Glad you found us! This site has one objective: to help you win the spiritual battle for purity, in every sense of the word. Society encourages us to throw away our virtue; the message sent out by the media is: "everyone's doing it!" We are here to prove that statement wrong! Come in, read some encouraging testimonies, chat with others who strive to remain pure, and reaffirm your belief that purity, sexual and otherwise, is not only possible, but totally worth it!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Think on These Things- Super Cute Swimwear from Lime Ricki!

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Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things (NIV).


We're back in search of modest summer clothing, and this week we'll begin showing you what we've found out there in the way of swimwear.  Over the next few Fridays, Armed and Virtuous will highlight several companies that are producing modest swimwear, in hopes of providing several options for you this summer. 

So, this week, I'm thrilled to tell you about the adorable outfits that Lime Ricki has to offer!  Here's what they have to say about themselves:  Lime Ricki was started by three sisters who wanted to give their daughters { and themselves } cute and modest swimsuit options. "We wanted splashy colors, fun designs, and suits that we would want to wear. We wanted fashion without sacrificing modesty and comfort!" 

Lime Ricki carries one piece suits, tankinis,  and rashguards with various types of swim bottoms, boy shorts and skirts.  The possibilities are virtually limitless, but here are a few that particularly caught my eye.



GEORGIA TANKINI TOP
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I love this tankini! It doesn't really look like swimwear, does it?  The blue floral pattern is trimmed in chocolate with coordinating ties, band, and ruffle at the hem.   Its new fit runs true to size, and is designed for small bust sizes- A and B cups only. This tankini includes bra pads and a floating shelf bra. It is made of 80% polyester/nylon and 20% spandex. It is being worn with chocolate boy shorts.


GRAY RASHGUARD
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In case you, like me, didn't know what a rashguard is. . .this is it!  ( I think it's designed for surfing, but that doesn't mean it can't do for swimming, too.)  It has 3/4 inch sleeves and is made of 80% nylon and 20% spandex.  This top also comes in teal, and again, can be paired with any style of bottoms you prefer, it is shown here with a teal skirt.  It's a more athletic look, and very modest! 


MESA TANKINI TOP
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I think this one is sooo cute!  It's pink and tropical with red gingham trim, matching adjustable straps and rouching on the sides.  This top has a versatile fit, and works well with A-D cups.  Its new fit runs true to size, has bra pads and a floating shelf bra.  It's made of 80% polyester and 20% spandex, and is being worn in this picture with this super cute ruffled skirt. 


SONORA TANKINI TOP
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They also have several of the more traditional tankinis, such as this one.  It has a versatile fit, so works well with all bust sizes, runs true to size, and is made of 80% polyester/20% spandex.  It also has bra pads and a floating shelf bra.  I like the ruffled straps at the top, and the higher band at the bust line, which tends to flatter more body types. 



You'll have to check out the website to see all the many other options.  They're really cute!  Lime Ricki has a size chart on line to make sure your order fits properly.  They also offer suits for little girls and will soon offer swimwear for men.  Last, but not least, they have suits currently on sale at 60% off on the website.  Check them out by clicking here!

So, here's the first week of swimsuit possibilities.  I hope this helps you make wise decisions as you brave the beach this summer!


What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Drop us a line or leave an comment and we'll discuss the things that interest you!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Watch Your Phrase-ology!

Secret Myths Pictures, Images and Photos


Proverbs 4:24     Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you (NKJV).

Okay, so last week we began studying Proverbs 4 to learn how to stay out of trouble in college.  Verse 23 discussed guarding your heart from sinful influences.  Today we're talking about a very unruly part of the body. . .your mouth.

I don't know about you, but my tongue gets me into more trouble than just about anything.  It's so easy to allow whatever thought that enters my head to come straight out of my mouth, without considering the consequences.  Has this ever happened to you?  I find that the people I'm most comfortable with, my friends and family, are the most often injured by my tongue.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but it's true.  I have to work hard to keep a "filter of kindness" between my mind and my mouth.

This verse specifically addresses to two types of speech.  It tells us to put away from you a deceitful mouth.  In other words, don't be backstabbing with your words.  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don't be polite to someone's face, but when they walk away, verbally rip them to pieces.  You don't want to develop a reputation that dishonors God and you don't want people to do such things to you. 

Another way of looking at it is this:  speak the truth all the time, even if it's not in your best interest.  Once, when I was in college, I missed a recital that counted for a major grade in my music class.  Another student, who was in charge of taking attendance, told the professor he didn't see me, not that I wasn't there.  He did so in order to give me a chance to lie and say that I attended when I didn't.  When my professor asked me if I was there, even though I knew she'd believe me either way, I told her the truth.  She was disappointed in me on one hand, but appreciated my honesty.  I believe, in the long run, that situation helped her gain greater respect for me. 

The second half of the verse says to put perverse lips far from you.  Obviously, cursing is perverse speech.  To put this language far from you, watch who you hang out with, the music you listen to and the TV/movies you watch.  The more contact you have with foul language, the more it will seep into your heart, and then make its way out by way of your own mouth. 

Profanity is not the only definition of perverse speech, though.  Speech that glorifies sinful behavior is also considered perverse.  Don't get involved in conversations about hook ups, drugs, drinking parties and such.  These words have no place in the mind and heart of a woman of God.  Again, the more exposure you allow them, the more they occupy your thoughts and wear down your standards. 

So, that's what not to do. . .what can a woman of God talk about?  I found another really great verse that takes a positive spin on this subject.  Proverbs 22:11 says He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the king shall be his friend.  I like to think of it as not just any king...but the King of kings!  Be gracious with your speech, considering other's feelings, and seeking to honor God with your words.  Do this, and the King will be your friend, as will others, because your speech will be trustworthy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Think on These Things-The Irony of Good Friday

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There are no great words that I can share with you about what makes today holy or special.  Many people have expressed their feelings on this subject much more eloquently and intelligently than I ever could.  It's a mystery beyond my comprehension how a holy and righteous God could see me wallowing in my sin, and rather than leave me to what I deserve, send His only Son to pay my penalty.  The "wise" people of this world will scoff and declare this to be a fairy tale, but those who have experienced the love and rescue of Christ are living proof as to its truth. 

We call today Good Friday because of the good that this day accomplished, but what occurred on this day was actually terrible, tragic, especially considering who endured the suffering.  It should have been me.  It should have been you.  Instead it was someone completely innocent, who deserved to be crowned King of Kings and worshipped rather than crowned with thorns and mocked.  Even as He was paying the penalty for our sin, we ridiculed Him, blasphemed His holy name, and tortured Him. 

Yet, in my opinion, Hebrews 12:2 describes why this day is a "good" day:  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (NIV).  Jesus was looking ahead.  He saw the joy of reuniting His beloved creation with their Creator, of re-establishing the relationship that was lost.  He loved us enough to endure the pain of bearing our sin, separation from God, the physical torture, and the abject humiliation just because He loved us. 

I received an image of this love recently, (don't laugh too hard).  One day, after nap time, my daughter was discovered in a filthy dirty diaper mess!  It was everywhere; I had to call in reinforcements!  Upon further investigation, I discovered that she had been playing in it as well.  After finally deciding where to begin, I laid her on the changing table.  I chastised her, saying she knew better than to do such a thing, and all she could say was "I'm sorry!"  As I looked down at my beautiful little girl covered in filth, God said to me, "That's what you looked like to me before being saved.  You were covered in the filth of sin, doing what you knew not to do, and all you could say in response was 'I'm sorry!'" 

My daughter was in a mess of her own making, but she could not solve the problem on her own.  She needed my help.  Would I have even considered leaving her in that situation?  No!  She's my precious child, so I endured the cleaning process, knowing that it would restore us to a right relationship.  On an infinitely grander scale, that's exactly what Christ did for me and for you.

In all the Easter egg hunting, dress shopping and preparing for Sunday morning, join me in remembering where we've come from and what it took to make us clean.  I found this video to Nichole Nordeman's song  Crimson, and I hope it blesses you this weekend.  Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me from myself!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The College 411- part 2

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Well, here's a second round of my "words of wisdom" on the college experience.  Some of what I have to say you may hear echoed in the interviews, but that just serves to prove that the information is true, and worth hanging on to!  This week I want to talk about dealing with loneliness.

I will never forget my first week of college life!  I actually arrived the week before classes began, because I was in the university's marching band and we had summer practice.  Although I was to share a suite with five other girls, none of them were in the band, so I spent the first terribly lonely nights looking at blue, cinder block walls and crying myself to sleep (at least the first night or two, anyway!)

I got up that first morning and headed to the music building to begin marching practice. It was pretty much an all day affair, with breaks for lunch and supper.  I remember walking into the band hall, looking around and realizing that I knew absolutely no one!  As my gaze progressed from one side of the room to the other, I noticed another lone individual who had the same "deer in the headlights" look, and I assumed he must be a freshman like me.  I walked up and said "Are you as lost as I am?"  We started talking and that at least took up some time until the day of heat, sweat and new rules took over. 

During that first week, while practice was going on, everything seemed fine.  I met a few people in the flute section, and we went to their house for lunch.  Then, when supper time rolled around, I picked up food from the cafeteria, took it to my lonely, cinder block dorm room and ate by myself.  I found that, when I was alone, it was easy to be overcome by the loneliness.  However, looking back, I'm sure the heat and sweat did little to lift my spirits, either.

None the less, I began making friends.  In fact, by the time our summer practice had ended, I had met my hubby-to-be, and our first date took place at the end of that grueling week.  (That's another story for another time :)  Once classes started, I found that I was ahead of the friend-making game.  Since I had been there a week early, I had already met many people, in particular, the people who were music majors like myself!

As the semester continued, life fell into its regular routine and the loneliness faded away.  I got to know more and more people, I became involved in activities, and one day, when walking across campus to class, I noticed that at least ten people stopped and said "hi" to me on my way.  It was nice to know that the lonely season was over, I began to feel like I had my "people" at college, and my "people" at home. 

Sadly, during the spring semester of my freshman year, my father passed away.  It happened the day after Easter, and completely turned my life upside down.  I was unable to return to school for several days, but what took me by surprise was the amazing outpouring of support I received from my new found college friends.  On the day of the funeral, my boyfriend (Jason) told me that "half the band is here."  I remembered thinking How thoughtful of them!  A few band members decided to come to the funeral.  Walking into the sanctuary, though,  I realized that truly half of our 150 piece marching band had come to the funeral, as had six of my college professors!  I learned later that they had cancelled our band class that day, to allow students time to travel.  It was such a blessing to be so supported by people who had only known me a few months.

So...yes, it will be lonely for a while, but the loneliness doesn't last forever.  Before you know it, you will make friends and together you'll begin creating the crazy memories that will define your college experience.  Be careful to keep your guard up as you make these friends, because you don't know them like you know the people you grew up with at school and church, but God will lead you to true friends, the ones who will support and bless you if you ask Him.




Got questions about college?  We'd be happy to offer answers as best we can!  Just leave us a comment and let us know what's on your mind.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guard Your Heart!

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Proverbs 4:23     Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring(s) the issues of life (NKJV).


We've been talking about what life is like on the other side of high school, and I'm sure you've gathered that it's possible to make mistakes...big ones.  So, how does a Christian young woman make it through that stage of life without falling victim?  That's what we'll be searching scripture to discover over the next few Mondays, and we'll start with the last few verses of Proverbs, chapter 4.

What does it mean to keep your heart?   It means to protect your heart from bad influences; to guard your mind.  The writer is saying, "Pay attention to what you allow into your mind, because it proceeds to your heart."  What are you watching, listening to, or talking about?  In the college environment, you will be making new friends, many of whom don't share your standards.  Is their conversation upright and pleasing to God, or is it degrading, and immoral?  Guard your environment, and guard it constantly!  If you fall asleep on the job, that's when those thoughts will choose to invade. 

But media and friends aren't the only avenues that can lead a young believer to doubt their faith.  When you step into adulthood, you will begin determining what you, and you alone believe, especially about God.  This is a normal and natural part of growing up, and it's generally a good thing.  Because your faith must stand on its own, you will have the opportunity to examine God's Word and separate what you believe because you have studied and found it to be true from what Mom and Dad always told you.

However, be on your guard.  Many college professors do not believe in God, and they use their classroom as a platform to preach their belief system.  they often take delight in posing impossible scenarios to Christian students and watching them struggle to find the "correct answer."  It's easy to sit under their instruction and begin to doubt your core beliefs.  By all means, learn from them as it applies to the class they teach, but if they proclaim their opinions on morality and God, and those beliefs don't line up with scripture, then close your ears.  This is an attack on your faith and you must defend yourself.

Why is this so important?  ...for out of it (your heart) spring the issues of life.  Your heart is the seat of who you are and what you believe.  Your beliefs about right and wrong, sin and salvation, and countless other issues all flow from the contents of your heart.  People change in college, and many change for the better; but some do not.  Some people get caught up in the social environment, or the "new idea" environment, and it weakens or destroys their faith.

If you have experienced Jesus Christ personally in your life, if you have heard His voice and felt Him lift the weight of sin from your shoulders, then you know the truth!  Remember that ...the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (I Corinthians 1:18).  Unbelieving people cannot understand, no matter how many degrees they possess, so cling to God's Word as the standard of truth and don't apologize for what you believe. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Think on These Things- Girl Talk!

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Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things (NIV).

Have you ever felt alone when facing a problem?  Did you ever have questions you wanted answered, but didn't know who to ask?  You might have feared being laughed at, or, if it was a serious enough problem, maybe you kept silent for fear of rejection.

This week I wanted to talk to you about a feature of this website, just in case you haven't discovered it, or you weren't sure how to make use of it.  I'm talking about the Girl Talk page.  It can be found right next to the Testimonies tab, and it's there to be a help to you. 

Basically, it's a message board; a place where you can post questions, opinions, or express needs and everyone can get in on the conversation.  Don't worry, it is completely anonymous.  If you choose to post a thread, we request that you create a pseudonym to place in the name box; a "fake" name.  (In fact, if an actual name is listed, the comment cannot be published.  We feel strongly about the importance of identity protection.)

The great thing about this message board is, everyone can help everyone else!  Your questions and concerns are often shared by others.  Also, believe it or not, people have been where you are.  They've made it through, and have valuable information to pass on to you.  Ladies of all ages, yours and older, can offer helpful advice, and hopefully make your struggles a little easier.  No one can post anything offensive or obscene, because all posts are reviewed before being published.

One of the greatest weapons the devil can use against us is fear.  In the realm of sexual purity, he wields this weapon like a pro, whispering to our heart that "if anyone really knew you struggled with this, they'd have nothing to do with you."  Fear of other people's reactions can keep us bound up by sin, but expressing our struggles frees us!  Jesus tells us in John 8:32 that ...the truth shall make you free (NKJV). 

You can check out the message board by following this link, or you can go to the Girl Talk tab at the top of the page.  The message board isn't just for deep, dark secrets, though.  If you need information on anything, be it college questions, modesty questions, fashion questions or anything else, feel free to ask!  People from all walks of life with various special interests and skills are available to help.

One more thing:  the Armed and Virtuous ministry has a team of prayer partners who wish to pray for your needs.  If you need prayer over any concern, yours or someone you love, feel free to email us at requests@armedandvirtuous.org.  We'd love to pray for you, and support you in your struggles.

Bottom line?  Don't be a loner.  You need support, be it through your family, your church, your friends or somewhere else.  God loves you, exactly the way you are, and He died to free you from sin.  Build a support group around yourself and lean on them when you're weak.  If the Armed and Virtuous ministry can be of help, it would be our pleasure!



What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Drop us a line or leave a comment, and we'll discuss the things that interest you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The College 411- Lyndie's experience, part 2

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Welcome back!  Here is the rest of Lyndie's interview.  In this portion, she gives us an idea of how to stay strong in your faith while in college, how to combat peer pressure, and she ends by answering all the other wonderful questions you asked.  Lyndie's college experience is at a Christian college, so she has some boundaries established by her school which might not exist in other college settings.  In the next few weeks, we'll talk with students from public universities as well.  Hopefully this can help you decide which college situation is best for you, while helping you realize that it's possible to remain a faithful Christian in any college setting.  Thanks again, Lyndie, for your willingness to share!  If you enjoyed her interview, if you learned something, then leave a comment and let her know!





Next week you'll get to hear a little more from my heart on this subject.  Hope to see you then!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Think on These Things- Why Men Want Us to Dress Modestly!

Philippians 4:8     Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (NIV).

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Have you ever wondered why modesty is important?  Sure, your parents think you should cover up, but what do you really think?  Is modesty just an old-fashioned idea being imposed on the younger generation, or is this truly an important issue? 

As women, it's easy to think It's just fashion.  If I look good in something skimpy, why not wear it?  If you've ever wondered why modesty matters, then check out this video!  What you do with your body affects so many more people than just yourself.  It can cause others to sin, and can completely negate your Christian witness.  I hope this gets you thinking, and maybe even affects to contents of your closet.  Watch this with an open mind and spirit, and God Bless!




Thanks, All Are Precious In His Sight!




What other "things" would you like to see highlighted on our weekend posts?  Leave us a comment or send an email and we'll discuss the things that interest you!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The College 411- Lyndie's experience, part 1

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So glad you came!  Today we're posting the first of several college student interviews.  Thanks for all the great questions!  Lyndie will be giving you her answers tonight...at least the first half of your questions, anyway.  Her interview will be concluded next Wednesday.  If you missed the first post of this series you can read it here.


I hope you enjoy!  Feel free to ask any follow-up questions either as a comment, as a thread on the message board or through email.  Lastly, but certainly not least, thank you, Jason Anderson for putting together such a great video, I love you (Phil. 1:3)!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Innocence and Ignorance- There is a Difference!

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Matthew 10:16     Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (NKJV).


I love this verse!  In my opinion, this is the definition of being Armed and Virtuous!   

Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, as He was sending them out to minister.  He had given them power to cast out demons, heal sickness and disease among the "lost sheep of Israel."  In a way, their situation was similar to a high school graduate, about to embark on the college experience.  Having been trained by parents and teachers, the time has come to step into adulthood. 

Jesus likely faced several emotions as He sent them out on their own.  I'm sure He knew the excitement they'd experience when God worked miracles through them.  He also knew the dangers they faced, the potential violence they might experience, and that's why He described their situation as "sheep in the midst of wolves" (not exactly a comforting idea, is it?) 

But Jesus didn't stop with the first sentence, He left them with vitally important instructions to their survival.  He told them to be "wise as serpents."  In other words, they should not charge into a situation without knowing what to expect.  They needed to be informed about their surroundings, to do some mental note-taking about where they might go and consider what was going on, before deciding to stay or interact.  One of the most helpful tools they had was prayer.  As they prayed for direction, God would guide them.  He would confirm to their heart what was a safe situation, and what was harmful.

The next part of Jesus' instruction was to be "harmless (or innocent) as doves."  Once the disciples determined that a situation was harmful to their witness, they were not to get involved.  They were to avoid situations where they knew sin would occur.  In verses 12-15 Jesus spells it out more clearly:  And when you go into a household, greet it.  If the household is worthy, let your peace come upon it. But if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.  And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.  If their words were ignored or rejected, the disciples were to leave.  Their job was the work of God, and they were not to be sidetracked by the activites or the opinions of the world. 

Do you see the relevance?  The environment that surrounds a college student is very exciting, but potentially damaging if you don't plan ahead.  As a child of God, you are walking into an environment that rejects your faith, values, and standards.  Even if you attend a Christian university, many students you meet will not be Christians, or will fall away from their faith, and just as the disciples were stepping out without the covering of Jesus, you will be stepping out without the covering of your family and church. 

Yet, Jesus sent them on their way because it was the right thing to do.  Don't allow the fear of the unknown to prevent you from going forward, just proceed with caution.  Be as wise as a serpent.  Before hanging out with certain people, joining certain groups or doing certain activities, do a little research.  Who are they?  What do they do for fun?  What are their values?  What are they affiliated with?  Then, be innocent as a dove.  If they receive your witness and support you in your walk with God, feel free to get involved.  If they do things that are contrary to your beliefs and pressure you to sin, walk away.  This is the difference between innocence and ignorance.  Don't be naiive!  Instead, be armed (with God's word, His Spirit, and His wisdom) and virtuous (overflowing with God's traits, not the world's)! 






Are you facing challenges to your walk with God?  Do you need encouragement to stay strong?  Leave us a comment, or an email and we'll pray for God to help you remain both wise and innocent! 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Think on These Things: Cute Shorts for Spring/Summer!

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The good news is, it's the time of year for shorts, swimsuits and sun.  (The bad news is, it's the time of year for shorts, swimsuits and sun!)  Because the Spring and Summer seasons can be such a modesty nightmare, the next several Think on These Things posts will highlight cute, yet modest clothing.  While doing research for this topic, I was pleased to discover just how much is out there for the Armed and Virtuous woman, and in fairly easy to find locations.  Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

 
American Eagle Outfitters has some really cute shorts that are flattering, but not too short.  Even better, they are currently on sale for buy one, get one 50% off!  This sale is valid both online and at American Eagle stores through April 5th.  Here are a few that caught my eye:

The AE Distressed Denim Bermuda Short

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It's made of dark, stretch cotton denim, with an 8 inch inseam.  It has intentional distressing, which is cute, but be careful as to the location of the distressing.  As an owner of distressed jeans, those areas can grow and become holes after several washes.  They come in sizes 00-18.  These shorts received a 4.4 out of 5 stars rating with 15 online reviews.  You can read those reviews here.

The AE Distressed Denim Skinny Bermuda Short

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They call this one "preppy meets vintage."  These shorts are also made of the stretch cotton denim and have an 8 inch inseam.  Again, they're distressed, so buy with caution.  They have a dark wash, but with fading.  These shorts fit closer to the body, but the reviews are still calling it a modest fit.  They come in sizes 00-18, and received a 4.7 out of 5 stars rating with 19 online reviews.  You can check them out right here.

The AE Distressed Cargo Bermuda Short

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This one is described as "utility meets preppy."  They are made of soft, cotton canvas and come in two colors:  army green and white.  The fit is looser, but that is to be expected with cargo shorts.  They have all-over distressing, but the material is not denim, so no worries about holes.  They have a 10 inch inseam and the sizes range from 00-14.  Out of 26 reviews, it earned a 4.2 out of 5 stars, which you can read here.

AE Linen Bermuda Short

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This is a completely new item, so there are no reviews as of yet.  It has a slouchy, bermuda fit and comes in two colors:  blue tent and white.  It comes in a 12 inch inseam and can be rolled up if desired.  The sizes range from 00-14.  All I know is, they look cute and comfortable to me!

A note about distressed pants or shorts:  Just because a pair of pants or shorts has distressed areas, even in areas where you don't want a hole, that doesn't mean they can't be worn modestly.  You can always sew a patch of material behind the distressed area.  Pick some material you like so if a hole appears, the material shows through, and not your skin.  Another option is to wear dance shorts or athletic compression shorts (the kind you'd wear for softball, for example) underneath them. 


So, there it is!  I hope this aids you in the quest for cute, but modest shorts.  Let us know how you like them, and if you stumble upon a great deal, both for the money and for the modesty, let us know!  We'll be happy to share your information!