Thank you to Luke Gilkerson at Covenant Eyes. I have only a small amount of his good article on modesty. Please check out his whole work in the entire article -- it is excellent and too significant to miss.
"Modern Modesty Controversies...
Where then does modesty fit into the Christian ethic?
Paul on Modesty:
1 Timothy 2:8-10
“I desire…that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.“
Christian women should concern themselves with modesty because the Bible does. This text is a primary example.
(For the purposes of this article, I am writing about women because Paul is writing about women in these verses. But I recognize that men should also embrace modesty.)
1. Modesty is not anti-fashion...
The question for Paul isn’t about whether a woman should ornament her body, but how.
2. Modesty is about who you worship...
Paul puts his finger on the trigger of the problem...
A person’s manner of dress, or even their preoccupation with clothing itself (Matthew 6:28-30), is often indicative of a heart that loves self more than God.
3. Modesty is about behavior and attitude, not just clothing...
This means modesty is not simply about what we wear, but how we act, how we communicate, and how relate to others.
4. Modesty shows sensitivity to sin...
A heart of modesty is motivated by a love for one’s fellow man.
5. Modesty involves cultural discretion...
[it is] about the messages and values our clothing communicates.
6. Modesty is about true freedom, not repression...
Paul wants Christian woman to have self-mastery in their wardrobe choices, to be totally free from worldly ways of defining worth, beauty, and sexiness.
Ironically, it is not just those who are scantily dressed that are enslaved, but even those who pride themselves on their modesty. “Modest is hottest,” they say, unaware that in their own hearts, they are still enslaved to a preoccupation with their physical image, still defining their worth by their outward adornment.
Taken together, these aspects of modesty help to give us a working definition.
Modesty is a respectable manner of adorning one’s body and carrying oneself, born out of a freedom from a worldly definition of beauty and worth, and motivated by a hatred of sin and a desire to draw attention to God.
When it comes to the subject of modest clothing, the first question we should ask ourselves is: What am I trying to accomplish by what I wear?"
*Please see the whole article at: Modesty/Luke Gilkerson