or head has to do with religious observations. However, such attire does actually help keep people cooler in very hot climates. The clothing will help hold onto the sweat, which in turns helps us cool. Without all the covering I am sure folks would dehydrate sooner.

My dad has a friend who’s daughter lives in the middle east. When she comes with the kids to the US they are cold when it is 80 degrees outside. They are used to the heat and their bodies have adjusted accordingly. On the opposite side of that, consider this: My late maternal grandmother was originally from Russia. When she visited us in Colorado, in October and November usually, she asked to sleep outside on a mattress.

My dad used to joke that he “hoped the neighbors didn’t think he was trying to kill her.” She could hardly stand any temperature above 60 degrees, at which point she would complain that it was too hot. A lot of our ability to deal with heat and cold is acquired over time, and so in a lot of cases, how we dress will depend on this.

Fashion is a much more fickle animal however.

Im not really talking about fashion, Im talking about ANYTHING that will help keep a person cooler, nothing to do with religious beliefs or fashion.

Even when it gets very hot here in KY, the media will tell people how to keep cool, and they have these experts on saying to wear as little clothing as possible, loose and preferably cotton material, but it seems this is not actually true, if people were to wear long sleeves and long pants (as an alternative to robes), this would actually keep them cooler than shorts and tank tops, Im curious why they would mis-lead people like that?

You would think people would catch on, after dressing like that on a very hot day and recognizing they are still hot, maybe they should try dressing different, but they dont…?? they keep wearing shorts, less clothing, etc?

Ha yes, the old “expert” problem. Unfortunately I think there are a lot of supposed experts out there that don’t really know what they are talking about. Yes, you would think that people would try something different, but then that takes a little common sense, a bit of daring and willingness to step outside of the usual box.

I have found that cotton sweaters, (yes sweaters) can actually keep one very cool, and even with sleeves in them. I discovered it years ago, and since most synthetic materials make me sweat and stink in a matter of minutes I tried to return to all natural fabrics. Cotton, silk and wool are great. In the process I found that what some folks would only use in the cold months (cotton sweaters) actually left me feeling really cool in the summer. (Not a heat lover here.)

Many of my family thought I was just plain nuts, but I stick to it. Wool can be both warming and surprisingly cooling to wear (but a problem if you are allergic) and silk acts the same way. So, even if folks can’t change to pants and long sleeve tops, they could at least steer away from polyesters and rayon. And rayon is absolutely the worst for making you hot. At least in my book.

Not sure if you have tried these or not, but the brand Under Armour, has a heat gear line of shirts, shorts, underwear, etc. They are amazing, they are very light weight, and feels like lightweight polyester, but much softer, kind of like a very high thread count sheet (like silk), you still sweat, but it is moisture wicking material and stays dry.

I was skeptical of the claims before first buying one of their shirts, now I own 6 of them! They are a bit pricey at $30 for a basic tshirt, but imo, they are worth every penny if you do any kind of work in hot weather. Their socks also work well for people that get sweaty feet, although no matter how hot, my feet dont sweat at all, so im lucky there.

Ive also heard other people swear by their underwear as well, same kind of moisture wicking material, but I have never worn underwear, not even as a kid, so that is something I dont need, but if I did, I would buy their brand.

I understand this, as a Canadian who once went to Florida. I saw a couple of young women wearing parkas in 20 C (70 Fahrenheit) weather, it was crazy!

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