Updated: Jan 1
In my own personal experience, I have been singled out for this by both people who love it, and people who despise it.
Anyone who knows me knows that I grew up wearing slacks, jeans, baggy T-shirts, and tom-boyish clothes. And as I began to learn about what they used to wear in the Victorian era and beyond, I began to look around at most of the women around me and even myself, I began to question this drastic change from then to now:
"Why don't we wear what they used to wear during the Victorian age? An age where women dressed in modest dresses and feminine apparel. They were more dainty and feminine."
Nowadays, women dress inappropriately, wear skin-tight jeans to leave nothing to the imagination, and think that's cool. Well, I didn't think it was too cool. It was pretty boring to me. The only reason why I dressed in jeans and a T-shirt as a young person, just as everyone else; was because I did not want to be singled out by others, bullied, and ostracised. Because I knew if I were to step outside of this conformity or cookie-cutter worldview everyone else believed in, I would stick out like a sore thumb. And what young person wants that?
But something inside me was telling me: "Stop allowing this pressure to force you to conform to this. Be the change you want to see." And it just wouldn't leave me alone.
I thought about it. Was my gut wrong? I took a good look myself and found myself dressed in clothes I hated, living in a house I hated, working a job I hated, and living in a world I did not particularly care for as far as the style and architecture were concerned. It's as if the world had made a complete 180 degrees turn-around from stylish fashion and culture to a post-modern reality that was not only boring but lacked value and purpose.
No, you're right. Church isn't supposed to be about what we wear or our clothes. It's supposed to be about getting a relationship with God, and that is the single most important thing. In this, I'm not as dogmatic about it as some people may perceive. And I don't expect every woman in the world, Christian or not; to comply to or hold to this particular standard. But people often wonder why I wear skirts all the time. "Is it a religious thing?" "Is it a traditional value or standard?"
My question back to them is:
"Why in the world, in 2020; do people still ask me why I wear skirts? It's a womanly thing. It's what all women used to wear pre-dating the 1940s before women were forced to work in factories to do a man's job while their husbands were off to war. So why do people think it strange that a woman wears only skirts, now?"
I will also let everyone know that every denomination of Christianity, even the Roman Catholics; used to hold to this standard. That which only a small minority of Christians do today. Why? Where did they get this principle from? The scriptures teach:
A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.
Could that mean pants? What about women's pants? Again, I'm not dogmatic about this. As a matter of fact, there are pants that have been specifically designed to fit a woman's body in the 21st century. So why do some Christian women only wear skirts and dresses, today? And why do I choose this? Here I am spelling it out.
1. FOR MODESTY
A loose, flowing garment conceals rather than reveals. Pants, no matter how baggy they may be, outline the feminine form in a way a modest skirt or dress simply cannot. Skintight pants are the worst offenders, as they leave nothing to the imagination, thus exposing the shape of a woman's legs and her most sensual areas. That which is sacred should always be protected and shrouded in holy mystery.
2. FOR FEMININITY
Unlike the masculine form, with its sharper features, the feminine form expresses itself in rounder, softer angles. This difference is also seen in the way we move. A woman's movements (particularly if she is very feminine), flow gracefully, whereas a man's are more jagged. Skirts and dresses, being soft, round, and flowing, thus accord with the feminine nature. Pants, being straight and narrow, are better suited to the masculine form.
3. FOR MATTERS OF PRINCIPLE
In 1851, Amelia Bloomer, an early feminist and staunch supporter of reformer Susan B. Anthony, was one of the first women to appear in public wearing trousers. Her desire to wear what has historically been the male garment, sparked a rebellion against traditional gender roles that has continued to this day. Pants on women quickly became a symbol of resistance, challenging the biblical order of the family, with the man as head.
4. FOR BEAUTY
The most beautiful paintings of women always feature them wearing lovely, flowing garments. This is because clothing is supposed to reflect the traits of its wearer. Feminine clothing differs vastly from its masculine counterpart. Truth and beauty please the eye and draw the soul. Artists know this. On the other hand, androgyny, with its relentless push for equality, is ugly and boring.
5. FOR COMFORT
Those of us who wore pants for many years before coming to our conviction, eventually begin to realize the superior comfort skirts and dresses offer. Whereas pants - and jeans in particular - are designed to cling to the body, skirts and dresses hang gracefully, allowing air to flow through. In colder weather, long skirts can trap heat and conceal extra layers underneath for added warmth.
So you see, there are many good reasons why a Christian woman may choose to wear only those garments which have traditionally been associated with femininity.
It is not a matter of wanting to appear better or more holy than one's Christian sisters. Instead, our choice to contradict the culture by our dress is how we personally honor God.
"It is quite certain that the skirt means female dignity." -G.K. Chesterton
Any one of my followers ever tried to go against the social norms of today's post-modern culture? What is your personal experience? Tell us in the comments below!
“Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose #femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get more accomplished by being charming than we would be flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they are wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one…”
― Tasha Tudor