Home modesty The Feminine Power of the Skirt (Revisited)

The Feminine Power of the Skirt (Revisited)

by Kelly Crawford

This was too good to leave in the comments of a past entry I posted about skirts…ladies, listen up:

“Here’s a man’s view on women and skirts.I’m a college lecturer, ok? so I’m “smart”. big deal!

Costume is powerful. Its more than just something to wear.A woman in a skirt or dress looks feminnine. There’s something almost mystical about that.Skirts make me stop and think. “She’s a lady, not just a female clone trying to act like a man, or imitating a man.

“oh” some women say. “pants are more practical”.Sure they are. But you lose something.

“But”, some women will say. “My job requires body positions that skirts interfere with.”Really? Pioneer women WALKED (not rode) alongside covered wagons going out west. And they wore skirts. They had identity as women (distinct from men)

Queen Elizabeth (the first) wore gowns….not pants. She was powerful.And if skirts make your job more difficult there’s a feminine alternative: Long pants sewn with wide legs….in silky fabrics and soft colors….and almost as feminine as a skirt.

Of course, if you’re a woman who only cares about the masculine value of “efficiency at all costs”, if you don’t cherish your feminine power,as a woman; not a clone of men…..then by all means, keep wearing those pant suits.”

Fred Bear

Comment from the original post: Behold the Power of the Skirt

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Shanna April 27, 2008 - 7:23 pm

I believe it means so much more to hear these words from a man than from a woman.

Thank you Mr. Bear for taking the time to post.

Ashley April 27, 2008 - 8:01 pm

What a positively wonderful comment! Thank you as well, Mr. Bear. 🙂

I wear skirts 99.9% of the time – I don’t believe they are the *only* way to be modest or feminine, only that they are the most feminine! And on occasion if it’s icy and snowy and I want to go to my parent’s farm and ride my horse I might just slip into my one pair of jeans.

But I love skirts. I have just discovered the joy of dressing like a lady! 🙂

Thanks again!


God's Dancing Child April 27, 2008 - 8:36 pm

“I don’t believe they are the *only* way to be modest or feminine, only that they are the most feminine! And on occasion if it’s icy and snowy and I want to go to my parent’s farm and ride my horse I might just slip into my one pair of jeans.”

I agree with what you just said.

I am glad this post came up. I have been discussing head coverings with a group of women on-line, and how culture does not effect the Word of God (I wear a covering). It suddenly hit me that my argument of “what men wore back then, we today would consider ‘dresses,’ therefore, ‘dresses’ do not denote femininity any more than pants can” is a shallow one at best.
Yes, pants can be feminine, but not as feminine as a dress or skirt is.
AND, even if men did wear “skirts” back then, women STILL WORE THEM!
At any rate, I may continue wearing pants (being out in the wind with a skirt flapping up showing unmentionables, that’s far more immodest than wearing a pair of pants on a windy day, I think), but I am re-evaluating my heart on this issue.

Catherine R. April 28, 2008 - 11:02 am

I wish that stores sold more skirts and in lengths that don’t show one’s underwear. If I ask where the skirts are at Old Navy I get pointed to a section of things that are 4 inches long. They do have some longer skirts at Walmart in the mature women’s section but the prints they use are a little discouraging (not too attractive).

I also wish the stores that do sell beautiful skirts didn’t charge $90 for them. I really need to get a sewing machine somehow.

Word Warrior April 28, 2008 - 12:09 pm

Catherine R.

I find incredibly beautiful, long skirts at our thrift stores for under $8. Do you have such stores in your area?

I don’t know what I would do without thrift stores–they have me spoiled!

beth April 28, 2008 - 12:14 pm

Thought-provoking! Thank you!

Kim M. April 28, 2008 - 12:27 pm

This is so true!

Mrs W April 28, 2008 - 2:58 pm

If men would stop viewing porn and things like that they would not have so much of a problem. I’ve yet to see it proven from the Bible that pants are a mens garment and that therefore women can’t wear them.

Word Warrior April 28, 2008 - 3:10 pm

I don’t think anyone has said women can’t wear pants; I think the point is that there is a feminine power we would do well to understand, embrace and delight in.

It’s not about what we *can’t* do, but what we CAN do.

Mrs W April 28, 2008 - 3:48 pm

Ahh. Sorry. I own TWO pairs of pants and the rest is skirts, and still people harass me and tell me I should never wear my pants. They take a heap of Bible verses out of context to “prove” it and when that doesn’t work, they use the “it tempts men” card.

Catherine R. April 28, 2008 - 5:07 pm

I love thrift stores but the thrift stores in my town are awful. I don’t know what it is, maybe they are too picked over but there’s maybe one decent thing out of a hundred items of clothing. I think there might be too many thrift store patrons here.

I’ve been a thrift store shopper since I was a teen. Location is important as I have found living in different parts of the US. I will certainly keep trying though…can’t beat the prices.

Shannon April 28, 2008 - 8:51 pm

I am transitioning more and more to skirts rather than capris/pants/shorts this summer (no dresses- I’m nursing).
I do it because it makes me feel more feminine. My husband likes it, and I really find that people treat me with more consideration in public- men open doors for me and people call me ma’am or miss.
I think the wrong reason to do it is out of a sense of legalism tied to an often misunderstood portion of scripture that tells us (paraphrasing) to not wear what pertains unto the opposite sex.

A good way of looking at this is described in Debi Pearl’s Created To Be His Helpmeet. She goes into how in biblical times, men did not wear pants, and in many cultures, it was women who wore a loose flowy pant. She points out fashions in cultures such as the Scottish who esteemed the kilt.
Basically, wearing pants is not unbiblical or a sin. The bible, in telling us not to wear what pertains to the opposite sex is speaking of dressing with the intent to appear as the gender you are not.
Debi Pearl says, and I agree, that it is a matter of dressing with femininity and modesty. If skirts and dresses pleases you and your husband, that’s fine, but a lady can also appear feminine and be appropriately covered in a stylish pair of culottes, dressy pants, or capris that are obviously cut and styled for a woman.

When a girl or a woman dresses in sloppy, baggy jeans, sweats, mannish tee shirts and shoes, with no attention paid to the gender she is or respect for her God given beauty…this is what I believe is displeasing to God, although I dare not to even claim to know the mind of God.

In any case…I simply like skirts better.

Anne April 29, 2008 - 2:25 am

A “college lecturer” who can’t spell or use apostrophes…. hmmm…..

I say wear whatever works for you. I can’t imagine God loses too much sleep over the trousers vs. skirts debate. Last I checked it was the heart he was concerned about…

ps. I agree: skirts on a windy day = WAY more immodest than jeans anyday!

Anonymous April 29, 2008 - 9:49 am

A “college lecturer” who can’t spell or use apostrophes…. hmmm…..

I am in college now and I can tell you that it is not all that unusual for a PERSON with a PHD behind their name to not be able to use punctuation correctly or spell correctly. 😉 And it certainly isn’t a reason to disregard what they say.

Jennifer K April 29, 2008 - 9:51 am

Whether I’m wearing jeans, yoga pants or dresses, men always open for doors for me.

And I think Anne is right. God has bigger things to think about than women wearing pants. I doubt he’s saying to himself, “I know I should worry about the world food crisis, but Jennifer K is wearing jeans today. What a tramp!”

Word Warrior April 29, 2008 - 10:33 am

It’s interesting how even bringing this topic up causes some to bristle…

This post has nothing to do with “pants being wrong”…(I wear pants sometimes!) It is a simple observation that feminity, unlike the culture tells us, is powerful, and as women, we should delight in that, not balk at it.

And “it’s all about the heart” is absolutely right…which is why I bother to consider how my appearance represents my heart–one that desires to be always searching out my Father’s.

You may be surprised to learn how much attention God gives to details through the pages of Scripture–I think He does care…not necessarily whether I’m wearing a skirt or pants today, but whether I embrace feminity joyfully.

Kimberly April 29, 2008 - 11:18 am

In all of my years, I have never had a long (ankle length) skirt blow up and show anything it shouldn’t have shown. I think careful-ness in our dress is important whether you wear feminine style pants or a feminine style skirt.
I have a friend whose girls always wear bloomers. 🙂 I don’t have little girls but I love that idea.

Mrs W April 29, 2008 - 11:49 am

“It’s interesting how even bringing this topic up causes some to bristle..”

Might that be because we are sick of legalistic people making skirt wearing a mark of spirituality? It is for me.

I wear skirts and dresses 98% of the time. I don’t need to be told by some religious idiot that I’m wicked for wearing pants one day. Most of us have had this happen more than once…that is why we bristle, not because we “don’t want to be feminine”…that isn’t even a fair accusation.

Word Warrior April 29, 2008 - 12:13 pm

I have yet to see “the religious idiot” on this blog who told you wearing pants is wicked.

I wonder where the caustic tone is coming from?

It could not have possibly been evoked by the simple statment Mr. Bear made about the beauty of skirts…how did you get from that to such anger?

Mrs. H. April 29, 2008 - 1:24 pm

I have worn skirts only (except when doing heavy yard work or lounging around the house at night) for about 9 years now, and I asked my husband his opinion about this when I read your post. He agreed that when he sees a woman in a skirt, he automatically thinks “modest”, but he did agree that when he sees a woman in pants, jeans, or shorts, unless they are obviously inappropriate, he doesn’t think “immodest”. He just thinks nothing at all, really.

He said that it wasn’t the pants that made the distinguishing thought, but the skirt or dress. Food for thought.

Mrs W April 29, 2008 - 1:30 pm

It’s nobody on here, but I have been attacked repeatedly about this subject for about two months now with no let up because other people don’t like what my husband has said I can wear. I own TWO pairs of pants for pity’s sake and rarely wear them. So by the time the issue came up on here, it had been brewing for ages. I got some of it “out” of my system by writing my own article though lol.

Several people I know actually judge spirituality on whether a woman wears ONLY skirts or not. If she wears pants on a rare occasion, those people think that woman is not spiritual and they treat her as such.

Word Warrior April 29, 2008 - 2:05 pm


Ashley April 29, 2008 - 2:17 pm

I was getting ready to leave a comment about skirts blowing in the wind, too, Kimberly!

It really depends on the “type” and sytle of skirt.

And I should know. I wore only skirts for legalistic reasons for 15 years and I’ve been wearing skirts because I feel pretty for 2+ in the heart of Kansas . . . and we know wind! 😉


Mrs. McG April 29, 2008 - 4:06 pm

I agree that a feminine skirt/dress is a wonderful, femininity-enhancing garment. I personally do not know any women who criticize others for not wearing skirts all the time but I have met many who wear pants who think they are being criticized. Our outside appearance reflects who we are and what we value (which does not mean I’m saying skirts=better Christian) I always own a pair of pants so I can avoid any sort of holier than thou attitude (which if I thought that I was, I would be sinning and therefore I would definately NOT be holier than anyone). (BTW,I think that you are an extremely patient woman.)

authenticallyme June 2, 2008 - 12:53 pm

i dont really like skirts. sometimes i wear dresses. even above the knee!

wearing no makeup, no pants, and no nail polish never made me any holier. god could have given a ratt poop about me following any of that hoopla. i was completely out of his will.

i know the concensus here is that the heart must be aligned alongside these ‘rules’. gotcha. only thing you may want to consider is that oftetimes, THESE RULES PREVENT THE HEART FROM EVER REALLY ALIGNING. happened to me. others too. we can have unity with diversity, and not label that diversity. im actually one of the biggest legalists i know. i war against it daily. so, i post these things as a reminder to myself too.

the fact that one would even focus so much on their femininity or lack thereof due to what they wear or dont werar, or how men respond to that……only points out that its possible some here have been sexualized, and live in sexual shame. i dont need any lnger to hear a mans view. when you in all honesty work it out with God, and become revaled to……you no longer need affirmations form others. you walk authentically, day in, day out. i am open. the truth is so much more complex than a dress. you can assign truth to it, and in some fashion it had some relevant truth to that time. but it only takes one so far, thats the problem. stunted growth. even studying the bible for more theology and micromanaging can become an addiction in and of itself. and what keeps one there is denial, and it is a hard sucker to break through.

for every time people on this blog comment on us grace-oriented crazies…..*we* ourselves have been targeted too. im sure the women who posted here arent LYING about their experiences. it is just as hard for me to live in the minority and aloneness in churches that it is for you all. it would be nice to have some validation of that. it isnt only you guys who walk the lonely, misunderstood road. you cant expect to comment on subjects such as this, and not hear the other side. its just frustrating that never is there any legitimization for those of us who serve the same God, just walk a different path to get there. i didnt get to ‘pick’ or choose my process or way of freedom……to an extent, its ordained. or at least guided. im sure no one here believes that. its vbery disheartening.

authenticallyme June 4, 2008 - 7:55 pm

wow, i just read Mr. Bears statement again, and i dont know how anyone cant see it littlered with guilt and shame statments, and it plants a very unhealthy motivation for anyone who would chose to do it out of fear…….and not conviction. this is the exact stuff that drove me out of fundamentalism. reading that serious made me sick to my stomach, just like in the old days. so manipulative. i see so many using so much of their time preaching to others about how THEY should live………focusing on themselves seems healthier-esp since i see he is stuck in shame hismelf. this is the exact garbage i got into counseling for.

Jennifer December 10, 2009 - 12:23 am

I agree Mrs. W, with your last couple of posts. While I’m sure Kelly and most of the ladies here are more than practical about this matter, in all honesty I think, dear brother Freddy Bear, you can lighten up a little about the pants suit comment. Geez man, have you seen any lately? There are plenty of soft, feminine pants suits men wouldn’t be caught dead in; your comment regarding such suits, almost a jab really, indicated women who wear any such things are trying to be men. Huh, if they are, it’s an awfully clumsy way of doing so. Have you distinguised the difference between girls’ jeans and boys’? I’m petite with a slight frame, made even slighter in jeans on the rarest of occasions. I’ve been told I look cute in them, and I think I know why: any smallness to my female self is probably highlighted in pants. If I were standing next to a boy my age, both of us in blue jeans, there’d be no question who had the testasterone and who didn’t.

Stephan Gabeline December 27, 2011 - 6:00 am

Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to get something done.

chantal August 25, 2012 - 8:09 pm

I think that as long as we dress according to our gender (whether that’s pants, skirts, or dresses), and they are modest, then its pleasing to the Lord. I personally love wearing skirts for two reasons: 1) It makes me look slimmer cuz i can wear them higher to hide my muffin top, lol. 2) I feel more feminine. But I don’t always wear one (especially when I have to go for a longer walk, as I refuse to wear runners with a skirt, and need them due to my messed-up feet)
I agree with some of the above posts: One needs to be very careful of becoming legalistic and feeling holier than thou. I know cuz i went through that when I first began to follow Jesus (which i realize was not actually following Jesus, but rather the people who first mentored me in the Lord) I think the following scripture is a good one to consider before doing ANYTHING, especially anything that affects ANY other human being: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” -Col. 3:17 And what we wear definitely affects others for various reasons. At least in how they view us, anyways.

Jennifer November 12, 2012 - 5:51 pm

That’s cute, Fred. Especially since there are extremely feminine pants, and a lot of the pioneer women were probably miserable.


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