(LifeSiteNews) – One hot, muggy day during the summer of 2021, I took a good hard look at the skinny jeans I had in my closet and finally decided to chuck them in the garbage.
The decision to part ways with the skinny jeans wasn’t just because they really weren’t that comfortable in hot weather, or because (if I were honest) they weren’t that flattering for my figure, or because I was in the mood for a shopping spree to replace half my wardrobe.
A few points converged that propelled me to make a serious way-of-life change regarding what I wear, which I now challenge ladies out there to consider – and not just regarding skinny jeans or leggings but all forms and styles of pants (or, trousers, depending on your version of English).
Like many Catholics, I grew up close to the Fatima message and thought I was doing all things rather well: prayed the Rosary daily, assisted at First Saturday Masses, and wore dresses to church on Sundays. I never considered one of the Fatima messages – that of modesty – as being one that I was not abiding by.
I did not consider myself immodest: I was never one to wear plunging necklines or short shorts. Being one who is easily chilled, my sleeves are usually at my elbow or longer, and pants, well, pants are just pants. Right? Everybody wears them, men and women alike. That women wear pants has been a cultural norm all my life.
Then I saw this short video from Father David Nix, which touches on a myriad of points, but the one that got my attention was around the 9 minute 44 second mark when he makes the connection that immodesty leads to pornography, which leads to birth control, which leads to abortion. Hmm. But if that were true, what could I do about it? Other women are immodest, not me.
Then I read Father Nix’s blog post on common mortal sins Catholics miss in their confessions (see no. 3: “Immodesty, Including Wearing Leggings and Short Shorts”).
Being as skinny jeans are not a far cry from leggings in the way they fit the body, it was clear to me that if skinny jeans could even possibly fall into a category of “mortal sin,” I could not wear them. And if a reasonable case could be made that they are immodest, I wanted nothing to do with them.
But then there was another question: what about all jeans, ones that may not be as form-fitting as skinny jeans? You know: boot cut, straight leg, flares … and what about khakis and corduroys and my very smart-looking business suit? Would it be immodest to wear those? Must I stop wearing all pants altogether all the time?
This question was unsettled for quite a while, even after I invested in a half dozen maxi skirts to replace my skinny jeans. Then I heard it. Drifting out of mainstream media, a specious argument: “If women can wear pants, men can wear skirts.”
So, the real question was not “can I wear pants?” but rather “why should I, as a woman, wear skirts?” Why do women wear skirts in the first place? Beyond any “outdated” cultural norms and “old-fashioned” traditions, is there something about skirts that make them uniquely the most appropriate apparel for women? I started looking into it.
The best presentation I found as to why skirts and dresses are the most suitable attire for women comes from the Canadian thinker Brian Holdsworth. Rather than summarize his points, made in less than 12 minutes, I will let the reader watch his video, and I hope, come to the same conclusion I did: skirts and dresses shield – and even enhance – the dignity of a woman’s body, whereas pants do not.
When I finally realized that I can fight the culture war by dressing in a way that truly reflects (and protects) the dignity of my own body and expresses the truth about who I am – a woman, no question about that at all – then I was completely onboard.
I have been wearing skirts day in and day out for 18 months now. Do I ever wear pants? Yes. I wear pants around the house for chores and yard work. I wear pants when exercising (even hiking and biking on nature trails, which I suppose could be considered “public” places). But any other time I am in the public’s eye, I wear skirts. That means I wear skirts while shopping, when getting my oil changed, and even when going out to eat at a casual restaurant where everyone else is in jeans. Being as I work from home – and could wear anything I want to work – most days, you will still find me sitting at my desk wearing a skirt.
Two days after Christmas, December 27, is the feast of Saint John, the apostle and evangelist, who is known as “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” Why was John the beloved disciple?
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, John’s virginal purity was one of the top qualities John possessed that made him the recipient of “Christ’s special love”: “He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend (Prv 22:11).”
This Christmas season, let’s look for changes we can make in our lives – big and small – that will help us better embrace lives of purity, chastity, and modesty so as to please God and to reclaim culture.