Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Are my leggings modest?’

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Published: Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Lilburn, GA

Leggings are basically open footed tights. A decade or two ago No one would have dreamed to be walking around in just a pair of tights. Yet here in 2014 they do, not only teenagers, but grown women. My grandmother always said, always present yourself as if you were going to a job interview.

Paul in MD
Montgomery Village, MD

As a father of 3 daughters and 2 sons, here is my 2 cents. I don't pretend to be an authority on modesty, but this is basically the rule in our home. If leggings are sheer at all (I know, most aren't), then they are treated like hose. If you wouldn't go outside showing that much pantyhose, you can't go outside showing that much leggings.

If they aren't sheer, then it depends on how clingy they are. Completely skin tight up to the waist? You cover up as much of the leggings as you would your own skin.

I ask my daughters to reflect on what impression they are trying to give people of themselves, especially guys they may be interested in. If a guy won't look at you unless you leave little to his imagination, he isn't worth your time. You are better than that.

Sandee Spencer
Longwood, FL

One of the problems with wearing leggings is that they can be tight and revealing. I think they are best paired with a long loose over top or dress-- something that covers your body nearly to the knees.

That said I personally don't think leggings are dressy enough to be considered "our very best" or approriate be worn to sacred meetings. They are more of a sporty trendy look.

It might be a good exercise to sit down with your mom and look through some fashion sites on-line (Polyvore, Shabby Apple, DownEast, ASOS) and together point out ideas and outfits you like and share what type of event you think they would be appropriate to wear them to and what you think the wearer is trying to express through her outfit.

We do speak about ourselves by what we wear so it's always good to double check if what we feel we are expressing is what others are receiving!

South Jordan, UT

I really don't have a complaint about leggings, but rather what is worn with them. Young mothers make up most of our ward. The trend (set by the RS Presidency) is to wear tight leggings and a long over-blouse that just comes mid thigh or even barely covering the rear end of the individual. I guess they think that is a "dress."

I think it is immodest and crude looking!

Edwardsville, IL

Oh, come on now! Leggings? Is this what we have degenerated to? Wondering if your leggings are immodest?
Are you next going to ask if your hair is too short, your make-up to overwhelming, and your skirts too tight or short? Is it OK to only pay 9.9% tithing?
The immaturity and self-indulgent attitude of the question is more affronting than the question.
Perhaps you should ask. "What are my personal standards and do they agree with my personal worth?"
"Are my personal standards in conflict with what I know or have been taught?"
We have been taught that we should not need to be instructed in every little thing. If we were, there would be no personal growth.
Ok, let us look at your parents’ standards. There is no law that says the children can't set the example for the parents. If you feel that your Mom's skinny jeans are too tight or not what they should be, tell her but not in connection with a conversation about what you want to wear.


Leggings are NOT pants.

One needs to have a skirt on to the knees whilst wearing the leggings.

If one wants to look like a tramp, one wears the leggings w/o a skirt to the knees (or shorts to the knees).

Scott H
Ogden, UT

What constitutes acceptable wear in a culture changes over time. Parents and leaders need to exercise righteous judgment on matters of morality. Just because a currently acceptable clothing or grooming style might seem gauche to an older generation does not necessarily mean that it is morally inappropriate. Our children can benefit from learning to recognize the difference between the gospel and the culture.

During part of their teen years my older sons chose hair styles that were ... well ... far from missionary standard. Although I would have liked something more in line with that standard, I figured that if I couldn't let the boys make their own decisions on hair style, they would never learn to develop internal judgment on truly important matters.

That being said, the way we choose to groom and dress is a form of communication, as surely as are the words we choose to speak. We ought to honestly answer what kind of message we are choosing to send by what we wear. If the style is akin to language we would never let pass through our lips, maybe we ought to choose a style that is more in line with our true eternal identity.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Who doesn't want to be cool. as a parent I have the last say in what isn't cool.

Humility isn't thinking any less of your self, it's thinking less of yourself.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Too many Mormons think modesty is just about how much skin is or isn't showing. But tightness is part of it as well. Guess what: That shirt might cover up enough skin for you to consider it modest, but when it's so tight that we can tell when you've got goosebumps, it's not modest.

Los Angeles, CA

I understand the desire to want to be fashionable or feel like we want to dress like what seems to be everyone else. But leggings are like tights. They are form fitting and leave nothing to the imagination. Certainly, they now have some very cute ones especially if one is creative in how they match them, and they can be fine with very long shirts or very short dresses keeping those items modest. That is one thing I taught my daughters, you can be fashionable and modest. It just takes being a bit creative.

Henderson, NV

She has a point. I see far too many mothers of teenagers wearing clothes that are too tight, too short and generally inappropriate. They seemed to be obsessed with looking young. Good grooming examples need to be set by parents and grandparents! Personally, I don't think leggings or skinny jeans are appropriate for public display. Both are in violation of our office dress code as well, thank goodness!


I agree that it's not the leggings necessarily (unless they're sheer or meant to be provocative-looking) that are the problem, it's the skirt that goes with them. The skirt should reach the knees. Ladies, don't fool yourself into thinking that you're being modest, when you wear a miniskirt with your leggings. It's inappropriate anytime, but particularly in church for temple-endowed women. My skirts and dresses always hit my knee or below.

Pickerington, OH

It sounds like the family needs to sit down and assess their own family dress standards, for adults and kids, regardless of what anyone else is wearing. The very simple standard in our house is "Is it the appropriate clothing for the activity?" Each individual has to assess why they are wearing certain things. You teach the correct principle and let people govern themselves.

All that being said, I think people should be less judgmental about what others are wearing in general. The modesty police in the LDS culture, especially toward women and girls, is embarrassing and unnecessary. We are each responsible for our own thoughts and actions and we need to stop blaming or attempting to control others.

Steven S Jarvis
Orem, UT

Leggings are a form of underwear. While it is fine to wear them with a dress/pants/skirt wearing only leggings has become accepted in society. So has all the laughs and snickers at the wearers expense. If you want to avoid looking stupid or getting laughed/stared at, adopt different acceptable attire to wear in public.


I know that many people have different opinions about what is modest or not. I know for women, the things that they wear are not a big deal, and that in most cases they really wearing them, 'they look cute on me', i.e. leggings, yoga pants, etc.. But when it comes to modesty, it comes down to what thoughts are you putting in the minds of others when you wear these clothes? I know that women would say that it is not fair to wear clothes based on what others are thinking, but its the world we live in. If the clothes that you wear are causing others to look at you inappropriately, and think inappropriate thoughts. Then you should reconsider the clothes you wear. Unless you want to get that kind of attention, then women are going to wear clothes that get others looking, staring, and fantasizing. But if you do not want others staring and thinking inappropriate thoughts about you, then do not wear clothes that makes it easier for that invite. I know that its all up to the individual, but just know that your decisions not only affect you, it can affects others as well.

Deep Space 9, Ut

I want to join in by saying that leggings are not pants. Yes they are tight like skinny jeans, but they are not jeans. You look like you ran out of your house half dressed. I would tell my daughter that leggings are not pants just like I would tell them that lounge pants should not be worn around town.

Just because it is trendy that doesn't mean it is tasteful or actually looks good. Read "Leggings Are Not Pants: An Essay" in the Huffington Post for a Liberal's view of Leggings.

Kjirstin Youngberg
Mapleton, UT

Angela, I loved your comment.

If WE feel right with the Lord, it is up to us.

If people looking at us have a problem, it is their problem, not ours. And the judging on here? Please! Can you look at yourselves?

So many don't like the looks of others; too fat; too thin. I've even heard sleeveless dresses on our young women or sundresses worn by little girls called "porn" ~ and idiot-thought like this sends public opinion on members of our church back to a bad place.

Can we just stop, please? I have known this to be the last straw to drive a young person away from church activity forever. If YOU are the one casting stones, how do you plan to explain THAT loss to your Heavenly Father?

Logan, UT


"But when it comes to modesty, it comes down to what thoughts are you putting in the minds of others when you wear these clothes?"

No, no, no, no, NO!

"We believe that a man [or woman] will be punished for his [or her] OWN sins, and not for Adam's [or anyone else's] transgression."

Modesty has nothing to do with what other people do or think. It has everything to do with respect for yourself and for your God, and it does not apply only to the amount or type of clothing one wears. This notion that women are somehow responsible for the thoughts of men based on what they wear is utterly false. It not only relegates women to little more than a sexual object in need of covering, but it degrades men to little more than raging, sex-driven animals which are incapable of self control. This is both inconsistent with, and offensive to the divine nature of both men and women as taught in the doctrines of the LDS church. I would counsel this young lady to simply consult prayerfully with her Father in heaven about this question.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "1857496" don't worry about the thoughts it puts into the minds of others. Think about your typical teen girl or woman. Wearing leggings does NOTHING to make a girl look more attractive, unless she is very, very slim and very fit without extremely low body fat. If a normal girl wants to dress in a way that drives guys crazy, avoid the skin tight cloths.

I hate to be the one to tell you and women everywhere. Men, other than your husband, don't want to see your muffin-top, back fat, or love handles. The tight clothes that are popular right now do nothing to flatter the feminine form. Plus, those low cut tops that are so popular make the decent men uncomfortable because every time you lean over, they can see your belly button.

Murray, UT

Let's consider where leggings are found in the store. In the lingerie department. By the socks, tights, underwear, bras, and pajamas. I have never found a pair of leggings in the pants section. Maybe I just shop at the wrong stores, but when I go looking for pants I don't have to sort through packages of leggings (yet another sign leggings are not pants-packaging!)

Having said that, I think leggings are cute...with a dress.

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