… Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity … (CCC 2521-2523)
Attractive, yes; provocative, no
"Provocativë" means that the dress is designed to draw attention to the flesh and thus incite lust. Relentless indoctrination by the world has led most people to a distortion in judgment. So we must discern: How do I know what is pure and modest? Which is my point of reference? We cannot rely on fashion or what others wear. Even at Mass many dress immodestly.
We need to re-discover modesty. Modest attire presents you as a whole person, not as a sex object. It respect you as a temple of the Holy Spirit by not being provocative or vulgar.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira says that the way of dressing denotes a preference for certain principles expressed symbolically by the type of clothes worn. He says that souls are influenced much more by living principles contained in ambiences and fashions than by philosophical theories expounded in treatises.
The Lord's warning
Jesus said: "Anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:28) Therefore men and women who seek to provoke are committing sin. As we grow in the Lord we seek to please Him. He will show us what is virtuous and what is not if we are willing to listen to Him and not be pressured by criticism and rejection.
Our Lady said at Fatima: "Certain styles and fashions are being introduced which gravely offend My Divine Son" That was in 1917, what would she say today when are immersed in fashions designed to incite lust.
The following words of St. John Chrysostom, Father of the Church, apply not only to dress but to all forms of communication:
"You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment, and much more effectively than you could by your voice. When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body, but the soul. And it is not to enemies that you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride." --St. John Chrysostom (d. 407A.D.)
To be pure we must love the Lord Jesus and Mary so much that we be willing to go against the current, to be shunned and ridiculed for the Lord.