Dear Kallos: Is It A Sin To Wear Revealing Clothes?

Issue 32  // 

“Is it a sin to wear revealing clothes? I’m not that extreme; I do like wearing clothes that are revealing but not that revealing, like tube tops or spaghetti-strap tops. However, my parents are strict about how I dress, and I’m afraid that they do not approve of my choices. Could you pray for my parents to accept what I wear?” — Confused About Clothing

dear Confused,

Thank you for being honest about your clothing preferences. Perhaps the first step is to consider why you like these clothes. Many a time, our choices show the true intentions of our heart. For example, some people might take pride in using vulgarities because they like the negative attention and the feeling of fitting in with a certain crowd. What is the true intention behind your clothing choices? If you are able to respond to this question purely with, “Just because I like it!”, then it might not be an issue of the heart for you. But now let us look at what the word of God says about the kind of clothing we wear. In 1 Timothy 2:9–10, God clearly instructs women to “dress modestly, with decency and propriety”, clothing ourselves with “good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

Admittedly, what is considered “modest” by one person may appear “immodest” to someone else, and the Bible won’t spell out what “modesty” really means when it comes to modern clothing.

Are spaghetti-strap tops more modest than a tube top because of the straps? Is a baggy sleeveless top more modest than a skin-tight shirt with long sleeves? There aren’t clear-cut answers to these questions, but what the Bible is clear about is that we should not use our freedom in a way that causes those who are weak in the faith to stumble into sin (1 Cor 8).

The apostle Paul states that we should take care that our freedom of choice “does not become a stumbling block to the weak … [for] if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” (1 Cor 8:9, 13). Could clothes that emphasise your body in certain ways tempt a Christian friend to view you as an object of lust? Yes, each of us are ultimately responsible for our thoughts and actions. But if we are expected to love each other (John 15:12; 1 Thess 4:9; 1 Pet 1:22; 1 John 3:14), then we perhaps should reconsider the choices that hinder our friends from knowing Christ and following Him fully. If we want to walk the talk, we need to check that our actions match our beliefs.

We are not advocating that you should only wear long-sleeved tops to keep your arms covered or only wear skirts that reach your ankles all the time. But we hope you will re-examine your clothing preferences in light of God’s word and your desire to rightly represent Christ. It may take time to change your preferences, but we hope our words have helped shed light on the issue and you would let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart on this matter.


Alina Teo
I am a mother of two littles. Some things that I love — vintage florals, mountains, cooking, sewing and writing. I have a heart for the broken and I take comfort in knowing that Christ can be our hope.

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