Question about modesty?


how can we say certain clothing is immodest when most of what we think is modest wasn’t a some point and time in history?

for example, pants, even for men, used to be worn only as undergarments. skirts for women were not short sleeved and had to be way below the knee.

you didn’t have things like t-shirts, jeans, shorts and all that

well at some point, things changed in western society and these things became acceptable

so why do we now have issues with mini skirts, tank tops, short dresses?

what exactly is the difference?

I mean, I personally have my own standards which I think are pretty ok for hits time and place but rewind a hundred years and I probably would have been considered a prostitute or something, as would pretty much all of us, men and women included.

do you guys get what I mean? I know it varies from one culture but it even varies in our own culture. how can it be wrong at one time and ok now?


Modesty is relative to local norms.

So, you could go topless in certain parts of the world and be modest, or you could show your shins in certain times and places and be immodest.

Likewise, a swimsuit is modest at the beach but immodest in church.


Yes,what your dealing with here is the evolution of dress, mini skirts came out in the 60’s
They went as high as high could go, school uniform dressed went the same way at many schools in the 70’s, now their back down to the knees,
Now high school Girls often wear Shorts, which I think is a really great and Practical idea,
I now have issue with girls undies, I have a step daughter, I think their dreadful…
May as well wear nothing, but that’s today’s fashion,… They apperantly all wear that rubbish,
It’s just evolution, it continually evolves into different styles and colors,
Just something we all just must accept, unless of course you wish to go the other way like some religious belief and be covered from head to toe,that could be even worse,


Also, bear in mind that the ratchet does not just turn in one direction.

Nowadays, there are lots more fuller-coverage options for swimwear than there were 40 or 50 years ago. I happily wear swim shorts and a long sleeve rash guard. Go back in time to 1945 or 1955, and that option did not exist.


Modesty is all about avoiding the objectification of yourself/others. Someday, if wearing a string bikini is modest and doesn’t make anybody lust after you, then that’s fine!

It shouldn’t ever be a set of rules in stone for all of time. Modest is relative to time period and situation


Modesty is relative?
Evolution of dress?

Its hard truth but let us face it with humility… The truth is that this “relativity” and “evolution” is comming from a Degradation of our Values. Yes, things have changed… Yes we have become acustomed to less and less clothing (specially on woman). Yes we may think that other cultures and customes are out of date but the fact is that God will most likely not have double standards for people. Yes our inocence and ignorence may buy us some points but Truth is always the same. Something is either modest or immodest. Different people may think differently about certain clothing but if your dress (or lack of dress) affects a single person to lust over you, you are at fault. Yes we cannot completly control how other people react to our swim wear but could we have avoided our neighbor an ocassion of sin if we would have wore something else? There will be a day where we will each render account of all our actions and decisions, including decissions for dress. “It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.” (Lk.17:1, 2)

Can bikinis cause scaldals? Yes! Can bikinis cause men and even young children to lust over a young girl or woman? Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! Is this dangerous for both parties? Yes!
Please read the following quotes from our Lord Jesus Christ very carefully:

“You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt. 5:27-28). Lets not forget that adultery is a grave sin.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. (Matt18:6-9)

What I intend to say here may bring many out of their comfort zone and it may even scandalize others but if these words scandalized old fashioned people 2000 years ago I guess I can handle it disturbing our modern but morally degraded societies where even defenders of the faith have loosened up on such desperately needed virtues of chastity and modesty.

“Certain fashions will be introduced that will offend Our Lord very much.” - Our Lady of Fatima, 1917. This prophesy shortly came true.

This seems like a good read on the topic. Only skimmed through it but it seems to be very resourceful and it states church approval:


That website has a “danger” rating when it comes to fidelity to the Magisterium

If you want info about Fatima, go to the Vatican’s website


OP, Why are you bringing this up again? You have several threads over the past few months inquiring about the same thing and you received many answers. You have GOT to let this go.This obsession with clothing is a symptom of the bigger issue. Please see your priest or a therapist and get some peace. You will literally drive yourself crazy…if not over the clothing question, something else. Please, make an appointment with your confessor today.


Yes, see the catechism:

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.


And yet Adam and Eve walked around naked. Don’t see anything in the Bible saying we have to wear fig leaves clothes like his first two creations?
I dare say if he meant us to wear clothes, then a set would have been provided.


Thanks for posting those websites! Sometimes we get adherents to sites such as The Most Holy Family** here on CAF that are truly not part of the real Church.:thumbsup:****


I disagree with you. Standards of morality are not relative. Something is either right or wrong. Situational ethics are not biblical.


Sky… I promise you that my husband would not consider, ever, wearing what Jesus or the Twelve wore. Long pants, long sleeved shirt, yes… robes - no.

For women, I have a personal standard: nothing open below the collar bone, nothing showing above the knee. No sleeveless. Ever. It’s just my personal vision.


Well-meaning people can agree in principle about what constitutes substance abuse, theft, murder, a lie and yes, even immodesty, yet still disagree about what constitutes those things in practice.

Just because there is room for disagreement in all of these areas does not mean that we do not condemn these acts, there’s just no perfect way to apply them all the time.

By the way, I quote the catechism again:

2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.

I think you are mistaking disagreement in practice with disagreement in principle.


***I think you are mistaking disagreement in practice with disagreement in principle. ***

This quote could cover a host of difficulties found in the Church, and in Christianity as a whole.


For information:

What to do with old “immodest” photos and another question

Are naked and/or bikini shots of women a sin

Good luck for this thread!!! This topic is very debated!!!


This sentence – " in order that uniformity of understanding prevail in all institutions of religious women … we recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper " – is not existing, because this statement is not written in the official documents coming from the Holy See. Where are this guideline? From who? The original document?

Is it a fake? Is it a hoax? Is it a lie? Why? What for? What are the purposes?
The catholic lay persons who make this “propaganda”: are they in good faith, are they in bad faith, are they manipulators, are they manipulated? The study of the catholic morality? Which skills?

Who are these persons who make this “propaganda”? What is their catholic background? Their doctrinal references? Their gurus?

The mentalities and the propaganda play the game of some christian fundamentalists and Co. They have to stop bothering people with that. They are like stalkers, they act as if they watched in the details the garments of each woman in order to evaluate the modesty and thus the morality of each woman in her clothing. They are touched by many scrupules, psychologically speaking and spiritually speaking. They are very strange and odd. In my humble opinion, as catholic lay person, we can not promote them and even more, as catholic, we must disagree with them, for many reasons:
No Self-criticism (or auto-critique);
Almost no answer to objections;
The obsession of carnal sin and the presumption of carnal sin;
The fundamentalism in the manner of understanding of the Roman catholic Teaching: no moderation and no balance;
More discipline than the official catholic teaching;
Externalism, judgmentalism and Co in all;

Website in French


It is simply a matter of social norms. If you are at a beach or a public pool in Spain, then nudity is not considered to be immodest. However, in Iran the reaction would be very different.

BTW, Sunday, June 21 is national hike naked day, this year in the US.


“I urge you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

Thanks to those who responded to my comment and thanks for reffering me to those websites and the Catechism. The Catechism has a short section dedicated to “The Battle for Purity” 2520-2527.

In short this is what I got from reading this section but please read it for yourself. If you are feeling the “pressures of prevailing ideologies” and feel like wearing something thats in style which may bring “unhealthy curiosity” (like tight jeans, low skirts or low cut shirts) you should pray for modesty which “inspires one’s choice of clothing” so you may have the fortitude to be “discreet” and “refuse to unveil what should remain hidden.”

“Avoid failing, not only against purity, but even against the least rules of an exact modesty.” -St. Paul of the Cross

“When she was thrown into the air by a savage bull in the amphitheatre at Carthage, her first thought and action when she fell to the ground was to rearrange her dress to cover her thigh, because she was more concerned for modesty than pain.” -Pope Pius XII, Allocution to the Girls of Catholic Action, speaking of St. Perpetua

“How many girls there are who do not see any wrongdoing in following certain shameless styles like so many sheep. They certainly would blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feelings they evoke in those who see them.” -Pope Pius XII

'One cannot sufficiently deplore the blindness of so many women of every age and condition; made foolish by desire to please, they do not see to what a degree the indecency of their clothing shocks every honest man, and offends God.

“Most of them would formerly have blushed for those outfits as for a grave fault against Christian modesty; now it does not suffice for them to exhibit them on the public thoroughfares; they do not fear to cross the threshold of the churches, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and even to bear the seducing food of shameful passions to the Eucharistic Table where one receives the Heavenly Author of purity.” -Pope Benedict XV

“But how can you know anything of the impression made on others? Who can assure you that others do not draw therefrom incentives to evil? You do not know the depths of human frailty. . . Oh, how truly was it said that if some Christian women could only suspect the temptations and falls they cause in others with modes of dress and familiarity in behavior, which they unthinkingly consider as of no importance, they would be shocked by the responsibility which is theirs.” -Pope Pius XII

“The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. . . If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.” -Pope Pius XII

Women: I know it is hard to maintain modesty in todays choices of clothing but I assure you that the Lord will take your sacrifices into account. I have heard a man preaching that before his conversion he used to go to McDonalds and sit there and check out girls butts. He said that he would even get orgasms by just sitting there watching normal moms in tight pants order their happy meals for their children. These innocent moms with their children did not know that their skin tight pants are really revealing what “should remain hidden”. I myself have found myself praying in Mass for the women in the front pew whos butts are almost in my face (I am fairly new to a wheelchair). I pray they may realize that they can be a distraction from mass and can be a near occasion of sin for many men. I can handle this more maturely now but I remember that some years ago when when I first started attending mass I found myself not remembering the homily after mass but I did remember the girl in blue jeans whose face I never saw.

Woman you are worth much more than how much attraction you generate from men or how many likes you get on your next selfie. Your are daughters of the King. He sent His only son to die for you. You are worth waiting for. You are worth dying for. You are worth the wait and the sacrifice. What remains hidden remains a treasure. What is exposed can easily spoil. Treasures have an ongoing attraction but spoils get thrown away easily. Your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Protect that temple in all its holiness and sacredness.

Men: You can also be a temptation for women. Please keep your muscles to yourself and careful with those tight jeans as well. When I used to go out I remember some of my girl friends would often check out my but and make compliments when I wore tighter pants. I did not realize it then but I may have been a near occasion of sin for them. I did not work out so I couldn’t say the same for my biceps or abs but Im sure some guys can be an occasion of sin to girls by flashing their abs or biceps. For some girls it can be the equivalent as to guys checking out a girls cleavage or legs.

“Let nothing be negligent about you… avoid all affectation, vanity, curiosity, or levity in your dress. Keep yourself always, as much as possible, on the side of plainness and modesty, which, without doubt, is the greatest ornament of beauty, and the best excuse for the want of it.”-St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church


No offense sir but you have a poorly trained eye. I say this both as someone who can steer his vision away from any part of the female anatomy… and as someone who can shape out a woman’s body no matter what they’re wearing. Heck, I’d dare say I could see past a burqa. It takes a little technique but in no way can you stay an amateur when you realize how it’s done.

As a skinny guy myself, I rather avoid making statements like this. Not only because I think it’s worthless but also because it makes me look so typically jealous.

Frankly, I’d rather stick to saying I sincerely admire my lean, bishounen physique and loathe the idea of having an Arnie bod. Because you know what they say, when you like yourself the way you are, other people tend to follow. :thumbsup:

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