A Clothing Conversation I Wish We Would Have Had Earlier

clothing

If you have a Facebook, you have probably seen this article. With all of the commotion it has caused, I would like to take the opportunity to talk about modesty. This post is written for the young women and women out there, but men please feel free to chime in as well. 

Girls, why are clothes so much work? For a moment can we remember all the time we have spent staring at a closet full of clothes thinking, “I have nothing to wear.” You and I both know that statement is ridiculous, but we truly feel that way in the moment. We will try on three different tops before giving up and settling on what we have on. It took us ten minutes longer than we were hoping to get dressed, but it’s just the way it is.

The days we are feeling really ahead, we start piecing together our outfit while still in the shower. Hoping by the time we have to actually put the outfit on our body we will get it right the first time. (Which never really happens, right?)

Why is it so hard to get dressed? My husband can walk to the closet, grab pants and a shirt and be happy. Then there’s me, gazing into my closet as if something amazing is going to happen for a solid five minutes before I touch anything. We obviously care what we look like, but I don’t think retailers disclose everything that comes along with the article of clothing they are selling. Of course they want us to wear their product everywhere, but are they looking out for us or for themselves?

Have you noticed the new trends over the last couple of years? Yoga pants, leggings, and those crop top shirts (you know the ones that show off your toned tummy). A little more revealing than the past couple trends for sure (remember the over-sized sweaters?). They are cute, and they are flattering, and they are easy to put on and feel confident about. Especially if you have been working hard to achieve a healthy body, you might want to flaunt your hard work. When you look in the mirror, you see something you like. So did I! I wore yoga pants and leggings for years before marrying my husband. I worked out and it was easy to just wear the same workout clothes as regular clothes throughout the day. They are much more pleasing than sweatpants, am I right?

After marrying my husband, I began to notice men more. Why? Because my husband would be calling them out in the store as we’d walk by. Men I didn’t even really notice until after the words, “Hey man, what are you looking at?” would fly out of my husband’s mouth. I certainly love sharing my body with my husband, but men at the grocery store? No thank you. 

He hate’s to see men, as he says, “undressing me with their eyes”–and I don’t blame him! I don’t like it either!

My girlfriends would all tell you the same. When we walk by men, say at the store, we don’t really see them. As teenagers we might have hoped a young man would see us, but we would never let them know we saw them. We hoped they thought we looked beautiful, but that would be the end of the encounter–mostly left in our head.

I hate saying this, girls, but not all men are going to respect us. It’s not our fault, but we do need to stop pretending that we are going to get the respect we deserve as women in a world filled with lust. There are so many great men out there, like my husband, who will do their best to look away from a beautiful figure and to give the respect that woman deserves. But we need to acknowledge there are areas we can control, to some measure, the way we are admired.

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Our clothing is not the problem at it’s core, but we can lessen the problem with our clothing.

My friends, we deserve to be treated with respect. Respect that leggings and yoga pants might be taking away from us without our knowledge.

Don’t think for a second, that in order to be attractive you must wear form fitting clothes. Especially if the man respects you he will be attracted to you for you. Not the tight black pants that reveal the exact shape of your booty. Out of all the days I wore yoga pants in college, the day I met my future husband I was wearing a baggy shirt and soccer shorts. Who would have thought? He thought I was beautiful anyway, and continues to prove his love for me by demanding respect from other men as well.

Do I still enjoy yoga pants? Oh you bet! I wear them almost anytime I am home. However, I make sure if I have leggings on as pants when I leave the house, there is a dress covering anything revealing. It’s a win-win.

When I leave the house I feel covered with respect, and I want you to be covered in respect too. So I would say taking ten extra minutes to gaze into our closets making sure we are also dressing our bodies with respect is well worth it. Do you think so?

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18 Responses to A Clothing Conversation I Wish We Would Have Had Earlier

  1. Marla says:

    Beautiful post, Emily, and well-said. Modesty can be such a hard topic to even write about, and so I admire you putting your voice out here. I completely agree. It is amazing how fashion has changed and how leggings have become the norm. I do feel like our bodies should not be the focus, our souls and our personality should be. So the tight-fitting yoga pants that draw attention to our figures isn’t needed. I do however enjoy wearing them at home as well! Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you Marla! Yes, I was so hesitant to even share my thoughts after all of the negative feedback the author of the article I linked to recieved. But, had I not had someone bring up yoga pants to me about a year ago I would have never thought twice before wearing them out of the house. After asking my husband how it made him feel when I wore them out of the house, it was easy to give them up. (Except in the privacy of my home-or yoga class-of course!) Our bodies are a treasure and there is absolutely nothing wrong with yoga pants, but there is something not okay about the way some men lust after women wearing them, or low cut shirts, or a really tight dress. So I am thankful for the bold women who speak life into me and if this message helps to empower one woman then I feel like it was worth it to pay it forward. Blogging makes us pretty vulnerable, doesn’t it? Thanks for being such a positive voice in this world. You are so great 🙂 I appreciate you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sally says:

    Very well said Emily. Nowadays pop culture and tv seem to be constantly telling us that ‘less is more’, and it honestly makes me worry where this trend is going to lead. With a daughter of my own now it worries me even more! Yes I know Lilly is only a year old right now but if some of the fashions out there scandalize me now when I’m not even 30 yet, I’m afraid to imagine how I’ll feel about ‘fashion’ when Lilly is 15! Not only do these revealing fashion trends lead to unrealistic expectations as far as our body shape/fitness is concerned, it is dangerous as well because it can lead to attracting the wrong kind of attention from certain types of men 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thanks so much Sally! I couldn’t agree with you more, and can relate as my daughter is a year and a half! (Love the name Lilly by the way :)) You nailed it on the head just how much deeper clothing goes than keeping us covered and warm. Clothing can have a large effect on our mental health and we need to treat it accordingly. We can ignore the issues all we want but they are going to affect us whether we like it or not. I would never think poorly of another woman wearing yoga pants to the grocery store, but I would just hope for her to be aware of the bigger picture. Us women have to look out for each other, and I know there are a lot of great men looking out for us too! Thanks again for sharing your encouragement! (Sorry my original comment replied all instead of just to you!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You said everything so perfectly!

    Like

  4. Emily, you addressed this difficult topic so well. I’ve been thinking about what I could say about modesty for a while now, and have been too chicken to write anything down. It seems like even friends and family I love and respect have strong opposing views on this, and I’m scared of what they will think and say. I admire you so much for saying what really needs to be said! As a mom of boys, of course I hope to teach them to always treat (and think about) a girl with kindness and respect. But I also hope that mothers can teach their girls to respect themselves and the boys around them. It really takes both sides, and I love what you had to say. Thank you for being brave and sharing your experience!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you! I am overwhelmed by the positive feedback I have been given. For the same reasons you stated, I was hesitant to write about this (as not to offend anyone). I do think modesty is important to talk about and many feminists out there will argue that modesty goes against feminism. But I would say there is freedom within our modesty! I appreciate your heart to teach your boys respect. Thinking of my daughters teenager years does scare me a little! Like you said, it takes both sides. I would love to see a post from you on modesty soon–I’m sure it will be amazing and exactly what someone out there needs to hear!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. To Live With All My Might says:

    “Covered in respect” – I think that’s such a great way to think about what we’re wearing! I would much rather be covered in respect than in something that entices men to look where I’m uncomfortable with them looking. Thank you for addressing this touchy topic with such sincerity, rationality, and sensitivity.

    Liked by 3 people

    • lightthelie says:

      You nailed it girl! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for the positive feedback. Having respect from others is a great feeling, isn’t it? Worth putting on a cute dress over those leggings before leaving the house. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. humblygrowing says:

    I love this! I totally rock my leggings at home! haha. But like you if I wear them out of the house, it is under dresses!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. dulcis avem says:

    Beautifully put. We can still be trendy and dress cute, flattering and be pretty without displaying our cupcakes! Everyone knows we have them, right? Modesty does not have to mean wearing prairie dresses and crazy bunned up hair, bushy eyebrows and clodhopper shoes. A long tunic or cute little dress over leggings is darling and trendy and shows some self respect!

    Liked by 3 people

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you! And yes, yes, yes! We can be so trendy, and cute, and covered. It’s much more rewarding to be thought of as beautiful for who we are–instead of “sexy” for a part of our body. Covering one booty at a time 🙂 Hopefully the next trendy style will move away from the whole skin tight thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. happilyme23 says:

    Great post! It’s such a good reminder.

    P.s. Love those pink heels pictured above! haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Natalie Brenner says:

    How did I miss this post?! It’s amazing. So sending it to my girls. Wow I love this! I loved the end when you said you leave covered in respect. That is such a beautiful picture you painted!! That’s how I feel too 🙂 thanks Em. I’m thankful for your heart

    Liked by 1 person

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