Why I Don’t Wear Skirts

A few years ago, I would have never thought twice about slipping on jeans to go to town or even slacks for church. I didn’t even know that it mattered to anyone else, except maybe those of Amish or Mennonite beliefs. But here lately, it seems that the subject is being debated everywhere. Should we, or shouldn’t we, wear skirts?

A Little Background

I didn’t grow up being modest. Far from it. My parents were hippies of the seventies and growing up, I really didn’t have many restrictions placed on me. I remember getting a leather mini-skirt for Christmas my 7th grade year and I thought I was hot stuff. Most all of my clothing decisions were made based on whether I thought the clothes made me look good.

As I got older and gave my life over to Jesus, He began to work on my heart in this area. Slowly I began to see that I needed to be more modest, both in my actions and in my dress. And I did {do} dress modestly, according to my standards.

When my oldest daughter was 15, she began to only wear skirts. We were living in Spain at the time, and there just weren’t very many options for finding modest skirts for a 15 year old. At first she bought many of them at the thrift store on base, but you can imagine the modge podge she found.

I will be honest here and let you know that there were times that I wished she wouldn’t wear skirts. Many of them were hideous. But as I prayed about it, I realized that I was focusing on her looking stylish instead of focusing on her desire to be dressed modestly before the Lord. As she kept searching for more skirts, she slowly accumulated a handful of skirts that were both modest and flattering.

I have stood by and watched her grow both in her faith and in her convictions. It is not always easy for her, but she has made a commitment to the Lord and she continues to find ways to honor her commitment. For instance, it gets pretty cold here in Wichita, but she has prepared for this by making sure she has leggings to wear under her skirts or warm knitted socks on her feet.

So what about me? Where do I stand?

I have thought about wearing skirts very often. And my answer was always, “not yet.” I am not ready yet. I knew in my heart that it was a very conscious decision I was making. I was saying, “I am not ready to yield.” And here are the reasons I gave myself…

1) They are not comfortable.

I know many people say the opposite, but they just don’t feel comfy to me. I have sensory issues, and little things bother me. For instance, I don’t like feeling my legs touch each other, especially when I am walking.

2) They change up the way I do things.

I am not very graceful. I like to sit on the ground cross-legged. I like to sit in the rocker with my knees pulled up to my chest. I don’t like to think about sitting properly or getting in and out of the van without my skirt flying up.

3) I don’t want to look frumpy.

I know this doesn’t make sense. I don’t have any problem wearing sweats all day, but in my mind I associate skirts with someone who “has to” be home with her kids. Like Ma Kettle. When I ponder my deepest thoughts, I realize how much of the world is still in me. How much I still have that desire to look good and be a women of the world. I don’t want to be that way. I want to be a happy homemaker who is content being where God has me. I just haven’t arrived yet.

4) Wearing skirts is hard work.

First, I have to either buy or make myself more skirts. Then I have to plan ahead and make sure they are pressed. And shoes. I need to make sure that I have shoes to wear with the skirts.

5) I don’t want to submit.

I think this is the heart of the matter. I just don’t want to be told that I should do something. Shouldn’t I be able to wear what I want. After all, I don’t wear tight jeans or short shorts. Doesn’t God want me to be beautiful and comfortable and …well, me.

Does It Really Matter?

As I read through my list of “why’s” something really sticks out. Do you notice it? It reminds me of the old Toby Keith song, “I Wanna Talk About Me”. That’s right, I am so concerned about me. About my wants. About my desires.

The entire focus of the skirt issue is me.

I have read all the reasons that I should wear skirts. And I know them well. God doesn’t want me dress like a man. He wants me to dress modestly, distinctly feminine. And I have argued in my heart that I can do this while wearing what I want. And truthfully, I have seen women with a very meek and quiet spirit wearing pants.

I love the Lord greatly and I am a woman who wears pants.

{As I sit here and write this, I am reminded of a saying that was popular not so long ago. When a woman tried to usurp the authority of her husband, it was asked of her, “Who wears the pants in this family?” The one who wore the pants was the one in charge. Maybe that is why, deep in my heart, I want to wear pants. I want to be in charge. Hmmm, need to do some more heart examination.}

But I really feel like the Lord calls us to be sanctified–set apart. When non-believers see us, there shouldn’t be a question in their minds as to whether or not we are believers. Our outward adornment should portray someone who is meek and quiet, wholly feminine, completely submitted, clothed in righteousness.

And some might argue that a skirt doesn’t mean all these things. But I would argue that if those of us who are completely honest with ourselves would search deeeeep in our hearts, we would agree that wearing a modest skirt is more glorifying to the Lord than what we usually wear (at least most of the time, anyway).

So, Where Do I Go From Here?

I am not sure.

I know that is not the answer you were looking for. It’s not the answer I want to give. I would like to say that “from now on, I will only wear skirts!” I don’t think it would be an honest answer though. I am praying that the Lord would give me strength over my flesh. I am praying that He would give me a heart that desires to love Him more than my own desires. I am hoping that I can lay this all down at His feet and follow only Him.

In the meantime, I am preparing for obedience. What does that mean?

Right now, I couldn’t realistically wear skirts everyday.  I simply do not own enough skirts to wear everyday of the week (unless I washed them every other day — again, not very realistic).  So I am taking a class on designing and making your own skirts.  I figured that if I made the skirts to my liking, there would be a greater chance that I would actually wear them.

I am also going to read through some some posts that will encourage my efforts.  Amy at Raising Arrows has a series she wrote a while back (as in, back when my heart was saying I didn’t want to think about wearing skirts) called She Wears Skirts.  She shares a ton of great information, tips, and really just a heart for helping other women who are going through–the change.

For the most part, I will be seeking the Lord and asking for grace in this area of my life.  And for help in being obedient.

What about you?  Anyone else going through–the change?

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  • Jeanna

    I don’t like feeling my legs touch each other either. Fortunately, a friend shared her discovery with me. :)

    http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-393255/vanity-fair-petti-leg-slip-20-in.jsp

    • http://www.ponderthepath.com/ Jasmine @ Ponder the Path

      Thank you so much Jeanna! I had a pair of these when I was in high school, but I never would have thought that they still made them.

  • Angela H

    I really commend on wanting to follow Him and fulfill the calling of being His ‘set-apart one’. I just wanted to add my understanding of this issue and I do not wish this to be a stumbling block to any other.
    The commandment for women and men to not water each other’s clothes was to do with the commandments concerning bodily discharge making the person, their clothing etc unclean. If a woman was to wear a mans clothing or vice versa – they would be in contact with the other persons bodily fluids and then become unclean. Both men and women wore robes, although they may have been styled differently as to tell the difference. There are also discussions on 1 Tim 2:9 meaning clothing that was long and not for fitting – although this doesn’t specify skirts/dresses as opposed to other clothing. http://www.scribd.com/doc/19510245/Rightly-Dividing-1-Timothy-29 is an interesting take on that verse.
    If one were to follow that scripture of Deut 22:9, then one must put themselves under the authority of the other OT scriptures in this area as well, like wearing mixed threads etc as a literal interpretation in isolation. This is the reason that I personally do not follow needing to wear ‘skirts only’, although I have not one problem at all with others that do as they have often learnt many things and have had very life enriching experiences. It is a personal relationship with Yahweh, and if that is what helps some people live in closer remeberance of Him and live in a way they feel is pleasing to Him – then I am all for it :)
    Blessings,
    Angela

    • http://www.ponderthepath.com/ Jasmine @ Ponder the Path

      Hi Angela, first I want to say thank you for your post. I can tell that you have a spirit of charity in dealing with this. I haven’t had a chance to read the link you posted, but have put it on my to do list. I guess I feel led to wear skirts not because it is commanded of me, but as a way to bring honor to the Lord. For me, I know my heart and how I have to fight the desire to please myself. I just feel that wearing skirts shows that I am distinctly feminine and modest (as long as I choose modest skirts). It is much harder to distinctly feminine and modest in pants (for me anyway).

      • Angela H

        Hi Jasmine :)
        Each of us has a personal relationship with our Lord God – and by listening to His leading, we are following Him and not people’s interpretations of Him and His will and purposes for us… How great it is that you are seeking the Lord and that you desire to live to please Him – although we may have different ways to live a pleasing life, He knows our hearts. May He bless you mightily!
        Angela

      • Kay

        I think this is a great point Jasmine, I believe that it is more about what feels modest, as long as it is in fact modest. Whether they be pants or skirts, some people really don’t feel modest in pants and that’s fine. The point is to be modest and understanding the true meaning of modesty which is being hidden, rather than intrinsically feminine because our dress doesn’t make us feminine, our behavior does.

  • Rachelle Bennett

    I found myself nodding my head to all your “reasons.” I gave the same ones and now a year and half later I am wearing skirts 100% of the time. Every now and then if I ride the horse or do something that would warrant jeans I will put a pair on. However, I am now SOOO comfortable in skirts I can hardly stand wearing jeans or pants. It is a process and a journey. I had to repent of rebellion and follow in obedience (talking about myself here).It is a heart issue and obedience issue if you feel the Lord tugging at your heart to do it. I will say that it took me some time, it was a journey and not all at once. I too can’t stand my thighs to rub. There are many different products out there you can find to wear underneath to combat that issue. I started out by committing to wear only skirts/dresses on Sundays and even when I got home I would put a more casual one on. Then I decided I would wear one another day of the week, then I was convicted to just “do it’ and jummped all in. One thing to think about, if you wear jeans you probably wear the same pair several times a week, a denium skirt is the same thing, if it isn’t dirty you can wear it for several days too. Try it for a week as a challenge and see how you feel about. Anyways, thanks for sharing and I encourage you to give it a try.

    • http://www.ponderthepath.com/ Jasmine @ Ponder the Path

      Rachelle, thank you so much for taking the time to encourage me. Yes, it has definitely been a journey and not something I could just do all at once. I think that is because it is so counter-cultural.

  • Kay

    Hi Jasmine, this issue and the reasoning that you’ve explained has
    been on my heart from months. I’ve spent a lot of time and money on
    this issue because of the reasons you gave.

    I listened to those who quoted, 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..” in
    Deuteronomy 22:5. Though, that argument fell down because men and
    women typically wore the same style of garment. Pants weren’t even in
    existence to arise a question of men’s pants vs women’s dresses. Also,
    the Hebrew word used in this text is “keli geber” which refers to a
    man of war or strong man so, many commentators have agreed it’s
    referring to war armor rather than pants vs skirts.

    It’s funny that people have let this become such a divisive issue
    because the Bible clearly states that, ““Therefore I tell you, do not
    be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,
    nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food,
    and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25

    To say that wearing a skirt makes us appear more submissive, feminine
    or womanly, this is simply not true. 1 Peter 3:3-4 says, ” Whose
    adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and
    of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
    But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not
    corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in
    the sight of God of great price.”

    The gentle and quiet spirit of a woman is more submissive, feminine
    and womanly than any article of clothing.

    Also, the word for “modest” in 1 Timothy 2:9 is, aidous in the Greek.
    This word only occurs once in the Bible and the meaning is to be “with
    shame” or “hidden”. That’s it! We can rejoice in the fact that the
    Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. We don’t have to
    spend hours pondering over something that God has answered through His
    Word.

    I believe pants are modest. Why? Because they have the ability to hide
    the woman, which is the definition of modest. By the way, the verse
    says dress with modesty not with femininity because God doesn’t define
    femininity in outer adornment as 1 Peter 3:3-4 shows.

    I encourage you to not be burdened with the anxious thoughts and
    judgments of others who believe that they can use extra-biblical
    interpretations to weigh you down on this issue. Proverbs 3:5 says to
    trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own
    understanding.

    • Billy Martin

      Referring to the customs, the difference in men’s (warrior or not) was the ability to gird up the robes or garments. Men would wear a girdle (no, not what you’re probably thinking. It was more of a belt) in order to “gird up his loins” when needed. That was to pull the garment through the legs, up between the thighs, and pull it under the girdle, effectively creating what could be termed as breaches. The thing that women was not permitted to do was wear that which could create these “breaches” and made visible the separation of their thighs. Also, for a side note here, for anyone to reveal, or uncover their thighs was to uncover their nakedness.

      The “let not your adornment” passage isn’t speaking in the manner in which it seems that you have understood. It is teaching against adorning yourself with the “finer” things. It is not saying that the outward appearance doesn’t matter, but rather it is telling what not to do with the outward appearance. God does see the femininity of the outward adorning, because the outward adorning passages are directly addressed to women. It’s not extra biblical to desire to be separate from the world, because we are not of this world. The whole world says it doesn’t matter how you dress, but God’s Word says it does. It is a much used argument to use a few Greek words to try and make Scripture say something other than what it plainly says.

      In Peter, it says not to adorn yourselves with gold, pearls, and costly apparel, but most people think it is saying that it doesn’t matter. They’re wrong, it does matter.

      When the Bible tells you not to be anxious about food or clothing, it is not telling you that it doesn’t matter what you eat or drink. It isn’t saying that it matters not how you are dressed. If you knew the customs and culture of the day, it would be clearer. That passage cannot be interpreted the way you used it because that would contradict other Scripture.

      This woman is being led by the Holy Ghost in her walk with the Lord, and as such should heed the gentle drawing.

      • Kay

        Thank you for your response, Billy. But my question is, what would the Bible be referring to when it says that men aren’t supposed to wear anything pertaining to women (Deut. 22)?

        Do you have any Bible verse to support that gird up one’s loins was to put on breaches? Because I haven’t found one.

        Also, the term for breaches, even as you have described it, does not refer to what is worn by women today. Breaches were more like linen boxer shorts (Lev 6:10, Exodus 28:420. These don’t even describe the loose pants that should be worn by women today.
        And though I am not an Israelite who follows this Deuteronomical law along with the several others which I am sure you don’t, I am not advocating that any woman wear boxers as described in those verses.

        So the answer to your question is no, the Bible does not refer to pants as they are worn today. Boxers, maybe, but not pants that are more modest than just covering the thigh.

        I’m surprised that you brought up covering one’s nakedness because this more so refers to underwear than anything and I don’t think anyone would agree that women should not wear underwear.

        In fact, it would be in more alignment with what is preached in 1 Timothy because women are to dress “modestly”, as in “covered” or “hidden”. So, by definition, it would be more modest for a woman to “cover [her] nakedness.”

  • Lori

    Yes, I understand the dilemma. I have four daughters, my oldest two are committed to wearing skirts/dresses only. I was also four about 5 years and enjoyed it. My third oldest daughter is very sports minded and I grew up on a farm etc. Well I decided it would be good for my sports minded daughter and my other 9 year old daughter to be able to wear pants sometimes, after all they are little girls and should be able to “play” outside. Never mind that we had all been doing that fine for quite some time. Anyway, I have great remorse because now I have kind of a division in my family and I’m the one who started it. I wish with all my heart that I and my husband had stayed with skirts only for our family. It is a constant battle of the mind and heart and I personally am going back to skirts but I have two girls who don’t want to now. I am honestly praying that they change their hearts and eventually want to dress this way. I do feel that the Lord would like me to dress this way and I have much more peace about it than wearing pants.

  • Annisa Nuriowandari

    Hi there. I stumbled upon this post by accident. I am a muslim by coincidence, and we also have passage where it mentioned that “women shouldn’t look like men”. This bothers me for quite while.

    When I was at high school, I tried to convert myself to “skirt wearer” lol. During that time, I added several dress and long skirts to my wardrobe, but as time goes, it just didn’t work.

    I hate how wearing skirt makes me conscious. But even if I have this thought, I don’t have problems with those who actually enjoy wearing skirts and feel modest/confident with it. But it just didn’t work for me.

    I think feminine appearance will include “beautiful/graceful” appearance either way. Values and constructs are made in society, not by a single person. So although I have different idea of embracing feminine, to acknowledge that I am still woman, society will still have different ideas.

    By wearing pants, I feel like I can send out message about myself: “I care more about my inner self.”

    Wearing skirts attract unwanted attention. I don’t mean that pervert attention, but since skirt makes you look feminine, girls might compliment how pretty you are. Guys will also adore how you look graceful. It’s all positive, yes, moreover if your behavior shows a good personality too, but no, I really hate those compliments. I prefer someone complimenting how smart I am, how hardworking I am, how I am devoted. I feel like being appreciated for being who I am. Wearing skirts distract people from seeing this.

    No, I don’t mind if they don’t compliment my personality qualities. It’s when they compliment my appearance that I hate.

    This is so conflicting.

    There is a guy I care about and if he wants to see me in dress once for awhile, I want to do it for him, but to wear skirts in daily basis?

    For me, wearing skirts makes me feel not being modest, because I feel like I am trying to be feminine and makes others get this feminine impression. I could be affectionate, embracing my femininity, but not through dresses. Just no. I feel like I am a huge hypocrite when wearing skirts.