14 Sep 2010

REGARDING NOT WEARING THE PANTS

Well, interesting…this ought to stimulate some discussion!  ;-)

Plucked from a full article here. You can even read a scathing rebuttal to the below article here.

REGARDING NOT WEARING THE PANTS

Consider the following food for thought, rather than a hard-and-fast directive. Ladies, please, discard your pants. Instead, consider wearing comfortable skirts or dresses whenever possible, which means, in practice, in pretty much every normal daily circumstance.

Consider the following:

1.Regardless of your size, shape, or age, the attractiveness of your female figure is virtually always enhanced, while adding to your modesty, when you wear a dress.

2. Do this for us, the minority of chaste men who merit the gift of enjoying your beauty in such a way as to be grateful to your creator without temptation. Make it so it is good for men to look upon you, rather than requiring us to look away (which is a tragedy).

3. The godless, sexed-up, secular fashion industry is out to make money and convince you that vice is virtue. They, and their damned pants, accentuate your flaws. If you think the fashion industry is about beauty, I have two words for you: The Seventies.

4. Sadly, and we understand you may not be aware of this, but almost every style of pants reveals private information about your figure (by way of contour) what only your husband (and if not him, no man, including your sons, if you have sons) should perceive.

5. Thus, even a woman endowed with the most spectacular genetic form, in the bloom of her youth, can be given the illusion of ugliness, if not cheapness, by wearing pants. Likewise, pants rarely do anything but exaggerate extra volume on our figures.

6. While some styles of pants can be attractive, in terms of beauty, pants will never trump a tasteful dress or skirt of similar material, pattern, and quality.

7. Furthermore, we must reject the counter-argument that pants are more comfortable; as a kilt-wearing Scotsman, your author roundly rejects this claim. In the immortal cry of Braveheart, dresses and skirts offer FREEDOM!

8. Of course, we defer and appeal to our male readers to make clear your moral clothing preferences to the women and girls within your realm of responsibility or influence.

9. We understand, ladies, that changing what you wear on a daily basis is a major change. If you forsake pants, it will be a big, big deal. Even financially, as pants are so commonplace that skirt and dress wardrobes may need to be rebuilt.

10. Yet, ponder this: the biggest impact for upgrading to dresses may be the change in how you view yourself, and perhaps as crucially, in how you are looked upon and treated by men, which profoundly influences how you view yourself and your value.

11. Also, you, as a Catholic lady of dignity, are responsible for avoiding any practice or habit that increases the likelihood of being viewed as an object by men. You are also responsible for presenting the best, most beautiful, most chaste version of yourself to the world.

12. There is a myth that men determine the fashions women wear. In the depraved business sense, this is superficially true in the sense that clothing is often designed to appeal to the lower, if not lustful, appetites of men (and not all lower appetites are strictly lustful). In the day-to-day reality of the suburban lives most of us live, men almost always delegate the purchase of clothing to their wives. Women then make virtually all the fashion choices, mistakenly relying upon the opinions of other women (who know either too little or too much about how fashion choices affect men morally). Good women are always tempted to buy the styles they see other women and young girls wearing; inevitably everyone, men and women, are pulled downward by the undertow of the constantly lowered bar of our sexualized and superficial culture.

13. Do not misunderstand us: we have no problem with men delegating clothing purchases to their wives; we only object to men who abandon the responsibility they have to guide and influence the moral, psychological, and practical implications of clothing that is purchased. Men should set the highest standard for their wives and daughters in this respect.

14. May we suggest (or perhaps you wives and daughters might suggest) that your husbands and fathers take you shopping for the expressed purpose of choosing everyday clothing for you. Men, for your part, be sure your women love the choices you make with them. No woman or girl can deny that there is a superb and wonderful emotional benefit to donning an outfit that was chosen to enhance your beauty by your beloved husband or devoted father. Ladies, when he chooses an outfit for you, you know beyond doubt that in his eyes, you are beautiful in it. As a rule, men abhor shopping, but in our experience, this practice proves the exception if the man is the final arbiter on fashion choices.

We hope we have provided you with food for thought in your discussions with your loved ones. As for men’s fashion, we have one word: Jacket.

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85 responses to “REGARDING NOT WEARING THE PANTS”

  1. avatar

    I like the *idea* of wearing skirts all the time, but so far haven’t been able to make the leap. In thinking it through, I’ve realized that there are two main reasons that I haven’t. Maybe someone here will have a solution. First is the issue of shoes. My feet are hard to fit and, since I’m a SAHM and on them much of the time, they get to hurting a bunch if I don’t wear good, solid, supportive lace-up shoes. Which shoes are — OK, let’s be honest — ugly. Cute, stylish little flats just won’t cut it for me, much as I wish otherwise. When I’m wearing pants, the ugly shoes aren’t quite so obvious. With a skirt, they’d move from ugly into the territory of Downright Hideous.

    Second problem: I live in a place with Serious Winter. To add to the shoe problem (now expanded to include the addition of warm-but-ugly snow boots) is the problem of warmth. Tights under a skirt are better than no tights under a skirt, but still not really *warm*. And l’il nylon slips don’t provide insulation. Especially when a gust of cold air comes up that skirt from underneath.

    Ideas? Anybody?

    1. avatar

      Hello! I’ve 4 little children also and I thought I’d speak up since I’ve made the leap to skirts. I did it slowly since I saw other moms wearing long skirts. I slowly bought a long skirt, then a long dress and my wardrobe changed from pants to skirts. I hardly ever wear skirts that are not floor length, that should solve your ugly shoe problem (I think all my shoes are ugly since I never buy new ones and these are dirty and old). As for the cold. I figured out a solution for myself. I am a size small in tights so for winter I buy a super large size tights and they are somewhat loose and comfortable on me. I don’t feel like I’m going to church or some business meeting:) My mother always wears skirts and claims that silk underwear (both under your shirt and skirt) make our Michigan winters easy. I’m going to try it this winter.
      Anyway, I find skirts to be a wonderful change from pants. When I wore pants my husband would make comments to me that were sweet about my figure – when I switched to skirts the comments are all good but different… I feel like he seems me more like a lady and less like an object.
      I’m 100% for skirts for everyone.

      1. avatar

        This is an inspiring letter you wrote. Your husband is such a good man that, if I ever meet him, I’ll shake his hand(he does members of my sex proud). Maybe you can tell some of the females who live here in the Sunbelt(I live in Los Angeles) that cold weather is NOT a license to don pants(here we can dress in December the same way we can in June). The way Los Angeles females talk, you’d think “cold” weather for us could rival Seattle(where, despite its reputation for gloomy weather, it at least gets almost no snow), let alone Minneapolis or the very state you live in, Michigan(where Colleen Hammond was born). Every effort to get females to abstain from pants and shorts gets a thumbs-up from me! Also, for females who want to get in shape, the Exerskirt, made by MiraClothes, is proof females don’t have to abstain from skirts and dresses to be physically fit, nor do they have to be physically unfit to avoid pants and shorts. The Exerskirt can be purchased at http://www.MiraClothes.com.

    2. avatar

      Try our super comfortable bamboo leggings this winter to wear under skirts and dresses. They even have a cute little ruffle at the bottom.

      http://www.phyllisjean.net

      Sign up on line for our newsletter and get free shipping to try them out!
      Hope this helps,

      Jen

    3. avatar

      I live in the North Country and don’t find the cold winters a problem at all. I wear a cotton slip and leggings under my skirts. Boots then solve the problem of the bottom half of my legs.

      As for shoes. The ones that they make for nurses aren’t too horrible looking with a skirt and they are comfortable too. I wear Lands End mary jane type shoes and sneakers if it’s a more casual skirt or jumper.

      I could NEVER go back to pants!

      1. avatar

        You are living proof that once a female starts wearing skirts and dresses full time, she grows to loathe pants. In fact, a good way to get a gal with at least a minor affinity for pants is to get her to wear nothing but skirts and dresses for a short enough period of time to where she’ll agree to do it, but a long enough period of time to where she will grow to hate wearing pants and shorts.

    4. avatar

      Colleen mentioned in a recent blog(dealing with the return of pantyhose) that females could wear thick hosiery when it gets cold; it’s a way better idea than to wear leggings, because leggings are pants, and pants on females violate Dt. 22:5.

    5. avatar

      Some females have shoes you might feel go less than right with skirts and dresses, but they not only wear skirts and dresses, they might not even own a single pair of pants/shorts.

    6. avatar

      I’m surprised I’m just now noticing, but, what’s a SAHM?

  2. avatar

    “2. Do this for us, the minority of chaste men who merit the gift of enjoying your beauty in such a way as to be grateful to your creator without temptation.”

    That is a little disturbing…they are chaste so they get to stare and enjoy my beauty!!! I think I’d like to pass on that.

    Mom of 4, I actually prefer skirts when it’s freezing! It’s all in the layering. I put on a pair of pants (or 2 depending on how cold it is) and then top it with an ankle length skirt (or 2 depending on how cold it is). It’s like having a blanket on over your clothes! Couldn’t be warmer.

    1. avatar

      Mary, you ought to tell all those gals that use cold weather as an excuse to avoid skirts and dresses about your PREFERENCE to wear skirts and dresses over pants in cold weather. Now that I think about it, some gals I know seem likelier to wear skirts and dresses in cold weather than in warm weather(I live in Los Angeles, not exactly a hotbed[no pun intended] for cold weather). I’m glad, however, that you don’t use warm weather as a license to don pants, because I know gals who go butch when the mercury goes up.

  3. avatar

    I have been pondering this issue recently. I was raised in the 80s-90s and the sexual revolution along with revolting pop culture (formerly known as evil) preyed upon my low self-esteem. I won’t go into details, but lets put it this way: I never gave a hoot about modesty until recently. Not too long ago I read something by Padre Pio lamenting over the new seldom occurance of pants in church (and uncovered arms which I don’t really understand…does he mean we should have shawls and/or long sleeves while in church?) It never occurred to me before that perhaps pants are immodest. I love Padre Pio, so even when it is not convenient, I now try to always wear a long skirt to Mass. However, sometimes I want to drop in to church to pray and am wearing jeans so I get confused as to what is truly appropriate. I suppose if I was always wearing a long skirt it wouldn’t be an issue! It seems logical that form fitting fabric is immodest, even if it isn’t skin tight…I would really like to hear other points of view on this topic. It would require going out of my comfort zone (I am a jeans and flip flops type of girl) but I would wear skirts all the time if it is truly the most prudent and modest thing to do. It just gets really confusing in this world because all of these ideas are considered very “old-fashioned” to most but I am beginning to realize that most things that are dubbed “old-fashioned” are objectively better (i.e. TLM, benediction, adoration, reverence, chant, modesty…etc)! Oh, and Mom of 4: I see what you mean about the cold (cannot really relate because I am a Florida girl) and I am interested to see the responses to the weather issue!

    1. avatar

      Christina, since you are a “jeans and flip-flops kind of girl”, but are rethinking your love for pants, maybe you can, when you get the urge to wear jeans, wear jean skirts/jean dresses.

      1. avatar

        where does none go to find jean skirts long or short i have been looking can’t find them grant it i live in puyaalup washington but if i knew where to find them id start bying one month til i could where only those

  4. avatar

    I like to wear leggings under the skirt, sometimes that makes it clingy, so I still have to wear a slip, but I’m pretty toasty. Also, it solves the problem of worrying about accidental exposure. I’m also trying to convert to skirts. I love just wearing my jeans day after day, but I am trying, little by little. Ugg style shoes can be pulled off with a skirt these days and they’re very warm, and usually sturdy. I just recently broke my foot, so I’ve had to wear more supportive sandals during the summer, I just wear ‘em with the skirt and not worry, especially if it’s just day-to-day.

  5. avatar

    You are likely aware of this but just in case here is the link
    http://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/pants-a-manifesto-2/#comment-1494

    1. avatar

      Oh wow, ok, yea I know Mrs. Fisher, and Mr. Fisher was my history teacher. There were always those days in cold NH were we were alowed to wear pants instead of the school uniform–well I have to tell you, I never did. Mr. Fisher drove me and a school mate to school every day, and I noticed something: he respected me. It was a respect I get from every man, the respect of a woman. I didn’t feel this respect for my pant-wearing friends, at all. My mother is a mother of 8 children, and I don’t think anyone has had it harder then she has, but she always wore skirts. (It wasn’t as if she was brought up wearing skirts either) I have done crazy things in skirts that my other friends who were ‘dressed for the job’ wouldn’t do. You see I know why I wear skirts, but I don’t think many women do. This is a great article, and Mrs. Fisher doesn’t have a good argument, at all. I live 30 min. from her house, but up higher where it is colder and life is much harder. Degrading youself isn’t the answer to life.
      Mari

    2. avatar

      The link to this is in her first article, just above the title:) I wanted to reply to so many of the rebuttels errors but it was closed to comments.

  6. avatar

    Trousers (aka pants!) with a long top covering the hip area are, IMHO, perfectly acceptable.
    I’m currently wearing long skirts most of the time, but I’m not anti-trousers by a long chalk!

  7. avatar

    Taking advice from Bud MacFarlane? No thanks.

    1. avatar

      Not here either.

  8. avatar

    I’ve been conflicted about this subject for a good ten years, since the first time I learned about it through Colleen’s book and others. I’ve worn dresses and skirts for a few months at a time here and there but have always eventually gone back to pants. Recently, I realized that I’d been stuck in buying jeans that I could fit into instead of going up at least one size so they are always looser. I’m positive that by straight hipped, loose fitting L.L. Bean jeans are not eye catching in any way. I think if you wear them loose (and I guess you need to be smaller in the hip/rear area) or wear a tunic or extra long sweater, it really shouldn’t be an issue. My daughter is a tomboy and lives in the L.L. Bean, Land’s End casual, prep/hiker look. It is in no way attractive or enticing to men, while not crossing the line to sloppy. The only thing of course is that it’s not “feminine” per se. But at least it’s safe and comfortable. I read a quote one time credited to possibly St. Thomas Aquinas. It said that pants were acceptable for women as a “disguise” during times of war or to protect the woman from causing notice and ultimately harm from evil men. Maybe we’re in those times now. Maybe it’s okay not to want to be noticed whether for being “sexy” or blatantly feminine (??) Maybe I’m just trying to find justifications …. but I have not been happy with the options out there and I don’t sew and I’m trapped in a Novus Ordo church where only a couple other women wear skirts or dresses for Mass and my daughter and I are the only ones who wear a veil …ever.

    1. avatar

      Hi Lisa,

      I can sympathize with your daughter! Up through high school, I loved my jeans and was somewhat of a tomboy; going hunting and being on the fencing team. However, when I read Colleen Hammond’s book I had just returned from a girl’s camp where it was required that we wear skirts the whole time! I found that after a week, I had gone on a 6 hour hike, played all sorts of sports, cleaned bathrooms etc. all staying modest and wearing a skirt. I got rid of all but a few of my pants just before starting college and worked up a collection of skirts over time. During that first year, I only wore pants on some very snowy occasions or when camping with my family, but since then, I have managed to remain in skirts even during those activities. I can’t sew a lick but I’ve been able to have a modest and stylish collection of clothing. At first, I would get some surprised remarks when I showed up to certain events in a skirt ( I know it is hard to be the odd one out, at your church, for example). I think as long as you don’t exude a “holier than thou” attitude with skirt wearing or veil wearing, many will come to respect and admire you. I am now married and expecting my first. My husband and I met online and we both discovered that we had read Dressing with Dignity and loved it! His family grew up wearing skirts or extremely full culottes (his sister manages to ride a unicycle in her culottes!)
      For me, realizing that pants draw men’s eyes where they should not be looking, made me extremely uncomfortable! When I did try wearing skirts only, I found that others respected me more and that I had a much greater self esteem! Pants had always made me feel out of shape, even I felt they were comfortable. After wearing skirts for a while, my body image was incredibly improved and that resulted in my figure slimming down slightly due to the fact that I was less likely to go on an eating binge because of a negative attitude! Definite Plus!
      Anyways, I understand that if you were to try to transition to skirts it would be hard because of wardrobe, habits and what others will think! I think that point is often overlooked! However, just thought you’d like to know that I have been skirts only for 5 years now and it has definitely been a positive change.

      1. avatar

        Hi Julia, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me. I’m afraid I started too late with my daughter. I made many mistakes allowing her to follow her big brother around and wear his hand-me-downs for years. Also, because I didn’t wear skirts all the time, neither did she, and neither did she see a good example set for her. She’s adamant now that she can’t do all kinds of things in a skirt and I guess also she doesn’t want to stand out more than she does. I must disagree with the perception that all pants and all women are drawing the attention of men’s leering glances wearing jeans. When you wear loose fitting jeans (loose around the hips/bottom/front) there’s nothing to perceive there. Add to that plain colors, no patterns, hiking boots and a baseball cap … really, no one is looking. The main thing of course is that in my daughter’s case, her preferred fashion statement is: INVISIBLE. And for now, that’s how she likes it. I like invisible too and feeling really uncomfortable swishing around in blatantly feminine styles. I feel better in plain clothes for some reason. Meaning that even with skirts and tops I like them to be plain and subdued. But I do have a question: What camp did you go to wear you wore skirts the whole time? I’d love for our daughter to have the chance to do all those outdoor things she loves, with other like minded girls … and then to wear skirts the whole time! That would be amazing!!

        1. avatar

          Hi Lisa,

          The Camp that I attended was hosted by the nuns from the Society of Pius X, in Minnesota. Like I mentioned, it forced me to see that I could handle anything in a skirt. I had to smile when you mentioned your daughter wearing her brother’s pants since half of my pants in high school were hand-me-downs from MY older brother! And trust me, I can sympathize about standing out from a crowd; I’m six feet tall!
          I understand part of your reasoning for the invisible but it’s not just immoral men who eyes are affected by pants, even baggy pants. The majority of men have their eyes automatically drawn to the crotch area because of the lines that the pants create and the way a man’s mind will fill in the missing information. I understand not wanting to be flowery, colorful and loud, but I think it’s also true that a modest skirt, compared to loose, nice looking pants, will always be more dignified and more modest.
          It is hard to change midstream, especially if your daughter is not enthusiastic! Especially since we’ve never met, I don’t want to act like I want to beat you over the head and demand a change! All I can tell you is my experience! In my own life, I hardly ever bring up modesty to others, unless they first ask and at that point, several have decided to change their wardrobe. However, if your daughter isn’t ready for a leap, planting a few seeds now and bringing up different aspects of skirt wearing could lead to making a change down the road, perhaps when she feels more confident and less afraid of sticking out.
          Just thoughts, nothing more! God Bless!

          1. avatar

            Julia, you summed it up beautifully! It was the Society of Saint Pius X who, 20 years ago, wrote a series of letters on female dress. One summed it up perfectly, calling it “a very serious mortal sin for a woman to wear pants or anything other than dresses and skirts”, even going so far as to compare pants on females to skirts on males, with the hopes these gals would be horrified at the thought of a guy in feminine garb. Also, Dt. 22:5 drives that point home as well.

          2. avatar

            Julia, since you are 6′ tall, you may find this interesting, as well as refreshing; many females who stand at least 5’9 1/2″ only, or at least mostly, wear skirts and dresses because pants are not easy to find. However, I do have a piece of bad news to go with the good; some taller females find ways to be foolish enough to wear pants.

          3. avatar

            Julia, you may find this interesting(and I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me for not bringing it up in my previous letter; it somehow was off my mind), but Colleen Hammond has said no shortage of times she’s over 6′ tall………barefoot, so she knows how you feel.

        2. avatar

          Lisa, it’s never too late to make a change. Malcolm Muggeridge(I hope I spelled his last name right) was 80 when he saw the truths of Holy Mother Church, so you don’t have to give up on your daughter when it comes to making the leap to skirts and dresses.

      2. avatar

        Lisa, what you said about your experiences in pants is a potential, and much-needed blow to the notion that pants on females are so great, let alone flattering on the wearer. Not only that, these gals ought to ask themselves how they’d react if we males wore feminine garb! They’d probably hate it; for females to wear masculine garb is the same as if males are wearing feminine garb, and both violate Dt. 22:5.

  9. avatar

    This is all just daft.
    As if women had been wearing skirts for millennia for any loftier reason than “It’s what all the other women are wearing”!
    And, as if they didn’t wear trousers for any loftier reason than “Other women don’t wear them!”
    Men wore flowing garb for ages too. Did they need to justify their decision to wear more practical clothes? Look what St Joseph wore to do his carpentry!

  10. avatar

    Some men are more drawn to a woman’s chest area, some the thighs, some the rear. Growing up with a (good Catholic) father and brother who couldn’t help check out women’s rear ends educated me in the difficulites many men have with women in pants. After watching Brooke Shields roll around on the floor purring that nothing comes between her and her Calvin Kleins, my mom ran out and got me a pair at age 13. From that point on I received many comments from guys at school about how great my a– is. I was no longer a person– I was a butt.

    Weather tight or loose pants still draw the eye to a woman’s private areas both in front and in back. I recently read the book All Creatures Great and Small where the country vet courts a young lady in the 1930s who was one of the first to don the new style, and he remarks while walking behind her that there really are some advantages to this new style a man can appreciate. Sounds kind of cute and innocent enough, until you fast forward to our time when every magazine at the checkout is screaming at you to get that perfect butt! Recently at the doctor’s office they played videos in the waiting room on current “health” issues. This weeks issue: How to Get a Butt Like J-Lo. The (male) doctor and (male) professional trainer discussed various strategies as they watched video clips which zoomed in on J-Lo’s rear end.

    The sense of a woman’s dignity as a person, and especially the dignity of motherhood is being degraded and causing such a distortion of woman’s true worth. For instance, my husband had lunch with a devout Catholic friend who’s beautiful blonde barbie-doll wife has had eight children. He said he can’t get her to stop crying about how big her butt is, no matter how much he tells her how beautiful she is.

    Of course, as with any pious practice, if you fast, recite prayers or wear skirts with an attitude of superiority and pride, then you are an hypocrite. This doesn’t mean we need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. It means we have to change our interior dispostion to one of love. Love for ourselves and our feminine dignitiy as persons, love for the men who are caused to stumble in their thought life by women’s body parts being revealed to them, and love for our neighbor who simple is unaware of these problems either because they haven’t personally experienced them, or it hasn’t been explained to them in a clear and charitable way.

  11. avatar

    I keep hearing women say that loose fitting pants don’t cause men problems, but then I hear from men, including my brother, husband, father, and priests who say that it does. I’m sure the pants on the young lady in All Creatures Great and Small (mentioned in the post above) were not tight, and still they drew the young vet’s eye to her private areas as he himself admits and writes into the story. Yet, I don’t think all men have the same amount of problem with it.

    Men of the world will describe themselves as a “breast man” or an “a– man”. They form habits of “adding up the points” when they view a woman, much as they do at the Miss USA pageant while the girls turn around to give view to every angle. The breasts count for so many points, the rear for so many…added points for nice thighs. Some men give more points for certain parts. Men who have a particular preference for a certain body part form the habit of always checking out that part in every woman who walks by, mentally rating the quality and creating a “best of category” file in their mind. Groups of guys will get together and discuss these “best of” competitions and men’s magazines will write articles about it.

    “Check out that a–” is a common way for guys to bond with each other, and they will check it out whether the pants are tight or loose, although tight is giving a blatant invitation. This habit is very hard to break.

    My own dear husband has made a concerted effort to undo the habit of “checking it out” and will look away. He says that he wishes the moms of the girls would not put such things in front of him, however, especially the Christian ones. Christian moms generally are unaware of the way the male mind works because they are usually pure in thought. The problems with cleavage are more well known, than the problems with lower parts, and many men don’t want to admit to their problems with their thought life.

    My husband tells my daughters that when a girl wears a skirt and modest top, the eye is drawn to her face-which means that he is seeing her as a person, rather than a group of “parts”. She also looks like a lady which brings out the “protector” instinct in the guy rather than the “predator” instinct.

    1. avatar

      Anonymous is throwing a much-needed monkey wrench in the resolve of gals who will justify wearing pants. What may surprise even her is, at least every once in a while, pants may cause females to lust after EACH OTHER.

    2. avatar

      Anonymous, if you have any sons, I hope you raise them to not want any future daughters-in-law of yours to wear pants.

    3. avatar

      Anonymous, do you know of any priests who go so far as to ban anything other than skirts and dresses on females at churches? If so, good. If not, they need to be reminded what time it is. I know of one priest who is bold enough to ban pants on females in his church, and he is routinely disobeyed.

    4. avatar

      Anonymous, you bring up a valid point when you talk about members of my sex who are “body part” men. It doesn’t take a female or homosexual to be bothered by such behavior. I have not been shy about my distate for anything other than skirts and dresses on females, and while I have not, in recent years, had this label pinned on me, people used to wrongly assume that, because I feel females have no business in pants or shorts, I was a “leg” man(even though I felt, and still feel, females should keep their hemlines below the knee).

  12. avatar

    A long, at least mid-thigh length top worn over trousers should eliminate any immodesty issues.

    1. avatar

      I agree, as long as they are pants and not leggings. I found it interesting to note that in China, where the women have traditionally worn pants, they always wear tunics which go well below crotch and rear.

  13. avatar

    Where I grew up (Kansas in the mid 1960′s), if a girl didn’t want to be singled out for attention by guys, she wore jeans…..and if a girl got all dressed up in a skirt when the occasion didn’t warrant it, it was taken for granted that she was trying to attract men.

    1. avatar

      I don’t think there is a problem with looking attractive, in fact I encourage my daughters to look naturally beautiful and feminine. That type of attraction brings out the “protector” instinct in men; the instinct to open doors and assist with packages etc…chivalry.

      It’s when the attraction is directed at certain body parts, rather than for the lady as a person, that it becomes a problem. This brings out the “predator” instinct in a man and lowers the bar for his treatment of her.

  14. avatar

    I see your point, but when a woman goes out of her way to over-dress by wearing skirts for very casual activities like fishing or a hike in the woods, or wears a skirt to do physical labor in situations where pants would be safer and more practical (like work with farm animals or pick fruit), people quite correctly assume that she is trying to attract male attention.
    Also, purposely dressing so as to elicit chivalrous behavior is rather manipulative, and can even be self defeating — if a man is a gentleman, he will behave chivalrously whether a woman is wearing a dress or pants, and if a man behaves chivalrously ONLY because he is attracted to your dress, he’s no gentleman in the first place.

  15. avatar

    While I understand what you are getting at when a girl is overdressing for occasions, there are casual jean skirts which a lot of girls are choosing to wear for reasons of modesty rather than seeking attention. I don’t think the attitude being proposed here is one of “manipulating” the guys to behave better, but rather “inspiring” them to a higher standard. In the same way, a priest who wears his cassock is not trying to “manipulate” people into greater reverence for the priesthood, but is rather “inspiring” it, a girl who is dressed modestly and femininely is “inspiring” a greater respect for her dignity.

    I think Jason Evert explains it very well in his video clip Colleen has posted here: http://www.colleenhammond.com/dressing-with-dignity/jason-evert-on-modesty/

    1. avatar

      Lucy, whenever you speak your mind, it’s as if you can’t do anything wrong! Maybe you can impart your wisdom on a gal who goes to Mass at my church. While, to her credit, she ONLY wears skirts and dresses to Mass, she’s less averse to pants wearing at other times. In fact, on Sunday, she used the dreaded “p” word(practical) as an excuse to wear pants when doing certain things. I told her she could wear a longer skirt or dress(many females before her did so, while a growing number do so now).

  16. avatar

    Regarding the superb “Regarding Not Wearimg The Pants”; for a female to wear pants is the same as a male to wear feminine garb, and just as morally wrong. In fact, Dt.22:5 sums it up neatly;”A woman shall not be clothed with man’s apparel; neither shall a man use woman’s apparel; for he that doeth tjese things is abominable before God”. I won’t even fall in love with a pants-wearing female. Also, our dioceses need to insti-tute rules that ban pants on females on our churches’ premises.

  17. avatar

    Regarding “Regarding Not Wearing the Pants”; good for the gals who are at least making an effort. However, pants are pants, and to wear them even with a skirt or dress is still wearing pants, and it’s wrong. Also, leggings are a form of pants, so it would be best to stick with nylons, if need be.

  18. avatar

    About a decade ago, I wrote to Los Angeles’s then-archbishop, Cardinal Roger Mahony, to try to get him to institute a dress code for our archdiocese(I would also write to an auxiliary bishop, Gerald Wilkerson, to talk some sense in him on the matter as well). BOTH accused me of treating Mass like a “dress-up session”(their words, not mine).Thank goodness Cardinal Mahony is out. I have since written to his successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez. Archbishop Gomez is so private I don’t know what he intends to do. However, he could use a copy of “Dressing with Dignity”.

  19. avatar

    People ought to check a website I stumbled upon recently; it is ayearinskirt.wordpress.com. A woman named Jamie(her last name I forgot)is wearing only skirts and dresses for an entire year(as of today, this is Day 40). If Jamie, who refused to abstain from pants and shorts, can resolve to give them up for a whole year, no matter what she’s doing, no female has any excuse for wearing pants whatsoever.

  20. avatar

    “Regarding Not Wearing The Pants” is superb. In fact, if females think they have to wear pants, at least once in a while, they’re. wrong. In fact, proof that they can along ONLY in skirts and dresses is my having TWICE seen gals riding bikes in pumps and modest-length dresses and skirts.

  21. avatar

    It’s refreshing to know that a distaste for pants on females, which would’ve had a lot of people getting a “dressing down” from a lot of people, even to the point of many thinking, “Am I the only person who feels the way I do?”, is now more widely accepted. Make no mistake, however; the pro-pants crowd won’t go gently into that, for lack of a better term, “good night”, but they are losing.

  22. avatar

    For those females who see nothing wrong with their wearing pants, the question is, what would their reaction be if a male wore something feminine? In fact, yesterday, I was at the library and had the misfortune of seeing a man in a pleated skirt. Had a female worn it, I would have told her how nice she looked. However, since it was a man, I said, “you’re a man, put some pants on”.

    1. avatar

      And, if that man were to reappear wearing pink floral trousers, would you be happy that his attire was masculine at last?

      1. avatar

        No! In fact, I’d know he was trying to have his cake and eat it too. I’d know the pants would be suitable for NEITHER males nor females.

  23. avatar

    I don’t know if I mentioned this, but in 2003, I got some literature from a seminary on women’s dress that was a one-two punch; it said to female readers, “You wish to stop abortion, do it by example. Never wear trousers or shorts”. So by wearing skirts and dresses, females are dealing a blow to contraception as well as obeying Dt. 22:5.

  24. avatar

    I don’t know who wrote “Regarding Not Wearing The Pants”, but whoever did wrote a piece that ought to be required reading for all.

  25. avatar

    She who wrote the rebuttal to “Regarding Not Wearing The Pants” just doesn’t get it! For starters, some gals who own ONLY skirts and dresses live in colder climates(some of which would make New Hampshire look like Phoenix). Second, she can always wear thick hosiery with skirts and dresses when it gets cold(Colleen even says they’re warmer than pants, and she lives in Texas, which is warmer than New Hampshire, but that’s not the point). Third, I bet if the males in her life wore skirts/dresses, would she be as thick-skinned as she is with regards to pants on her sex? I also want to ad she needs to read Dt. 22:5. Let’s see if she’ll treat pants on females in the same light then!

    1. avatar

      I looked at the rebuttal to “Regarding Not Wearing The Pants”, and I didn’t realize just how much of a bully(or at least a jerk) Schima Fisher, she who wrote it is! She uses “salty language”, for lack of a better term, and resorts to name calling. That alone should motivate others to NOT take her seriously.

  26. avatar

    This afternoon, I noticed the website “Modesty4Me”, and was impressed. I noticed the company doesn’t sell a single pair of pants for females. All I have to say about that is………………GOOD!!!!!!!!!!

  27. avatar

    After all these months of reading “Regarding Not Wearing The Pants”, I thought I would’ve noticed this, but I like, rather, LOVE what number 3 says about pants. I was born in 1975, so I should be seen as too young to remember much about the 1970′s, but I have seen enough TV shows and movies made, or at least set, in that era to know never did females wear pants more(and skirts and dresses less) than during that decade.

  28. avatar

    Okay, this idea that pants are immodest is new to me. And I have to say I really just don’t get it. I think I’m pretty modest. I don’t wear tight, low/high cut clothing. But modesty has a lot to do with our attitude and actions. It also has much to do with acceptable dress in a society. FOr example, African tribal cultures wear no shirts at all. And exposing their breasts is not considered immodest to men in that culture. It does not draw undue attention to them because it is normal and the men are not shocked by thier exposure nor are they trained to see breasts as a sexual object. Scotmen used to always wear kilts. Was it shocking and intrinsically immoral for them to wear a skirt? I think the problem in our society is that the idea of what is modest or normal and what is not has abandoned tradition. Certainly our cultural tradition here in America (mostly formed by northern European ancestors) is that a skirt is women’s dress and more modest. And perhaps we should not abandon that–I don’t know. But it is the changing of what is considered normal dress that is causing the problem, not the dress itself. At least that seems more reasonable to me. In a sinless world (Adam and Eve) nakedness was perfectly modest. Clearly we are not in that world and some level of coverege is required for modesty. But the exact form and level of coverage are very much informed by cultural norms. I don’t see how we can claim that a certain dress is more intrinicallly modest than another. Intrinsically is my operative word as I do find MANY styles (if not most) in out society as deliberately and objectively immodest. Objectively, but not intrinsically. I could even be convinced that pants are in that category–maybe. I need a better argument though.

    1. avatar

      Colleen, if what you said in “Dressing with Dignity” means anything, Patricia is one of those people who doesn’t seem to get that there has to be an absolute norm for what is/isn’t acceptable.

  29. avatar

    Colleen, I noticed on your blog a website challenging females to only wear skirts and dresses for 30 days. It brings to mind how, years ago, a lady wrote to Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, MN and invited females to say the Rosary and wear ONLY skirts and dresses for an entire month, then, if they put on pants after that, they’d see the spiritual difference. Some have even said the more a female wears skirts and dresses, the LESS she wants to wear pants. If so, I wonder how many of these gals will look at pants/shorts in the same light(I bet everyone who takes this challenge won’t be able to get rid of her pants and shorts fast enough)!

  30. avatar

    Years ago, I read some comments people had in response to Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary’s comments on women’s dress. One lady said when women’s pants were first introduced, they were used as a …….sex attraction! And females have no problem wearing pants?! If females are going to base how they dress on keeping unwanted male attention at bay, they should AVOID wearing pants!

  31. avatar

    I only wear skirts, and have done for years, and I still see nothing wrong with women’s trousers, as long as they aren’t tight etc.

  32. avatar

    Anyone who thinks females who wear pants and/or shorts are hurting no one ought to consider this; when females were less likely to wear pants, the divorce rate was lower than it was after pants were a less rare presence on females. Of course, some people act like divorce is okay(even necessary), and might even go so far as to treat the well-adjusted like freaks and wierdos. What really gets me is how some of our clergy will give Communion to those who are divorced. “Till Death Do Us Part” means just that, not “Till She Messes Up”, “Till He Messes Up”, or when people don’t say, “Get a room”. I will not even fall for a female who has been divorced(or gotten an annulment) even once.

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    12-14 are must reads. However, as much as fathers and husbands may have to “grab the reigns” with regard to making sure the females don’t buy morally wanting clothes, the fact that being less than appropriately dressed doesn’t stop at any given age means that SONS and BROTHERS may have to start saying, “Enough is enough”!

  34. avatar

    If what 5 and 8 say mean anything, excuses for females to wear pants can be shot down easily. The former proves that male eyes are likelier to go where they ought not when females wear pants than if they wear skirts and dresses, not the other way around. The latter proves that it’s high time males stop abdicating authority to their wives/daughters and other females under their care. I’m not saying males have to dictate every stitch of clothing worn or bought by who lives under their roofs, or even act like de facto “clothes police”, but we males have to stop confusing “Husbands, love your wives” with “Husbands, be submissive to your wives”.

  35. avatar

    Today, a female friend of mine said, apropos of my saying how gals should only wear skirts and dresses, “It’s 2012,……”, as if what’s morally right and/or wrong changes with time. What she needs to know is an increased number of females only, or at least mostly, wear skirts and dresses….and disapprove of other gals in pants and shorts!

  36. avatar

    One reason gals should not wear pants is how ridiculous they look on who wears them(provided the wearer is female). Some pants look like they’re all but painted on who wears them, and I DON’T want to see her bottom(I know some members of the male sex like to check out a gal’s rear, and that’s a good example of what will happen if a female wears select types of pants, plus it’s more than reason why, if she wants to stifle that kind of attention, she should wear skirts and dresses). Others styles make the wearer look like ………..A GUY, plain and simple(no amount of feminine this, that, or the other can excuse, or even make up for it). It’s like trying to make a lie look like the truth!

  37. avatar

    I just saw the “Pure Fashion” website, and liked it! My only problem with it was, I saw females on the runways in pants and shorts.

  38. avatar

    Recently, I read an article that, although I’m not quoting it verbatim, basically said that some people, even when they get what they want, and then some, fight for more, even when they get on top. My point is, many of these pants-wearing females will not be satisfied until people who don’t see things their way can’t even speak their minds……..in private!

  39. avatar

    Yesterday, a friend of mine whom I lent “Dressing with Dignity” to gave a reaction that, for me, was a punch in the gut. She, like a lot of “modern” females, used that “today’s reality” line, a tired refrain to say the least! When I told her, who calls herself a Christian, that points were backed up by Scripture, she said, though I’m not quoting her verbatim, “The Bible was written so long ago, it doesn’t apply to today’s reality”(she also said, no matter how a gal dresses, guys are going to look anyway). This is proof that people hate their comfort zones being tested. However, if you think I’m going to let that garbage drive me to stop trying to get females to rid themselves of pants, shorts, too short skirts and dresses, and inappropriate necklines, rest assured I’ll not only stay on the correct path, it may even motivate me MORE to wake people up to how wrong certain fashions are!

  40. avatar

    The Bible says that women should not wear men’s clothes (and vice versa). It does not define what women’s and men’s clothes are. It certainly does not say trousers are exclusively men’s. Men did not wear trousers then, so why would it? But how distinct were men’s and women’s clothes then? LESS distinct than trousers and skirts.

  41. avatar

    This isn’t the first time I have written a comment on a post and Clare has responded, though I will not mention the other(s). If her responses to my comments mean anything(and I don’t have, let alone express these assessments of things lightly), she tries to conduct herself as if I’m a jerk who’s off base and doesn’t know what I’m talking about(or do know what I’m talking about, but she’s not going to stand for it, even if I’m right, and it doesn’t take a boastful demeanor to say I wouldn’t say what I’ve said if I thought I might be wrong about what I was talking about). Also, just because men did not wear trousers in Biblical times does not mean male and female clothing was not distinct; in fact, if Clare would read “Dressing with Dignity”, and/or other materials that discuss the matter, she’ll see that, even in the pre-trouser days, they still distinguished male garb from female garb.

    1. avatar

      I have read “Dressing With Dignity”. It was good. Obviously, I didn’t agree with every word, but that doesn’t prevent me from seeing its worth.
      Yes, men’s and women’s clothing was distinct in biblical times, and men’s and women’s trousers are also distinct. Otherwise men could wear women’s trousers! Shirts and blouses are also distinct. My point about attire in biblical times was not that it was not distinct (it was, we agree), but that it was not *as distinct* as trousers and skirts are. The level of distinctness can vary, therefore.

  42. avatar

    Lately, I’ve been watching every once in a while the western, “The Big Valley”, a show that went off the air 6 years before my birth. While the show, for the most part, isn’t bad, the “Bonanza” clone has a fault I can’t keep quiet about; the two main female characters, Victoria and Audra Barkley(played, respectively, by Barbara Stanwyck and Linda Evans) had a tendency to wear pants(the irony is rich; “The Big Valley” was set in an era where even “women of doubtful virtue” did not wear pants. In fact, if what I read in “Dressing with Dignity” means much, women’s pants did not hit fashion runways until 1920, long after the era of the “Old West”; that begs the question; whose idea was it to have the Barkley women in pants?!

  43. avatar

    I have some good news! A friend of mine that recently borrowed “Dressing with Dignity” said she liked it. Better news; she(whom I have always seen in skirts and dresses, though the weather here in Los Angeles has been so hot of late she says it’s played a role in her avoiding pants, which she says she never wears in Summer) said, even when it starts getting colder, she wil continue to wear skirts and dresses. “Dressing with Dignity” has made her hate to wear pants.

  44. avatar

    Last night, I went to an open mic, where I befriended a singer/comedienne who, when she saw a male in a skirt, said, “It’s about time a man knew how it felt to wear a skirt”; I should be happy she wasn’t one of those “It’s okay for females to wear pants, but it’s not okay for males to wear skirts or dresses” types, but to tolerate what she was NOT even bothered by is wrong! In fact, I will tirelessly work to make her realize that it is wrong for men to wear skirts and dresses, and for women to wear pants(she said that while she wears skirts and dresses when she performs, she often wears pants off-stage, and I want to convince her that she should NOT wear pants at all).

  45. avatar

    Colleen, recently I lent a friend of mine “Dressing with Dignity”; as early as hours after she borrowed it, she said she liked it! Today, she gave it back and it was clear she “got it”. She works at a coffeehouse up the street from where I work, and she said she’s going to have to make some changes(that she even said that is a positive sign, and what she said reminds me of what I got in the mail 6-7 years ago from TAN Books; it said that you were on your way back from a speaking engagement and met a Protestant youth minister, whom you had read “Dressing with Dignity”; he himself had returned from Europe, where he and some of his charges had gone to evangelize. When the plane landed, he said some changes would have to be made with his female changes, whom he said were no better dressed than the people they tried to evangelize). Colleen, you have proven such a saintly lady that, if I ever have the good fortune to meet you, I am going to have to greet you with a hug hello(you are too good a female to shake hands with)!

  46. avatar

    Yesterday, I put “Dressing with Dignity” in the hands of three females I know, and am not done yet; in fact, the number of people I’d like to have read “Dressing with Dignity” remains to high to on both hands(at the very least, the number is still too high to count on one hand). I’ll keep you posted on what these people do with the knowledge confronting them.

  47. avatar

    When I was in my 20′s(maybe my early 30′s), I was reading “Faith and Family” Magazine. There was a letter to the editor from a woman whose daughter loved to wear dresses so much the mother would, as punishment, MAKE her wear if the then 4-year-old acted up. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s wrong(it’s like saying, “Behave or I’ll MAKE you sin)!

  48. avatar

    Recently, a friend of mine gave me a piece of good news; she told me that Donatella Versace said that Hillary Clinton looks ugly in her pantsuits and that the would-be presidential candidate looks like a man when she wears pants. Good for Donatella!

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