I stopped wearing pants in February of 2011. I received A LOT of criticism and still do for this choice. I’ve wanted to blog about it, but haven’t done it yet because I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t judge women that wear pants. To me it is a normal thing to do. I wore pants for the first 22 years of my life. All the women in my family wear pants all the time. I really don’t think anything of it. By choosing to change my wardrobe I was not criticizing anyone else’s, but nonetheless there are people who find it offensive. Oh well. Some people get their panties in a bunch anytime someone does something differently than they do because if you don’t agree with them then you must be judging them. I don’t care if you wear pants. I choose not to. It’s not a big deal. I just want to share with you why I choose not to wear pants anymore and my experience transitioning from pants all the time to skirts/dresses only.
So the big question is “why don’t I wear pants like ‘normal’ women?” In short, it is a personal conviction from the Lord. God laid it on my heart to do this and I eventually obeyed. It is not because I am in a cult. I am not being controlled. I am not told I have to dress how I do. It’s simply personal conviction. I had always wondered why there were some Christian women who didn’t wear pants. I didn’t think it was wrong to wear pants, but I also didn’t think it was wrong not to. I never put a lot of thought into it. In late 2010 it was something I really started thinking about. You know how they say 5 year olds ask 500 questions a day? I never grew out of that. I constantly question things because I love to learn. I have thousands of things I want to know more about so when a question crosses my mind I have a tendency to spend a bunch of time researching it and learning all about it because it is interesting. When women wearing skirts only kept crossing my mind I decided to sit and really think about it for the first time. I felt like it was something God was laying on my heart to do. I thought about how for so many generations that was the normal. Men wore pants and had short hair. Women wore dresses or skirts and had long hair. That’s just how it was. In America it wasn’t until the 1800s some women started to wear pants, but it was considered inappropriate by most. It wasn’t until the 1940s that many women started to wear pants because the men were gone at war and the women started working in the factories and doing jobs traditionally held by men that required pants for safety reasons, but even then they only wore pants when they were at work. It became socially acceptable for women to wear pants in the 60s. That wasn’t that long ago. When you’re looking at history over the last few hundred years compared to modern times it’s really not ‘weird’ for women to not wear pants. But in today’s world it is totally normal for women to wear pants. I don’t think it’s sinful, but it was something that kept tugging at me.
The bible doesn’t say much on what people dressed like. Reading about the issue of gender appropriate clothing everybody says there didn’t seem to be much distinction between men’s clothing and women’s clothing. Men and women all wore robes and attire was primitive. However, Deuteronomy 22:5 says
In late 2010 I started buying skirts. I was a jeans and t-shirt gal. I had very few skirts, and most of them were way above my knees. I bought a few skirts that were calf length or ankle length. I was surprised at how comfortable it was to wear a skirt without having to practically glue your knees together just right so your underwear didn’t show. It felt right to wear long, flowing skirts. I liked how it felt. In early 2011 I started wearing long skirts a lot, but I still wore pants to work. I started preferring skirts because I felt like it was modest and I felt like it was something God wanted me to do. When I would put on my jeans God was convicting me on my modesty standards. I was a Christian woman, Southern Baptist at the time. I did consider myself modest. I kept my business covered and didn’t walk around in super tight clothing. I didn’t let my bra show and I made sure my shirts always covered my belly and back. By today’s standards I was modest. I started going to a new church. It is Apostolic Pentecostal. Most of the women there wear skirts to church. I had never been in a group of people where the men wore pants and the women wore skirts. That was a new thing for me and I liked it. It felt right. When I did wear pants, I really took a look in the mirror to see how revealing they were. I didn’t think they were revealing or I would have never worn them in the first place, but actually looking at it I realized they were a little too form fitting. In this day and age women’s clothes are designed to be sexy. We live in a sex-saturated society that designs women’s shirts to be low cut and often short and especially designs women’s pants to draw attention to the butt and thighs. I don’t necessarily think pants are immodest. I have pants that were loose fitting and not revealing. I have seen women in short and tight skirts that I think I was more modest than when I was wearing loose pants. In really thinking about modesty I came up with some criteria for what I felt modest wearing. I want my shirts to cover my belly and back even when I raise my arms straight up. I want my neckline high enough that my bra doesn’t show and you can’t see down my shirt when I bend over. As for my bottoms they need to go below the knee whether that be skirts, pants, capris, or shorts. That ruled out my pile of shorts. They need to not be so tight that it outlines my butt and thighs. Sadly that left all my cute jeans folded up in the bottom of my closet. I was especially sad because I had just got several pairs of pants for Christmas and I felt so guilty. 3 years later I still felt guilty about that. Toward the end of my pant wearing days I was only wearing loose fitting pants, but still God was laying it on my heart to stop wearing pants all together. I did not want to. I liked my pants. They were cute. Wasn’t it bad enough that my new cute jeans were not getting worn? It really bothered me that I felt that they were inappropriate. They are cute! However, there were 2 reasons I felt like this was something he wanted me to change. Number 1 is modesty as I just discussed. Number 2 is gender distinction. I feel like men and women shouldn’t look identical. I feel like when we have the exact same outfits, same shoes, same haircuts, etc… it just doesn’t feel right to me. If you are a woman who wants to wear the same clothes as men and cut your hair like a man, I guess that is your right. We now have men walking around with long hair and even wearing makeup and dresses. To me that is repulsive, but again they have the right to dress as they wish. As I mentioned earlier it was always the norm for men to wear pants and have short hair while women wore skirts/dresses and had long hair. Today we are living in a time that is rampant with sexual immorality. Current times in America are not exactly an ideal moral meter for purity, righteousness, modesty, or determining what is appropriate. There is nothing in the bible that directly says ‘Men wear pants. Women wear skirts.’ That is why I call it a personal conviction. That is also why I do not think it is a sin for a woman to wear pants because the bible doesn’t say we shouldn’t.
So to get back to my story it was February of 2011 when I made the decision to stop wearing pants. It had been weeks that God had been laying it on my heart. I kept praying asking him to tell me if he wanted me to stop wearing pants. I kept feeling that he said to. I didn’t like that answer so I kept asking hoping to hear what I wanted to. It was really hard to give up my cute clothes and the normal way of dressing. I knew I would get criticized and I wasn’t looking forward to never wearing pants again. I started praying that God would convict me. He did. Twice. One night I was at work (I worked 3rd shift at a retail store unloading the trucks. It is a wear pants kind of job.) and my coworker Billy and I showed up in the same outfit. We both had on an Ohio State shirt and black athletic pants. It was not planned. I think everybody thought it was kind of cute. The irony is this is the coworker I had been going to his church, the Apostolic church and the Lord used him to convict me. That was the night I realized I was wearing men’s clothing. It was perfectly acceptable to society, but it wasn’t to God and I needed to make that change for him. I prayed for conviction again. Word of advice: God will convict you when you ask him too and it’s not always in a comfortable way. I went to work in loose, modest pants after saying that prayer, squatted to put a box away, and my pants ripped open at the crotch. Yeah, ask for conviction and you will get it. That was the last night I ever wore pants.
When people realized I no longer wore pants I got hated on more than I ever imagined I would. I couldn’t believe the harshness of other women. Before when I would just wear a long skirt occasionally I got compliments. When I started doing that all the time I got cult comments. It became a regular thing for me to get made fun of for my clothes. People also started making fun of my long hair which didn’t make sense to me because it was the same exact length as it was when I wore pants and people said it was beautiful. I have always loved long hair. I thought the comments would only last a few weeks. I was wrong. It was often for a few weeks. Now it’s just occasional. I have been yelled at, yes actually yelled at, more than once for not being normal anymore. Apparently a lot of people think I must be in a cult because I went back to the old fashioned ways and people assume everyone in my church is like me. In my church, most wear skirts to church. Some wear pants. Many wear pants outside of church. There are a lot of us women who choose to wear skirts only and that is our freedom to do so. We are not oppressed. Keep in mind I have never told anyone else they should dress like I do. I have never told any woman she should stop wearing pants. We are all adults and we can dress ourselves. Nobody should make fun of anyone for having a different style than them. People should be able to express themselves and still be respected. Interestingly enough it is only women that have had a problem with me not wearing pants. I have never heard a man make any critical comment about a woman dressing with modesty and femininity. I have also noticed men treat me with respect more than before: manners, opening the door for me, etc… That was unexpected.
I will say I am so glad I obeyed the Lord and changed my clothing standards. I like wearing skirts all the time. It’s comfortable. It’s modest. It’s appropriate for women. And I feel like it is pleasing to the Lord. So in summary I stopped wearing pants and choose to wear skirts because
Are you a woman of God who only wears skirts or dresses? Tell me about your experience in the comments below :)