Modesty Is Counter-Cultural

I loathe shopping for my teen daughter.

Not because of the stress of shopping or rude cashiers or the high prices or anything as shallow as all that.

It’s because the selections for clothing in the shops is too often inappropriate, especially with warmer weather approaching. Even I sometimes struggle to find items to update my closet for the season.

Thankfully, my daughter borders on prudeness (and I’m not complaining!) and is very particular about the clothing she likes and is comfortable wearing.

She’s long and lean and many shirts and dresses fall too short for her liking. The selections in girl clothes are often too little girly, but the junior clothing is too sexy and revealing. And women’s sizes are too baggy.

Modesty is counter-cultural.

Modesty is Counter-Cultural

Even in Christian circles, she is learning that girls her age sometimes use clothing as weapons and that they are learning to try to be alluring in their tight and revealing garments. She is saddened by older women who desperately try to cling to their fleeting youth by wearing clothing they probably shouldn’t.

I love that my daughter is choosing to be counter-cultural all on her own. I’ve seldom placed restrictions on her choices – clothing, music, literature, or movies.

I haven’t had to.

I think she is firm in her convictions from being allowed to think for herself. She has always been strong-willed (and this could’ve gone either way, folks!). She informed me when she was but a wee lass of three that she would henceforth be called “Lizzie,” and no longer “Beth.” It was a sad day for me. And she’s now just “Liz.”

Gone are the days when I could shop a sale alone or score at the thrift store or consignment shop and bring home a bag of goodies she loved. Pink and ruffles are no longer the uniform of the day.

Now, at thirteen – and almost as tall as I am! – she must try on and pick and choose. I am learning her sense of style.

Modesty is Counter Cultural

Where do we shop?

It’s not worth it to shop online since Liz likes to try clothes on to feel the fabric and see where necklines and hemlines lie. Recently, we’ve found that Kohl’s was a success for jeans and capris. We still do well on shirts at thrift stores and consignment shops. Old Navy is hit or miss, depending on the season and style trends. Their quality has been reduced over the years. The Gap is some better, but I have to get things on sale there. Target occasionally has an item or two that Liz likes, but their quality isn’t the greatest. We found a couple pretty dresses at Dress Barn for church. I wish their sizes started smaller because they really do have some lovely items and often good prices with sales and coupons. Forever 21 had some cute tops for layering. I am not impressed with our new H&M store and I seldom go to malls unless we’re shopping for specific items for some occasion.

Since we go to different places to buy clothes, I help my daughter mix and match. I teach her about fabrics and classic combinations. She’s learning from my own thrift store finds that I can put together a pretty neat outfit. She prefers slim straight jeans and longer shirts she can layer since she’s often cold. She loves dresses but seldom can find skirts that fit her tiny waist and are long enough to sit down. I try not to tease her that she likes old lady dresses because I want her to be confident in her choices and it’s so much better than the alternatives I see on many of her peers. I help her choose colors that complement her and styles that are comfortable and flattering. I find her borrowing my sweaters and asking for my boots lately!

My daughter is not a trend chaser.

I am so proud of her developing sense of style. I am so pleased that she is a wearer of clothing instead of a clothes horse. And that she’s choosing to be counter-cultural.


  1. Jennifer Hoffman says

    This is such a frustrating subject! So glad you’re daughter is choosing this. Have you heard of fashion meets They are starting a movement for young women- you may want to check it out! I am a 24 year old mom to an almost 3 year old and I find it hard to find clothes that are approporiuate for mybage as well. Its either something my “mom would wear” or itsy bitsy for a teenager. We need to get some modest fashion lines started! I don’t have the creativity but I have the organizational skills! Lol :-)

    • Derika T. says

      Hi Jennifer,

      I’m a 25 year old mom to a 3 year old and 1 year old. Have you heard of Down East Basics? I love their clothes! They are modest and fashionable for women our age. ASOS has nice clothes too. Hope that helps! :-)