Lately I’ve had more than one reader ask why we started wearing pants and shorts.
The short answer is, we always did. You just see it more now.
Our policy was generally stated, “We wear mostly skirts, most of the time.” We nearly always wore skirts when we left the house for two reasons:
- We wanted to make a cultural statement: Men’s fashions and women’s fashions should look distinctly different. Until just a couple of decades ago, this meant that men and boys wore pants, while women and girls wore skirts/dresses. We chose to show our objection to our culture’s tendency to blur gender lines by adopting fashions that were indisputably gender specific.
- We wanted to dress modestly, and in our opinion, skirts/dresses make that easier. Yes, of course they can be immodest. But it’s relatively easy to find a modest skirt or dress. It takes a lot of work to find modest shorts or pants.
So what changed? Everything, and nothing.
Our convictions softened. The question as to whether pants can be feminine attire was answered long ago, and we decided to stop fighting a battle that had already been lost. Yes, pants can be distinctly feminine. Skinny pants on men are proof that. Skirts can even be masculine. Exhibit A: the kilt.
But as a wise 3yo old once told me, it’s only boy clothes in Scotland. When they wear them here, it looks like a skirt.
I still have a very hard time finding a pair of pants that doesn’t show the entire shape of one’s bottom – which isn’t very modest – or fall down – which wouldn’t be very modest either. If you wear pants, I would love to hear your input on finding and choosing a modest cut and style. I have two pairs right now. I like one because they’re fairly modest, although I don’t like way they make me look. I like the other pair because I do like the way they make me look, but I’m not convinced they’re modest. I feel like Paul lamenting how his spirit wars against his flesh.
Our children grew up. Of course we still lay down some ground rules and exert influence over what our children wear, but the older and wiser they get, the more freedom they enjoy. They are choosing to wear less skirts now, but as long as they are dressing in a way that glorifies God, we’re ok with that.
Our circumstances changed. We used to wear pants and shorts regularly around the house, but never to town. That was for a variety of reasons, some of which changed with our move to town. One example: when we lived 50 miles away, a trip to town took the entire day and nearly always included a visit to Vision Forum, where we wear skirts out of respect for the convictions of others. Now, a 15 minute trip to the grocery store doesn’t necessarily warrant a change of wardrobe.
Our habits changed. I started exercising recently, and since I can do it in my air-conditioned home now, I don’t have to change clothes afterward, especially if I intend to exercise more later. I also prefer not to take walks or ride a bicycle in a skirt. And – surprise! When I don’t wear a skirt every day, my girls are less likely to wear skirts as well.
I have to confess I have moved farther away from daily skirts than I like, and I want to go back to wearing them regularly, even if I don’t wear them every day. It’s a balance I am still trying to find.
Do you wear skirts, pants, or a combination?