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Feminine and modest clothes

This is some of what the Bible says about feminine and modest clothes:

Deuteronomy 22:5 (New King James Version): 5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” – usually interpreted as meaning that women should dress like women and not like men, i.e. using skirts and dresses, not pants.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (New King James Version): “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” – usually understood as meaning that women can wear gold and pearls and braided hair, but it should not be used as a means to become beautiful, it is the good works of a godly woman, and her inner self, that should be the beautification of her. It is that she should focus on, and work towards in order to distinguish herself from the rest of the world. The world was and still is, too preoccupied with a person’s looks and outer appearance.

In this last passage there’s also mentioned that the woman should wear modest clothes. What exactly is modest clothes? The interpretations differ. Does the skirt have to be at ankle length or mid-calf or slightly covering the knee? (anything shorter is considered un-modest by most) And what about the tops? Do they have to have long sleeves or is half-sleeves enough? No sleeves is considered un-modest by most) How tight or loose fitted? Can one have tailored/fitted shirts/tops showing curves or not?

There’s no official teaching/guidelines from the Catholic Church about what makes clothes modest and not. One’s asked to cover ones shoulders and wear knee-length skirts or shorts when going to church, and of course cover ones tummy, but what about everyday-life? I mean, I pray more outside church than inside, simply because most of my time is spent outside of church. If I’m to be modest inside the church where the Lord is present, I think I should be outside as well, as the Lord is present everywhere! I think it would’ve been nice if the Church made some clear guidelines all believers should follow.

I try to make my own rules, and looks at what others are saying. But, I can see a diversion in opinions everywhere. Muslims are required to cover everything but their hands and face. But some Muslims cover for example their arms with tight fitted long-sleeves T-shirts. Is that more modest than a loose-fitted t-shirt with half-sleeves? An I see many Muslims wearing trousers and jeans, perhaps that’s considered modest, I don’t know. most Christians doesn’t care much about the modesty issue, I think. A lot of young Christian females wear tight fitted t-shirts and singlets, and also have deep necklines. Only a few observe the only skirts and dresses rule. Most wear whatever the fashion dictates. You can’t see if a person is Christian or not, because she might be wearing a cross, but so might a lot of others do, because its a fashion item!

I wonder what happened in the 20th century that made women discard thousands years long traditions… For as long as people have worn clothes, it was the rule for women to wear dresses/skirts and they’ve always been ankle long. But somehow women stopped doing that, and the skirts became calf-long and then knee-long and then mini-skirts barely covering anything.  And the hair could be cut short, as a man’s, and one stopped covering ones head when in public. Why? And was it all good?

Couldn’t women obtain their rights and freedom looking like a woman? Where’s the appreciation of the difference between man and woman? If God had wanted us to be the same, he’d created us the same. But He created us different so that we could fulfill each other! We’re supposed to look different, be different, excel at different things!


5 Responses

  1. I don’t see how that is possible. Feminists HATE women so they don’t want to dress like them.

  2. I thought Feminists HATE men, but they want to dress like men, act like men, etc…that makes no sense!

    Still enjoying you blog!

    I think we could learn something from Our Lady of Fatima, I seriously think our Blessed Mother was talking about the horrible fashions that we see today….

    Just today, I was wearing a long, to ankle black skirt, a black shell shirt, under a lime green 3/4 length sleeved top…I was in the convenient store, getting a cup of coffee…lots of people in there. Well, the guys filling up the beer cooler were talking to me, being very nice, etc. Then as I walked away and another guy helping was approaching them, one guy said “oh, we are just having out , chatting with that lovely lady.” I was in shock … all we were talking about was our favorite flavor of creamer to put in our coffee!

    I think men respect women more when they are dressed modestly.

    Take care – sorry about the negative pregger test. Hang in there and let God handle it all!

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  4. Muslims are required to cover everything but their hands and face. But some Muslims cover for example their arms with tight fitted long-sleeves T-shirts. Is that more modest than a loose-fitted t-shirt with half-sleeves? An I see many Muslims wearing trousers and jeans, perhaps that’s considered modest, I don’t know.

    what classifies as “modest” in Islam is that the clothing cannot be (1). thin so as to be see-through, and (2) to not show the outline of the body. so the tight-fitted clothing that you see some women wear, does not really embody the concept of hijab as interpreted in Islam. trousers and jeans are fine, again, provided that they are loose and not tight-fitting or see-through. basically anything of any color can be worn, provided that it meets those two criteria. hope that makes the Islamic concept of modesty a bit clearer for you… God-willng. peace.

  5. Why did Western women abandon modest feminine dress? I’d suggest three reasons:

    1. The World Wars were total wars (ie almost the entire population was mobilized for the war effort) in which huge numbers of women were called up to work in factories producing war material. Long skirts and dresses are hazardous in a factory environment.

    2. The World Wars killed huge numbers of men (but considerably fewer women), forcing women to compete against each other for access to men. This encouraged “sexy” dressing post-war. Post-war baby booms also encouraged this tendency, when they resulted in a situation where there were a lot more twentysomethings than thirtysomethings. This is because traditionally men prefer to marry women younger than themselves.

    3. Social changes and technological advancements (fast food, commercial laundries, household gadgets) made the batchelor lifestyle far more appealing. The introduction of Playboy magazine (which billed itself as loving women and loathing wives) was emblematic of this shift. Women were unwilling to accept the traditional housewife role (and thus the feminine clothing which they saw as representing it), because they felt men could no longer be trusted to provide for them.


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