Fashion Merchandising & Apparel Design (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Mary Beth Myers


As the topic of modesty and its origin is explored the creation of modesty can be traced back to religion and religious teachings and texts. Since the early twentieth century America’s modesty standards and ideals have slowly changed. With the increase in the influence of celebrities in the 1930s and 1940s along with the decrease in the influence of the church starting with the religious reformation, the death of modesty in American society has resulted. The purpose of this paper is to show a relationship between the origin of modesty and religion as well as show that America’s acceptance of less modest modes of dressing is a direct result of a decline in the influence of the church as well as social and cultural factors of each decade in the twentieth century which helped shape the standards of what modesty is today.