You’ve seen it everywhere—world-famous Instagram fashion influencers and fashion inspos are covering their shoulders and runway-ready looks are all about long sleeves and concealing cleavages. The modesty movement is here to stay, but what exactly does it mean to dress conservatively?

As a general rule of thumb, modest clothing rules include longer sleeves and hemlines, as well as bottoms that reach below the knees. There’s also a lot to be said on how to make a short dress more modest, which also includes layers and more relaxed fits. That said, here are just 5 tip-top tips on how to dress modestly but cute no matter what the occasion!

  1. Relaxed and loose

While those adorable yoga pants and cutesy leggings with psychedelic prints can go a long way when it comes to coverage, they tend to be too body-hugging for someone who wants to learn how to be a modest woman. So the question then is how to dress modestly and what is the definition of modest apparel? You can still keep tight-fitting clothing nice and modest with a long tunic for coverage and to keep off any unwanted attention.


Shop the Look: Orange Fish Print Viscose Tunic, £49.00 GB| Shop other Tunics

While modest clothing rules call for looser, more relaxed fits, this doesn’t mean you should go for baggy, unflattering pieces! Opt for relaxed fits that still flatter at every angle, like pieces with gathered waists or matching sash belts or tie front to emphasise your waist.


Shop the Look: Linen Tie Front Ruffled Maxi Dress, £38.00 GBP | Shop other Dresses

For denim jeans, you can choose straight, boot cut, or even skinny jeans as long as you grab a loose-fitting, blousy, boho top to go with them. They’re great for comfort and versatility, and perfect for wearing leggings modestly too!

  1. Happy hemlines

What is modest fashion if not choosing pieces that go past your elbows or below your knees? Go for bottoms that you can wear both to work and for church with hemlines that are ankle-length or those that go below the knees for appropriate coverage. They turn heads the right way, and they take the meaning of conservative dressing to a classier, more sophisticated level.


Shop the Look: Floral Midi Slip Skirt With Side Slits, £38.00 GBP | Shop other Skirts

Examples of modest clothing also include long-sleeved bodysuits or long sleeve tops—they’re as versatile as they are ideal for how to dress modestly. Plus, longer hemlines also make sure that you’re still dressing modestly and stylishly even if you have an unexpected client meeting or business matter you suddenly need to attend to in the middle of your busy day!


Shop the Look: Satin Tailored Bodysuit In Rust, £38.00 GBP 
| Shop other Tops

  1. Covered cleavage

Why is dressing modestly important? The modesty movement helps draw attention to your inner personality and not on the way you dress. It lets you express yourself the right way without showing off some skin. When it comes to how to dress modestly, keeping your necklines no lower than about four fingers below your collarbone also helps draw attention to your face instead of elsewhere. If you want to know the definition of modest dressing, pay attention to your necklines and keep your decolletage under wraps! You can choose from collared ones, v-necks, high necklines, turtlenecks, crew necks, and so much more—the possibilities are truly endless!


Shop the Look: Grey Pleated Long Co-Ord Top And Pants Set, £79.00 GBP | Shop other Co-ords

  1. Luxurious layers

If you’re thinking that how to be a modest woman means saying goodbye to midriff-baring tops and strapless pieces, think again! Layers are here to save the day when you’re trying to make a short dress more modest. With crop tops during this warm weather, you can pair them with a high-waist skirt. Just make sure that the bottom hem of your crop top meets the high-waist pants to get the same look without having to expose any skin.


Shop the Look: Giula Pants, £26.00 GBP | Shop other Pants

While the meaning of conservative summer outfits can differ, examples of modest clothing include swimwear with a layered kimono over it, or even a kaftan to keep you cool under the sizzling summer sun without bearing it all. The vintage cuts and flowy fabric make you look totally fabulous and flatters your curves the right way! You can also use these layers with strapless pieces and tube dresses, as well as with making see-through lace pieces fit your personal definition of modest dressing. There’s a delicate illusion that lace and flowy layers give off without you having to reveal anything underneath, which is why you just gotta love those layers! No need to give your whole closet a complete makeover—you can still wear skimpier outfits as long as you layer them right.


Shop the Look: Black Contrast Floral Kimono Abaya, £29.99 (was £59.00) | Shop other Kimono

  1. Fab fabrics

Speaking of see-through material, steer clear of them if you can and make sure you keep your back covered too. Keep those panty lines hidden too, while you’re at it! If you absolutely have to use see-through pieces, make sure you layer appropriately and use light natural fabrics that are breathable so as not to keep you suffocated and stuffy during the summer. These lightweight fabrics keep you fresh, easy-breezy, and comfortably cool while still keeping your modest clothing rules—not to mention you get extra sun protection too!

Go with chiffon and cotton, or a flowy long-sleeve midi dresses. A nice, floral, or vibrantly coloured maxi dress with dazzling prints and designs also works like a charm—they don’t even need to be layered up or covered own as they’re already fresh and fab on their own!


Shop the Look: Denim Long Sleeves Loose Maxi Shirt Dress, £39.00 GBP | Shop other Dresses

So, just to recap, what is modest fashion and why is dressing modestly important? Modesty means being able to wear appropriate clothing without being too revealing, and at the same time keeping you casually cool and effortless chic while comfortably confident in your own skin without relying on your outfits.

You can be heading off to wow clients at work, just lounging around the house, or going out shopping with your squad on a fabulous girls’ day out. It doesn’t matter what you’re up to—modest fashion has and always will have you covered, literally and figuratively!

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