I wanted to do a post on modest nursing-friendly mom outfits, but I realized modesty is one of those things that might be defined different for everyone. Clothing shopping seems like such a minefield these days!
How does one define nakedness in these modern times? The Bible makes it clear that we are to cover our nakedness, but how does God define this? We can get some context of God’s idea of covering from two categories of text in the Bible: how God dressed His priests (Exodus 28), and descriptions where God refers to nakedness (for instance Isaiah 47).
“You shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron, for honor and for glory.
And you shall speak to all the wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, and they shall make Aaron’s garments to sanctify him, so that he shall serve Me.
And these are the garments that they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a tunic of checker work, a cap and a sash. They shall make holy garments for your brother Aaron and for his sons to serve Me.
And you shall make a showplate of pure gold, and you shall engrave upon it like the engraving of a seal: Holy to YHWH.
And make for them linen pants to cover the flesh of their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist down to the thighs.” (Exodus 28:2-4, 36, 42)
“Come down and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon;
Sit on the ground without a throne,
O daughter of the Chaldeans!
For you shall no more be called
Tender and delicate.
Take the millstones and grind meal.
Remove your veil,
Take off the skirt,
Uncover the thigh,
Pass through the rivers.
Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
Yes, your shame will be seen;
I will take vengeance,
And I will not arbitrate with a man.” (Isaiah 47:1-3)
Based on the passages I have found, the thigh seems to be something that needs to be covered. How does this translate today? This is where every Christian must search their hearts and earnestly pray and seek the counsel of God. To me, and this is no one more than me speaking. God handed us the Torah, and those are the matters fixed in stone. Clothing is something each child of God, I believe, must pray about themselves. To me, this covering of nakedness looks like:
– a covered shoulder
– a higher neckline
– a covered thigh: and by covered thigh I mean more than just leggings; some thickness and looseness to the material.
In practice, for me, this means: jeans that are not too tight, paired with long, tunic like shirts that cover the bottom, shorts that reach just above the knee, skirts or dresses that reach just above the knee.
However, because longer skirts, shorts and dresses are so hard to find (and by long I’m not referring to maxi skirts since maxi skirts would trip me up running after my children and God’s definition of nakedness seems to be thighs not legs) I usually have to modify. For wearing under dresses I take black yoga pants and cut them off just above the knee. This is a comfy solution for wearing dresses and running after toddlers. I can fearlessly manage the monkey bars at the park!
Bermuda shorts – shorts that reach just above the knee – I find are difficult to come by so I generally make them from jeans I find at the thrift store. To make jean cutoffs, I take comfy jeans and cut them off a few inches below the knee, fold them up to form a nice cuff, and then I sew the cuff in place. If there are some rips that are too high, I patch them.
For skirts or dresses that are too high, I layer skirts that are longer underneath.
What about you fellow mamas? How do you navigate the issue of modesty? And what are your go-to outfits that tick off all the boxes like comfy, breastfeeding friendly, and active mom friendly?