Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why I Wear Skirts (Hint: It has nothing to do with modesty)



Due to the fact that my blog readership recently jumped from twelve people (almost all of whom were other Catholic moms like me) to three hundred people (who undoubtedly represent a more diverse range of backgrounds), I feel the need to preface this post.  Explaining why I've worn skirts almost exclusively for the past seven years is a topic I've wanted to write about for a long time - since long before I had a blog.  There's been a lot said on the topic of wearing skirts (at least if you listen in on the discussions of particular circles), but I don't often come across people who look at the issue in the same way that I do, so I feel that perhaps I have one or two unique things to add to that conversation.  This is all about giving an explanation of why I do what I do.  It is in no way meant to be a judgement or condemnation on other people's clothing choices, and I hope it's not interpreted as such.


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Anyone who has had some exposure to traditional Catholicism, Evangelical Protestantism, Orthodox Judaism, or a number of other groups (whether in real life, or on the blogosphere), has probably come across arguments in favor of women wearing skirts/dresses instead of pants.  While I agree with the sentiment - that it is good for women to wear such things - I find that my reasons for believing so tend to differ from those of the other skirt-wearing women I know.

The skirts vs. pants argument tends to be very polarizing, and anytime it comes up in a blog post somewhere, everyone gets all offended.  Skirt-wearers accuse the pant-wearers of being immodest and worldly; pants-wearers accuse the skirters of being frumpy and submissive, and I think everyone just misses the point.


 How To Wear Skirts Practically

I want to first address a common complaint I hear about wearing skirts.

Before college, I owned maybe one or two skirts.  Uncomfortable elastic-waisted things I only put on when I was forced to dress up for something.  Now, I have a closet full of skirts in assorted lengths, colors, fabrics - suitable for most any occasion or activity.  A lot of people in the pants-camp say that skirts are impractical and too constrictive for everyday wear. In defense of skirts, let me say that if you get the right type, they work well in any weather, and for many activities.

In the summer, I wear mostly just-below-the-knee light flowy cotton skirts.  I go barefoot as much as possible, but when I have to go somewhere, throw on some sandals.

In the winter, I like my skirts as long as possible.  My legs are really long, so skirts that were designed to be ankle-length usually end on my lower calves. I wear heavy tights under them always - brown or black, depending on the outfit.  I don't understand all the crazy crazy women I see in the wintertime with bare legs under skirts!!  Don't they know that warm opaque tights exist for that purpose?  Around the house, I might add socks or slippers for extra warmth.  Outdoors on a cold day, I always have on boots.  Your legs will get cold if you wear a skirt without boots in the winter!  Be sensible!  When I was in college, and had to do a lot of walking outdoors, I would sometimes add a pair of flannel pajama pants under the skirt.  They tucked into my boots, and no one ever knew the difference.

My favorite skirts are ones with some "flow" to them.  Cotton does this job well.  I also have a few corduroy or other stiff-material skirts which are sewn in many sections, and so have a nice flare and movement to them.  The straight-sided jean skirt look, or the unfortunate denim jumper made infamous by women like Michelle Duggar (God bless her), are not something I would wear.  If the skirt is flowy enough, you can have total freedom of motion (running up and down the stairs, stepping over the maze of baby gates around the house), just like with pants.  You can sit in any position, and never have to worry about immodesty, as you might with a short or tighter-fitting skirt.  You can't, say, do cartwheels....but who does that after the age of eight anyways?

Lest you think I shun all pants, I'll reveal that I actually own a number of pairs.  I still have some dress pants from my public school teaching days.  I'm not really sure why, though, since I haven't worn them since.  I should probably give them away (I've been hesitating, since they are in perfect shape, and I spent good money on them).  I also have two pairs of jeans that I wear.  Mostly, I wear the jeans when it is practical to do so.  If I'm going to be doing anything where I might get a dirty, maybe taking Sly to the park, I might put on jeans that day.  Or say I know I'll be doing a lot of walking, so want to switch out my usual ballet flats for tennis shoes.  I will NOT wear tennis shoes with a skirt - it just looks terrible!


 Skirts: More Modest?

A lot of women who regularly wear skirts argue that skirts are more modest.  Now, anything done out of a true spirit of modesty is good, and I'm not going to criticize anyone for seeking out a modest wardrobe.  That said, I just feel like this argument doesn't hold much water.  I think it would be much easier for me to find examples of immodest skirts than immodest pants.  To be fair, though, the factor that makes a skirt immodest is often relating to its length.  To keep all things equal, then, we'd have to consider short-shorts and booty shorts as "pants" too.  I don't think anyone can say those things are modest either.

In my opinion, a full-length, not-skin-tight pair of pants is about equal in modesty to a full-length, not-skin-tight skirt.  And pants might be interpreted as even more modest than any skirt short enough to reveal even a tiny bit of ankle-skin.  The only real difference I see with pants that it makes it clear that (gasp!) women have LEGS.  I just don't see pants as inherently immodest.


That said, I DO see pants as inherently unfeminine.  And this is what it all comes down to.

Defending Gender Differences

When I was in college, and had begun to get a real taste of what the world was like outside my insular suburban neighborhood, I was incredulous at how often society tried to deny any real differences between the sexes.  A lot of this attitude, of course, is a direct result of the feminist movement, which instead of saying, "women are valuable as women," claims that "women are just the same as men."  I think this is the sole reason that the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus (a little cheesy, but definitely a valuable read for anyone in a relationship) sold as well as it did.  Because the idea that men and women are different just blew so many people away, and finally answered so many questions they'd had about their relationships.

Until sometime in the mid 20th century, this idea of gender differences was universally accepted, and it played out not only in the way people dressed, but in the way they talked, they way they thought, and everything else.  There was no gender ambiguity.  As the theme song of All in the Family reminds us, "girls were girls, and men were men."  You knew who was who.

I believe that the way a person dresses both announces and creates one's identity.  


The Skirt Experiment

I made a conscious decision that I would start dressing in a clearly feminine way.  This would be my testament to the fact that gender differences did and should exist, and that I was a woman - proud to be a woman as such, and not seeking to dress or act like a man.

While I am a nostalgic sort of person, and do love vintage clothing, I'm not saying that society should go back to dressing like people did in the 1940s...or the 1900s...or any other previous period.  Despite the widespread trend towards androgyny in clothing, there are still some vestiges of gender-specific items remaining (almost all for women, though, it should be noted), one of the obvious ones being a skirt (/dress).  So in my sophomore year of college, I began intentionally adding more skirts to my wardrobe.

And it made a big difference.  For one, when I would wear a skirt, it made me more aware of being a woman, something different and set apart from men.  This in turn, inspired me to try to grow in some of the virtues which are commonly attributed to women - gentleness instead of brashness, compassion, charity...things that I needed to work on anyways.

At the same time, I noticed the changes in the ways that men responded to me.  I'm sure they weren't conscious of it, but something about seeing a woman in a skirt must have brought out their more masculine (i.e. protective) sides.  This was most notable with the Catholic men I regularly hung out with, who were already actively working to be respectful and chivalrous towards women.  But it was also true of the guys around campus.  I had many more men hold doors for me, or let me cross in front of their car on the road when I was in a skirt.  I know this sounds silly.  I'm trying trying to say I wear skirts because I "get something out of it."  I don't think I necessarily look prettier in a skirt either, just more feminine (but perhaps that's the same thing?).  And I think something about that speaks to men, and calls them to be more masculine - to respond to women in the way men are meant to - to be courteous and helpful.

The first few months that I started "skirting" regularly, I got a lot of questions from my relatives and my high school friends.  Mostly, "why are you so dressed up?"  For a while, I tried to fight this attitude.  I was determined to make wearing skirts "normal again."  I would say, "fifty years ago, women wore skirts everyday, and no one asked why they were dressed up!".  But after a while, I just had to accept that in this modern culture, women wearing skirts (I'm not talking about skirts of the super-short and obviously immodest variety) is considered dressing up.  And I decided to embrace that.  I mean, if I can look like I made an extra effort in my clothing choice without actually having to put in any extra work...well, that sounds good to me!


Skirts Promote Respectful Formality

At the risk of this post getting way off topic, I'll mention here that the apparent "dressiness" of my everyday skirt-wearing serves as a testament to something else that I dislike about our modern age: the complete lack of formality.

This is most obvious in clothing.  Many companies which required employees to wear a full suit to the office twenty years ago, are now fine with khakis and a polo shirt.  It used to be that everyone - men and women - would wear a full suit, hat, dress shoes, etc. when they were going anywhere.  Now, jeans and t-shirts are the norm (jeans were designed to be worn by coal miners!  T-shirts were designed as underwear!).  Or even worse - those girls who walk around college campuses in baggy men's sweatpants and sweatshirts, and just a ponytail....but look like they spent an hour on their makeup (what's UP with that?!).  Nice restaurants used to send people away if they weren't dressed up.  Now it's acceptable to wear shorts an flip-flops.  It seems like the only people who wear suits anymore are lawyers and funeral directors.  I guess their careers depend on them giving off an aura of respectability.  And few professions these days are denoted by a special uniform anymore.  As I said earlier, I think the way you dress not only says something about your identity, but it helps to create it.  I think it's important to encourage this in society - for each person to have and understand his role, his job, his purpose.

This total descent into casualness in America doesn't stop at just the clothing people wear.  It's also in the way people interact.  When I am introduced to people's children, very rarely do the parents call me Mrs. _______.  It's often "say hello to Christine."  Everyone is on a first-name basis.  I'm not saying this is a terrible thing.  But I am saying that it denotes a loss of respect.

I know of stay-at-home moms who spend the day in pajamas or sweatpants, as long as they aren't leaving the house.  I'm not judging people who do that - I know things are busy, and it's nice to be comfy.  But for me personally, it's important that I don't let myself do that.  I think there's some value in getting into real clothes in the morning, making my hair look presentable, and putting on a little bit of makeup (just concealer and lipstick) - even if the only person I'll be seeing all day is my husband, many hours later.  If I was dressed in clothing that suggested "relaxation" and "comfort", then all I'd want to do all day is lie around being relaxed and comfortable.  If I put in a little effort on my appearance, then it makes me want to put in some effort in my chores as well.  The same principle applies elsewhere.  If you go to the office dressed like a million bucks, you feel like a million bucks, and it changes the way you behave as well as the way other people perceive of you.  When a police officer is in uniform, he is a police officer.  When he's out of uniform...maybe just a "guy".



 So I wear skirts because they make me a better woman.  I wear skirts because I want to make a statement - one most people will only pick up on unconsciously - about how I believe society should be.

44 comments:

  1. Good post. I liked this point a lot-- "For one, when I would wear a skirt, it made me more aware of being a woman, something different and set apart from men. This in turn, inspired me to try to grow in some of the virtues which are commonly attributed to women - gentleness instead of brashness, compassion, charity...things that I needed to work on anyways."

    I really cannot wear a skirt for my job, but maybe some day I'll start collecting more skirts and stop wearing pants. For right now, though, its jeans and t-shirts for me ;)

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    1. That quote is what stood out to me int his as well.

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  2. I really enjoyed reading this, Christine. I completely agree with everything you note. I usually live in skirts when I'm pregnant so I don't know why I don't wear them more when I'm not. I just might have to rectify this tomorrow :)

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  3. Christine,
    I always appreciate reading what you write. You make many great points and always word them well. I, too, in the past year have been trying to make a better effort to embrace the skirt. Undoubtly, I feel more feminine when dressed in one. As it should be...

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  4. Good post, Christine!

    I'm afraid to wear my elastic-topped winter skirts right now for fear of stretching them out. :-P I haven't seen many maternity skirts around, but my mother-in-law gave me a casual maternity dress, and I LOVE it. (And have been wearing it with the purple sweater tights you may or may not remember handing on to me. :) )

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  5. I've been wearing skirts now for about the last ten years. Before that, except for church, I was a confirmed jeans wearer. And when the topic of skirts came up, I thought, nice idea, but I can't work in a skirt! The other day however, at my son's soccer game which I infrequently attend...I wore jeans as it was an icy day. I ended up wearing them most of the day being in a hurry and not taking the time to change. I was shocked at how difficult it was to work in jeans, they bind, they don't bend with you, hiking them up and hiking shirts down over the waistband. Way, way easier to work in a soft flowy skirt...who knew?

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  6. Great post, Christine. I think you hit all the good reasons for wearing skirts. For about ten years I wore skirts only even when working in my garden... I had a "sloppy" skirt for that. For some reason these last couple of years I have gotten away from it a bit. Can't put my finger on it as to why.

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  7. I loved this post. What a great take on skirt wearing. I may have to look into buying a few more.
    October Rose- check out these skirts from Old Navy. I bought mine in-store and I think they were cheaper than that. Even though they aren't maternity, they were soooo comfortable.
    http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=55402&vid=1&pid=898555

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  8. great post! i live in skirts and dresses in the summer, but not so much in the winter, for two reasons:

    - i am just over five feet tall and long skirts look really bad on me. they make me look shorter than i already am. even my wedding dress was cocktail length!
    - i am a texan. it is just too cold here in pittsburgh for me. i need to wear long underwear and pants (and maybe tights too, honestly) to be comfortably warm in the winter months.

    hopefully one day we will move back to a warmer climate and i will be able to embrace skirts year around. i like them so much more than jeans. besides all the reasons you mentioned, they are so much more figure flattering!

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  9. Loved your comments. I wear skirts most of the time because I feel good in them :-)

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  10. Loved this post!! I really like what you say about the differences between men and women. I really believe God created us differently for a purpose, and I think it's important to embrace our differences, not try to hide them or make them go away! I am not sure why I don't wear dresses/skirts more often, especially right now while I'm pregnant. Jeans just don't seem to fit me right, they keep shrinking on me. LOL! I am actually wearing a skirt today because all my pants were dirty. :)

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  11. I think you and I are totally on the same page. I usually wear skirts. I, like you, do own 4 pairs of pants that I still fit in. (2 jeans, one dress pants, and one Palazzo pants for really formal occasions). I find that I just like skirts. My husband encouraged me to wear them back when we were dating but I never really got into it. Then I started to gain weight after the wedding and found that skirts were more forgiving. I then started wearing skirts because of the way men began to treat me. AKA Like a woman vs. one of the guys. Now I wear skirts about 90% of the time. My mom has given me a hard time about the change but I really don't care. I like to wear skirts so therefore I do. It's as simple as that.

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  12. I have started trying to feminize my wardrobe with more skirt & dresses. Unfortunately my work wardrobe will always have to be pants for safety reasons b/c I work in a chemical lab, but I love looking more feminine in my "off" hours!

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  13. I love this post, I have been a frequent skirt wearer since I was 13 but I can't say I've put much thought into my reasons, I just like them! But in my 18 years of wearing them, I have noticed many of the the same things about the femininity and the treatment from men.

    In eighth grade, I was actually known as "The Skirt Girl" and I only wore them all the time because I realized that I had a closet full of skirts I loved and never wore them (except to church). One day I decided to wear a skirt to school, and once I got through all the "why are you wearing that?" questions it became normal for me.

    As an adult, when I entered the office world, I actually had men tell me it was refreshing to see a woman in a skirt. It wasn't in a lewd way either, they really just appreciated that someone young as I was could hold on to the way things "used" to be.

    I love my skirts, and you've just inspired me to follow through with my desire to wear mostly skirts and phase out pants. I'm currently nine months pregnant and have been living primarily in skirts anyway. I've even been doing my workouts in skirts!

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  14. I really enjoyed reading your post. I am 54 years old and have been searching online for other women who prefer to wear skirts for daily living. I am dismayed at how older women are portrayed in the media today. Those of us who wear long skirts are considered dowdy or old fashioned. Honestly I just find them more comfortable. Cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you layer some long underwear and a slip under a long skirt you are toasty warm, much warmer than in a pair of slacks. I also feel it is healthier for the body to have freedom of movement and air circulation. The only thing I put slacks on for anymore is hiking or exercising because I won't wear my tennis shoes with a skirt, and then as soon as I am done I change into my skirt. I would like to know if there are others who feel as I do. Thank you for this post.

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  15. This is a very interesting topic, especially the part when you said that it seemed men treated you differently when you were wearing a skirt. I have had similar experiences when I have worn a chapel veil to a regular (novus ordo) Mass. I can't say for sure that this is what has happened, but it just seems that men treat me a little differently; like a kind of wave of respect passes over their face when they realize what is on my head, or they eagerly open doors or quickly move to the side to let me walk by first. Stuff like that. I feel like I've gotten some funny looks from women, but I've never caught any from men.

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  16. I wear skirts and dresses all spring and summer long. I need to do so more in the colder months. I agree I feel more feminine in a skirt. I also agree with the days I get dressed up I just feel better than the days I don't do my hair, don't put on makeup, and wear cozy clothes.

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  17. I loved reading your thoughts on this. I'm not an every day skirt wearer, although I've thought about trying to wear them more often. My main hurdle right now, though, is that when I do wear a skirt I can't wait to get home and take my tights off! Maybe that's why I prefer skirts in the summer :)

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  18. I wore skirts my whole life. I live in an Urban city - Bay Area, California. Many women do not respect you for wearing long skirts everyday in the business world. Hence, the change to pants.

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  19. My reasons were because I was raised Pentecostal. Where you were brainwashed to believe that you would burn in hell for eternity. I have recently awakened up to this negative programming. It has affected my social life by wearing long modest skirts everyday.

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  20. Amen! I just made this discovery last year. I gave all my pants away! I found very cute dresses, and skirts and I am even planning on making some that please me out of cotton, so they are nice and roomy and pretty. I feel prettier, and I think that my children, (boys) noticed as well.

    You put it into words so well.

    Thank you!
    Rhea

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  21. Check our skirts collection out :)

    http://www.shukronline.com/womens-long-skirt.html

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  22. Nice writing! There certainly are many good reasons for women to dress femininely, including "skirting". From a male point of view, it seems that there may be a misconception among some that the amount of skin showing is the big issue that makes long pants "more modest." That is definitely one facet of the subject, but there is another just as influential. Skirts of modest length can't help but shield from view the shape of the wearer's private parts, and that shielding reduces the likelihood of certain thoughts even starting in the male observers mind.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes, I have heard this before, and it certainly makes sense...even though it's hard for me to really understand how male brains think about these things!

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  23. Thanks Christine. Inspirational and thought provoking! Much appreciated!

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  24. I just found your post via Facebook, my sister shared it. It makes a lot of sense and it is so inspiring. I agree very much that it is more about being a women and not so much about the modesty. I have noticed myself how I am treated even by my own children when I wear skirts rather then pants. I also feel so much more attractive and womanly when I am dressed nicer. And it is possible to do housework and gardening even in a skirt. Although, where I live, sometimes I have to wear pants outside just because the wind gets too bad. Can't garden in 30 mile an hour winds in a skirt! Oh well, fortunately that's only when a storm front is pushing it's way through and usually mostly during the winter when I don't need to be out in the garden anyway.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! At the time I wrote this post, I had "slipped" into the habit of wearing pants for convenience a couple times a week. Writing this, though, renewed my convictions about the good of skirts, and I determined to stick to it. I'm constantly discovering how many more activities you can absolutely do in skirts, if you just pick the right type and/or wear the appropriate under-garments. But hard winds? That is a tough one!

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  25. Skirts are great, BUT for example: If I wear them all the time I get sick very easily. Not every woman's body is the same. You can go bare foot most of the summer NOT ME,I did a bit of that in the hottest weather and I got bad colds and flues in different parts of the world. Not mentioning UT which is the worst when I indulge in wearing skirts most of the day in the summer. Nobody is gonna convince me of wearing something thicker under: It's nasty and ugly and uncomfortable. I used to be at a very religious college where they demanded skirts all the time for girls. Well, once I saw my friend and pants coming from the airport, she sneaked in in pants. I was so shock coz even the pants where not tight. She look so much thinner, taller and refined. And that is how most women will look like with pants. Admit it, most women struggle with short legs and when they wear flowy skirts they look like from the MAmas and the Papas band, plus fatter and shorter. The right pair of pants can give not only a formal but elegant look as well as a well designed skirt. Being feminine is a matter of taste, attitude and self reliance. What I think skirts do is to add a more romantic look which helps look more feminine, like from older times. It's again a matter of how, when to wear them and their quality.

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  26. Thank you for this post! I am transitioning to wearing skirts/dresses only for the main reason of a lack of formality in today's society. I feel it is an overall lack of elegance, and it affects everyone some way or other. I am trying to be the change I wish to see in the world, as Ghandi advised, and one of my goals is to bring back elegance. Common courtesy, polite words, modesty.

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  27. That's great! This is exactly how I view it, too: being the change I wish to see in the world. Thanks for commenting :-)

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  28. Thanks, Christine! I'm so glad I found this article. I do not wear pants basically for the same reason; I want to be as feminine as possible. No one can dispute that skirts are more feminine. Also, in our times it's really important to differentiate between the sexes! Fashions reflect the soul so if you want a soul full of feminine virtue it's very important to dress as femininely as possible.

    “Society speaks through the clothing it wears…It is often said almost with passive resignation that fashions reflect the customs of a people. But it would be more exact and much more useful to say that they express the decision and moral direction that a nation intends to take: either to be shipwrecked in licentiousness or maintain itself at the level to which it has been raised by religion and civilization. -Di gran cuore - an allocution of Pope Pius XII to a Congress of the "Latin Union of High Fashion” on November 8, 1957

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    1. Also, here's my article:
      http://thecatholicladyblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-revolution-of-fashion.html

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  29. You have so many insightful things to say and I'm so glad you are making your statement. But I also have to be honest...I HATE skirts and dresses and will never wear them unless I have to. I tried for a long time after listening to conservative Christian ladies who tried to convince me it was more modest - try getting your 5 foot 4 self into a 2 foot high car in even an ankle length skirt and tell me again how modest they are! I guarantee if you ask men which one they think is sexier the majority will say skirts. I just felt like if skirts are so modest why are players called "skirt chasers"? THEY obviously don't respect women! But then I don't really need to be seen as more feminine...it's never been an issue for me because I'm naturally very girly. But it is true that men and women are different and society needs to acknowledge this, and we should really try to be women not men. Saying women are just as good as men but then saying we have to be more like men in order to be better is kind of nonsensical!

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  30. Love your post. So sweet to hear your words.
    My favorite outfits are a soft wool skirt just past my knees, and boots. A warm cowl neck sweater and cashmere coat over it all makes me warm, cozy, and snuggable! This combo with a layered slip under it is much warmer than pants, and looks classy and elegant.

    I cant remember the last time I wore pants to work. My reasons have nothing to do with religion, I just like things that make me feel who I am.

    What really impresses me is that you are Catholic and appear to have precisely TWO kids!. Being a Biology teacher, you probably have an awareness of the catastrophic consequences to Mother Earth from too many people.

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    1. In honor of you and everyone who thinks like you I will be sure to have 10 kids. Maybe even 12.
      Thanks for the inspiration!

      --the PhD scientist.

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  33. Well thought out opinion. I think I will get a skirt. I had a long flowy maternity skirt that I wore a lot and enjoyed and my husband has been begging me to get another.

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  34. Thank you, Christine, for saying what I've been thinking for so long! I appreciate not only what you said, but the gentle way in which you said it.

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  35. Thank you, Christine, for saying what I've been thinking for so long! I appreciate not only what you said, but the gentle way in which you said it.

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  36. Amen to everything you said. I've been wearing skirts exclusively for a long time and your reasons expressed beautifully why I do it. Thank you!

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  37. This what I have been searching for! I want to wear skirts all the time and everything I was reading was telling me they had to be long and not form fitting. I finally found some one who expresses my sentiments and I feel like gets the idea of why we should do it. I am currently on my third pregnancy and non of my normal clothes or pregnancy clothes fit and with summer coming I was going to by some "get by" shorts. But as I wait for the money I started wearing my skirts I wear during the summer and they fit great. I thought to myself why don't I just wear skirts all the time? First I get cold easy so skirts often come with being cold for me but I also own lots of tights and wear them under pants when ever its really cold outside. I have several pairs of long boots that I wear and all of these are perfect for the cold. I am transitioning as we speak to wearing mostly skirts. I also am keeping capris and some jeans because I know how useful they can be when its called for! I love this article because it expresses all the reason I want t start doing it and helps me with dressing my two girls in skirts! I also love how modest you can be in a skirt and still have it be super functional! I also love fashion and there are so many cute and really fashionable ways to wear skirts and I want to be able to help my girls do that too! I don't think its wrong to dress for a culture, we have been in the middle east and learned the importance of it, and here fashion is part of the culture. It was through fashion that I learned the art of feminity and want to continue to learn. I love getting to learn new ways to braid hair and style it! Make up is not really my style so not really into that but still its I do love the clothes. Thank you again for expressing this.

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    1. Good luck! The more you wear skirts, the more you'll realize that they can be just as practical as pants in most situations, as long as you find the right type/right undergarments.

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