Ask Angela: Are my leggings modest?

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  • Bellabella Heber City, UT
    March 17, 2016 10:30 a.m.

    I am a mother of 5 small children and I think modesty is a personal issue, but also, important and outlined enough in the Strength for the Youth pamphlet, that it really leaves no generous room for error. I wondered about leggings to work out in--when in public. I studied up on it, because I didn't feel 100% comfortable wearing workout leggings in public. At first, I didn't see a problem with them, until I refreshed myself on the pamphlet and I also went to the missionary website from the church for the sister missionaries--they are instructed to wear loose fitting workout pants--not clingy. The Strength for the Youth pamphlet also discourages tight fitting clothing, which leggings fall under. I feel a lot better knowing that the Lord has already let us know what is acceptable, when the trends are ever-changing. If you can see a perfect outline of your body and every crevice--it's a no-go for me.

  • Sore loser tampa, fl
    July 26, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    If any man/woman do his will, he shall know the doctrine, whether it be God or whether I speak of myself

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    July 26, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    Modesty isn't an arbitrary scale, it's based on acceptable. Acceptable is based on behavior. Behaviors include not only the wearer, but the viewer.

    As a man, I am more authorized to talk about women's clothing being modest or not than any woman is. And vice versa. Women have given me plenty of input on what I wear, so it's time I return the favor.

    Yes, tight clothing makes you look appealing. But appealing and attractive are different. A butcher sells me bacon that is appealing. Working with power-tools is appealing. Get a sexual 'high' is appealing for disorderly and mentally weak guys.

    Being attractive and beautiful are not about wearing something to alter who you are. Sometimes a really wide smile is more attractive than anything else. Being clean, careful to dress well, and positive, uplifting, and caring in your personality... these things truly make a remarkably more attractive woman (spiritually AND physically).

    Disregarding modesty or things as old-fashioned, in favor of following trends... imo is very unattractive. Modest really is hottest.

    Just sayin...

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    July 26, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    When I was teaching college, a number of students showed up wearing pajama pants and tee shirts or sweatshirts for morning classes. In summer, tattoos and all sorts of skin peeked or burst out around skimpy tank tops and short shorts. My coed non-LDS granddaughter wears dresses that leave little to the imagination. My returned-missionary granddaughter wears clothes that leave nothing to the imagination -- about her standards. Both are beautiful young women, but they have different ideas about womanhood and what their Creator expects of them. The way we dress tells others who we think we are. Who the young person thinks s/he is and how s/he can best portray that should be the crux of the discussion. We needn't vilify those who dress differently. I recently visited a granddaughter's ward at LDS prom time. Most of the girls had bought strapless gowns (hard to find anything else)and cute bolero-style sweaters. They were modest, beautiful, and stylish, and it was their idea!

  • Mare1972 The Woodlands, TX
    July 25, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    I personally think this is a ridiculous subject. I have 4 daughters and they wear leggings. Two of the four are at BYU and they can't wear them on campus. But going out to dinner or hanging out with friends - no problem. They are beautiful young women who have strong testimonies and are comfortable with who they are. I have seen women here in our ward wear them to church. I agree they shouldn't be worn to Sunday Services, but other activities no problem. A couple of my daughters also have 2 holes in their ears. Oh my!!!

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    July 25, 2014 5:14 a.m.

    Leggings and a long enough shirt are just fine.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    July 24, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    Leggings, not covered up, are immodest.
    Do lots of people wear them? Yes. Does that have anything at all to do with whether they are modest? No.
    Leggings are revealing of those parts of the body that The Lord has given members of the Church an easy way to know that they shouldn't be revealed by normal attire. Just to make it clear, yes, a swimsuit is immodest as normal attire. (Goes for male and female). Swimsuits are for swimming.
    Anytime one finds oneself referencing what "everyone" is doing, one should know they are choosing on the wrong basis. Even if the choice is a correct one, the basis is wrong.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    July 24, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    As other posters have noted, modesty is all cultural. In some parts of the world no part of a woman can be seen by a man for fear that he will be titillated. In some parts of the world it is considered acceptable to see her eyes only. In some parts of the world (India, e.g.), it is considered modest to have part of your torso exposed (and these are very modest people). In some parts of the world, no one thinks twice if a girl wears short shorts because it is common place. No one but someone from a more covered culture thinks anything about it. I'm not suggesting anyone dress provocatively, but I am suggesting that what a Utah Mormon considers provocative is not what most young men in the US would be titillated by. In other words, many of you posters are probably more titillated by these young women wearing shorts than most of the young men in the US are. And your ancestors would be shocked to see what your good LDS wives are wearing (showing their ankles and all.)

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    July 24, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    There is a special place set aside in the afterlife for the inventor of these pants! Don't believe me just take a stroll through you local Whole Foods.

  • Misterjrh Atlanta, GA
    July 24, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    If you really think leggings are appropriate visit any local Wal-Mart, get a McChicken and a decaf coffee. Wait 15-20 minutes. Watch people. Lose McChicken's 360 cheap calories.

    Leggings are nasty regardless of race, religion, or nationality. The human body can be beautiful, but exposing yourself without giving those around you the chance to consent is practically a form of assault - regardless of what kind of shape you are in. Simply being in shape doesn't give anyone the right to display her body to the world, and in today's world most people don't even have that excuse.

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    July 24, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    The thing we have taught our children about modesty is 'Appropriate wear for appropriate times'. The strength of youth defines says "Immodest clothing is any clothing that is tight, sheer, or revealing in any other matter". Our kids participate in sports that require tight clothing. When they are done participating then it is time to wear something less revealing of their bodies. Same for me when I am done boogie boarding. In the summer months I have had to tell Young Men not wearing a shirt around church isn't appropriate. The Lord gives our agency and it is up to us to decide how our behavior will fit in the guidelines provided. In my opinion tights worn without a long skirt or shirt covering up aren't modest. I also grown women wearing running attire all day long that is form fitting, when not running. Our body is a temple that houses our spirit and all of us would do well to remember that relationship. The Lord gave us a supreme gift of having a body, a gift he is extremely jealous of and will try many ways to get us to degrade or belittle.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    July 24, 2014 3:29 a.m.

    Thank you Redshirt for the article reference. This pretty much sums up the question of leggings: "Leggings as pants fail to achieve this objective as much as dipping one's naked body in paint would also fall short of an appropriate covering. Although your skin may be sheathed, we're seeing quite a bit of you."

    One of the better parts, from one perspective anyway, of X-Men movies is Rebecca Alie Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence body painted as Mystic. Would they be as attractive, or more accurately alluring, if they were completely naked? NO!

    And that would be my message to those wearing leggings -- you'd be more modest wearing nothing than accentuating your positive assets with leggings. They are nothing more than colored, fancy panty hose -- and should be worn only as underwear.

  • BeCheery Tri-cities, WA
    July 23, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    A friend told me she wants a Queen of England costume in her closet when she has dementia because she has always wanted to pretend to be royalty.
    I reminded her that she was a daughter of a Heavenly King and Almighty God and was already a princess.
    I think children need to be reminded of their noble & royal heritage and that Heavenly Father loves them and wants them to return with honor to lives in His presence.
    We are living in increasingly perilous times and the adversary is unleashing every tool in his arsenal to tempt us. Sometimes the temptations are very subtle ones and we don't recognize them at first.
    Some Women and girls can be tempted to succumb to fashion trends that don't help them live up to who they truly are. I think we sometimes get caught up living in world and forgetting we're not of the world.

  • Crackers n Cheese Price, UT
    July 23, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    A talk was presented during our Stake Conference where we were told to dress more modestly and more respectfully as LDS women and men. We were also told to carefully choose which shoes we wear to church. Away from church, we are still expected to respect ourselves and dress modestly and in good taste. That is a simple thing. We know if we look like we respect ourselves.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    July 23, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    Let me clarify something that Aggie238 has said that is absolutely correct. A persons thoughts and actions are upon their heads. An individual can't determine the thoughts of an individual. Rapist will still rape regardless of the attire. These are facts. However, immodest dress doesn't present the young women or young man in a proper light.

    The Strength of Youth is the Lord's revelation to his leaders of what is acceptable and what is not. When either young men or young women dress in appropriately they are giving off the wrong vibes as to who they are. As Elder Holland so much stated, you don't leave your religion at the door, you carry it with you where ever you go. As President Monson has stated, you must be willing to stand alone in a world that is more and more immoral, immodest and downright degenerate in many aspects. Our youth need to understand that they are the future leaders of the Lord's kingdom on earth and need to separate themselves from the wiles of the world at large.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    Women should just wear burka's so that men don't have impure thoughts about any part of their anatomy. In fact, maybe women shouldn't be allowed to leave the house because just being around women that are fully covered could result in some men having impure thoughts.

    God knows what you look like naked. Why does he care if you wear leggings or not?

  • taraxopoios Lake Tapps, WA
    July 23, 2014 1:32 p.m.


    I completely agree with you that we are not responsible for others thoughts. However, I also agree with others' comments that we can influence how others think. Perhaps it is better stated as saying that while we are not responsible for others thoughts, Satan can use our immodesty to promote inappropriate thoughts in others.

    However, the bigger issue in my mind is respect for oneself. Thinking of how our dress might influence others, or how it can be used by Satan to influence others, might be a good measuring stick even though we are not responsible for their actions. The point of modesty is to respect the sacred nature of our bodies by ensuring that the clothes we wear are not so revealing that our bodies are on display. Tight clothing, such as leggings, can (and usually does) put our bodies on display despite completely covering the skin.

    Having said that, we are carnal beings by nature. Our test is to overcome the natural man and submit to the will of God regardless of what the world is doing and what is going on around us. This is being in the world but not of it.

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    July 23, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    Aggie238: Actually in numerous talks during General Conference and the Strength of Youth Pamphlet one learns that the Apostles, Young Women Leaders, Relief Society and others during General Conference have addressed that when young women dress immodestly that they are giving off the wrong impression. They wear modest clothes when it is good for them but wear immodest clothes on other occasions. I suggest you go to the main website and do a search of Modesty. You will find quite a few talks that are dated and some that are not.

    It really isn't to shame them into wearing modest clothing but it is to say that when they give off the wrong vibes that they may not intend to, still rests upon their shoulders for not obeying the standards they have been given.

    By the way the Strength of Youth pamphlet is not just for the youth but for everyone in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the world. This pamphlet is a protection for our youth and all of our people.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 23, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    Women should look like women. Not bags of groceries or tents.

    Living in Southern California, I know from *real* immodest dress. That we are arguing here about tights, shoulders, etc. -- just gah.

    Long baggy shorts on women are an abomination before me, and she that weareth them shall have no forgiveness, neither in this world nor that to come.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    July 23, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    "Are you representing yourself as a child of God? Are you representing yourself as a member of his church?"

    Sadly, it is possible to answer "yes" to the former and "no" to the latter.

    That is to say, there is quite a bit of daylight between what the Church cares about, and what God does.

    My rule is this: To whatever extent Mormonism resembles Islam, the former is off track.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    "So what you're saying is that people only think something is arousing, only if they think it is"

    People only think something is arousing if they think it is. Yes, that would be a rather definitional statement. People aren't going to think something is arousing if they don't think it's arousing.

    Here's the problem... when pushing for modesty, if you start labeling certain things as sexualized, then you've committed the problem we're trying to avoid, women being sexualized/objectified. Take the example of breastfeeding with and without a cover. In societies where the latter is normal and expected, that act isn't really sexualized, however in societies where an exposed breast, even for that purpose, is considered immodest, then that act has been sexualized.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 23, 2014 10:28 a.m.


    Also, your ad hominem attack that since I am arguing against your misogynistic views, I must therefore be addicted to porn doesn't strengthen your argument much. It's also pretty offensive. Not that I need to justify myself to you, but I am an LDS member in good standing, I hold a significant calling in my ward, I attend the temple regularly with my wife with a clear conscience. I simply feel that it is degrading to both men and women to objectify the female body as a sex object in need of covering and to lower men to animals incapable of self-control. To me, that reeks of medieval apostate dogma. Alternatively, I support teaching that the bodies of men and women are sacred, beautiful, and worthy of respect as a gift from a God who has asked us to conduct ourselves in a modest and humble manner, and that each man and woman is a divine being who is capable of overcoming the "natural man" through his or her choices and with the help of the Savior.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 23, 2014 10:05 a.m.


    Yes, I would like you to cite where a recent general authority or conference address has counseled that a primary reason for modesty is to keep the thoughts of others pure.

    And yes, I am arguing that if a girl were to walk down the street in lingerie, or along the beach in a bikini, or when I walk past the Victoria's Secret store in the mall, or when I see a racy commercial on TV, or, God forbid, I see a girl wearing leggings or short shorts on my college campus, I ought to be able to control my thoughts. All of this actually happens on a regular basis to all men, regardless of how a few LDS women dress. It's a consequence of living in modern society. If God didn't think we had the capability to resist the temptation, he wouldn't have allowed it to become so rampant. Now, I'm certainly not arguing that women SHOULD dress immodestly, but I am arguing that they shouldn't be shamed into dressing modestly because some men might entertain impure thoughts as a result. Men who want to entertain impure thoughts will do it anyway.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    To the people that have expressed the idea that women should be free to wear what they want and if men can't control their thoughts, it's their problem. That idea is contrary to the scriptures. In 1 Cor. 10, Paul tells Christians that if they attend an activity with non-believers, that the Christians shouldn't do anything (eat meat offered to idols) that might cause others to be offended and thereby reject the gospel. Jacob 1:19 ".. answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence.." IOW, those scriptures show that our actions of commission or omission can cause us to be responsible for the sins of others.

    Women aren't as preoccupied with sex as men nor visually stimulated to the degree men are and therefore might not be aware of how men are affected by mini skirts, cleavage and leggings. Women and girls need to ask guys who will give them the unvarnished un-whitewashed truth about how these things affect men and how men view the girls/women who wear them.

  • Heart and Mind BUENA VISTA, VA
    July 23, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    There are many situations in society where we have legislated restrictions on the actions of others. We don't let them "govern themselves" on smoking in buildings or drinking and driving. Revealing clothing is just a more gray area, but if we say that our choices don't impact others, then are we really "our brother's keeper"?

  • JHannigan Spanish Fork, UT
    July 23, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    If modesty is something an individual does for themselves, or keeps it between themselves and God, that's fine. But too often I see this tread where a man imposes modesty upon a women, sending the message, "I can't control myself, so I'm going to control you." Let make sure this isn't a misogynistic-driven attribute, but rather a godly attribute. Modesty is about being humble and moderate. If a man can't control his passions the problem lies within himself, not in the women around him.

  • John Reading LITTLETON, CO
    July 23, 2014 1:16 a.m.

    I loved Angela's answer to this question. Inspecting our attitudes about why we do things would simplify many questions.

    As a temple worker I am sometimes surprised by the clothing people wear to the temple, but in general it is none of my business and it is easy for me to look away if I find their clothes distracting in any way.

  • Serenakmax Olympia, WA
    July 23, 2014 12:47 a.m.

    If you can see the outline of your butt, it's too tight. That's pretty much my policy. That being said, as a dancer, I wear leggings all the time, because it's incredibly impractical to dance in skinny jeans. Leggings can be your best friend in the winter (I'm rather partial to skirts in the summer); just be selective. :)

  • mormonmills Flagstaff, AZ
    July 22, 2014 11:47 p.m.

    Oh, dear. This is a terrific conundrum for our young women. I remember so wanting to "fit in" and be "like" everyone else I admired in school, too. But Leggs, we are a people who are "set apart." This means that we make a choice not to care what people and the world think, but we rely on what Heavenly Father thinks and how He directs us to live our lives. I see you asking advice of other people, but have you addressed your concerns and confusion to Heavenly Father? He WILL let you know what is appropriate for you if you ask him in all sincerity. You might want to give that a try. In the meantime, consider for YOURSELF what image you wish to portray to the world. I know that the "leggings" and "skinny jeans" styles originated in fashion magazines and runways. You might want to consider WHY that particular style became popular. Was it to make money for someone? Was it to objectify women's bodies? Was it because the designer has so much respect for women's bodies? Look at it with the eyes of your heart. Then choose the right.

  • AnonSMF Sacramento, CA
    July 22, 2014 11:14 p.m.

    I think modesty is a lot about attitude. Heed the advice of your parents and work with them I think you can find something that both of you will find that you like. Your parents may be tough about this, but that toughness shows that they love you and care for you and don't want you to get hurt. I can tell you from my experience as an adult hindsight is 20/20 and there were occasions when had I listened to my parents instead of doing my own thing it would have saved me a lot of grief. (in my case it wasn't about clothing, but the same principle applies). Remember that your parents love you as does your Heavenly Father. Sometimes we may not always like the answer, but there's usually a very good reason for it.

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    July 22, 2014 10:16 p.m.

    I liked Paul in MDs response the best. I have 5 daughters and 1 son. My girls are all fit but have different body types. One is slender with some curves, but not too many. A couple of the girls are more curvy. The same thing looks a lot different on each one of them. No cleavage shows on one, when the other is always fighting to cover up. I do think that part of the modesty equation is what the wearer thinks and is trying to project about herself and the other part of the equation is what others perceive when they see her. I think the heart of modesty is not exposing or presenting your body in a way to draw undue attention to it. I personally think leggings are too form fitting and too casual to be worn in certain situations. I make my teenage daughter who likes them wear a longer shirt that covers her rear end. If the girls are under 10, it's just cute. The rest of the time they are good lounge wear or exercise wear, especially when made in spandex.

  • sthomaslewis Corvallis, OR
    July 22, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    I think that it is somewhat superficial and shallow to be overly concerned with whether or not leggings are modest. Perhqps LDS need to concern themselves with weightier matters, such as the decline in the economy and the decrease in personal and economic freedom. I hope that the parents, in particular, stop being so petty.

  • SpanishImmersed Mesa, AZ
    July 22, 2014 9:48 p.m.

    Leggings are just like walking around naked waist down, except for the color of the fabric, period. You don't need no imagination. It's all there on display!

  • Longhornsrock Temecula, CA
    July 22, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    Leggings are great for the house, but not for anything else unless covered. Even the dark ones are see through when worn like they are supposed to (which is form-fitting). One said it isn't our responsibility to worry about others... your right it isn't, but it gives others the belief that it is okay. Where I live I would venture that atleast 75% of the young women dress immodestly and the excuse parents and teens give is, "well it is so hot here" AND?? The gospel does not say this is what we wear except when it gets hot...

    I am from Houston and have lived in Arkansas, Guam and California too. ALL are hot places the correct attire is the same if your in Alaska and 35 below 0 or Texas and its 110 degrees. Leggings are part of that, if it is form fitting it isn't modest unless your in the gym or the pool.

  • Delirious Antioch, CA
    July 22, 2014 8:24 p.m.

    I think you might be surprised at how worthy young men would answer that question. Those I have talked to have said they are immodest. They show every curve of every part of the female's lower half. That doesn't help those young men who are trying to maintain worthy thoughts. Although their worthiness is not your responsibility, wearing revealing clothing , whether it is see through, or whether it just shows the exact shape of the body, isn't modest.

  • KMS77 Hemet, CA
    July 22, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    I personally don't have a problem with leggings as long as they are not worn with regular shirts or used as a substitute for jeans. In our house, any shirts worn with leggings must come to at least the mid-thigh and be loose fitting. I think they're also great with knee-length dresses in non-church settings. When my girls were little and wanted to wear a dress to school; they had to wear leggings so that they would not show their underwear. I noticed after a few weeks several of the other parents started having their little girls wear leggings (carpi-length) or bike shorts under their dresses too. BTW -- If it's at all see-through it is tights not leggings and should not be worn as a form of pants.

  • 1857496 CLEARFIELD, UT
    July 22, 2014 7:02 p.m.


    You seriously want a source for that? Sounds like you are in denial or something. And to say that what people wear "doesn't really cause impure thoughts to anyone" Did you really just say that? So what you're saying is that people only think something is arousing, only if they think it is, am I getting that right? So when a girl walks down the street in lingerie, people wont think impure thoughts, unless they 'allow themselves to. I think church leaders have taught to dress modestly, I haven't heard GA's explaining to 'try not to think impure thoughts when you're directly looking at immodest clothing.

    I've actually heard this argument before, people that think this way are ones who are addicted to pornography, and say, 'I'm not addicted, I can quit anytime'.

    I think that most guys try to argue that its not a big deal, is because they like seeing girls dressed this way, and that usually, they have pornography addictions themselves. Because the mindsets and justifications are the same.

  • PipingHeidi Alexandria, VA
    July 22, 2014 6:36 p.m.

    As someone who had similar conversations with my own parents, and now I'm raising 3 young kids, may I just say that it's not worth it? It's hard for parents to confront those things, and it makes it harder when children don't accept that counsel. Changing your wardrobe certainly won't hurt, but not changing it might. I really wish I had listened more to that kind of counsel from my parents--that sounded nit-picky and overbearing--because now I'm trying overcome those kinds of things by myself, instead of having already mastered them and moving on to new things. It's way easier to focus on habits of dress and apparel before you're also trying to manage kids, finances, and everything else. It's a great chance to make a choice for yourself, and it would take courage to choose something when you weren't the one who came up with the idea. Leggings aren't forever. Use it as an excuse to have your mom take you shopping! I would totally dig one of my kids bargaining an equal trade of merchandise.

    July 22, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    As a mother of a teenage girl, I've taught her how to care about herself in a way that shows (for herself) what is okay to wear or not okay. She also helps out girl's in our ward who are new or converts to our church. She wears leggings all the time and loves them. With that said she is a 14 yr. old girl and she does try to push the boundaries and I ask her if she'd wear it around her grandma or heavenly father and she quickly goes to her room to change, without me telling her,b/c she nows what message she wants to give to the world. BTW, I also have 3 teenage boys who have the same standards as their sister, no thank tops, muscle shirts, etc.... they must also wear shirts at all times including mowing the lawn, but limited to this alone. I think this girl should have a FHE activity to tell her mom how to dress or at least how it makes her feel about it.

  • kimnprovo Orem, UT
    July 22, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    I am sad at how judgmental so many are to what really seems like a typical teen. A typical teen is someone who is trying to apply what they've learned from parents, teachers, leaders, etc.while also testing the boundaries. This is a normal part of maturation regardless the moral compass or religion they subscribe to. It's clothing for goodness sakes. (Oh and for those who are so harsh as to prescribe words like tramp to her... SHAME ON YOU!!... If I knew your mother or grandmother I would have them sit you down for a good talking to! You're judging her morality on her choice of clothing while showing yours with the words you use!)

    I had to share something very funny. My DN newsletter went into my spam folder today because of the title of this article. I am guessing the wording seemed to suggest something that yahoo didn't like. Very funny to me.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    "I think if I hear one more person use the phrase, "leave something to the imagination," I'm going to throw up. "

    "Leggings are tight and revealing because they leave no room for the imagination"

    Looks like we made it 32 minutes...

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    When my daughter was dating, she asked me why guys always stared at her chest. I told her that God wired guys that way to encourage us to talk to women. If it weren't for our sex drive, we'd much rather hang out with our buddies. Men are wired to look and leggings/jeggings/yoga pants are designed to attract those looks. Men believe that if women are wearing them (and low tops, short skirts, stiletto pumps, etc...), you want us men to look and want us to be sexually attracted to you. We reason that if that's true, that you want men know that you are sexually available (at least to the right guy). They send men a message whether or not you want to send it.

    Yesterday, I was at the counter at a store and a gal in black leggings, with her shirt tugged in them, was next to me being helped as well. Being a "leg-man", I hated to see her leave, but loved seeing her walk away. I know, I'm a pig....but that's the way the "natural man" in me is wired.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 22, 2014 2:35 p.m.


    "...but we are also counseled to dress modestly so we don't cause impure thought to others."

    Can you cite a current, credible source for that? (i.e. a recent general authority or conference address)

    Additionally, style of dress really doesn't "cause" impure thoughts in anyone. The opportunity for sin lies strictly in what we do with the information presented to us in the form of sensory input. If immodest dress causes sin in others, then changing the dress of a tiny fraction of the female population isn't going to reduce the impurity of men's thoughts one iota. As a male, I can tell you that whether or not a female dresses in a modest fashion has little real impact over whether an undesirable thought pops into my head or not. In fact, any honest man will tell you that it happens all the time and in a random fashion, often without any sort of trigger or visual stimulus at all. This is how we are wired (and not without good reason). It doesn't make a hill of beans worth of difference whether a woman wears leggings or a pioneer dress. The choice is still ours.

  • A P Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more with the advice you've given Angela. Every question is a valuable part of individual testimony and faith. Members of the church should be supportive, charitable, and understanding, even if they do not personally understand or agree with context.

    Our salvation is individual. God and his chosen leaders are our judge. It is not the right of the community to condemn others for their choices. It is our duty to love.

    Wear what you feel is appropriate, and let the consequences follow. Make choices based on your own testimony, not because of speculation from others.

    Keep up the great work Angela!

  • Humble Pie Provo, UT
    July 22, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    A question to all the women in Utah County who wear spandex, tight workout clothes, or other revealing attire in public: Do you expect your husbands - many of whom hold the Priesthood, and who've made sacred vows of fidelity in holy temples - to avoid looking at other women similarly dressed?

    Do you realize how difficult it is for your husbands to maintain virtuous thoughts during the day? Do you expect them to be totally faithful in thought, word and deed?

    If you answered yes, then help us - the other husbands you encounter in public. Embrace modesty, as taught by the leaders you sustain. Many of us work hard to maintain a high spiritual consistency so we can be at our best for our families. I'm sure your husbands do too.

  • Utexmom Flower Mound, TX
    July 22, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    Leggings have become a way to look sexy (sexual) while technically covering your skin. It is a sham. It is obeying the letter of the law while totally ignoring the spirit of the law, which is to avoid anything that could be using your body to gain sexual attention. It goes against the standards for youth booklet in that you are wearing tight fitting clothing that shows every curve.

    However, I would not look down on someone who wears leggings in this manner. At least they are making an effort. It would look much worse without the leggings. However, it leaves me to believe that they don't understand that being modest is about not drawing attention yourself in worldly ways. It leads me to believe that these people are not to where they could be spiritually. We are all in different places on our spiritual journey.

  • 1857496 CLEARFIELD, UT
    July 22, 2014 12:14 p.m.


    I agree that this is between the individual and the Lord, but that does not rule out that one's decisions or actions affect others. It greatly affects others. Yes, we are counseled to be modest, because its a commandment, but we are also counseled to dress modestly so we don't cause impure thought to others. Because most sins, starts with a thought, then it leads to other things. I know that if others do think impurely, that is on them, I was not saying that 'their' sins will be on her head. I know that people will be punished for their own sins, but that does not mean one has to be inviting the thoughts in the first place. One can't say, 'everybody is invited to my crazy party, but I cant be responsible for the aftermath'. Solution: don't throw the party.

    But the same things applies to people who are addicted to pornography, and say; "Its only affecting me", because its not only affecting them. yeah their decisions and sins are between him and the Lord, but the decisions still affect others around.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    July 22, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    I think if I hear one more person use the phrase, "leave something to the imagination," I'm going to throw up. How in the world anyone could speak to a young girl that way while not feeling like a filthy minded pervert, is beyond me. Think about what you're saying! Put it this way--if your daughter asked you if her leggings were right for a luncheon, would you say---"Oh sweetie, Old Uncle Ernie is coming today. I think you better wear something more modest. You know--leave something to his imagination." I highly doubt it. Yet time after time, I hear people talking about modesty among young girls and saying, "I've always found it better to leave something to the imagination." Unless you think the onlooker would be thinking things like, "Wow--I wonder what she'd look like with even more clothes on," you aren't really grabbing the moral high ground here, are you?

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    July 22, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    I think this just comes down to selfishness. Selfish parents justify behavior in their children.

    I REALLY loved Dr. Pepper. About 10 years ago my daughter wanted a drink but I told her no, that the caffeine wouldn't be good for a 3 year old. Then my thoughts turned to why in the world should I be drinking it if she's not allowed? Since then I've tried to clearly think through my own decisions and thus be the grown-up good example for my kids. As an adult I should be able to make good choices and not justify my way into bad choices; I'm not an old fuddy-duddy just because I think this way.

    It's time for parents to lead and for children to learn to make the right choices. If we teach our kids by word and by example they'll be better off. If they choose to make a poor choice hopefully they'll then still be able to make a quick recovery and not fall into bad habits.

  • Sally15 Murray, UT
    July 22, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 22, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    July 22, 2014 11:20 a.m.


    "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.

  • Kjirstin Youngberg Mapleton, UT
    July 22, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    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?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 22, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    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.

  • 1857496 CLEARFIELD, UT
    July 22, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    July 22, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    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.

  • jans Pickerington, OH
    July 22, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    July 22, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Applelovernow Henderson, NV
    July 22, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    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!

  • CDL Los Angeles, CA
    July 22, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 22, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    July 22, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Scott H Ogden, UT
    July 22, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    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.

  • voiceofreason1234 SANDY, TX
    July 22, 2014 8:06 a.m.

    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).

  • shadow01 Edwardsville, IL
    July 22, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    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.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    July 22, 2014 7:41 a.m.

    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!

  • Sandee Spencer Longwood, FL
    July 22, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    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!

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    July 22, 2014 7:21 a.m.

    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.

  • alleycatrn Lilburn, GA
    July 22, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    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.