Why Dress Modestly? My Take + Lessons Learnt

mixing stripes and african prints
How to mix prints
Mixing stripes and African prints
I never identified as a modest fashion influencer or blogger, well at least not in the earlier stages of my blogging journey. It's not that I renounced this tag but I never blatantly tagged myself as one, it was always just linked to me and I've come to own the term. It's funny how people can see what you stand for based on your lifestyle without you having to say anything.

Dressing modestly for me has always been a huge part of who I am, right from my upbringing in your typical African household with very religious Christian parents, you dare wear short hems or sleeveless clothes.

On the topic of dressing modestly, I try to shy away from it because opinions can sometimes seem judgmental or condemning. While some people would put modest fashion in a religious or cultural context, others would argue about how they can't be judged by what they wear and I agree to an extent, hear me out.

Why dress modestly though?

I cover up not only due to my religion but due to my environment and how certain dress modes are interpreted to mean something else. I hate being the center of attention for the wrong reasons, I hate those lustful stares from men too which I can't control even when fully covered. However, I dress this way to avoid being sexualized. Not that it helps always but the sheer fact that I'm comfortable and feel that I've done my part, gives me assurance. I've always felt more comfortable when covered, even in my days where I experimented with shorter hemlines and sleeveless pieces.

I also cover to avoid giving the wrong impression of who I am because I care when my credibility, values, and the overall person is put on the line simply because of how I dress. And human beings have this tendency to judge a book by its cover. Thus I dress the way I want to be addressed and avoid situations where my dress speaks louder than my person unless I'm trying to make a fashion statement.

Lessons learned?

1. We all have different values and upbringings. So what applies to person A may not apply to person B. In other words, modesty is subjective. And it changes too, depending on location and society.

2. Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to the standards of this world and for me dressing in a certain way is conforming. However, on this spiritual journey, not everyone has the same conviction or revelation. We just need to keep in mind that we are all at different levels.

3. We can't impose our beliefs on others just because it's what we stand for. We need to allow people to be led by their convictions and choose to, for example, cover up because they feel led to.

Edit: The Holy Spirit led me to a scripture that perfectly captured this point.

"Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently."
Romans 14:1 MSG

As Christian women, I believe how we dress and present ourselves to this world, affects our witness, but the goal is that whatever we do at the end of the day, should be all for God's glory. So let me ask you, do you dress the way you want to be addressed? Does your style of dressing perhaps affect your witness as a Christian? Does it give the wrong interpretation or discredit your values? What are your thoughts on dressing modestly? 
Photography by Bae

Related: Made in Nigeria Brands Let's Talk Issues and Concerns
We're still on Made in Nigeria Brands and  Today's brand focus is once again on Bubu Blaq, the creator of the made in Nigeria jumpsuit featured on the first day here

In addition to the jumpsuit, I also received this dress which I will be giving away very soon as its a little too short for comfort for me. So make sure you subscribe to my new mailing list to be notified once it's on (if you've subscribed before, please subscribe again, this is a new list).

Bubu Blaq is A made in Nigeria clothing brand that focuses on incorporating Ankara fabrics in modern designs which I love. I decided to mix kente and stripes by layering the dress over a stripe button-up T-shirt.

Dress: Bubu Blaq ||Shoes: Stradavarius || Shirt: Thrift || Bag: Cake Hut Cafe

This post is in collaboration with Bubu Blaq,  thank you for working with me on this.

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  1. Beautiful post....I was raised the same way and have grown to love it. There is a reason those parts are called private parts. Like you said modesty is subjective as I would totally rock this dress. ��

    1. Exactly girl, while it is indeed subjective I do feel a lot more comfortable when fully covered. Thank you dear, I appreciate constantly stopping by to comment.

  2. I am a fan of modest dressing, I detest outfit that deny the wearer comfort but like you said it is subjective. What I see as modest, another consider it outrageous. Bottom line for me is comfort and consciousness.

    I love the strips and prints clash.

    1. Exactly Debs and to each his own. While some people will still feel comfortable showing skin, others won't but who are we to judge at the end of the day. We just focus on ourselves and doing for God's glory. Thank you

  3. Great post! It's a breathe of fresh air to see modest fashion bloggers in a time like ours where nudity is openly sold. Even though modest dressing is considered "old fashioned" still for the sake of the cross,I bear all without shame.


    1. Hi Sophie, so glad you could stop by, first time seeing you on here, hope to see you again. And yes for the cross. We bear it all and hey old fashioned is definitely stylish.

  4. Thank you for this post. I had a lot of inner arguments about how I should be dressing especially now that I'm a growing woman but this post has helped a lot, thank you very much.

  5. I like covering up too! I live in jeans and pyjamas most of the time lol. I think it's definitely something I've adapted to and it doesn't feel like a chore to me. I even take things to the extreme and don't feel too hot about earrings, making people ask me if I am a Deeper Life member lol - I just don't see earrings as necessary personally. I don't like showing my arms but I don't think showing arms are immodest - I agree with most of your points, covering up is awesome (as long as the fabric is nice and fitting for this crazy Abuja weather) I see some things people wear and wonder how they cope, especially with avoiding wardrobe malfunctions. Each to their own lol! But I know there are definitely some things I wouldn't be caught dead wearing. Keep these talk talk posts coming! I love them!


  6. Great post. Thank God for His grace upon

  7. Old fashioned is elegant. Sarah, thank you for being yourself, diligent and committed to your craft. You don't know how much inspiration you give me. Thank you.