Monday, April 9, 2012

The Beauty of Modesty ~ A Collection of Quotes

Spring Maiden by Thomas Francis Dicksee

MOD'EST, a. [L. modestus, from modus, a limit.]
1. Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man.
2. Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity.
"The blushing beauties of a modest maid." ~ Dryden
3. Not loose; not lewd.
"Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife." ~ Shakespeare
4. Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant; as a modest request; modest joy; a modest computation.
~ Webster's 1828 Dictionary

After Service by Edmund Blair Leighton

"How does a woman look who loves the Lord? What should be her distinguishing external qualities? Though there are greatly different opinions about how one should look, I think there are some basic, yet very important principles on which we would all agree.

First of all, as His jewels, our greatest focus should be on a countenance which reflects the One we love, and nothing that would distract." 

~ by Jennifer J. Lamp, Excerpt from His Chosen Bride

Little Women by Jessie Wilcox Smith

"You have a good many little gifts and virtues, but there is no need of parading them, for conceit spoils the finest genius. There is not much danger that real talent or goodness will be overlooked long, and the great charm of all power is modesty."

~ Louisa May Alcott, Excerpt from Little Women

Julia Gathering Roses by Daniel Ridgway Knight

“Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor.”

~ Noah Webster

Reminiscences by William John Montaigne

“One of the first evidences of a real lady, is that she should be modest. By modesty we mean that she shall not say, do, nor wear anything that would cause her to appear gaudy, ill-bred, or unchaste. There should be nothing about her to attract unfavorable attention, nothing in her dress or manner that would give a man an excuse for vulgar comment. When we dress contrary to the rule of modesty we give excuse for unwholesome thoughts in the mind of those who look upon us, and every girl who oversteps these bounds makes herself liable to misunderstanding and insult, though she may be innocent of any such intention.”

~ Margaret Hale, Excerpt from North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Girl Reading by Charles Edward Perugini

"Every young woman should dress well, that is, neatly, tastefully, modestly, whether she be rich or poor. Conspicuous dressing is vulgar. True refinement avoids anything showy and flashy: it never dresses better than it can afford, and yet it is always well dressed, even in simple muslin or plain calico."

~ J.R. Miller

The Shrine by John Waterhouse

"When a woman veils her body in modest clothing, she is not hiding herself from men. On the contrary, she is revealing her dignity to them."

~ Unknown

Cutting Roses by Daniel Ridgway Knight

"So we cannot look around at others for examples. We must have a conscience toward God ourselves, and answer these questions before Him in our own hearts.  As for myself I cannot wear what I know is not becomingly modest for a Christian to wear."

~ by Mabel Hale, Excerpt from Beautiful Girlhood, Revised by Karen Andreola

The Song of the Nightingale by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."

~ 1 Peter 3:3-4

Biondina by Frederic Lord Leighton

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array…"

~ 1 Timothy 2:9

Prayer by George Frederick Watts

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

~ Romans 12:1-2

These quotes on modesty would also make excellent copywork for young ladies. ~ JES

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This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making Mondays, Modest Mom Monday's, Monday's Musings, Titus 2sdays, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesday, Raising Homemakers, Make Bake Create, Wise Woman Link Up, Christian Homemaking, So Much at Home, Homemaking Thursdays, Hearts for Home Thursdays, and Growing in Grace Thursdays. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these.


  1. I love this post! What a great gathering of quotes and scriptures on the importance of modesty!

    1. Thank you, I was actually surprised at how hard it was to find quotes on this subject (many being from sources that I didn't want to print). Thank you for visiting :)

  2. Yes, I Have a head cold right now and viewing these pictures is so comforting!

    1. Oh Nicol,

      I hope you feel better soon! Stay away from dairy and drink lots of rose hips tea if you have :)

      Rest up! ~ JES

  3. Thank you for sharing this post at Modest Monday! I love the quotes, very inspiring.

    1. Glad you liked them and thank you for hosting the link up.

  4. This is very true, we are the Lord's and are bought at a high price. I want my outer looks to point others towards Him, not me! Wonderful artwork displayed in this post as well. :) -Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

    1. Wise words, Nicole! Glad to see you wearing your new dress:) ~ JES

  5. I love the quote about revealing our dignity! My husband and I lived in the MIddle East for awhile and the women wore abayas (the long black robes you stereotypically think of). My Saudi friend told me that her abaya was a way to protect what was hers and her husbands alone. She felt powerful being able to control who looked at her and how. I loved that. She embraced her femininity the way God intended!

    Carly @

    1. Thank you for sharing that, agree with you ~ that is very special! ~ JES

  6. What a precious post! I pinned it to Pinterest, I hope you don't mind.
    Do you do advertising on here? I would be interested in advertising my shop for modest clothing.

    1. Dear Jane, I am more than happy to have you pin it ;) Thank you for your consideration. Regarding the advertising, I will ponder on that and get back with you if that is okay? Thank you so much for your interest! Will be emailing you sometime this week ~ JES

    2. Hi Jane, I have tried to email you a few weeks back on your etsy account and just want to make sure you received it? ~ JES :)

    3. Could you be more specific about what you mean by modest? This is the year 2014 and obviously styles have changed a great deal since the 19th century. Do you have a problem with girls and women wearing pants and shorts? how about blouses with really short sleeves or sleeveless blouses? I don't like those lttle tank tops with the thin spaghetti straps that usually show some of the midriff as well and are tight. I live in a hot tropical climate and a lot of women wear the spaghetti strap tops and short shorts wth sandals. I like beatutiful Victorian fashion but in the late Victorian and Edwardian Era fashions for the rich were very fancy and decorative most evening ball gowns had low necklines and little sleeves.

      I pretty much cover myself proper, in summer I wear long shorts that cover decently and short sleeved blouses a little loose. The winters are mild might need to wear long pants, jeans long sleeved shirt, sweater, jacket,

      In church I wear long skirts, nice blouse, or a dress or nice slacks.

    4. Do you have a poblem with women wearing pants and shorts? I live in a hot tropical climate and I wear shortsand short sleeved blouses. I wear pants and old t-shirts around the house. In winter I wear flannel shirts or a sweater or sweat shirts, if it gets cold. I like to wear pretty skirts, blouses and dresses to church, but I have not been to church in a while.

    5. Hi Sarah! Thanks for sharing here today :) I also live in a humid climate so I definitely know how a hot summer feels! This topic of dress is discussed more in this post found here (just copy and paste the link):
      I hope it answers your questions! Also, I pray you are able to attend a church soon and sing beautiful hymns in praise to our Creator. I can think of no pleasanter way than to spend a Saturday or Sunday :) Love, JES

  7. My dear JES
    this post is so very lovely, I'm so thankful to you, reading it has felt me much more better and joyful in the deep ...
    But, tell me, how many things, tastes and feeelings in common we have?!?
    Have a great day, my friend, and thank you, again and again
    Sending much love


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