ETC Dress Code

A general definition of modesty is freedom from vanity and boastfulness with regard for decency of behavior, speech, and dress. I believe we would all agree that that is something to aspire to, and to which we want to teach our kids to aspire.

If there is one, our disagreement likely lies in our view of what constitutes modesty.

Rarely does one take issue with anyone dressing too modestly. Therefore, erring on the side of modesty should be considered the least offensive and most acceptable within a group of people with varying opinions.

As much as we would like to limit our discussion of modesty to matters of the heart, there has been a wide spread request for more specific, concrete guidelines. So here goes…

ETC Code of Conduct – Dress Code


· Keep in mind general principles of cleanliness, neatness, modesty of dress, and good personal hygiene.

· Always dress modestly. This applies to males and females, children and adults, regardless of the activity you are in the middle of, coming from, or going to. Please cover up.

· Males and females, from young children to adults, should avoid being a stumbling block to others by being sure that their dress and conduct is modest at all times.

· Clothing should not be tight or revealing.

· Neither underwear, nor cleavage, midriffs, upper thighs, or other private areas of the body, should be exposed at ETC events.

· Do not expect that an exceptional activity or extreme weather will warrant an exception to ETC’s guidelines for modesty.

· When in doubt, please err on the side of modesty.

· Clothing worn at any ETC event may not display words, graphics, pictures, or symbols that are offensive or violate any ETC policy. Clothing may not support or promote an idea, belief, behavior, or lifestyle that the Bible defines as sinful.

The following are examples of what the authors had in mind when drafting the ETC Dress Code.



Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of prohibited dress at ETC. The examples are meant to highlight some of the most frequent violations and address popular trends in this season’s fashions. The guidelines are applied equally to males and females, even though women’s/girls’ fashion tends to push the boundaries more than men’s/boys’. Please strive to take to heart the spirit of the dress code and to error on the side of modesty. If you feel the need to ask if it’s okay, you should probably opt not to wear it.

We, as parents, have the privilege, and responsibility, of discipling our children in all areas of life. This includes the area of modesty and dress. Consider these additional general principles in which we can disciple our children through the controversy of this issue.

  • The Inventor of Clothing: Our Creator dressed the first humans. When God covered Adam and Eve with animal skins in the Garden of Eden He did so to cover their naked skin, not draw attention to it. Let’s keep in mind His original intent when choosing our dress today.
  • Our Faith in Action: Our faith should impact the choices we make in how we talk, how we act, and the way we dress. We can take this opportunity to examine our own hearts in regard to if and how we desire to draw attention to ourselves, specifically our bodies?
  • Submission to Authority: ETC Policies and ETC Leadership have no authority over us as members or over our children except that which we each authorized when we joined the group. Are we encouraging our children, and modeling for them, submission to legitimate authority?
  • Giving Deference to our Weaker Brother/Sister – Your struggle or area of weakness may not be mine. Likewise, my weakness may not be another’s. Are we being sensitive to (although never responsible for) a practice that might lead another Christ-follower to stumble? Are we making it harder for another parent to train their children in the way in which they feel convicted? If the Bible instructs us to avoid eating foods that will lead a brother/sister to sin, surely we could apply that principle to wearing clothing that accentuates a private or sensual part of the body? (1 Corinthians 8:9-12)
  • Being True to our Word – Once we made that commitment to join ETC and abide by the standards and policies of the group are we following though with what we said, AND signed, we would do? “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not fulfill it.” Ecclesiastes 5:5
  • Being an Advocate for Unity - Are we refraining from sowing discontentment among our brothers and sisters in Christ, among our fellow members, or among our classmates and peers when things aren’t going according to our preference? Remember: “…the Lord hates, …one who spreads strife among brothers.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) “How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

Mary A. Kassian, from Desiring God, said “The Bible counters both the legalistic and the lax attitude. It challenges us to reject a judgmental, rule-based approach that measures modesty by the hemline rather than the heart. It also challenges us — both men and women — to joyfully embrace the concept of modesty, and to consider it a beautiful (rather than a restrictive) virtue.”

In conclusion,

“… we will do everything in our power to promote holiness in the hearts and minds of our fellow believers. We are “called to be saints together” (1 Cor. 1:2). We don’t want our clothing to be an occasion for jealousy or for lust. It may not be our responsibility if someone sins, but it is our privilege to help prevent it. Because we love the saints—because Christ loves the saints—we are willing to choose our clothing to encourage the holiness of the community. (Megan Hill)

Please feel free to speak with a member of leadership if you have any questions or concerns. We applaud those who have brought concerns to us instead of grumbling to or with other members. (Matthew 18:15-16) Let us remind one another that our battle is not against each other. (Ephesians 6:12).