They’re everywhere. If you have watched any television show, you have seen them. If you have entered any clothing store, you have seen them. If you have been to any formal event, you have seen them. What am I talking about?
The sleeveless dress.
This style is not just popular, it is THE style for dresses. Whether the skirt is long or short, or the bodice is tight or loose, good luck trying to find sleeves, because the fashion world has almost done away with them. Maybe I’m over-exaggerating, but I doubt it. I mean, have you seen Say Yes to the Dress? Sleeves have to be specially ordered nowadays. It’s really hard for me, as a teen, to find a Sunday dress that doesn’t expose my shoulders.
Why am I bringing this up? Is it because I just don’t like the fad? Is it just because I don’t think it’s a flattering look (which, it isn’t, by the way)? No, I’m bringing this up because dresses that don’t cover your shoulders should not be worn by Christians. Period.
“What’s wrong with sleeveless dresses?” you might ask. “It’s not showing any cleavage.” This is true. Most of the sleeveless dresses come up past the cleavage mark.
There are two reasons that should prohibit any sincere Christian girl from wearing this around her brothers in Christ.
1. The number one issue with sleeveless dresses is that they don’t have any sleeves. “Duh, Sarah,” you might say. Think about it, though. Sleeves hold up the bodice of the garment while worn. If you’re not wearing sleeves, then what’s holding up your bodice? Not very much. So, if nothing is holding up your bodice, it’s going to slide down. And you will have to pull it up. And it will gradually slide down again. And you will have to pull it up again…. All night long. Not only is this irritating for the wearer, but don’t think the guys around you aren’t going to notice. Despite what Hollywood tries to tell you, guys aren’t stupid, and they’ll notice you pulling your shirt up because it keeps sliding down. They’ll have to witness you fighting with your shirt the whole time they’re around you, and that brings their attention right towards your chest… and such areas.
2. You look like you’re half naked in those dresses. I’m not even kidding. When you wear a dress without sleeves, you’re only covering about as much up top as a towel does when you wrap it around yourself. Don’t think that just because the skirt is long, it’ll make up for the fact that you have very little on up top. Guys aren’t going to think, “Wow, her legs are all covered, and she’s not showing any cleavage! She’s so super modest!” They’re going to think, “Look at all that shoulder she didn’t cover up...”
It’s not very helpful for me to just say “Don’t wear sleeveless dresses/shirts” and not follow that up with anything positive. Here’s some ways you can make a sleeveless dress modest:
- For a more formal occasion, wear a matching sweater over it, or a shawl
- For a more casual occasion, find a t-shirt that will look cute under it, or even over it.
- If it’s a sleeveless shirt, wear it over a dress with sleeves. Depending on the cut, this’ll look cute.
- If it’s a tube top, use it as an under shirt.
- Halter tops, though I didn’t get to talk about them in the body of the article, are difficult because they’re held together by so little- just one little knot. Someone could just reach out and untie your whole entire shirt, or at least imagine that they were. If you have a dress or shirt that you simply can’t get rid of because you love it so much, then wear a shirt underneath it or over it and try to cover up the back knot part with a sweater, scarf, or your long hair. If you can part with it, then do, because the whole idea of it is very suggestive. Out of sight, out of mind.~Sarah