Modest or decent attire is an issue that arises each year about this time. Most agree that immodest dress is inappropriate; however, not very many agree as to what constitutes immodesty. As always the Bible has something to say about this and many are not going to like it!
What about modern day swim suits? From the onset of time God has deemed nakedness as inappropriate. Adam and Eve sinned causing them to recognize each others nudity. They “sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). The word translated “aprons” is elsewhere used to describe a girdle that covers the loins (1 Kin. 2:5; Isa. 32:11). God considered this “apron” (similar to modern day swimsuits) inadequate dress and made for them clothes out of animal skins (Gen. 3:21).
Unquestionably, modern swimsuits would also be considered inappropriate by God and public swimming or sunbathing in mixed company is not for God’s people.
What about short shorts? The prophet Isaiah used this example that will help us understand God’s regulation on “nakedness.” In Isaiah 47:2-3 we read, “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen.” Exposing the thigh (above the knee) constitutes “nakedness.” We should be mindful of this principle when we buy and wear summer clothes.
What about short skirts? In the Old Testament times the priest wore robes similar to dresses or skirts. A specific command was issued by the law of Moses forbidding them from going up steps to the alter while wearing this skirt, thus allowing the possibility for someone to see underneath the robe; “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon” (Exo. 20:26). Anyone wearing a skirt so short that (whether sitting, standing, or using stairs) would expose themselves is not being very mindful of God’s provisions under the Old Testament forbidding such.
When provocative clothing is displayed it is likely that someone will be provoked to look and lust. Jesus said if a man “looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Mat. 5:28). Some worldly minded men and women will look and lust even when not provoked; but woe unto those who, by their dress, provoke lust. Jesus said, “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” (Mat. 18:7). Don’t, by your dress, promote sin in an already darkened world. Be a light to those in darkness, set yourself apart from the world especially with your attire.