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Friday, July 20, 2012

Are Pants Immodest?

Tradition Country Collection®/MD Curve Control' Stretch Twill Trouser

I don't believe I've ever posted a controversial post before and I'll probably get some un-polite comments but I feel that this is a topic that needs to be addressed.

My short answer is yes.  The rest of this post will be given over the the long answer.

Let's look at it from a Biblical viewpoint.  The Bible says The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5) I know that there are some pants that guys wouldn't want to be caught dead in - pants with embroidered flowers, bits of lace, etc., but aren't we still basically wearing guys clothes?  Normally you won't see guys walking around wearing skirts and dresses so why should we be wearing slacks and shorts?

Guys are more visual minded than women (women respond more to touch) and we don't want to be a stumblingblock to our brothers in Christ (and to someone we just casually say hello to).  The Bible also says But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)  Seriously, do you want to be a part of that?  We should wait for that one special man to sweep us off our feet.

What about the historical viewpoint?  We ooh and aah over Regency and Victorian fashions but did the women back then were pants?  Whoever did that would probably be banished from society.  Back in those days, women dressed modestly (for the most part).  They wore gloves and carried parasols (I'm not saying that you have to do all that).  They were pictures of femininity.  Miss Elizabeth just hosted a Period Drama Fashion Week (which was delightful) and I enjoyed reading her and other bloggers' posts about the beautiful costumes that add so much to my favorite films.  We probably won't be going back to the age of puffed sleeves and empire waists, but we can dress with propriety.

From a practical perspective, I must say that at most times, skirts and dresses are probably cooler.  The air is able to circulate around your legs as you walk which cools you off.  It's a bonus if the skirt is swishy.  If you're wondering what on earth you can wear when you're riding a bike, a horse, or excersicing I have one word for you - culottes. 

Pinned Image


Culottes almost look like skirts when you're walking and sitting but they are split down the middle.  I'm so tall that most culotte patterns don't fit me, but I have worn them while riding a horse and attempting to ride and bike and they are very, very comfortable.  You could find some patterns for sale here or buy them ready made.

I have several skirts (I'm not really a dress person) that are fashionable and modest at the same time.  Here's one of the skirts I own (it's not me, by the way, just a model)

It's very swishy and feminine - I love it!

You can buy (or make) pretty skirts and dresses sometimes for very little especially if the material you use was given to you.  My clothes cost a little more than usual because I'm taller than most girls my age but if you're of average height, it shouldn't be a problem.

So there you have it - my reasons for not wearing pants and some solutions.

Have a great day!


Kathryn said...

I very much agree with your views on this subject, Miss Woodhouse. I believe that you are completely right, and you use the same argument that I use when someone asks me why I only wear skirts.
I'm glad that your first comment is an encouraging one, but when the discouraging ones come, just think of meat sacrificed to idols. If your remarks offend someone, just remember that it is not worth getting into a fight over. The devil loves for Christians to fight between themselves over trifles, and though modesty is hardly a trifle, everyone has a different level of spirituality. My best friends wear pants, but I don't argue with them over it, because they are far above me spiritually in other ways. So, while I believe that skirts are the fitting garments, I try to avoid the subject unless directly confronted with it, because Christian unity is more important than other questions of modesty. (If there is a real modesty issue, I would feel more obliged to speak up.)
Your post, however, is really good, really relevant, and really interesting. I am glad that someone else out there thinks like me!

Elizabeth said...

First off I completely get your reasons for not posting controversial post, I haven't really posted anything controversial myself for those same reasons. And normally I would not comment on a controversial post either because I wouldn't want to get involved. However, I feel compelled to share some of my own reasons for why I think pants are okay. I don't wish to offend anyone, but I am cursed with an ability to see all sides to an argument and always feel the need to say something for the other side (or sometimes both sides) weather of not I agree with the other side is a completely different matter. I apologize a head of time as this is going to be a long comment.

4 years ago I would have completely agreed with you on every point, I was dresses and skirts only for 7 years. I still have a preference for skirts, and most of the time if you were to walk into my house you would find me in a skirt. Now about 3 years ago I was helping to decorate my church for Christmas. I was climbing up and down hanging up decorations and having fun, except for one thing. I kept stepping on my skirt, and I was in complete terror of it tearing right there in the chapel. I later had several other experiences of a similar king. After much thought as to what I could I cam to the conclusion that I should get a pair of pants if for not other reason so that I could wear them when I was involved in some work party. For me it was not practical for wear skirts while doing those kind of things. I do like to wear long shirts though.

Another thing I would like to take a look at is the one verse you use, and the context of the verse. (Deuteronomy 22:5) Now when I say context, I mean more that just what is going on in they rest of the book, but what was going on the culture. What was the culture of the time. It was culturally inappropriate for women to wear mens clothes (The men didn't wear pants back then, if I remember correctly). Now Let us keep in mind that no culture is perfect, even the Israelite culture, and any culture really. When people start talking about how horrible American culture is (and I don't disagree with them) just remember Rome, Greece, England, China, and pretty much any other place. I mean if a Roman father didn't accept his child it was left outside exposed to the elements to die. So please when I say to look at what is culturally appropriate in America don't tell me to look at how bad it is, because I KNOW how bad it is. It is culturally appropriate for women to wear pants.

Now what is important? My family has a rule in our house, "if we can't tell if your a girl you can't wear it." It is important for women to look like women, to look feminine. And some pants can look more feminine than some skirts.

My final reason for why I switched, and the reason that I am most ashamed of is this. I was starting to judge those who I saw in pants, and I was really scared of what I saw inside myself. I decided I need to switch because being dresses and skirts only was causing me to judge others that I had no right to judge. Perhaps there was a way to stop myself without changing my apparel, but at the time my logic was a bit like this "I can't judge someone for wearing something I am am also wearing." It is incredibly important for me personally not to judge people, having read books I have learned it is easy to judge the some one on the surface when you can't see what is underneath. I would not want anyone to do that to me, so I most certainly don't want to do that to them.

I am looking back at how incredibly long this comment is, and I apologize for that. But I felt that I needed to say something. I hope you will read this comment and be able to understand my view point, as much as I understand yours. (having been where you are)
Again I am sorry!
Blessings and love

Miss Woodhouse said...

Thanks for your encouraging comment! I agree that we Christians shouldn't get into arguments about trivial matters and I would hate to have a big, nasty comment war on the subject. We should strive to uplift our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ at all times.

Miss Woodhouse said...

Just a side note: Please don't apologize for long comments. I love getting them.

I don't think less of you for differing with me on this point. However, I do have a few things to say about your comment.

I can understand your fear of tripping or tearing a skirt in front of everyone! (My family doesn't celebrate Christmas - a whole other story, btw). I can understand why you would want to get a pair of pants for work parties although I don't agree with wearing pants.

I never thought about the cultural context and though I believe you have a good point my answer is this - although those laws were made for the Israelites, they are still God's words. Do you think we should ignore parts of the Bible just because it was written at the time, to one group of people? Every part of the Bible was inspired by God and I believe he wants us to follow all of it.

I can easily believe that some pants are sometimes better, feminine wise, than skirts. Some skirts are, to put it plainly, not fit to be seen in public.

I never really had a problem with judging others who wore pants (although I didn't agree with them). Several of my blogging friends wear pants (including you!) and I am not going to write them completely off just because they do. The purpose of this post was to point out why pants are immodest and provoke some thought, not to undermine anyone.

I understand your viewpoint and again, don't apologize for the length of your comment.

Have a great day!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for being very so kind in your disagreement with other people. :) There many out there who (on any issue) would not be so nice to those they disagree with. The world needs more people who know how to have a kind, and loving discussion with people they disagree with!

That was the point that now looking back I can see I was not very good at explaining. If it is alright I would like to see if I can make it a little more clear. :) I don't think that any part of the Bible should be ignored, or crossed out because it was written at a different time. I was only meant to say that as the culture was different back then, so the cloths they wore would have been different. There for what was considered men's cloths would be different from today. Likewise what was considered women's cloths would be different from today. We should look at what is considered women's and men's cloths today. I am sorry that that was unclear, and I hope that was a little clearer, I am sorry if it wasn't. I did go off a topic a bit in my first comment, but I love to study different cultures so that is a subject that I tend to get excited about. :)

Here are a couple of links. The first one talks about the cloths from the old Testament, and the the second is a store with some very neat costumes. I thought these might add some context, and I thought that they were interesting.

Thank you again for understanding, so many times when people have a discussion I don't think that the people hear each other. I am glad you like long comment. I do too. :) Also my family didn't celebrate Christmas for a long time either(a long story as well).

PS. your culottes are very cute. :)

Scullery Maid said...

I almost never wear pants myself, EXCEPT for bike riding, or hiking, and then I try to always wear a pretty, feminine blouse with them(think pink button-up with puffy sleeves and frills or pleats or gathers). I have been meaning to make some culottes, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Miss Woodhouse said...

(Sorry that I haven't gotten around to answering your comment sooner).

I don't want to have a big nasty comment war on my blog - I would start dreading comments and would probably make you (and I) feel bad.

Thanks for the links, I'll be sure to look them up - btw, the culottes aren't mine - I just found the photos on Pinterest.

Anonymous said...

So, I've read this before, but didn't comment. But now, I am going to. I can completely see your point on how some pants are immodest!!! I mean, can you believe how short pants are, nowadays? It's ridiculous!!! I am a wearer of pants, and always try to watch the pants I wear, especially in the heat of the summer. I do wear skirts and dresses (dresses only for fancy occasions), I have one skirt that is lovely for wearing, due to the light fabric on hot days. I love to wear jeans, sometimes capri's, and more. I think that if you like to wear pants or skirts is completely fine. I know some people personally who only wear skirts, and that quite okay! :) The sad reality is that some pants are very modest and some are so immodest it barely covers anything, and then we have skirts are long, beautiful and modest, and then we have ones that also barely cover anything. I think either are okay, as long as we contain the appropriate amount of modest. This is my opinion, and I hope I don't offend anyone (especially you, Eva) in this comment.
~Hannah S.

Eva said...

Don't worry, I'm never offended when someone shares their opinion in a polite way - it's when people start flame wars on these kinds of subjects that I get offended ;)

And I totally agree with your point about how some skirts are modest and some aren't - I've seen skirts that are worse than pants, IMO :P

Samantha S. said...

It's sad how our clothes grow even more immodest everyday :(
~Hannah S.

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