Dress Stress


The dress was beautiful. Modesty was important to me, but so was my friend’s opinion. So I decided to do what made me happy.

“Come on, Meagan, just try it on. You might change your mind,” Sarah said, shoving the dress into my arms.

Hesitantly, I took the dress back to my changing room. It was a beautiful, black satin gown, studded with sequins. I studied it as it hung on the hook in the dressing room. Sarah was right; trying it on wouldn’t hurt. Trying it on didn’t mean I wanted to buy it; it just meant I wanted to see what it looked like on me.

“Well?” Sarah asked impatiently.

“I like it. It’s really nice,” I forced myself to say, as I saw myself in the mirror.

My mom would hate it! The spaghetti straps would never pass my father’s approval, and the low cut back was definitely not modest.

“So what’s the problem?” Sarah could tell by the tone in my voice that I was not crazy about it.

I tried to think of a million excuses that I could tell Sarah to let her know how important modesty was to me, without sounding too stuffy.

“Well, it’s … just not me.”

“You’re afraid your parents wouldn’t approve,” Sarah quickly responded.

It wasn’t just that my parents would not approve; it was more that I didn’t feel right wearing it.

“Listen, Meagan,” Sarah said. “Prom is only once a year. God won’t care if you look fashionable just this once.”

Straightening the slinky gown, I looked down and saw my CTR ring. Choose the right, I reminded myself, and let the consequences follow. I had to tell Sarah the truth. It wasn’t just what other people thought of me; it was what I thought of myself. Even though Sarah wasn’t a member of the Church, I knew if I was honest with her and explained why modesty was important to me, she would understand. Prom was a big deal, but it was not worth sacrificing my integrity.

I looked at my CTR ring again and replied, “You’re right, Sarah.” Changing back into my clothes, I continued, “I should do what makes me happy.” Sarah smiled since she assumed I meant to buy the dress. “And that is why I can’t buy it. It wouldn’t make me happy.”

I ended up wearing a maroon dress with a modest neckline and cap sleeves that my mom and Sister Wright sewed on for me. More important than what I wore on the outside was how I felt on the inside. I knew I had made the right decision by dressing modestly. What we wear to dances may not seem like a big deal, but the little decisions we make now are what help us choose the right when we are presented with big choices later.

[illustration] Illustrated by Steve Kropp