Thursday, May 12, 2011

My thoughts on long skirts, muu-muus, and blue jeans...

    I live in jeans and tee-shirts.  My favorite jeans are old and worn in and almost as comfortable as my p.j. pants (though they are not the new pajamajeans they are selling these days).  They have holes in both knees and are faded and frayed.  I love them.  They feel good on me, comfortable and familiar, and I feel good in them.   I have other jeans too, of course, newer ones and neater ones, and most days you’ll find me in one pair or another.   
    A few weeks ago, I was sitting around with some friends just chatting about our kids and home schooling and how to live a life pleasing to God, when the subject of modesty came up.  One of my friends had been told that wearing jeans was immodest and inappropriate and she wanted our opinions on the matter.  I have to say the whole conversation was quite eye-opening for me.  I had just never heard or considered that jeans were at all revealing, or at all inappropriate.  I wasn’t even sure I understood what the problem could possibly be.  One of my other friends who was there, explained that some people believe jeans “show off everything”.  That because they are close fitting, blue jeans leave little to the imagination, revealing the shapes of our bodies to all the world.   She said there are many women she knows who will only wear skirts and dresses, because they consider them much more modest.  I, too, know women who wear only skirts and dresses.  I was aware it had something to do with modesty, I suppose, but I never gave it a lot of thought.  I have to admit that what thoughts I had had were that some of these women (though certainly not all) tended to choose frumpy unflattering long skirts and seemed to have “let themselves go”.  It did make sense though, when she went on to further explain that skirts and dresses were also more authentically feminine than jeans or pants. 
    As I mentioned this conversation took place quite a few weeks ago.  Between the four of us present, there were varying opinions on the matter but the general consensus was that whether one wore jeans or not, was not really a huge issue of morality, despite what some might think.  Nevertheless, I have not been able to get the conversation out of my mind.  I look into my closet much more critically lately, and have driven my poor husband crazy asking over and over, “Do you think this outfit is inappropriate?”  I still wear my beloved jeans many days but I always feel a little less comfortable in them.
    In my agonizing over the subject these last few weeks, I have come to a few conclusions….  
  • First, my jeans probably are a little more revealing than I originally realized.  They do accentuate curves and hug tightly in certain areas. 
  • Second, jeans, and pants in general, are not very feminine, while skirts and dresses, obviously are.  Skirts and dresses are pretty, they are girly, they are softer- both in their feel and in their look.
  • Third, I actually enjoy dressing nicer sometimes.  I am just as comfortable in dresses and skirts, as I am in my jeans and I feel better about myself in many ways when I dress more feminine.  I feel prettier and more positive.
    With all that being said, though, I also have realized that:
  • Jeans may show off our shapes, but in relation to many fashions out there these days, they are harmless.  I dress to blend in and not to stand out and, really, in my jeans and tee-shirts I’m sure I attract a lot less attention than in my skirts. 
  • I am pretty sure I have not led any man to sin by going out (with my five kids) in a pair of jeans, no matter how tight they may fit.  Not, when the road to the library or grocery store or shopping mall is lined with billboard after billboard of almost-naked women advertising plastic surgery or body wash. And the woman standing in front of me in line is likely wearing a low cut shirt and super short shorts.    
  • I do want to look nice everyday.  I want to look nice for myself, but most of all, for my husband.  He, too (unfortunately) is seeing the fashions of the day and I would hate for him to come home to find me dressed in a muu-muu and cease to find me attractive.  It would not be fair to him to let myself go.  
But above all else, I have figured out that we’d all be a lot better off if our focus were on living a life of love and kindness instead of on judging what others are wearing or worrying about our own clothes.  We should never dress in ways that are inappropriate, and it is right and good to be aware of how our choice of dress may affect others but, really, it is not the most important thing.  What Christ wants most is our hearts, and not our closets.  If we are truly focused on serving Him each and everyday and pleasing Him in all that we do, our appearance is going to reflect His light shining through us.  No matter what we wear, the love of God within us should be what shows forth first and foremost.


  1. Excellent words! I understand the idea behind the modesty argument regarding pants, but I think that the power of it is watered down at this point in time. When women first started wearing pants instead of dresses it would have been startling to men and would have seemed more revealing. But now that women have been wearing pants for a long time I don't think men see them as super revealing, in general. Anyway, I like what you had to say. I wear jeans and pants and skirts and dresses. I think the way we carry ourselves contributes to our femininity as much as our clothing.

  2. Great post.

    I've never been able to get into the "frumpy for Jesus" look. I'm not trying to be mean here, I just don't think that skirts to my ankles and hair to my bottom makes me more modest than a cute pair of capri jeans or pants and my short and smartly groomed hairstyle.

    I say, if you feel more comfortable in dresses and skirts then wear them, but no one should criticize a woman for wearing a smart pantsuit to Mass or a comfy pair of jeans to Home Depot!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...