Perfect in my Mind

Perfect in my Mind

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dress Code

I was raised in a home where modest dress was highly valued.  My Barbies always wore clothing that covered their bodies appropriately.  My mom always made sure that I wasn't showing too much skin, and that my appearance would be perceived as wholesome. 

A week ago, I heard about an event that took place at BYU that kind of made me question more about what is "modest" and what is not.
Maybe you guys have heard about this, too.

Apparently, a mystery man handed this girl a note on Valentine's Day that said:

"You may want to consider that what you're wearing has a negative effect on men (and women) around you.  Many people come to this university because they feel safe, morally as well as physically, here.  They expect others to abide by the Honor Code that we all agreed on.  Please consider your commitment to the Honor Code (which you agreed to) when dressing each day.  Thank you."  (source)

BYU has a posters around their school which read:  "Skirts to the knees, please.  Leggings are not pants."  They are very clear in the standards they expect their students to abide by.  As a Latter Day Saint, I can understand why they have an honor code like that . . . but, I'm a little confused.  Is this outfit immodest?  I mean, her skirt doesn't go to her knee . . . but she's definitely not showing any skin.

What do you guys think??

26 comments:

Maggie B. said...

hey! i think that's a great outfit, and pretty clearly modest. at least to me it is. :) i don't have any strict dress codes that i follow, but i do have to be conservative at work and i prefer to be so at home. my skirts aren't always to the knee, but if they are on the shorter side i try to wear tights. of course, when it's 90 degrees out i usually skip the tights. i don't typically go sleeveless either {at the office}. but that's just me.

and leggings are never ever ever pants. unless you're at the gym.

anyway, i think this looks great!

Elisabeth Gee said...

I saw that on Facebook!! Super crazy! I mean, it doesn't look immodest, but if I got a note like that, I'd definitely reconsider what I was wearing.

TJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kylie said...

(Oops, posted under my husband's account.)I think that's completely ridiculous. I think sometimes BYU is a little extreme. If a teacher or staff member had asked her to change, that would be one thing. But some random guy? He sounds self-righteous. (I was going to say something else, but I decided it would be mean.)

Anyway, I'm personally not a fan of leggings and neither is my husband, but even he said her outfit is not immodest. Her leggings are so thick-looking in that picture that I thought they were skinny jeans.

I know he goes to BYU for a reason, but he should be grateful he's not seeing what I see everyday on a college campus.

Alyx said...

That girl is definitely modest. I'm sorry, but if you can't see my g's (the material or the lines), I'm modest. If I was wearing that, I'd be all covered up.
Just because some random dude can't keep his mind out of the gutter when he sees a pretty girl does not mean what she is wearing has prompted those thoughts.
That is simply ridiculous.

Ariana Nelson said...

I think that specific outfit is modest... but the note DID specify "each day" maybe sometimes she does slack.

Don't get me wrong- I'm not judging or condemning her, just if a guy wrote a note to her and delivered it privately, I think there must be something to it.

ALSO - there is a college I visited called Bob Jones University where the dress code for girls is ankle-length skirts and for guys coat and tie EVER DAY... And it is REQUIRED by all.

Carlie said...

I think it is modest! I felt so bad for that girl when I saw it on the new. I think her outfit looks great!

Deveny said...

While I agree it's a modest outfit, I tend to hate this 'legging' trend. When I see girls wearing short dresses and sticking some leggings underneath it just comes across as lazy. That's me personally though.
I get super cute slips from an Etsy store (A Slip Shop) to pair with those dresses that don't quite make the cut.

That 'mystery man' needs to get his head examined though. What's that about looking at your faults first before trying to 'help' others? Sheesh.

Amanda said...

I think the issue here is not whether or not what she is wearing is modest. While the LDS gives guidelines for modesty, and BYU has specific dress standards, modesty is still a matter of personal opinion. I also think it is very possible that this particular outfit might be against the BYU Honor Code, if it does in fact say no leggings as pants.
The problem here arises out of how this young man reacted to her outfit. I think it calls into question how a) people (and in particular, members of the LDS church) allow their perceptions of others' immodesty (or any other action that is contrary to one's moral standards) to affect themselves, and b) how they should react to it.
The reason, as I understand it, that the LDS church encourages modesty is out of respect for one's body and to protect one's self and others from temptation of sexual sins. The fact remains, however, that we live in a real world and cannot expect everyone to conform to our own senses of morality. If this young man could not keep his "passions" or whatever in check when exposed (from across the room) to a couple of legging-covered lower thighs, I cannot imagine what he is like around a Las Vegas billboard or when a godaddy.com commercial comes on during a football game. We can only control our own actions, and we must respect the personal morality of others.
Secondly, if this young man was really harmed in some way by the girl's outfit, he certainly dished the harm back tenfold. The US government defines sexual harassment (which is illegal) as "severe or pervasive ... affects working conditions or creates a hostile work environment." Hostile and pervasive--that's exactly what that note was. Instead of removing himself from the situation that bothered him, he caused another human being to feel humiliated (especially on Valentine's Day!) If a BYU administrator deemed her outfit inappropriate, he/she would have personally taken the girl aside and respectfully asked her to change--not left a cowardice note. What would Jesus do? Certainly nothing to make this girl feel worthless, although he certainly would have a better understanding on what God deems modest or immodest.
Anyway, I really think the lesson to be learned here is decency and tolerance. We can't expect everyone to live by our own standards all the time, and should be secure enough in them where we can stand by them without belittling others.

TaraR said...

Looks modest to me & I was raised the same way :)

Carlie said...

I meant news*...my OCD is coming out even though I commented a bit ago! haha

Arielle said...

Thats a very modest(and cute!) outfit. That dude is stupid.

:: ashley :: said...

I died when I saw this on facebook- its ridiculous and only adds to the negative image of 'holier than thou' people that go there. argh.

Joanna said...

I think her outfit is very modest. To me, she is covered up and even though her dress is not to her knees, she has leggings and boots that more than cover the majority of ther legs. I'm surprised by the guy's letter.

Sara Shoemaker said...

Oh my gosh I saw this too!!!! I think that boy was completely out of line to go to the trouble to write that note and give it to her, probably ruining her day. It is kindof a grey area... cause her dress is too short but her leggings are in no way see-through. I don't think she is immodest; she's covered head to toe! whatevs.

The House of Shoes

Sayaka said...

I think you look super adorable!! You look appropriate for any occasion!! You have a really cute style!!

Ryan Adair said...

If the guy had a problem with it he should have spoken to administration. She looks modest to me-- I'm not lds, but I understand the "honor code" in question, and technically, she isn't in dress code. I get the feeling her slightly defensive attitude towards the situation might get her in trouble with the school? I think both students are wrong, he took the "law" into his own hands, and she was wearing leggings(a clear no-no at this school, even to an outsider) with a shirt that is not at the knees or below.

Bottom line is, rules are rules. If you don't like rules, dont go to strict schools :)

Courtney B said...

This outfit is definitely modest. I'm one of those girls that throws on a short sweater dress thing (and when I say short I mean short) over leggings and call it good! I'm also one that wears a bikini but that's a different subject :) Anyway... I guess if BYU has strict rules about no leggings and the skirt going to the knee, then it's up to the school to take action. I think it was wrong of this man to judge her. It was definitely not his place to give her that note. Especially when that outfit is far from immodest. Who are we to judge? My husband is the only one allowed to tell me if my outfit is appropriate or not. (Which doesn't happen, I don't give him the opportunity haha. Except maybe with the bikini. But he's biased in that area.. HA!)

Mindy said...

I think the issue is what you said, the honor code says to meet THEIR code of modesty the skirts/shorts/dresses must go to the knee. This outfit does not meet the modesty standard of BYU simply for that fact. Personally, I don't think tights/leggings {Yup! They fall into the same category!} are pants. So, by that standard of my own, this outfit is immodest. If a skirt/dress required leggings to be modest - it isn't modest in my book.

Mindy said...

P.s. However, the guy who wrote the note: that is an entirely different story!

Melissa Jane said...

I completely agree with Mindy.

The rules at the school definitely take precedent over anyone's opinions. Even though I agree with the school's standard of modesty. I am a Christian and was raised to be modest. Our rules were always knee length clothing due to the Biblical examples for the thighs being covered at all times. And leggings are in no way pants. They are skin tight...basically you could paint your skin whatever color of leggings you want.

But I also think the guy could have gone about the whole situation differently!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I have heard a lot of controversy around the leggings being pants. Kind of interesting because alot of jeans are tight enough, that I don't see how leggings are ANY different. Esp. because it was totally considered modest back in the 80's when everyone was wearing them with big sweaters.
I have also seen a lot of people have issues with define what "to the knee" means. Some people think it means, PAST the knee, other think it means it hits the knee. Some people say that garments don't actually go right to the knee and that as long as it covers those your fine!
So what is modest? I personally think that we need to take the standards set by the Prophet and govern ourselves. Not everything has been set in black and white, some things are defined and some things are left open to interpretation from those. For example, the modesty guidelines don't say anything about swim wear, we have just culturally decided what a modest swim suit means.
Another example is with caffeine or no caffeine taken from the Word of Wisdom saying to avoid addictive substances. Some people think that includes caffeine, others don't.
This is a long comment to say that there are a lot of things the Church leaves to us to decide and figure out what we think is appropriate or not. One of the beautiful aspects of the Gospel is that we can hear the doctrine and for the most part "Let them govern themselves."

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

&yes, the guys reaction is a WHOLE different topic! haha

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

Not to be annoying but I thought I would post the Church's Official Statement on what is immodest...

"Immodest clothing includes short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, shirts that do not cover the stomach, and other revealing attire. Young women should wear clothing that covers the shoulder and avoid clothing that is low-cut in the front or the back or revealing in any other manner."

Why I post this, is to show how so many of these things could be altered to make something not modest. By this definition, we shouldn't be wearing swimsuits at all! My point is, some of these things are okay in some areas, and not in others, what makes it "okay" is up to our discretion. Unless of course you go to a college that has decided what it means for you... then you should probably follow it :) haha

MicheleBryant said...

I'm impressed with the discussion about this post. Each person has listed valid points without being degrading to others.

Sean Marie said...

Damn if that's not modest then I've been dressing like a major whore lately.