Dressing with Dignity in Hot Weather

Dressing with Dignity in Hot Weather

by Leslie Ludy | July 1, 2011

The other day in the grocery store, my eye caught a heading on the cover of a popular women’s magazine. It was claiming to have an article revealing all the secrets needed to look your best during the “nearly-naked season” – summer. The world uses summer as an excuse to strip down to the bare essentials and become as sexy and sultry as possible. But a girl who dresses with modest, feminine, dignified style sends the message that she values those around her and wants to reflect the beauty of Christ in her appearance, not the empty allure of this world.

While it’s tempting to succumb to both the cultural pressure and the heat, and let down our modesty guard during this time of year, there are plenty of ways to keep cool, look beautiful, and protect your feminine mystery in summertime!

I’ve asked several girls on our setapartgirl team to share some practical ways they put this principle into action during the summer months. Here are some of their great insights:

Amelia Wears:

Lighter-weight fabrics, in lighter colors and looser styles (as long as things fit well and don’t allow for gaping). Also, I wear my hair up and off of my neck. Loose fitting capris or long shorts have come back into style recently – yay! I like to wear loose-fitting, lightweight skirts that fall to my knees – they allow for airflow and the cut adds a fun and feminine feel!

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Mandy Wears:

Some of my favorite summertime outfits consist of partnering a fun and flowy tank with a lightweight sweater or shrug. It gives modern class with modest charm. Lightweight, comfortable, and versatile, tea-length skirts are my favored feminine pick!

Lauren Wears:

A light tee layered under a tank, thinner, lightweight cardigans over casual or dressy tanks and sleeveless shirts, and flowy, loose-fitting “peasant-style” tops are my favorites.

Marlene Wears:

I like to dress in long, flowy skirts with sandals and a casual top. I also like to pair a lightweight scarf over a casual top, and often pin up my hair with a pretty flower clip.

Annie Wears:

Summer Dresses

I love long summer dresses, but these days it seems that they are taking fabric off of the top to add length at the bottom. So, I like to pair a cropped short-sleeved cardigan over these dresses with a layer tank, or pair it with a nice fitted t-shirt. Another trend in stores is the short, short dress. Alone, they are completely out of the question for me, but by adding cropped pants underneath (not leggings) I feel both feminine and comfortable on hot summer days. And there is such a variety out there that I can mix and match them, making several outfits.


I love classic floppy hats – they can be so practical in shielding me from the hot sun, but they also add a Grace Kelly elegance even if they’re topping off just a simple pair of cropped jeans and t-shirt.

Flowy, Feminine Tops

Most of the summer tops in stores have barely-there straps and are either too low or far too “gaping.” I love feminine detail, so I’ve found that with creative and light layering you can have a lovely look that has this detail and personality, while still being modest and cool. I’ve chosen to invest in several quality layering tanks (the ones that fit you perfectly!) and a few light cardigans (in basic colors). That way nearly any dress, tank, or blouse can be directed away from immodesty and towards the dignity of ladylike dressing.*

A Dressing Room Story

Just the other day while I was shopping, I came out of my dressing room with a short dress layered over my jeans. Standing in front of me was a young woman wearing the exact same dress, but worn alone. She stopped and after looking at my ensemble said, “Are you going to wear it like that – over jeans?”

“Yes, or with some cropped pants and heels to dress it up,” I said with a smile.

“I had never thought of that, but I would be so much more comfortable wearing it like that than just as a dress,” she said, pulling at her short hem. “I mean, wearing it like this, by itself, I couldn’t even sit down without bearing everything!” And pointing to my modest choice said, “I like that!”

She didn’t look at my layered combination as prudish, but rather a flattering, stylish, and safe way to wear the dress she liked.

A Note from the Team:

It’s not our aim to be “trendy,” and in fact, a set apart girl does not allow herself to be ruled by the trends of our culture. It’s a matter of working with what’s available in the stores (modest fashions are terribly hard to find!) and working them with these practical layering ideas to transform current styles into ones of dignity, beauty, and a heavenly guard over a young woman’s body and appearance.*