From Modest Clothing Bible Study by Ray and Elaine Powell
Since the very beginning, God has maintained a distinction of the sexes. In the very first chapter of God’s Word we read the following:
Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (KJV).
In the Law, God stressed this distinction by forbidding the woman to wear the garments of a man and vice versa. There is some debate as to exactly what garments this prohibited, yet the point is clear. God maintained a distinction between men and women.
Deuteronomy 22:5, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God" (KJV).
Often within God’s Word, you will not find a “thou shalt” or a “thou shalt not.” Instead, you will find Biblical principles which can be used to weigh different activities. As a woman of God, you must take the principles given in the Bible and weigh them against your actions, including the type of clothing you may or may not choose to wear.
1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, ”But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (NASB).
In light of the above Scriptures, consider the following:
When the subject of modesty is discussed, often the question is asked, “Do you think pants are modest on women?” Pants, slacks, jeans, or whatever else they may be called, must be put to the test just as any other article of clothing you might consider wearing. Each pair of pants should be evaluated by the same general guidelines as any other item of clothing. Rather than trying to evaluate every pair of pants which the stores might sell, let us evaluate only the pants in your closet. Evaluate the style, fit, length, material, cling and overall attitude of each pair of pants. Look at your profile, your backside, and your front. Observe yourself in a full length mirror while walking, bending, and sitting. You may want to ask a wise, mature, Christian for honest counsel, as you may not be able to correctly evaluate all positions yourself.
Do your pants cover your body? Do they hide not only the skin of your body, but also the shape and curves of your hips and legs? Many pants (especially stretch pants, leggings, and many jeans) are too tight. When a woman walks, even baggy pants can mark out the natural curves of her hips. Pants may be loose enough to be considered not tight, yet because of soft material, they may drape and reveal the curves of the body. Do your pants really cover your body? Have you checked the rear view in a mirror? Have you checked them when you bend over, squat down, sit down, or get in and out of the car?
What fabric type is used? Styles such as Zouave or Dhoti pants, while appearing to be rather baggy and figure-concealing are often very revealing because they are made from thin, soft, clingy material. Because of the bifurcation, pants will often tend to emphasize the crotch area. Sometimes when women walk in pants, the material will eventually work its way around to cling to the crotch area in a most immodest way. This is especially true of tight pants and pants made from soft material. Even some baggy pants, especially when made of thin material, can hug and reveal the shape of a woman’s figure right in the seat and thighs when walking, bending or stooping over.
What attitude do your pants manifest? Do your pants really send a clear message to the world of whom you are, a Christian? Do your pants identify you with Christ or the world? Do your pants please the Lord? If the Lord were standing beside you today, would He choose these pants for you over another garment? If a soul who was seeking truth were to see you in a crowd of people, would you appear to be “salt and light” or just one of the crowd?
Years ago, most culottes were indistinguishable from a regular skirt. Today, however, culottes have become shorter and tighter, and as a result, they often resemble baggy shorts. Many culottes of years ago had flaps or extra pleats across the bifurcation in the front and back to hide the backside and to help cover the lap and legs while walking and sitting. This usually gave the illusion of a skirt rather than bifurcated clothing. Today, however, most of culottes are not made with the extra material which hide the crotch area, and as a result, their modesty must again be re-evaluated.
In some Christian circles, culottes are considered acceptable clothing, yet pants are rejected as unacceptable clothing. This has resulted in a generation of young people who are confused about why culottes, which often reveal the legs below the knees, are allowed, and yet pants, which conceal all of the leg, are not. Do your culottes or shorts cover or expose your legs?
Copyright 2010, W.R.P. Publishing, all rights reserved. Used by permission. Copies may be reprinted for non-profit personal or educational use only.