Definition of MODEST
a : placing a moderate estimate on one's abilities or worth
b : neither bold nor self-assertive : tending toward diffidence
: arising from or characteristic of a modest nature
a : limited in size, amount, or scope <a family of modestmeans>
b : unpretentious <a modest home>
Around the Catholic blogosphere, there has been a lot of discussion regarding modesty. It seems as though each individual has their own rules regarding what is viewed as "modest". In my opinion, modesty is defined by the amount of "skin" that is showing and whether your attire causes you to receive inappropriate attention.
Tops - Generally, tops should have sleeves. If they do not have sleeves, they should have thick enough straps that your bra straps are not showing. When you lean forward, you should not be revealing cleavage. Also, when bending, your shirt should not pull away from your pants or skirt to reveal skin. I do not particularly subscribe to the two finger rule. "A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat..."
Bottoms - I am not an exclusively "skirt wearing" woman. However, I love my long skirts because they are comfortable, lady-like, and modest. It is the easiest way to get dressed, look nice, and feel good. I wear sweats, jeans, and dress pants however, I make sure that they are not too tight. By too tight, I mean they do not show underwear lines. Bottoms of any variety should not show any part of your buttocks. I also do not wear pants that have any kind of words across the backside. I make sure my pants have a high enough rise that nothing is exposed when sitting or bending.
Dresses - I tend to wear dresses on special occasions - Christmas, a fancy dinner, a special concert or other event, or even Sunday Mass. I enjoy getting dressed up and wearing accompanying jewelry such as pearl earrings or a necklace. The dresses I choose to wear generally do not have a low neckline. I don't feel comfortable wearing that type of clothing. Also, I don't wear short dresses, such as a mini-skirt. My rules regarding underwear lines and appropriate fit also apply to dresses.
I'd love it if you shared your thoughts on modesty in the comments section below!