October 22, 2013 by Stacy McDonald

Why We Wear Skirts…

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Edited and updated from an article originally posted June 26, 2007. If you choose to comment on this article, please make sure you’ve read the whole thing first.

I received the following comment from a reader on my blog and decided it was important enough to address here as it’s own post. Here is her question:

Can’t “modest” be pants (not tight ones), too? I can’t understand why being modest means wearing only skirts. I must be missing something.

When I see any woman wearing a dress, I think “legalistic church”… which is incorrect, I know. But, I wonder if this is what society thinks. Our society just doesn’t wear skirts anymore… If we want to meet them where they are at, shouldn’t we dress like society but in a modest fashion?

Can pants be considered modest? Sure they can. The woman that first comes to my mind as an example is one of the most modest and feminine women I’ve ever known. The loose, flowy pants that she sometimes wore didn’t cling to her in a way that might distract others and she was always careful to make sure the form of her backside was tastefully covered, regardless of what she wore.
olivia camping

That being said, in our household, in an effort to live out the fact that God has made men and women wonderfully different, for the most part, we have chosen to wear skirts and dresses.* It’s something my husband and I feel strongly about for a number of reasons, though we realize that our reasons for this choice will sometimes be misunderstood, and even misrepresented.

We have been so desensitized by our feministic culture that it’s difficult to recognize the signs of our indoctrination. Check out Three Signs that Christians have been Desensitized by Feminism to see what I mean. Dressing modestly, but in a distinctly feminine fashion, is my daughter’s and my way of living out the biblical principles we believe to be true and embracing who God has made us as women.

It’s a daily reminder to my daughters that they are “ladies” and not rough and tumble boys. It helps me to amplify my husband’s masculinity, rather than compete with it. It’s a way to be modest without distorting the fact that I’m a woman by wearing frumpy, manly, or oversized clothing, which is not the goal of feminine modesty. I want to tastefully adorn the fact that I’m a woman; not hide it.

My friend, who chose to carefully wear pants at times, had an air of modesty and femininity mostly because she herself was modest and feminine. It was who she was. After all, what’s on the inside eventually shows up on the outside. She had a lovely, modest, feminine spirit…and it showed. She communicated purity and chastity. That’s the goal – that’s what glorifies God.

In like manner, you may know women who seem to be dressed modestly from head to toe, but their demeanor is not modest. Perhaps they have a “come hither” attitude when talking to the opposite sex; or walk and carry themselves in a provocative way.

It may be they have a “look at me” attitude, trying to get attention all the time by being loud and obnoxious, speaking in a crude or course way, or speaking of things which should be kept private in mixed company. This type of behavior exposes the heart, as immodesty surfaces through the “modest” clothes. The same thing can even happen with behavior on the Internet.

So in many ways, clothing isn’t the issue – the heart is. That being said, as Christians, what’s on the outside should be consistent with what’s on the inside. If we claim Christ, then we have a responsibility to represent Christ honestly, not “follow the crowd.” I don’t need heathen designers telling me how I should dress. Let them dress (or not) themselves. If they happen to come up with a good design, then I’m happy to wear it. But, if it’s not modest or if it’s just plain ugly, why should I wear it just to follow the trends?

When my older daughters were all at home, they loved to sew. Especially, my daughter, Tiffany. She loved to design and sew her own dresses. My daughters enjoyed borrowing the beauty from different eras in history as they learned to create patterns. One of my favorites was one that Tiffany helped her sister, Jessica, make once. It was a pattern from the 50’s. They learned to take patterns like this and creatively modify them.

They also made Regency dresses, Edwardian dresses, even Roman-inspired dresses. Does that mean we were “stuck” in some past era in history? Only if you think it’s beneficial to reject anything from the past simply because it’s “out of style.”

We can create our own styles. We don’t have to obey the fashion gurus in New York or France or wherever they are. We don’t have to make a fashion statement; we can be the trend setters by making a “whatever is true and lovely” statement. The hip hugger/mini skirt crowd has had their turn long enough. Christians should stand up and start taking the lead; that’s part of taking dominion.

feminine ladies fun

God’s ways really are best and we should prove it by the way we live. We’re not supposed to be cheap imitations of the world; we’re to live among the heathen communicating Christ by glorifying Him—proclaiming the beauty and wonder of the Gospel both in word and in deed.

Imitating the world communicates that what we have isn’t enough—it tells the world that we want and need what they have—instead of the other way around. What kind of testimony is that?

Don’t be a copycat. We should love the unlovely, but, that doesn’t mean we have to become unlovely for them to listen. Talk about vain striving.

And, too often, ladies try to package modesty into a nice list of rules. We just love rules, don’t we? Sorry, there is no such list. This is a lifestyle we’re talking about – and it’s born out of a real and potent faith.

Jesus said that if a man looks upon a woman to lust after her he’s already committed adultery with her in his heart. Jesus wants our hearts to be modest. It’s more than just the outward action – but, that doesn’t mean the outward action is unnecessary. That’s where we see Christian liberty abused and perverted.

We should love our brothers (and their wives) enough to care about whether or not we contribute to their temptation. See Modesty Promotes Friendship.

If our hearts are truly modest, then our demeanor, our dress, our speech, and attitude will all eventually line up. Sometimes it means we need to be taught and challenged, but it eventually happens. If it doesn’t, then we need to check our hearts. That being said, if you really, really want a “check list”, here you go:

1. Does what you wear reflect a heart focused on the Lord Jesus Christ?

2. Does what you wear communicate a love for others or self-centeredness?

3. Is what you’re wearing likely to tempt a man to lust? No, we’re not responsible for a man’s sin, but most of us can recognize whether or not what we’re wearing could be considered a little “sexy” by a guy.

4. Does what you’re wearing draw the eye (by being too tight or revealing) to areas of the body that should be covered for everyone but your husband? Stockings “cover” the legs, but still completely reveal what is underneath. Other articles of clothing can do something similar.

5. Is what you’re wearing going to expose intimate areas of your body if you cross your legs or lean over (tops or bottoms)?

6. If you honestly examine your motives, are you wearing what you’re wearing to attract the opposite sex?

7. Does your choice of clothing speak dishonestly of who you are as a Christian?

8. And here’s the most important one. Does what you wear point to Jesus or to yourself? Do your clothes say, “Look at me,” and in so doing, distract others from God? And let me remind you, this can be done in clothing that is not the least bit sexually enticing.

Special thanks to Olivia Howard of Fresh Modesty for the lovely photos included in this post! Please visit Olivia at FreshModesty.com.

olivia fresh modestyOlivia is the oldest of 6 and a stay-at-home-homeschool-graduate-daughter. She loves sewing, thrifting, healthy food, mud, blogging, photography, design work, and laundry.
She is a Christian and through grace lives to serve others. He has given her a passion for modest style and sharing the joy of “Dressing outside your box, but inside His Book”. She posts on both her sewing blog and this her fashion blog, with the goal of encouraging others in the quest to be “Cute, but covered. Stylish, but sensible! Contemporary, but classic! Feminine, but fresh!”

For more ways to discuss these matters with your daughters, or young women in your church, CLICK HERE to order Raising Maidens of Virtue, a Bible study for mothers and daughters (recommended for ages 11-18).

*After a few skinned knees from riding bikes on our gravel road, we’ve made a few discretionary exceptions for the girls. There are no hard and fast rules and each family and situation is different; but, there are very few times when we’ve personally found it necessary to stray from our decisions on this topic.

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69 Responses to “Why We Wear Skirts…”

  1. Martha A. says:

    People don’t wear skirts anymore? I have more skirts for sale in stores and seen them on people this past 2 years than ever before!!! I know they may not be modest, but since I am short it is nice for me as they are finally the right length!!! Maybe it depends where you live?

  2. Katie Gilelt says:

    Try counting the women you see in skirts and the total number you see when you’re somewhere that a wide variety of people go- the library, etc. You’ll see a startling proportion towards pants once you put a number on it.

  3. Carmen says:


    I hope you don’t mind but I copied and pasted this post to my blog (and left a link to this)…I think it tactfully answered any questions that my “rant” (mentioned in the last post – comment) would have raised. You are much more eloquent that I!


  4. . says:


    Thank you for taking the time to answer my question in so much detail especially since I’m sure you are very busy. I didn’t mean to make it anonymous but I’m “new” to bloging so I guess I messed things up. I’m a 24 yr old mother of three (ages three and under).

    I have never been “fashionable”… I don’t care much for what is hip or not. I’ve always gone to second hand stores and not really payed much attention to what others are wearing. But, I have always worn pants. Loose-fitting (not baggy) jeans and loose t-shirts make up my main wardrobe. I guess that is fine – since it doesn’t draw attention to any particular body part. I just didn’t know if I was “missing” anything.

    I guess I will just ask my husband whether or not he thinks skirts cover the bottom area more than jeans do. That’s probably the reason for wearing skirts, right?

    Sarah B.

  5. evy says:

    Women should be pretty and feminine…that is how God made us, distinctly different from men :)

    Another interesting question to ask your husband might be what he thinks looks pretty on you, what makes you look feminine, what he thinks is beautiful…I would be interested in hearing what he says :)

    Aside from being modest, skirts and dresses (that are pretty and feminine, and cheap as can be from the thrift stores-I buy most of mine for less than $2 on the non-sale days) can give off a whole different impression of loveliness and beauty, and I will agree with Stacy that some women in modest, feminine pants are far more “pretty and feminine” than some women in skirts or dresses, and that so much of it has to do with the attitude of the heart :) One can “cover the bottom area” and look completely unattractive and unfeminine-like; I don’t think that is the point. Our clothing should say something about who we represent (our God) with holiness and humility-and beauty!


  6. William says:

    Dear Stacy,

    I appreciate your comments. I am a 38-year old single Christian man and I am sometimes embarrased how single women my age can “work the room” in Sunday School. I have also taken a couple of ladies aside and shared with them about how revealing their buttoned shirt was. When I gently asked them to use one more button (feeling somewhat ashamed myself of the ravages inside me), both of them berated me and insisted it was my problem and not theirs. Our friendship was reduced drastically, too.

    However, my question has nothing to do with all of that. :) You made an interesting statement that I think has a story behind it: “That’s part of taking dominion.” Would you mind explaining what you mean?

    Many thanks and God bless!

  7. Anonymous says:


    I am still confused. My 15-yr-old daughter only likes to wear “modest” jeans (higher waisted and not tight) and T-shirts that were made for women. Is it impossible to change her to skirts and dresses if we didn’t start from the beginning? Since reading your book and listening to several conservative homeschool conference speakers, I’ve been convicted to not wear pants anymore, and it’s now a huge struggle in our family since my oldest daughter won’t budge.

    My confusion is thinking that I thought that wearing dresses and skirts only was part of being feminine.

    Thank you!

  8. Pastor James McDonald says:

    Hi William,

    This is Stacy’s husband, James. Let me take a crack at your question.

    In a nutshell, we believe in an optimistic eschatology, meaning that the mission of the Church will result in a converted world; that the Great Commission of Matt 28:18-20 will come to pass – every nation will be a disciple of Christ.

    This mandate was first given in the Garden (Gen 1:28), then to Noah (Gen 9:1), then as a promise to God’s covenant people (Gen 17:6, Lev 26:9, Acts 2:39). We believe the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ will be spread to every nation and that the Church will be a glorious Bride.

    This is accomplished as Christians live their lives in obedience to Christ, loving the Lord with all their heart, soul and strength and loving their neighbor as themselves (Matt 22:37-40). God uses His people to proclaim the Gospel in love. As hearts are turned to the Gospel, one by one, the world is converted.

    Taking dominion starts when we allow the Lord to take dominion of our sinful hearts. When this happens, everything we do is done for God’s glory (1 Cor 10:31). And, should God give us children, we bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph 6:4), expecting that He will pass the baton of faith from us to them, and then to the nations.

    Thus, we are not obsessed with the return of Christ, rather we work in faith for the fulfillment of God’s promises and for the day that all of Christ’s enemies are defeated (Psalm 110:1, Phil 2:9-11).

    Grace and Peace,

  9. The Fringe in Focus says:

    This is our family’s clothing testimony:
    My mother changed her wardrobe as well as the wardrobes of my sisters and myself, after hearing the testimony of a woman at an ATI conference. The lady who spoke told of how God got her attention about her clothing choices by telling this story. This lady’s husband asked her not to wear pants in public, and she willingly complied. One day came, however, when she decided to run into town quickly with out changing out of her pants. While in a store, a man asked her “Are those new pants?”. Was she shocked! After returning home, and telling her husband and asking his forgiveness, she resolved to not wear pants anymore.
    This caught my mother’s attention, and our clothing changed soon after. At the time we girls were younger, and it was not at all an issue, but I am very grateful that she has taught us to be very careful how we dress!
    Modesty is a heart issue as well as a clothing issue, and I’ve thought a little bit more about the verse “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart”, it seems that many of us concentrate on the latter part of the verse, but we do need to pay attention to the “outward”, and make sure it matches the heart!
    I am encouraged by reading your blog, Mrs. McDonald. We young ladies need encouragement especially when the road gets rough! Thank you so much :)

    Blessings in Christ,


  10. Margaret in VA says:

    Thanks for the great post, Stacy!
    Another good question to ask (for the young ladies) is “Do my clothes honor my father and mother?”.
    We all admit that we shouldn’t wear things that make people break God’s law…but we don’t like that question, in today’s world.
    How many Christian young people would not be willing to have Mom or Dad go into their closets and remove anything that they didn’t like?

  11. Daughter of the King says:

    great article/post…first at your blog….it is lovely……I will be back.

  12. CatholicFarmGirl says:

    I’m a Catholic girl who has been looking around for modest jeans and pants. Are there any non-mainstream clothing stores out there that sell pants?

  13. Laura says:

    Ah, Stacy, thank you for your insights. I’m a young mother who is learning so much about being a woman after God’s heart…

    I would love to wear skirts more often, but am distant from women who wear them for every occasion and weather. Could you address the practical issues associated with wearing skirts and dresses? (i.e. What do you suggest a skirt-wearing woman wear while exercising, running, working outdoors, etc.? What cold-weather options have you discovered? What guidance do you give to little girls as they wear skirts to run, jump, and play?)

    Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated!

  14. madgebaby says:

    This is an interesting topic. I wear skirts a lot, but not exclusively, and I always have. If I’m honest I’ve got to say that this is partially because they suit me and somewhat out of modesty.

    I choose to not wear them exclusively, and I and careful about how I wear them (not too short of course, or tight, but not too long or loose either) because where I live such attire is charactistic of a sort of legalistic Christianity I choose not to embrace. Perhaps that issue isn’t important to the other commenters on this blog, or the original responder, but it was the primary question and as far as I can see it wasn’t really addressed.

    The way I read scripture we are clearly mandated not to practice our piety before others: how is dressing in a sterotypically “Christian” way not doing that? I’m really wondering and I’m not trying to debate.

  15. Alexandra {{Awareness Warrior}} says:

    This is a very good article with very good points. The questions you ask others to ask themselves are very modest, (I mean, not extreme or “legalistic”) and make very good sense. As Christians we want to bring others to God, not pull them away from God. And I also agree that it’s a person-to-person choice…not wearing pants may be the right thing for Allison, where as for me as a disabled 13 year old, pants are necessary to cover up myself. And as long as they’re following those guidelines you gave, I really see no problem with it. I think it’s a personal decision, and like madge said, it also depends on where you live. You don’t want to push people away from God because they think your are a legalistic “bible-basher” who thinks they’re “higher than thou”. You can still be modest without seeming so “extreme” that you cannot reach out to others, if you know what I mean.

    And William, I think those woman are very silly if they think that. I say it is very noble for you to admit those things. Bravo =)


  16. Sisterlisa says:

    Good article, Stacey. I know many ladies who dress in pants and are far more modest than some I have seen in skirts. I appreciate how you wrote this.

  17. Christy, the Notable Blogger says:

    I am in the same boat as madgebaby. When I dress in skirts, the skirted groups will speak with me and invite me to their church. When I do not, then the pant-ladies will venture in for conversation.

    This is one reason why my husband does not WANT me to wear skirts exclusively. He wants me to exercise my modest freedoms as a Christian.

    As far as my five daughters are concerned, we spend some time down on the farm where my girls are running around, riding horses, running through the thorns, and climbing trees with my young nephews in the hot summer. I don't want them in skirts around the boys during these activities. Some of the activities require protection on their legs. Some would say to wear skirts AND pants. I feel this draws more attention to what they are trying to cover. Perhaps I am wrong.

    I am very confused on this issue. It actually is a stumbling block to me. It leads me into an almost legalistic state of frozen fear. I also am aware of the judgment from both sides.

    There is a simple message of the Gospel of Christ–I cling to that with a childlike faith. I dress the best I can and pray God forgives my misunderstandings. In fact, I know He does.

  18. Erika says:

    Thank you for this. You did a good job of composing your thoughts of the subject and I enjoyed reading it.

  19. Alanna says:

    I myself have not exclusively decided to wear only skirts/dresses. I think pants can be a much more modest option sometimes, and can also be very feminine when put together with a feminine top such as a flowy tunic or long blouse. Thank you Stacy for giving us some encouragement on this topic.
    Truly appreciate it,

  20. Yvonne says:

    This is a very nice post. It is good to be reminded that modesty is both outward and inward.

    It is fairly easy to be both modest and feminine in a skirt (under most circumstances); but much harder to accomplish both things while wearing pants I believe. Perhaps those who have a hard time knowing what route to go when it comes to things like horseback riding etc, can take advantage of the long shirts and things that are nearly dresses that you wear with pants, which seem to be popular right now. You can wear leggings under a skirt as well.

    I wear skirts exclusively and I’ve never had a problem with not being able to talk with ladies who wear pants, as “Christy the notable blogger” has said she has. I don’t think we should decide what to wear based on who will talk to you…but rather, on what is right, and modest and feminine.

  21. Barbara says:

    Thank you for these interesting thoughts. I too have gone from skirts only to part-time modest pants because of the tie-in to legalism. I sought God for a conviction about skirts for ten years and I finally felt like He would just as soon have me look “normal” so that I could interact with a wider range of women.

  22. Sara says:

    They have done studies for advertising purposes that show that people’s eyes (especially men, but even women to some extent), even in “modest” pants, automatically drop to your private areas. It’s an issue of the way the mind naturally is drawn to follow a line and look at angles. Given that alone (there are other reasons) I don’t see how it can be said pants are modest. The fact remains that they are men’s wear and to even be made to look somewhat feminine they either have to be form fitting, so loose-flowing they are almost a skirt anyways, or paired with an extremely feminine shirt.

    Every issue can become legalism. But as Jesus said to the Pharasees “You ought to have done the one without neglecting the other.” He didn’t say the outward acts were not important or that they were useless until your heart was right- He said both were necessary and crucial. Not only do our physical clothing and actions say something about who we are, they also affect us. God made us body and spirit.

    Many men’s tastes, just as women’s, has been affected by modern fashion trends and a lifetime of immodest and unfeminine dress.

    I’ve never been into “styles”, except maybe a “classic casual”. I tend to wear basic cotton shirts and blouses and skirts. As someone who suffers from neurological pain, I find certain fabrics and styles trigger pain and so my style might be considered “frumpy” by some- but if I were wearing pants I would be the same way. I actually make more effort wearing skirts then I otherwise would….I am very inclined naturally to what is comfortable (in the t-shirt and sweats sense).

    If it really makes no difference, why not just wear the skirts? I’ve had numerous occasions where people have broached a conversation about the faith, because they know I am Christian because I wear dresses/skirts only and have a large family.

    CatholicFarmGirl, I would highly recommend “Dressing with Dignity” at TAN Books, or Immodesty:Satan’s Virtue at Little Flowers Family Apostolate. The former might be more palatable to some- it is written by a former fashion model and references the above-quoted study.

  23. patt says:

    I know it is true that we feel “right” when we feel feminine and we feel “wrong” having a “lusty” attitude. I want to teach young ladies in Sunday School and our Pastor has declared what he believes the Bible means from the pulpit. So in order not to create a stumbling block, I have decided to leave this area to the preacher and my husband is in agreement: all is well for 40 years now. On occasion I evaluate my closet for manly items…out they go. Thanks.

  24. Kay says:

    That you greatly for this article. This is the article that people should be reading when it comes to the issue of modesty. Some people believe that the Bible makes a specific reference to dresses and skirts, however this is not the case. The whole pants are for men and skirts are for women argument regarding Deuteronomy 22:5 is ridiculous because in that time men and women wore identical clothing (similar to a dress), there weren’t such things as pants to even refer to in this passage. Also, it is quite unbiblical to refer to dresses and skirts as feminine and that women should wear skirts in order to be considered feminine because the Bible defines feminine adornment as submissive and obedient (1 Peter 3:5). Also, being concerned about what you wear contradicts Matthew 6:25 and 1 Peter 3:3.

    There are immodest skirts and immodest pants, modest skirts and modest pants. I can tell you, one thing that women most likely did not wear in Bible times was tight skirts or skirts that showed any part of your legs and I am quite sure that there are many out there that do.

    Remember, the Bible commands women to be modest and shamefaced, no feminine or dainty looking. It also defines this modesty and propriety in so many other ways that something as vapid as clothing.

  25. Sheri says:

    I have been wearing dresses only for ten years. I find I can do anything I need to do in a dress. If you go 100-200+ years back, that is what women did all the time.

    My daughter takes horse riding lessons. She is required to wear pants and her top must be tucked in the front for safety. I have made some culottes for her to wear. When she goes to Awana and needs to wear long pants to play the games on the blacktop, she wears jeans and a tunic dress. These are fashionable options. When it’s cold, we wear leggings under our dresses or skirts, which is warmer than pants!

    As for swimsuits, mine looks like a knee-length tennis dress and my daughter’s suit is a tunic dress over bike shorts.

    There are some things that maybe couldn’t be done in a dress, but maybe we shouldn’t do it? Are we taking a man’s job? Is it lady-like? I prefer to teach my girls to let the boys be the gentlemen and take care of those things. But we will take care of it if we have to.

    I agree. Not all dresses or skirts are modest… How you wear things makes a big difference! Your attitude also makes a big difference. If you feel wearing dresses is a choice and you enjoy it, it shouldn’t look legalistic.

  26. Nicole says:

    Hi my question ifs about what your advice is for someone who’s husband does not have the same views about modesty. I have been studying and praying about modesty and I have been feeling that I should be dressing more modestly. My husband is in a different place in his spiritual walk and thinks it is silly. But with three young sons I feel that I should be a good role model but I still want my husband to find me attractive. What is your advice? Thank you so much.

  27. Stacy McDonald says:

    If we have a heart to obey, God will show us how to make it work to His glory. We can dress in a beautiful, attractive way that is still modest – that still saves our intimate parts for private show. :-) Give your husband plenty to look at in the privacy of your own home and be sure to dress in a lovely, but modest way when you’re in public. Let him know that you’re saving the best for him alone (and then be sure to share generously later). ;-)

  28. Nick says:

    Dear pastor James,
    I just wanna take the idea William has requested you to clarify about, and kindly ask you clarify it further.
    You wrote that you believe in an optimistic escathology, and I say amen to that, I totally support this view upon escathological things.
    However, you wrote one thing that may have led me (and possibly others) into some confusion as to what the world would look like at Jesus’ return. First, you said that every nation would be converted to Christ, and by this, most theologians in the Reformed camp mean that every nation will be represented in heaven (see Rev.5:9 and 7:9), the exact meaning being that a certain (unspecified) number of individuals from every nation, tribe, tongue will be saved by Jesus’s return. And that will happen by the spread of the Gospel as a fulfillment of the Great Commission given to the Church.

    But you added something that complicated things in my mind. Here it is – “As hearts are turned to the Gospel, one by one, the world is converted.” What do you mean by “the world”, given that you said also “one by one”? Do you mean “all individuals at a certain point in history”? I doubt you are meaning all individuals, but I am just asking to be clear enough on this.

    On the other hand, sometimes when I say I believe in an optimistic escathology, people point me to what Jesus Himself said in Luke 18:8 (considering also that verse 7 is reflected in Rev.6:10, therefore referring to the end times): “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”. On the other hand, Jesus said that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”. So what I understand by this is that most people living on earth will not be saved, in fact few people will be saved, therefore the potential mass conversion of the “whole world” (not even considered literally) seems not supported by the Bible. Yes, individuals (few or many, the Bible is silent about) from all peoples and nations, and tribes, and tongues on the planet will be saved, but not all, and not even necessarily the majority of these peoples. Therefore, the “dominion” stuff with a potential return to some kind of theocracy-based system of government of the planet – does it not sound more like an alternative (and similar) earthly kingdom that the dispensational guys are trying to convince us about? I wanna make it clear that I am not the escathological obsessed type of guys. Actually I find Jesus’ words in Acts 1:6-8 so clear about how much we should be caring about the end times, how much about the exclusivity of an earthly kingdom for Israel or any other nation (spiritual or literal meaning, it does not matter), and how much about the mandate to preach the Gospel to the end of the world, that every discussion about these stuff (when neglecting the Great Commission) is not only boring, but make me feel sick.

    God bless,

    PS. Ladies – sorry for diverting the discussion about modest clothing, pants etc. into the end of the world theology. By the way, we had here an old and wise pastor, who had to solve a dispute among the sisters in his church over how they should cover their heads to be more submissive to the teachings of the Bible. The problem was that some said they should wear a hat (these were considered the liberal camp), others said they needed a veil (these were the literal camp). The old preacher closed the conflict with this wise resolution – “those who wear a hat, should cover their hat with a veil, and those who wear a veil should cover their veil with a hat”. Just kiddin’, but it was real. The reply from pastor, of course. :) Do not try the same approach with the pants and dresses!!! It is only for professionals!!! :)

  29. Thank you for this post. I have always had a conviction about never wearing pants. And though my mother and older sisters didn’t agree with me. Nevertheless they understood it was my conviction and honored it. But now as we are going to a different church and not everyone dresses as we do. I find myself questioned as to why I feel certain ways about these kinds of things. Though I’m in no danger of having my convictions go down the drain. I like to have a good sensible and loving answer to give people rather than just “wearing pants makes me feel uncomfortable”. Your post helped me to put into words what I believe. Thank you. It’s embarrassing for me, not to have had a reasonable answer by now, but I confess that is how it was!

  30. Susan says:

    My girls wear leggings under skirts or wear skorts (there is a nice pattern for “bloomers” on the website: http://www.thekingsdaughters.com/?
    that can be made into longer skorts). Our motto is “we are females and we can do ANYTHING in a skirt…even climb trees!”
    Many Blessings!

  31. Arwen B says:

    There is nothing inherently immodest or, quite frankly, masculine about trousers, especially when considered over the course of history.

    That said, there are masculine trousers, and there are feminine trousers, and there are modest and immodest examples of each.

    One could argue that ~skirts~, broadly considered, are either masculine or feminine as well (the celtic kilt being the prime example: it is a solely masculine garment, and I find that women wearing kilts appear to be cross-dressing, where in any other pleated skirt they would not be!)

    So let that thought ease the mind of anyone who is inclined to fret about the modesty or masculinity/femininity ~inherent~ to a class of garment.

    Within the context of our own culture, which is where we must make our determinations of what is and is not modest, skirts are feminine, and trousers are either masculine or feminine depending on the cut.

    For my own wardrobe, I figure that if a reasonable person could mistake me for male when I wear a garment, then that garment is masculine and does not belong in my closet. Similarly with modesty, if the garment gives need-to-know information to those with a need-not-to-know (this lovely definition is stolen from the Pyromaniacs), then it is immodest.

    The checklist of questions is excellent – all except for #3. Given the fallen state of man, and the consequent truth that if a man is inclined to lust, he will do so, regardless of the presence, absence, or nature of potential stimuli, expecting a woman to answer that question and build her wardrobe around it, is too much to ask.

    Answers to all of the other questions are well within a woman’s control, quite neatly cover everything about question 3 that a woman could possibly influence, and are an excellent guide for how to show kindness to our brothers in Christ.

  32. Stacy McDonald says:

    Thanks for writing, Arwen! In regards to your comment about question #3, I added a clarification. Most of us know when we’re dressing in a way that tends to appeal to a man’s lust. Yes, we could be wearing a potato sack and some men would still lust. But, I’m talking about what is “likely” for most men. There is a reason certain clothing is advertised as “sexy.”

  33. Carol Eddy says:

    This is very similar to my blog post-“confessions of a closet conservative”

  34. Sheri says:

    Yes, I agree! But I still want my girls to be girls and my boys to be boys.

  35. Julia says:

    Although I don’t agree with everything posted on this page, I love how you talk about being modest in your heart and the questions you’ve listed. I usually wear jeans and a modest shirt. Personally don’t have any issues with it, but still, people I know think the way I dress is overly modest! It’s sad to see where our culture is headed and how many people are constantly lowering there standards to “fit in”. I respect and appreciate you women who stand up for what you believe is right, even though many don’t understand or agree. Thank you for setting a good example for our world today!

  36. Nick says:

    I want to add some info here that I hope will put some things like the cultural background into this mix of ingredients that define modesty in clothing and adorning the body of a Christian.
    We live and serve the Lord in Eastern Europe, former communist countries. By the way, I wonder if any of the otherwise respectful writers in the FIC movement have ever lived or visited any of the former communist countries both before and after the fall of communism in the ’90s. It would be an eye opening experience and would definitely prove that although we are to do our best to obey the things that we believe are scriptural, in the end it is the grace of God that keeps us afloat in our pilgrimage on this earth. I would wholeheartedly recommend you to read Richard Wurmbrand’s autobiographical book Tortured for Christ and his wife’s (Sabina) book The pastor’s wife. Full of great experiences. Although we live in that part of the world they come from, it is yet hard to imagine myself and my family in their shoes at their time. Once you read their experiences with the communist regime, try to imagine how we could impose on those people the standards on secondary stuff that we believe are normative. Food for thought…
    Now back to the subject – I just want to tell you all that yes, to a certain degree or to a certain point, it is obvious what is immodest and what not, but from that point on the cultural background may very easy dictate our definition of modesty. Let me explain what I mean by this. Probably you remember Paul Washer saying that most of the American believers would be excommunicated from the average church in Eastern Europe, obviously pointing to worldly living and weak standards of modesty and practical holiness. Let me explain what this means in terms of modesty and modesty in clothing and adornment, as one who lives in that part of the world. Well, in all rural evangelical churches and a large majority of urban churches in Eastern Europe, you would be considered as a rebelious woman if you come to the church with makeup, lipstick, or if you wear any kind or type of jewellry (yes, you read it correct – any type). There are even churches where if you wear a marriage ring, you are considered liberal. You might say they are legalists. Not so fast. Because there are families here (esp in the rural areas) who live with less than $300 a month (yea, it is as true as you read it). The immediate consequence would be that those who can afford a bracelet ought to protect the feelings of very poor brethren. Instead, they teach that women are to be adorned with good deeds (and who can say that they err in their reading of that portion of the Scriptures?)…Kind of radical anti-feminism, right? :) The point I wanted to make here is that, you see, something that is generally accepted in the US as not being sinful or leading to sin or temptation or leading someone to stumble (although it may be objected based on what biblical adornment clearly means), may very well define the standard of worldliness in other cultural contexts. I have seen teams of believers (both men and women) coming here from the US, otherwise modestly dressed according to the US cultural background, who felt very uncomfortable when coming here and seeing the way Christians here see preoccupation with our bodies…let me make if clear here – I am not judging anyone, but I don’t know if I can show to the local believers here some of the pictures with ladies in the US who identify themselves and are applauded by others as modest, or modestly dressed. This may mean to them that I am a feminist and that I may supporting a worldly way of living…any ideas???

  37. Imelda says:

    I think that if wearing skirts and dresses was a Biblical mandate, why is it that some women “start” wearing those clothing items and “suddenly” change into wearing pants out of convenience? It’s either manly attire or it isn’t! I think churches need to stop teaching how to dress in terms of clothing items. The teaching should be about the heart. Please understand that I don’t condone revealing clothing items or items that accentuate our obviously feminine attributes.

  38. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Imelda,

    May I suggest that you read the article again? It doesn’t say that there is a “biblical mandate” for a woman to wear skirts or dresses. Please try to glean the spirit of the article.

  39. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Nick,

    I think what you’re addressing is more of a perspective issue. For instance, in times of war or crisis, our focus on what is necessary or important will certainly be different. During a famine, it would be ridiculous to waste money on rich cheeses or other gourmet items; however, during times of plenty or during a celebration, it is totally appropriate.

    I think the same is true for lovely clothing, jewelry, or adornment. What would make these things wrong/sinful would be if love was sacrificed for the sake of these material things, or if they were being used out of sinful pride, lust for attention, or greediness.

  40. Arwen B says:

    Regarding Laura’s questions about practical aspects of wearing skirts:

    I have founds that skirts are just as warm (and frequently warmer!) than trousers in cold weather. A calf-length skirt in a heavier fabric like wool over opaque tights (footed or footless) is perfectly well-suited to cold weather. I think that a fuller skirt would likely have better insulation value, as there is more room under the fabric for trapping air warmed by one’s body heat.

    I personally don’t have any wool skirts (someday~) so I layer two lighter skirts to achieve proper insulation.

    If I am wearing footless tights, I put wool hiking socks on (I found some that can pass as dress socks). If I am wearing footed tights, I wear leg warmers (and sometimes the wool socks too) to keep my ankles from freezing, and if it’s really cold, or there’s snow an the ground, a pair of calf-high boots with fur lining in the ankles work very well.

    For working in the garden or doing construction projects, I have a pair of mens’ utility jeans that I have darted in at the waist. Regrettably, all of the jeans cut for women are designed for style, rather than utility, tend to use inferior denim, and lack gussets for ease of movement.

    I would suggest culottes for exercise, and close-fitting shorts worn under skirts for small and active girls.

  41. Ellie Rae says:

    I am over 60 and am just going this way, due to the transgender culture we now live in. What hit home was visiting a Hutterite (like the Amish) colony recently. The women looked so nice in their polyester skirts with blouses and vests. It is not easy at my age, plus, I live in farm country where the women never dress in a feminine manner. We Christian women should cultivate a feminine manner, whether we wear skirts or modest pants like the woman you spoke about. Femininity is really under attack in our country. The older women look the worst! I work 2 hours a week (Saturday mornings) at our local post office. I have chosen the skirted uniform to wear, rather than the one with slacks, and you wouldn’t believe the reactions of the older men — those in their 80’s. Their eyes are out on stalks, and they compliment me on my feminine dress. They clearly miss it. Even their wives don’t dress that way any more. Don’t women get tired of wearing the same blue jeans every day? How bland and sad.

  42. Nick says:

    Hi Sr. Stacy,
    Yes, I totally agree with what you wrote about the way we ought to consider using the wealth we receive from the Lord in different circumstances. However what I wanted to point to in my comment above was the subject of how we define modesty in clothing depending on the cultural background we live in. One can be rich materially and be modest, and one can be poor and yet immodest. You see, believers here in Romania are simple people (yet not simplistic in their walk with God as some might think of poor people), and if one would teach them the sufficiency of Scripture (which they all embrace wholeheartedly), but then if you go telling them that 1Tim. 2:9-10 allows somehow wearing gold, pearls, and expensive clothing (even if modest according to the strictest standard possible), then they would react to you as the Jewish elders did when Solomon’s son raised taxes on them. Far from me to push stuff into a legalistic approach, but these brothers and sisters take the Bible very seriously, and they would quit immediately any non-scriptural practices out of love for Jesus Christ. What should we tell them – that they are legalists because they take the Bible seriously? Let me clarify here that I do not believe that wearing or not wearing certain stuff does save anyone, that’s not what I mean at all. Only Christ saves, by grace alone, through faith alone…Again the point I wanted to make is that on one hand the cultural background may dictate where some people may go with the modesty standard. Probably a more relevant example is this – if a woman in India does not cover her head (even outside the church) this is a sign of rebellion and immodesty. Therefore, as a Christian I would encourage all Christian women there to cover their heads, irrespective of how we interpret the headcovering verses in the Bible. For the sake of Christ’s Name and the testimony of the Christian church in that area. In the US and Western nations, covering the head is generally not perceived as a sign of sinfulness, rebellion or immodesty (except for the church services in a relatively small number of congregations) – so in the US, covering or not covering the head does not affect the testimony of the church and does not bring reproach on Christ’s Name. And this has nothing to do with being rich or poor, nor with living war time or peace and prosperity time. But beyond what we percieve as modest or immodest, how should we treat 1Tim. 2:9-10? Is it a normative statement, or an optional one? Because if we believe that the Bible in transcultural (which I believe), then we cannot take some portions of it as normative, and other parts (not fitting into our cultural background) as optional…

  43. Sheri says:

    You made me think of other cultures that don’t wear skirts. Think Communist China. All pants and longer jackets. They are not skin tight, they are quilted for winter and loose for summer. Also Japan with long pants with tunics over them. That is modest too.

    How society in the U.S. wears pants is immodest on the whole. Other societies are built around conformity, but ours is all about the individual… Even though they all do it the same way…

    Pants can be modest, but I will reserve those for when I can’t wear my skirt.

    There are more ways than one to be immodest. There’s the clothing that shows off the body and style that is flashy and made to draw attention to the person.

    I may be starting a new topic here, but here it goes… I, personally, am distracted by fashion, both clothing and hair. I wonder why someone did their hair that way and why did they wear THAT? So I sit in the front. But now I have the responsibility of not distracting those behind me by my fashion, or lack of.

    I think women should have long hair, but.. At one time my hair got so thin, I couldn’t figure out any good and tasteful way to fix it. As much as I didn’t want to, for the sake of those around me, I cut it. Not really short, but short enough I could do something with it. My conviction to not stumble or distract others trumped my conviction of long hair for women.

    We need to put others first.

    Thank you for giving a place to discuss this topic.

  44. Allyce says:

    As a veteran educator in both Christian schools and in public schools, I really appreciate discussion of modesty. What I have noticed is that in churches, the topic is mentioned but rarely are specifics noted. We now have a couple of generations that have not been taught, or have not consider modesty as an issue.

    My godly mother never wore a pair of pants in her life. For those ladies who choose to wear always wear skirts, I say: “More power to you!” At least for church, I believe we should do our best. And for me, pants are not my best. If there are ever occasions for which we would “dress up”, then one of them should be when we go into God’s house, before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Many women also wear skirt-suits or professional style dresses to work.

    I recently joined an online discussion with a younger lady who planned to have sessions about “girl things” with girls at her church and asked for suggestions. From points made by other younger women, I realized that things I would note were not issues to many of them. I have copied & pasted below what I wrote to this young mother:

    “Many yrs. ago, I took several personal development classes from a modeling school in Detroit area. Fortunately, it was conservative and taught classic walking, sitting, standing rather than sashaying as is now the norm.

    I notice that now-a-days many people talk about “modesty”, but most do not seem to point out exactly what this means. Something that occurred to me is: “One cannot teach what one does not know.” Mothers used to teach daughters these concepts, but many currently do not seem to know, so do not teach.

    Remember the words “skin-tight”, “see-through”, “form-fitting”, “short-shorts”, etc.? Also, for blouses – the measurement of 4-fingers below neck, with little finger still on material is excellent. Most v-necks should be avoided, because there is too much chance for cleavage to show. (V-necks w/insets are tacky…and the v still points to the bust.)

    The shorter the skirt, the closer to the crotch, the more sensuous it is. CoCo Chanel is reported to have said: “The knees are the ugliest part of a woman’s body, and should always be covered.” I agree.

    With the advent of women wearing pants (and I do for casual), most do not think about how to sit properly – legs closed – with pants or skirts. There is a difference between women’s clothes and men’s clothes, and when girls dress the same as boys (jeans, t-shirts, athletic shoes), they tend to walk and carry themselves like boys.

    Designs on back pockets of pants/ skirts draw attention to the derriere.
    Writing on fronts of tops draws attention to the bust. Is this really where we want people to be looking? When did “strapless”‘/ spaghetti-straps become OK for Christians? Wedding day attire (of all days) should reflect modesty, even if brides need to search for modest wedding gowns, or wear lace shrugs.

    Clothing is supposed to draw attention to our faces. Eyes are the gate-way to the soul. Is it OK to be immodest on the beach? Islamic women are not immodest when they play sports, go to the beach. Why is OK for Christians?

    My teachers said to teach teens how to put on make-up. Then have them wipe most of it off before walking out the door. It is better to teach some basic rules for our Christian young ladies, than to have them floundering around with worldly looks.

    The over-riding principle of the N.T. is Love. We are not to defraud our brethren. It is not loving or kind for women to advertise what they are not selling. Well, you asked… And modesty does begin in our hearts. If teaching does not reach hearts, these principles will soon depart from lives.”

    I personally have also noted that most women’s pants have “fake-flies” (when there is no zipper). Is this to make us feel more empowered – like men? Why do women even need back pockets on pants, much less with designs? My preference is to wear something other than blue-jeans away from the house for everyday occasions. Usually these pants have elastic waist, no zipper, no back-pockets. Thrift shops are excellent places to find quality clothing at reasonable costs.

    For our Western culture, dresses have been the norm in women’s attire for a few centuries. For good or bad, this has been changing since WWII – @ 66 years or so. It was not the norm in some cultures, where pants-like clothing was worn by women. In Bible times, men & women wore robe-like clothing, though there must have been certain distinctions because of the admonition not to wear “that which pertaineth to a man”. Pictures of clothing from that time have to come from mosaics… I visited Egypt, where men still wear something that looks like a dress.

    This is just a perspective from one who believes in modesty, regardless of style.

  45. Sheri says:

    I understand what you are saying Nick. Our proper adornment should be good works. It sounds like you advocate dressing simply and plainly. I just wonder how they put up their hair without braiding or putting something pretty in it. I’m not making fun of any of this at all! I truly wonder…

    Women like to wear pretty things. Are their clothes pretty? I’m sure their smiles are! Like I said earlier, we should not be dressing to get attention, but ugly clothes can get attention too! I’m sure they are not wearing ugly clothes.

    Can you help me understand this better?

  46. Nick says:

    Sheri – I won’t say the usual dressing in the rural Romania is plain, neither it is simple, however it is not expensive, or opulent. It is true that in the urban areas it is becoming more casual, but the rural Romania, especially the half north part of the country, has remained the same for quite some time, despite the huge influence of the Western society. Here you can have a glimpse of how Romanians in the rural areas dress, especially on Sundays but often during the week too – http://www.eliznik.org.uk/RomaniaPortul/ On the left menu you can click to access some photos of the usual clothing standards in this country. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
    This conversation becomes so interesting…

  47. Anna says:

    Hi Mrs. Stacy,
    I am a 17 year old Georgia girl. I have grown up in the church, and I just have a few questions.

    I have grown up on and currently live on a farm. My family has cattle, tractors, other farm equipment, a horse hay business and I ride horses. I have 2 older brothers and 1 older sister. I am 6’2″ and built like a “farm kid”, (strong but not at all skinny), so finding modest clothes length and fit-wise can get very interesting. (Just so you have an idea of where I’m coming from on some of these questions).

    I’ve thought about wearing skirts more lately because my older sister has started wearing skirts a lot because they are more modest. But she is a stay-at-home mother to my 2 young nephews, so she is obviously working constantly, but she is doing work that can be done in skirts. I am the last sibling at home, so I do most of the work that all 4 of us used to do when everyone was home, and most of that cannot be done in a skirt. Not safely, at least. Operating tractors and other large equipment, climbing things around the farm for different reasons, using power tools, making repairs and building various things are just a small portion of what I do regularly on my family’s farm. Much of that, and other things I do, would be very unsafe in a skirt, but is it still immodest to be working in fitted jeans because loose pants are just as unsafe and apt to get caught in something?

    Fact of my life: I am curvy. And it seems like no matter what I wear, be it a skirt and nice shirt or my normal outfit, (t-shirt, jeans and cowboy boots), guys still stare at me. Like I said, I am 6’2″ tall and I have thick and wavy red hair which reaches below my belt so I tend to stick out in a crowd anyway, but it really gets on my nerves when guys blatantly stare at me when there’s no doubt that they’re not looking at my face. I don’t want to cause any man to sin, whether he’s a Christian or not, but I also don’t want to wear an over-sized potato sack for the rest of my life. I can go straight from church services to town and be in my black, loose skirt that comes 5 inches below my knees and a modest top, and men will still stare at me. It’s more of a shy, “don’t want her to see me staring” kind of stare sometimes, but still, it makes me uncomfortable and sometimes just down right angry. How am I supposed to deal with that kind of thing? I realize that I stick out in a crowd because of my height/hair, but why do they keep staring at me whether I’m dressed in my unattractively fitting men’s Wrangler jeans and X-large t-shirt I use for farm work, or a skirt and blouse? It just doesn’t make sense and it annoys me. I guess that maybe that would be a question for you and your husband, (both perspectives).

    I am a Senior, and I just finished my last season of volleyball. I have played volleyball for 6 years and I played basketball for 2 or 3 years. Thankfully, I played on a team where the uniform shorts were not to my knees but they were not terribly immodest either. In case they moved wrong, I always wore bicyclist shorts that were the same length underneath them. Until I started playing basketball, I had never worn anything other than jeans mostly and skirts for church services. When I started playing basketball, I found out how comfortable, handy and great basketball shorts are. I am thoroughly convinced that a man designed women’s basketball shorts, (because they rarely fit even the skinniest girls correctly), but men’s basketball shorts are perfect for me because they come to my knees, they don’t hug my leg because they’re basically shaped like a box and they’re easy to wear a t-shirt and flipflops/boots/tennis shoes with. (My mother thinks I’m crazy for wearing my boots with my basketball shorts, but I am a Southern girl and that’s a comfortable, modest outfit I like to wear). What is your opinion on basketball shorts? And I’m talking about my kind of basketball shorts that fit at the waist, and hang pretty much straight down, not really hugging anywhere and come to or right below the knees.

    What about sweatpants? Whenever I get sweatpants, I always get men’s, (again, they fit better and more modestly than women’s), and I get a size that is normally 2 or 3 sizes bigger than what I wear so they doing hug anywhere, hang straight down and are warm and/or comfortable. I am taking college classes and crazy me scheduled 8AM classes Mon-Thurs so it’s pretty nice to be able to roll out of bed after waking up too late and throwing on my sweatpants, boots, t-shirt and an oversized hoodie if it’s cool enough and heading to the campus.

    Being so tall, I often have to execute some interesting maneuvers just to get in and out of my Ford Focus. Many times, maneuvers like that would be difficult, unlady-like, and somewhat impossible to do in a skirt. It’s difficult enough on Sunday mornings, so I just keep the door half closed while I get my feet out of the car. How would you address this kind of issue?

    I’m sorry this is so long, but these are just some things I’ve been wondering about and trying to figure out.

    Thank you!!

  48. Rachel says:

    Hi Stacey (and others who would like to chime in)-I have a question I haven’t seen covered here. My heart is toward modesty, though I have never felt the strong conviction to wear only skirts. However, my husband does not like it when I wear modest clothes, and he likes me to dress “sexy”. I’ve tried telling him that certain things are best left for the bedroom, etc., but he won’t hear it. He thinks I should be “cute for him” all the time, which by his definition means skin tight jeans with thong underwear and a low cut top. He also condones spaghetti strap tank tops and short shorts in the summer. This really bothers me.

    He isn’t really a believer, which I believe plays into this a lot. He will say he is a Christian if asked, but he doesn’t live like a believer and will not let himself be under the authority of the Bible or listen to wiser, more mature Christians when making decisions.

    He thinks I am being dumb when I try to dress more modestly, and takes it as a personal attack when I dress “frumpy” (aka, not revealing enough for his tastes) instead of “cute.” I don’t think I am being frumpy. I believe that there are more than enough clothes that are cute and fashionable without showing off parts of me that are better left hidden for the most part.

    We have 1 daughter so far who is 8 (and sons too) who is a mini-me. It is very flattering, but also a huge responsibility. I have asked my husband on occasion how he would feel about our daughter wearing the particular outfit he is asking me to wear when she is 14 in a room full of 17 year old guys. I feel like that should get his blood pressure up and let him realize what I am saying, but it doesn’t really work. He says he just won’t let her dress like that, and I’m saying that she is looking to me for an example and that I am giving her a bad one.

    I’m really not sure what to do. I have really been seeking the Lord on this. I want to honor my husband, and I want him to find me attractive, but I feel so uncomfortable with the way he expects me to dress. Both as far as my walk with the Lord and what I am portraying to other people, and also because of my sweet daughter following in my foot steps.

    To put this out there, I used to dress and act in ways that I am now ashamed of, even for a while after my husband and I met. I used to use my body as a way to gain attention from men. Obviously the Lord has worked in my heart and my mind and I no longer do that. My husband has said many times that he is upset that I used to dress sexy for “those guys” and now I’ve “let myself go” now that I’m married. I think he equates covering more skin in a tasteful way with letting myself go and not caring about my appearance because I’m no longer interested in being “sexy” outside of the bedroom.

    I would love any advice you, Stacey, or anyone else can offer me. I am trying so hard to honor my husband in this area, but I don’t know how when it seems that he is asking me to dishonor God.

  49. AbbysMom says:

    About no one wearing skirts/dresses any longer, I’ll tell you about what happened at my late father’s funeral in mid-December, 2011.

    Except for a cousin’s wife in her mid-40’s, an elderly woman, and me (I was born in the middle of the baby boom), no other woman at the visitation, the funeral, or the luncheon after the funeral (all took place in a church) wore a skirt/top. Although I’m not skirts-only by any means, I thought wearing a matching skirt/long-sleeved top in a dark-colored floral print was appropriate for my dad’s funeral.

    Almost all of the other women wore nice pantsuits ((including my two sisters and my sister-in-law) or sweaters with dress or corduroy slacks. (Because my dad was a widower, my mother was not there for the funeral.) The sweaters seemed appropriate in a Great Lakes state in mid-December.

  50. Arwen B says:

    Anna: I suspect that those men are looking at you more because you are tall than because you are dressed strangely or immodestly.

    With people who do that, it may be to your advantage to stare right back, with your eyebrows raised in such a way as to make them conscious of their rudeness in staring.

    As far as getting into and out of your car goes, my etiquette teacher said that a lady will sit on the car seat, and swivel herself into a forward-facing position, keeping her knees together. You could also invest in a longer skirt, or a larger car that is better fitted to your frame (I know, I know – cars are expensive. At least keep this in mind the next time you buy a car).

  51. Arwen B says:

    @ Rachel

    It is good to honor your husband, but when he asks you to sin it is the duty of a Christian wife to respectfully refuse. If given a choice between obeying God and obeying man, we must choose God every time.

    If you haven’t already, you may try appealing to his ego by telling him that because you are married, you want to hide your body from all other men, so that he is the only one who gets to see you.

    Or you could tell him that you have realized that “dressing sexy” for “those guys” was foolish and wrongheaded and that you want to stop dressing in ways that even now makes it easy for guys that aren’t him desire you.

    Or that you want to stop exposing yourself to the sight of every Tom, Dick and Harry that you pass on the street, because you feel like it dishonors him. See if you can arouse his protective instincts – assuming he has any.

    Or something along those lines. Feel free to take what I say with much salt – I’ve never been married.

  52. Sunshine says:

    Colossians 3:18 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

    1 Peter 3:1-22 – Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…

    1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

    Ephesians 5:33 – Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

    1 Peter 3:5 – For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

    Ephesians 5:22-24 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord….

    1 Peter 3:1-7 – Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives…

    1 Timothy 2:12 – But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Ephesians 5:28-32 – So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself…..

    Ephesians 5:27 – That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    Ephesians 5:26 – That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    1 Corinthians 7:4 – The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

    Isaiah 3:12 – [As for] my people, children [are] their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause [thee] to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.

    Ephesians 5:24 – Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing.

    Titus 2:3-5 – The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things…

    1 Corinthians 11:3 – But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.

    Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

    Isaiah 55:7 – Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    Proverbs 31:11 – The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

    I would definitely ask people to change his heart and for the Lord to open his eyes.

    Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.

    Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

    In Isaiah 29:18, we read – “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness.”

    Ezekiel 12:2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.

    You can teach your husband and your daughter much by not submitting to rebellion yourself. If you meekly and humbly submit to your husband it might be more of a wake up call to the Proverbs 31 woman that you are and the key to his conversion.

    Never cease praying!

  53. Sunshine says:

    * correction: I would definitely ask people to pray for a change in his heart and for the Lord to open his eyes.

  54. Ellen Franzen says:

    Has anyone looked at the Folkwear patterns? There are many different options and Nick, I have made the Romanian Blouse, with all the embroidery on the sleeves.

    I find that I am often the only person in black or dark colors in a suit at a funeral. I am always astonished at the people in light flowered dresses or jeans at memorial services, unless the spouse has requested no black, which I have seen twice.

    When I worked, I always wore dresses or suits or skirts and people just got used to it. I was raised by a WASP mother to be appropriately/modestly dressed with low heels and I never got over it. I still have trouble wearing or buying anything that isn’t blue, preferably navy although gray will do! I find that when you are in a store, people treat you much more nicely if you are wearing a dress. My grandmother never wore pants and my mother only wore them to go hiking or do gardening. She always rode her bike to work in a dress.

  55. shelley says:

    I just came upon your blog today for the first time and this is the first posting I have read. I read the post in its entirety minus the comments because many times I find that others comments can cause me to stumble. I love you heart for biblical womanhood that shines in this post. I have only been living a life yielded to Christ for about 7 years. Modesty was something I never even thought about prior to calling myself a Christian and even a year into my with Christ. My thought process was that if I looked like a woman then I was fine and if I could raise my hands in worship without showing my underpinnings then all was ok. I was so far off base and unbiblical in thought process. Finally I was approached by another sister in Christ and she ruthlessly laid out my immodesty before me. I was angry at her for about two weeks until I completely yielded my heart and allowed the Lord to open my eyes to my sin. God knew that I needed to hear this and hear it boldly from a friend so that I changed my thinking and heart immediately. Long story short I have a huge heart for modesty and it literally breaks my heart to see women and girls dress to draw attention to themselves and mostly attention to areas that are meant for our husband or future husband only. I prefer dresses and skirts to pants any day of the year. In the spring and summer it is all I wear, in the winter I can be found in a trouser type pair of jeans playing with my little one at the park. Women should look like women and be distinct as the Lord made us. The lines shouldn’t be blurred. I pray for the woman I see at the store with a shaved head and tight jeans wearing the latest trends and claiming she is a Christian.. Many call me legalistic in my thinking but its not legalistic at all, its my heart attitude. God made women feminine and men masculine for a reason. Anyway I could go on and on about this and I am blessed you posted this. I have addressed this before in a loving manner on my IG and received many negative comments but I realize its the holy spirit convicting these women and they poor out their icky hearts on my IG page.

  56. Carol Daul says:

    I am praising God for your testimony, Stacy, and all the comments I have taken a little time to read this afternoon on this Blog site.

    I have gone back and forth on the issue about wearing/not wearing pants until I found a website which presented the truth of the “Androgyny Deception”. After I read through the presentation conviction was really brought home to my heart!

    Praise God for His continued guidance, His patience and love He manifests to us who are so wayward and unbelieving at times!

  57. Joyce says:

    Well – as we might imagine – this post generated a lot of feedback! That’s good! I had to share the link to this article on my blog. Hopefully others will read and be blessed, encouraged and/or challenged. Thanks Stacy for your thoughts! ~Joyce

  58. Candy Faber says:

    Thanks for another great read.
    Add to your checklist,
    “Could I comfortably stand, sit, or kneel before Jesus and not be ashamed of my garments?” Well, HE is before us now.
    I loved wearing my LONG heavy circular skirts growing up…in fact, I worked cows on foot and horseback, trained Horses, jumped fences, rode motorbikes, and hunted.
    I figured, if I couldn’t do it modestly in a skirt, I shouldn’t be doing it!

  59. Deborah says:

    I know they are more modest and feminine. But what about when the wind blows and catches the skirt. I have worn skirts and dresses that were below the knees before and they have blown up to my thigh. I have had a bad past before, and practically freaked out at that. What can we do? Is this more modest or not? I am kind of confused still.

    Is there a website where we can buy from someone who makes some good looking and modest outfits? I would be willing to order.

  60. Sarah says:

    Dear Stacey,

    My daughter somehow manages to make a skirt look unfeminine.

    She hates wearing skirts to begin with, but its a rule in our household, the females will wear skirts, the men will wear slacks unless doing manual labor.

    I try to buy her pretty, feminine clothes. She will take them back to the store, give them away, or majorly alter them. She insists on wearing giant t-shirts (making sure to get them from the womens department so I can’t complain) and will run through the woods in her skirts, causing holes and tears. She is sixteen. She looks incredibly unkempt most of the time. If we try to change the rules, she finds a way around it. Must wear skirts? Fine, lets get some holes in them. Or get them stained. Have to wear girly tops? Fine, lets get them dirty, or buy the least feminine top in the womens section. Not allowed to cut her hair? Fine, she will throw it back in a messy bun so nobody can see her beautiful hair. Can’t put it up? Fine, I won’t comb it.

    I’m not sure what to do here. She is a wonderful child, but insists on being as unmasculine as humanly possible.

  61. Stacy McDonald says:

    Deborah – leggings under skirts work great for windy days!

  62. ellie rae says:

    Stacy, I think you are missing the point. The girl wants to look masculine. What she wears under the skirt is a moot point. Leggings under it or not, she wants to get the skirts dirty and put holes in them, because she wants to act masculine, not feminine. She is rejecting the skirt because it is feminine, no matter what is or is not under it. I would say this poor mom has a rebellious daughter on her hands. She finds your rules unreasonable and will find ways around them. In a couple of years she will be 18 and will wear what she wants. If I were you, I’d let her wear what she wants now, as long as it is modest, while I still had any relationship with her left. Talk this over with your husband. Decide if skirts and long hair are a hill worth dying on, or worth killing your relationship with your daughter over.

  63. Stacy McDonald says:

    Ellie Rae – If you’ll notice, I was addressing Deborah, not Sarah. So I actually wasn’t missing the point – I just hadn’t been able to answer Sarah yet.

    Sarah – though I don’t agree with Ellie that you should just “let her wear whatever she wants,” I do agree that you are dealing with a heart issue here that is more important than the dress issue. She is clearly defying you (and God) with a rebellious heart, but if I were you, I wouldn’t try to handle it alone. I would get your husband and pastor involved. You want to have her heart – you don’t want her to just “look the part.” A heart hardened against God is a spiritual matter that needs spiritual attention. Praying for your efforts to the glory of God.

  64. ellie rae says:

    Oops, sorry Stacy. I thought you were replying to Sarah. I should have scrolled up. Yes, this is a heart issue with the girl who wants to look masculine. I said let her wear what she wants “as long as it is modest.”

  65. Jennifer says:

    I’m somewhere a little in-between. I agree, she is being very unreasonable; insisting on looking unkempt or getting holes in nice clothes is not only rebellious for the sake of it, but frankly ungrateful and unappreciative. Before getting a pastor invovled though, have you tried talking to her one-on-one? Trying to change the rules around to hold her in place hasn’t worked and dodges the heart issue, plus it may aggravate whatever’s making her feel driven to defy you; on both sides, this is about more than rules. If she for whatever reason does not want to wear skirts regadless of whatever else is going on, have you ever looked at split skirts or “skorts”? They are soft, feminine and often casual but attractive; a compromise like that may help level things out, if the clothing choices are at all part of a real issue for her and not just an attitude manifestation.

  66. Jo says:

    Hi…you have made some good points, and I do understand where you’re coming from. I am nearly 71, and so I’ve seen a lot of trends. I don’t lean too strongly toward being sure certain areas of my body are properly covered; i.e., I have no problem wearing tasteful jeans/slacks. I have Amish/Mennonite background and you know those capes that the “old” group wears–they’re to cover up the curves above the waist and hide any hint of bra straps. Just a tad extreme. And then my break-away Amish/Mennonite group had no problem with women wearing slacks because we’d all go out on the tractors and the fields and in the barns wearing slacks and work right along with the men. I drove a diesel tractor when I was 12. I loved it! Skirts are not good around farm machinery; they can get quickly caught in moving belts and equipment. Legs need to be fairly closely covered and protected. AND…I saw the picture of the 4 young women at the top of this page. I was taught that lipstick, and certainly not RED lipstick, was unacceptable. The young women are way too casual with their hair styles. Are the blonds true blonds or….horrors….have they bleached or otherwise lightened their hair? I remember the very very plain styles. Some older ladies covered the hair on top of their heads with hairnets plus an additional special head covering at church. So, ya know, some things “just depend”. Oh, and wedding rings were (and still are) worldly as is most other jewelry. Like I said, there were lots of things on my no-no list, but slacks aren’t one of them. These days, I wear lipstick, make-up, my wedding rings, earrings, and slacks….and my husband likes the way I look. I don’t recall that I’ve ever been “hit on” by a man. I am very careful about this. Hey, I seldom talk to a man, ever, unless my husband is there. I even try to decline a handshake unless I really must. On the other hand, my ex was involved with (and now married to) a very modest woman (no slacks), and I’ve literally seen Christian men flirt with women and it had nothing to do with slacks. I’ve looked at some of the other sites that were way more extreme than yours, and I found them even disgusting with their tacky language and insinuations and quotes about sex from rock music. It was so extreme that I was thinking, “Um-hmm….that man has a problem with this himself, and he gets his jollies by ranting about it.” So that’s where I’m coming from. Tell ya what….I’ll appreciate your lovely dresses (I used to sew, too!!) and cute accessories, etc., and I’ll overlook your bright red lipstick, if you’ll cut me some slack on my pants, ok?

  67. Stacy McDonald says:

    You’ve got yourself a deal, Jo! :-)

  68. Laura Nickerson says:

    Thanks for the great, encouraging article! I feel that you summarize really well the importance of modesty, and I liked that you included guidelines to help girls be modest. Over the years, my mom and dad have taught me and my sisters similar concepts. We love wearing pants and dresses that are modest and fashionable, and have even recently started a business selling affordable modest clothing. (skylarkclothing@weebly.com). If anyone is having difficulty finding modest church dresses that are knee-length and have sleeves, we would invite you to come and check out our website! :)

  69. Sherry M says:

    For those of you who want to start wearing skirts but are not used to it here is some advice:
    Wear the right size. ( if you are petite and you buy misses they are on average 3 inches too long and you will look like you wearing big sisters skirt. It does not matter how large you are they make a womens petite too)
    Wear the right shoes.( boots and sandals always go but if you want to wear a sneaker type shoe buy a style that compliments skirts like the many styles that have maryjane type top sneaker bottom. Wearing big clunky sneakers with skirt looks dorky.
    Wear slip or culottes or bike shorts ( divided slip, like bloomers) it will keep your skirt from being transparent, it will hang better and prevent annoying thigh rub especially in summer.
    Wear season appropriate materials and designs. Winter is jeans, wool corderoy for instance not thin flowered chiffon.
    Wear appropriate occasion. There is time for dress skirts and time for jean skirts.
    Lastly, I use aprons when cleaning then when you kneel on floor etc you are on apron not skirt.
    Hope this helps.

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