In a previous article (http://marvelouslymodest.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-are-we-modest.html), I mentioned that someone tried saying that it was okay to wear a bikini to the beach because it was appropriate, and this was their point, "If you wore a bikini to church, can you see how that would be immodest, because you're attracting a lot of attention to yourself, where as, at the beach, you won't attract as much attention, so it's okay to wear a bikini, just as long as you're at the beach." A lot of people tend to get confused between being appropriate, and being modest. Being appropriate has to do with modesty, but just because it's "appropriate" doesn't make it modest.
Being appropriate, as dictionary.com put is, "suiting or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion, etc." while modesty, "regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc." If I went to church in shorts and a t-shirt on a Sunday morning, it definitely wouldn't be appropriate, even though modest, but it would be to wear at a friend's house, because it's still modest, it would be modest and appropriate.
One of the reasons we should dress appropriately is because it doesn't draw attention to ourselves. We should not, purposefully, draw attention to ourselves. Now, I'm not saying that it's wrong to be the center of attention, but to dress and act in a way that forces you there is not modest at all, and you should always dress appropriately. 1 Timothy 2:9 doesn't say, "likewise also women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, unless you're swimming, or at home, because then it wouldn't be wrong." No, it says very clearly, "likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire," There are no exceptions to this rule, even if you're "appropriate" for the occasion. Being appropriate to man isn't always modest to God.
There is a big difference between dressing modestly and appropriately. We should dress and act in both, instead of thinking they're the same thing. Please remember this next time you get dressed. :)