Wearers of modest clothing are motivated by different reasons, some by elegance of style, others by a broad range of personal beliefs. Educational material about modesty written over the years reflects a similar variety of perspectives. Readers from most backgrounds will find relevant insights in the Evaluating Clothing chapter. The remaining chapters expand upon a conservative Christian view of modesty based on the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.
This book, previously titled What Does the Bible Say About Your Appearance?, was one of the most influential pieces of literature in the life of the founder of the Fashion Belle website toward pursuing a career as an apparel patternmaker with the goal of providing modest clothing resources. Elaine Powell, who worked with her husband in the development of the book, passed away in 2005 from cancer while her daughters were still young. She left them a legacy of her life within these writings. When I contacted Ray Powell in 2010 with a request for reprints, he graciously allowed portions of the book to be edited and posted online here. It is our hope that this study will continue to inspire Biblical modesty as a way of life. If you have further questions, please contact us.
The material you are about to read is the result of our several-year struggle to come to a concise understanding of God’s standards of modesty and appearance. This study began as a short and simple attempt to collect our thoughts and convictions about modesty and appearance and compare them with the Bible. As we read, studied and meditated, our short, simple project became a long, comprehensive one.
We would ask that you approach this subject with a humble, open heart. We, like you, are continuing to grow in the Lord. Please do not use us as your measuring stick. Use only God’s Holy Word! We are simply Christian parents with a fervent desire in our hearts to glorify God with our lives and to train up our daughters in the way they should go.
This study is not an attempt to beat you over the head or force you to share our convictions. Instead, it is a loving effort to challenge you and cause you to evaluate your past convictions and practices regarding appearance. May we as Christians have eyes that will see, ears that will hear, and hearts that will accept His Word and His ways!
Ray and Elaine Powell
July 2003, Seventh Edition
Scripture quoted from the New American Standard Bible, King James Version and others as noted. All Greek word primary meanings are taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James H. Strong, Baker Book House, 1989. Modest Clothing Bible Study Copyright 2010, W.R.P. Publishing, all rights reserved. Published on the Fashion Belle website by permission. Copies may be reprinted for non-profit personal or educational use only.