Are your straps showing?

Are Your Straps Showing? A Look at Modest Dressing .
Some of you might roll your eyes and think I’m taking modesty to the extreme here.

 “Seriously Caroline-compared to what else is out there, letting my bra strap show a little isn’t going to be a problem.”

 I can just hear someone say that : )

I’ve been surprised over the years how even ladies who dress modestly don’t stop to think about bra straps showing. You can be covered from head to toe in a long skirt and a beautiful blouse – yet that blouse happens to be a sheer white blouse and you can see your whole bra outline from your back.

The dress you are wearing might be a bit wide on you in the shoulders, so your bra straps are always being exposed (or worse, the part of your body the bra was designed for is being exposed. Not good, but worth another blog post.)

You might not be wearing a bra that even fits you properly, so the straps come down into your arms, for all to see as you wear a short sleeve shirt.

And worse yet – the tank tops that do not cover the straps at all. They simply add another strap on top of the bra strap.

I know in a world of bikini swimsuits, strapless dresses, and mini skirts, we can simply forget about how important it is to hide those bra straps. I’ve been guilty of not taking the time to check the outfit I’m wearing before leaving, only to realize my outfit slipped around a lot and my straps were easily showing.

Ladies, these are our undergarments! There are only two people in the world who ought to be able to see them and you are one of those people, the other being your husband. If you are not married then we have narrowed the field down to one – you. In a different time period women would have been positively mortified to have their undergarments on display. We are so desensitized to the present culture’s stance on modesty that we don’t think twice about giving everyone a peek at whats beneath our clothes. Well, I can tell you there are some men out there who do think twice about it.

My husband is in college right now, and gives me wardrobe stories from time to time. He has to work in a dark room with ladies who wear fishnet stockings, mini skirts, and shirts that purposely hang off their shoulder with nearly half their bra showing (never mind the straps). He is saddened with how sloppy and ill kept these young ladies are. Let’s be a faithful witness of modesty to these young ladies, even in this small thing and make sure we keep ourselves covered. 

Here are a few tips to keep those straps from showing. 

If you are wearing a sheer blouse, make sure and wear a camisole that covers your bra straps. Avoid the camis that simply add another strap on top of your bra strap. You want a camisole that covers all your shoulder so your straps will be covered.

If your blouse/dress has a neckline that is looser, you can safety pin your straps to your top so they don’t slide around. I’ve done this before and it works great!

Wear a bra that actually fits you. This will really help the slipping around.

Finally, remember the example we are setting to those nearest and dearest to us-our daughters. I’m amazed over the things my young daughter picks up on and brings to my attention when it comes to modesty. I want to model modesty for her, so when she is older she will have images in her head to fall back on when it get’s tempting to stray.


  1. Thank you for your encouraging post! Now if I could get the world to read your blog! 😀

  2. Head Ant says:

    I found myself constantly pulling my straps up (or the bottom down as well). That definitely doesn't feel modest to me. I was thinking of invested in sports bras just to keep me from having to adjust the fabric every five minutes. It drives me up the wall! I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

  3. Thank you for this post. I know sometimes my straps show due to the type of tanktop I am wearing. I only wear tanks in the house, so I didn't even think about what that is telling my children. I have also been convicted to nurse in my room from now on. (not that I probably haven't already scarred my children) Thank you for the gentle reminder that we should be the example!

  4. Thank you! I agree with everything you said. I do not want to see straps of any kind and that included the camisole. I will not wear any kind of tank top because of this and I think a tank top is immodest for the Christian lady. Thanks for boldness in pointing this out.

  5. Loved by an almighty God, Lena says:

    Caroline, I love to read your posts. I have time to time been in public or even at church and realized that my shirt did not cover my bra strap. Usually my neck line is too big. You are such an insperation to me. Thank you for your posts and reminding us all that modisty is so emportant. Especially for us wives, mothers and roll models to younger women.

  6. A Restful Place says:

    I really appreciate this post! Thankyou!

  7. Jessica Curtis says:

    this is a sign of a wrong sized bra. A good one is worth the investment. The ladies at JCPenny and Macys I believe are fit experts and can measure you…not all brands are sized the same. There is whats called "sister sizes" exp: a 34D and a 36B are sister sizes worth trying on both.

  8. I regularly use fashion tape to keep everything in place. It's like double sided tape, but usually has a stronger adhesive.
    I too am saddened by the exposure of undergarments. I was thinking about a phrase an old youth pastor once spoke about in a youth group meeting. "Have you lost your blush" There are times that I put something on, and examine the way I look in it, and that phrase pops back into my head.

  9. I hate seeing bra straps-my own included. I try pretty hard to keep them out of sight.:) The whole look is much tidier that way! If your bra straps are slipping off your shoulders that is a pretty good sign you are wearing the wrong size bra. The band should be snug enough wear it doesn't ride up in the back, cups should be filled but not overflowing ;),underwires should be flat against your chest(no gaps anywhere!), and straps should be tightened enough to stay on your shoulders. 🙂

  10. I just came across your blog recently and LOVE IT!!!! Keep up the great blogging ,its great to know there is other ladies,mothers out there who want to dress modest and live to try and be a good godly and modest lady,wife and mother!
    New Faithful Reader,

  11. Yes, thank you for the boldness in pointing this out! Nothing is private anymore! It is up to us to keep true!

  12. Feisty Muse says:

    Too bad clothing items like the layering shell aren't available for women like me with a 38" under bust but 52" bust 🙁 though actually still carries true crew neck shirts …. but they are short in the waist and the neck on the larger sizes is larger also. When dealing with larger sizes, out of necessity, manufacturers seem to think that makes the HEAD larger too, lol

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I really needed a little reminder today to keep on keeping on in the area of modesty. That is one problem of mine, my bra straps slip down over my shoulder a lot, especially when I am doing heavy work, and yes, you can see them hanging out when I wear shorter sleeved shirts. 🙁 I try to tighten them when that happens….
    ~Heather Joy

  14. DannielleSB says:

    Oh no… you can't scar a child by breastfeeding. But you may send a wrong signal that it's shameful and you must hide in another room. As much as I used to bf, I'd hate to be away from my children that often.

  15. DannielleSB says:

    I found a simple solution…wear a strapless bra. I wear those all the time under tanks, camis or those boat neck tops. No bra straps to show! And I have some camis w/a built in shelf where I don't even need a bra. But I really wouldn't recommend those if you are bigger than a C. I'm an A/B, so I can pretty much get away w/anything.

  16. I'm really glad you posted this. I too feel that is immodest. In fact, I think just wearing tank tops without a top shirt is immodest too! They're just too revealing!

  17. DannielleSB says:

    I don't think they are. I guess it's all based on what we believe and our own convictions.

  18. Rebecca Wilgus says:

    I know dollar tree has sold these nifty little plastic pieces that hold the straps together in the back (effectively making it a racer back) and that helps a lot with bra straps showing when wearing something sleeveless or even a tank top. And one dollar will usually get you about 6 or 8 in the pack. 🙂

  19. Tiffany @ As For My House says:

    Breastfeeding is ABSOLUTELY NOT in the same category as immodest dress.

    Sure, we need to be discreet when we're out in public! But a child who sees mama nursing a baby sibling is sharing in a God-ordained miracle — not to mention learning how to nurture his or her future children.

    I don't sit around with my shirt off or anything, but I'm GLAD my children have had the opportunity to see babies nursing!

  20. Tiffany @ As For My House says:

    I feel your pain on this one! Over the years I have purchased custom-made clothing online when I could, and work-arounds like men's shirt-sleeved button-down shirts (such as at WalMart) when I couldn't afford it.

    I've never understood why in recent years all the women's buttoning blouses available at most stores are v-cut in the front, without the option to button it up high enough (in my opinion)…

  21. HappilyDomestic says:

    Yes, I agree! Bra straps showing are tacky. Something we overlook in the area of modesty but so important to keep covered. If you think of it, it is kind of like wearing a modest skirt but having your undies popping out the top! Not good.

  22. Sarah A. says:

    You are NOT taking modesty to the extreme! I can't stand seeing bra straps and don't understand how anyone could leave the house like that or feel comfortable dressed like that! You're right, the are UNDERgarments and are meant to be UNDER our clothes, for no one to see but our husband's and ourselves!

  23. Thank you for this reminder,Caroline!!! With the warmer weather especially it is saddening to see so little clothing on women everywhere. The straps aren't the only problem. Too often we see women say forget the bra all together with the tanktop and not to mention the shorts that are so short they may as well be underwear. I don't feel comfortable wearing any shorts so I dont….and I hate that my daughters have to see this when we are out in public!

  24. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion, it is so hard to wear sleeveless tops while maintaining modesty that I have just become convinced that I should always wear reasonably long sleeves (meaning that even if a bra strap fell from my shoulder, it would not peek out). Until quite recently, blouses used to have sleeves, even in summer. That is also what women in more modest cultures still wear. Muslims wear long sleeves, for conservative Jews it's elbow length. Why can't we wear even reasonably long t-shirt sleeves?

    I still have some of my old sleeveless tops around. Now I just either layer them by wearing a top with sleeves underneath, or alternatively pair the sleeveless top with a cardi or a jacket. Pretty and modest!


  25. Hidden Treasures says:

    I'm always worried that mine might show since it tends to fall off my shoulder all the time…nothing quite as embarrassing as a strap hanging out of your sleeve at your elbow!! I catch myself trying to fix it in a way so that on one will know what I'm doing…still not cool…gonna have to bite the bullet and just go get a new one so the straps don't fall anymore… 🙂

  26. Rachel E. says:

    What a wonderful post. I have been using those shells for a while now. It is amazing how relaxed I feel when I don't have to worry about my breasts showing or my unders. I can lean over and not worry about it.

    Something happened a while back that made me think about it. I had always been pretty observant and careful to make sure I didn't show too much. Then one day I was playing with my daughter when we had guests. I realized as I pushed my daughter across the floor that my shirt was gaping open. I looked up fast and noticed I wasn't the only one. I was mortified. I have made it a point to be more careful.

  27. jennifer says:

    Yay!!! Someone needed to say this. I am SO. TIRED. OF. SEEING. STRAPS.

    It's an undergarment! It's personal. It was never meant to be seen by strangers.

    Plus, it is sloppy and just tacky. I get upset even going to the park these days with my kids and seeing straps hanging out everywhere, as if it has become the norm. Ladies, I love you all and admire your hard work as moms, but I don't know you and really don't want to see your bra. 'Nuff said.

  28. I 100% agree with you Caroline! Thank you for writing on this today. I too feel that many women overlook this area in their dress and don't even mean to sometimes.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I don't want to start a breastfeeding debate, but I thought I'd share a short true story about modesty and breastfeeding.

    Recently my husband and I were at Chick-fil-A eating breakfast. The restaurant was empty except for the employees. My 6 mth old son was ready to eat so I asked my husband if it would be okay if I nursed him in the restaurant. He told me that it was not okay and that I would have to go out to our van. I countered with the fact that I would be covered and that the restaurant was practically empty. He said that it didn't matter. He said that men often think sinful thoughts when they see a women breastfeeding and that it is very immodest of women to nurse in public. These were his words not mine. A male perspective, not my female perspective which is different.

    Just so you know, I expected this response from him and would have been surprised if he'd answered differently. And, in case you are wondering, I did comply with his wishes and went out to our van – and locked the doors of course because it is very dangerous to nurse in a parked vehicle. My husband remained in the restaurant for a while longer with our other five children and then came out and joined me.

    My husband also has a firm stance against me nursing in the same room as our older sons (13 and 9).

  30. Hmmm. I dunno. I don't think anybody looks at a wayward bra strap and says "Yum, sexy!". More like "Ew, sloppy!" But anyway, I don't like it when my straps sneak out, either. I could definitely use a cami like that one, especially with my maternity clothes. Why is it so hard for people to make maternity clothes that aren't see-through or too low-necked?

  31. Mountain Home Quilts says:

    Some of you might roll your eyes and think I'm taking modesty to the extreme here.
    "Seriously Caroline-compared to what else is out there, letting my bra strap show a little isn't going to be a problem."

    Is there really such a thing as too modest? I personally have never seen a woman and said to myself, "My, she is much too modest. Look at those clothes covering her up!" 🙂
    Thank you for posting on an important topic that just drives me crazy to see on women.
    Great post!

  32. morethanfourwalls says:

    I have to laugh laugh as this is such a timely post for me. I wore a hand-me-down shirt from my mom to work today only to realize that the neck is wide enough that after sitting/standing/stooping/etc my bra straps would show.
    There's only one thing worse than figiting all day with your shirt…..figiting all day with your shirt while meeting the newest sales staff team member! UGH!!

  33. Anonymous says:

    a 34d and 36b are sister sizes?? i don't understand? i am a dd and would never fit in anything "smaller"i am just wondering??

    • No, it’s usually one difference in cup, so more like 36B and 34C. I often hear to go DOWN a band size and UP a cup size.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I found an awesome strapless one!

  35. I often sit behind young women at church who wear layered tank tops. There are so many straps, it would be hard to tell which one was the bra and which were the tank top straps! However, as my husband and son have confirmed, it does lead to some curiosity from the males as to, "Hmmm…wonder what that strap is connected to…" and so on. It's sorta like a complete-the-picture-in-your-head kind of thing that guys (often unintentionally) get caught up in. Why do that to our men???

  36. Far Above Rubies says:

    Oh yes, I agree. Breastfeeding is not in the same category as immodest dress. A baby sibling is sharing a God-ordained miracle.

    You cannot scar a baby or child by breastfeeding.

  37. Far Above Rubies says:

    Great post, Caroline. You write of things that must be shared. Great insights, friend.

  38. Natalie L. says:

    For myself I've found that when wearing any type of white or light colored blouse a white bra will always show through. Therefore I prefer to wear nude colored bras. I get the support and modesty I need, and nobody can see what's under my clothes. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a flesh colored nursing bra. I can't mail order as I seem to be a very difficult size to fit, and the only store within shopping distance that sales nursing bras is Target, and they don't exactly have the best selection. 🙁

  39. DannielleSB says:

    I showed say, I don't walk around in public in a cami /no bra. IF I do go out w/a shelf cami, I have a blouse over top. I do where camis alone while inside my home.

  40. DannielleSB says:

    Oops should

  41. DannielleSB says:

    Wow, I can't imagine having to ask my husband if I could bf my children public.

    If you were to take a survey of MOST men, they do not have sinful thoughts. Men who do have issues w/it tend to have past issues w/porn or lust.

  42. Hannah Irene says:

    Thank-you for sharing this! I try hard to not wear tops that I know might show my bra straps, but still struggle at times. What an encouragement to stand strong for modesty! God bless.

  43. If you don't have this issue a lot, but have it with a certain shirt or dress you could consider sewing in bra stays or simply a ribbon attached on one end with a snap on the other to keep your strap in place. I don't usually find myself with this issue, but when I sewed my wedding dress I found that the neckline, although quite high, was wide enough that my straps would show. Not the look I was going for, so I sewed in ribbons with snaps to keep them in place. I was glad not to be worrying about them showing up in pictures.

  44. Jessica Curtis says:

    its just a matter of going up a cup but down an inch in the band or down a cup and up an inch in the band…

  45. Such great tips, I am always double checking to make sure people can't see my bra through my shirt!
    Modern Modest Beauty

  46. I agree! It is hard to keep your bra, underarms or back from showing in a sleeveless, or something with a very loose sleeve.

  47. I have noticed the same thing — all maternity clothes have such huge necks!

  48. Amen!

  49. You are right! And I was next to my dad when I was reading this and he certainly agrees.

    It is tacky and — well, it just makes me think that you don't care about your appearance.

  50. P.S. Thanks for taking a stand — I love you blog!

  51. Hannah Irene says:

    What a great idea! I'll remember that…

  52. I am glad you honored your husbands wishes.
    But if breasteeding in front of men were truly immodest, or leading them into sin then the Bible (male writers) would not mention Nursing/Breast/breastfeeding over 25x. For even the mention or mental picture of a woman nursing may lead men into lustful sin. Our Holy God is even quoted in comparing his love for his chosen people as a Nursing Mother to her infant. Isaiah 66:10-13
    Here is a link that has the scriptures listed

  53. Anonymous says:

    As far as the breastfeeding issue is concerned, I will say that Caroline carries nice nursing covers in her store. I am using a cover to nurse around my children. They know that it is a natural part of life, but it keeps my boys from viewing my breasts. I will say I have a difficult time nursing in public, even being covered. My babies are noisy nursers. Hearing load swallowing noises is not something I want to share. I agree that it could be distracting to my brothers in Christ. Thanks again Caroline for a great challenging post.
    Kim Crawford

  54. Charlotte Moore says:

    A big AMEN!!!!! The worse thing is the people that want it all to show. Young guys are left with no imagination these days.

  55. Anonymous says:

    As someone previously stated in the comments I also find it interesting that women feel it's ok to nurse in public even if modestly covered. My husband doesn't have a porn problem, neither do I, but we both agree when seeing a woman nursing in public, even if covered properly, can still cause lustful thoughts. Furthermore I often hear people write about helping our brothers in Christ not to stumble, and if one of those brothers was struggling with porn or something similar, shouldn't we be more considerate of nursing in public around others? I know breastfeeding is normal, natural and a miracle, but so is sex…and we don't do that in public.

  56. DannielleSB says:

    Not sure what kind of men some of you are married to or are around. But the one I'm married to and have friends who are men do not see anything lustful w/a bf mom. All consider it beautiful and NATURAL. No lustful or sexual thoughts.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I'm in no way implying breastfeeding is not beautiful or natural. However, if you are nursing a baby, even if properly covered, that could lead to certain mental images quite easily. Just like seeing a bra strap leads to certain mental images.

  58. DannielleSB says:

    We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Probably the ONLY ones who have problems w/women bf'ing in public are are extremely conservative Christians.

  59. I agree with your post, but there’s one problem. I don’t know why so often when women blog about what’s modest, and what’s not, they put up a picture as an example. How is this helpful? We all know what a bra strap looks like. You are posting a picture and calling it immodest. It doesn’t seem modest to me, to have immodest pictures on one’s blog. Just a thought!

    But I do like your blog and read it often! 🙂

  60. Well, Like most comments on here – I’m Glad you posted this! Don’t you all just hate those black bra straps showing, on purpose, through…ugh!!!!

    Modesty is so important and so needed right now! What we have now in society is “sloppy” and “I don’t care what you think” attitudes… So let us dress modest and help change society! The more others see modest dress the more it will be “normal” again!

  61. Great post! It’s amazing how lazy our society has gotten that we can’t even take the time to make sure our undergarments aren’t showing. Yes, accidents happen, but some people just don’t care! Modesty, like any other biblical quality, takes work, and a time investment. Can we really complain about taking a few minutes to make sure we’re not leaking out the sides? 😉

  62. This is definitely not “modesty to the extreme!” As a college girl, I hate having to look at women dressed so immodestly, and for some reason in our culture, it’s okay to dress that way! Low cut arm holes that reach to the waist with the undergarments totally showing is NOT OKAY. Ever. And to those who say “everything is okay and natural” and “men should control their own thoughts, so I’ll dress this way anyway,” is just lying to themselves. Modest dress shows maturity and reliability, while showing undergarments shows an unreliable personality.

  63. Valeria says:

    Thank you for this remainder! This is something I really struggled with because the outline of my bra sometimes shows if the fabric of what I’m wearing is not thick. Reading your article I started thinking about that more and I’ve realized that the reason is that most of my bras don’t fit properly, I’m gonna buy new ones and I’m gonna solve the problem
    I always love your articles!

  64. THANK YOU! This bothers me so much. I also know Christian ladies who think “its just a strap, big deal, don’t get bent out of shape” or “its just a part of the strappy look” 🙁 Since probably middle school/early high school I wouldn’t wear traditional camis because the straps looked like bra straps & didn’t cover the bra’s straps. Its so sad to me to see so many young women completely not care & believing the onus is completely on the men for not looking if you’re wearing something problematic for them. Yes, we are not responsible for their struggles and sins, per set, they will answer to the Lord for that, but I do believe we ought to help them out. Aside from the fact that bra straps showing just looks kindof trashy, not matter how cute your outfit.

  65. great article! I’m saddened by how many women I see at church with straps showing in some way.

Speak Your Mind