Saturday, August 22, 2009

Question on Modesty for My Readers

Reader Elizabeth had a question regarding the The Forgotten Virtue - Modesty in Dress and in particularly another article she read Skirting the Difference: What's Wrong with Women Wearing Trousers
...This is the location of an article that I read and it interested me. I also read your article and comments on the "The Forgotten Virtue: Modesty of Dress" article.

I was hoping you could help me with I question I gained from reading the first article.

"Women often say they wear slacks because they are more comfortable or convenient for getting in and out of cars, warmer in winter etc., and shorts because the weather is hot (but it is even hotter in Purgatory!). But with a little of the ingenuity and resourcefulness for which women are famed, a judicious combination of articles of apparel can be chosen from among the contents of a woman’s wardrobe to enable her to wear skirts for many occasions – windy days and sub-zero temperatures, cycling, hiking and riding side-saddle, for instance – all without the need to wear trousers. There are some sporting activities which cannot be done in a skirt and so must be out of bounds for women. Sacrificing convenience and freedom is not easily done, but if a more restricted life-style for the sake of modesty and propriety is the path of greater holiness, it is also potentially one of greater sacrifice and will bring its rewards in increased graces."

The whole idea of feminine modesty is very enthralling to me and this paragraph in particular sparked my interest. The only thing is that the author did not go into detail about how these "judicious combinations" can be created. I was hoping that you could help me use my "ingenuity and resourcefulness" so I may become a better example to others.
I have replied to Elizabeth but I want to see what my readers have to say on this topic. I offered to pose her question here. Please feel free to comment.

Thank you.

twitter / catholicmominHI


Nancy said...

In the article, it seemed to imply
that if a woman wears "trousers" that they will go to purgatory? Am I reading that correctly?
I am of the opinion that as long as you are appropriately covered it shouldn't really matter if you are wearing pants or skirts. Perhaps an argument could be made for more women getting in touch with their feminine side and try wearing skirts more often.

Alexandra said...

Just to play devil's advocate:

Deuteronomy 22:5 (New International Version)

5 A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

Alexandra said...

I meant to mention, I wear skirts and they have never gotten in the way, but then I am accustomed to wearing them. In the winter I wear heavy tights which are actually warmer than pants with a long thick skirt. I've worn shorter skirts with tights for heavy activity. In colder climates they have those arctic wear tights which really insulate well.

Things may have changed now that those horrible pantsuits are "in", thanks to Mrs. Clinton, and freinds. But when I worked outside the home, I had to wear skirts/dresses everyday, no pants were allowed, so I just continued on after I stayed home.

Barb, sfo said...

You can be equally immodest in a dress or skirt as you can be in pants. I don't think that the pants/skirt issue is what decides modesty.

Mary B said...

I've been thinking about this-- somewhere around my fifth child I lost my love with skirts. I have some and where them-mostly on Sunday's and when I teach at co-op. However in the years of trying to have practicle, play with the kids, clean up after the dog, pick at the farm kids of skirts there were days I looked like a babuska. It wasn't feminine. It wasn't something my husband could be pleased with-- although he rarely complained. While he likes my efforts to be modest I have to remember I am God's gift to him. Its not just about the skirt/pant debate. In fact a priest devoted to the mother of St John Bosco was quite enthusiastic about women embrasing their role as gift and I never forgot him.

Do I look like I made an effort? Can my husband bring home a colleague or his boss? Can I move to do the tasks I need to do today?

So I wear jeans when I mow or teach my teen to mow. I wear capri's when I need to force myself to excercise more. I wear a skirt when I can wear the heels with out pain. I wear trousers when I need to look dressy but cannot wear stocking or heels. I have a few special dresses just for dates with him--rare but important.

Of course much depends on my moods-- I have to watch that my brain and not my emotions do the thinking. And I just pulled out a pile of material and skirt patterns to have new skirts for fall. When I wear trousers I definitly look for something feminine-- nice ones at ColdWater Creek. And once I buy it I feel I must wear it-- I hate to waste money. So one thing we do is plan regular trips to donate to a second hand store (Goodwill or Big Brothers) and do our shopping there. We always pray before we go that God will bless our trip.
Still thinking....

Anonymous said...

I stopped wearing pants in 1996 and never looked back.

Here's what you can do: the next time you are out shopping, check out women from the rear. I do not have to tell you how the majority look; you will see for yourself. As a matter of fact, just check out in general the way they are dressed. It's not an impressive sight.

Since women have stopped dressing like ladies, we stopped acting like ladies too. I speak for myself as well. How to regain it? Well, dressing like one is a start, and Our Lady will help with the rest.

Mary B said...

A quick note-- I did actually start sewing for fall. Cut 6 skirts for the girls and 3 for me.

To Anonymous-- you are right how some women look and its worse out shopping. Within my little group however we certainly try to choose well.

Esther said...

Nancy, I did not get that impression from the Purgatory remark. Often when I am in a hot car, I try to wait before turning on the AC, reminding myself it is hot now but even hotter in Purgatory and hotter still in a form of sacrifice.

Thanks everyone for your comments. I wanted to hold off on giving my two cents since I do wear pants...yes even too Mass. I feel as long as they are modest (not too tight fitting) they are appropriate. I do not think jeans are appropriate for Mass or even dress shorts (skorts).