I’ve read and heard plenty of comments about the issue of whether we, as Christian women, should dress in skirts and dresses only, or if it’s okay to wear pants. This is a touchy subject. I covered it in one of my posts titled “Why I Wear Skirts and Dresses Only,” but I’d love to discuss in more detail a couple of important points that I consider crucial to this topic.
First of all, let’s look at one very important verse from the Bible that talks about men and women’s apparel:
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a
woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
While this verse doesn’t specifically mention what kind of clothing must be worn in order to distinguish between men and women, it does set forth an important principle: There needs to be a distinction between the sexes. When God says that all who cross-dress are performing an “abominable” act in His eyes, He’s not playing around! Abominable things are things which God detests. That’s a clue that we need to be very careful here and not treat this topic loosely, as if it doesn’t matter.
In a world where men are dressing like women and women are acting like men, I think this verse should be taken very seriously! What better way to proclaim to our culture that we do not flow with where it is going (feminism, homosexuality, etc.) than to emphasize our gender differences through our style of dress! Ladies, this a great opportunity to make a statement! To say, without ever uttering a word, “I don’t agree with our society; I uphold the truth of God’s word, and I have made the decision to obey God by fitting in with the role He designed for me.”
One of the easiest, prettiest ways of doing that is for women to distinguish themselves visually from men by wearing long, flowing skirts or dresses. I know there are ladies who believe that because their pants are in a “feminine style,” and that because they appear “overall like a woman,” there is no need for a skirt. I would like to point out, however, that pants themselves–no matter the style–used to be considered men’s attire. It only became common for women with the advent of Feminism.
I have heard the argument that there are other cultures in the world where women wear pants and are still considered feminine. And yet, I wonder why we, as Christians, find the need to point to Pagans in order to defend our choices? The heritage of our Western Culture is mostly based on the Judeo-Christian Worldview; and, it is out of that heritage that we have inherited (until we threw it off) the tradition of women wearing skirts and dresses.
Here’s another good reason why I think wearing skirts and dresses only is superior to wearing pants: Modest skirts and dresses hide the crotch area. This, for me, is one of the most convincing arguments in favor of skirts and dresses only. God instructs us to dress modestly:
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
1 Timothy 2:9-10
Women aren’t supposed to draw attention to themselves, but are supposed to draw attention to GOD by their good works. That’s not to condone sloppiness or ugliness; God loves beauty and order, and we should reflect that in our personal appearance. However, there is a difference between having a modest, neat, pretty appearance, and having a sexy appearance. The first shows purity, discretion, and good taste, demonstrating what our Lord cherishes; while the other promotes one’s own self, demonstrating what our flesh craves. Is it a “good work” to flaunt our sexuality? Does that show “shamefacedness”? Isn’t the good not in what we do for ourselves in order to satisfy our own vanity, but in what we do for others in order to lift their thoughts upward to God?
There are plenty of men who enjoy looking at sexy women’s bodies. And many others are at least tempted to do so, very strongly. Listen, if we don’t think that’s the case–well, the advertising companies must know something we don’t know. Let’s be real, here. Men are attracted to the curves revealed by immodest clothing. If that weren’t so, Victoria’s Secret would be out of business. We shouldn’t live in la-la land by telling ourselves that even though a woman dresses in tight clothing, it makes no difference: yes, it certainly does. She may have a cross necklace on, but that doesn’t mean a thing to a man with a lustful eye. Even Christian men struggle with lust. Are we advertising our bodies to them in the same way that models advertise their bodies for the magazines? Every article of clothing needs to be examined to see if it passes God’s test for modesty before we put it on; but for now, let’s continue to zone in on pants.
Tight pants reveal everything. They show the outline of the buttocks, the crease between them, and the crotch. And we call this modest? Who are we trying to fool? We need to stop playing around with this, and admit the truth: Tight pants call attention to our feminine, reproductive area! Do we really think this won’t be tempting to men? If I as a woman notice how other women dress, what must the men see?
Now, not all men are like this, for sure, but I’ve seen men turn their heads to stare at sexy women when they pass by. My husband shared with me the other day about how he saw one man stop what he was doing and just rest against the tailgate of his truck in order to watch a girl in tight clothing as she walked to the store. Probably, most men wouldn’t be as overt as that, but surely they’re not blind, either! I’m sure that even a quick glance suffices for men to know how a woman looks, and whether she looks sexy, or not.
Additionally, and perhaps just as important, is that wearing pants usually loosens a woman’s posture. She begins to sit and stand with her legs far apart. She squats down to reach something on the floor, or slouches back in her chair with legs stretched to the side, in a wide open stance. Does this remind us of something? Perhaps the sexual act itself? Yuck, right? That is the influence clothing has on our actions: it causes us to move in different patterns, patterns that do not always call to mind that which is pure and wholesome.
Now, we can’t expect the world to understand much about these things, or to care even a little bit. But, we call ourselves “Christians.” We are followers of Christ, and claim to obey His word. We point others to salvation, and give our testimony of how Jesus saved us from our sins . . . while showing off our crotch and buttocks in tight pants. So incongruent.
To conclude, then: One of the biggest arguments against wearing pants is that they reveal the female sexual reproductive area and sexy body parts that we should be hiding. A modest skirt or dress hides the crotch area, making it superior to pants. Another major reason wearing skirts and dresses is better than wearing pants is because it maintains a clear gender distinction, as we looked at previously.
Even after considering the reasons for wearing skirts and dresses only, there may still be those who believe that wearing pants is okay for a Christian woman. I don’t agree, but I understand. However, I would like to issue a challenge: Please try to find a way to wear pants as modestly as you can. Don’t wear the tight ones. Find looser-fitting pants, preferably not jeans. Find a long shirt that will cover the behind area.
I’ve seen Muslim women dress in pants very modestly. They wear loose pants, with a long shirt over it. I don’t feel that we need to copy people from other religions, but it serves as a good example, of how it CAN be done, if we’re willing to make some small sacrifices. We should be light to the world–but, what kind of light are we really being when we advertise to those around us our sexual organs by wearing tight jeans?
Here are a few pictures I got online (random sources) that show looser, modest pants worn under a long blouse.