Wednesday, July 23, 2008

On Dressing Like a Lady

Lady Rose and a few of her fellow blogging friends have been posting about something they have entitled "A Week in Feminine Dress". Each day for one week they display photos of the feminine fashions that they are wearing. They do this once for each of the four seasons. It really is quite refreshing to see them looking so lady-like. It got me to thinking once again about fashions now-a-days.

The topic of feminine dress ranks up there, like religion and politics, as one of those topics that you had better not bring up unless you are ready to do battle. More specifically, it seems that if you discuss whether or not women should wear pants, you better be ready for some very interesting discussion. Modesty is one thing. Young women and ladies dressing like ladies (and not men) is another.

About five years ago, I became convicted that females should dress like females and men should dress like men. This meant that all the females in our house got rid of our shorts and pants and filled our wardrobe with pretty skirts and dresses. My children were still relatively young, and they were used to wearing dresses anyhow, so it was not that horrible of a transition. We soon discovered that you can do pretty much anything wearing a skirt that you can do wearing pants. We have gone horseback riding, bike riding, hiking, gardening and cleaning out the barn in our skirts. It might take a little more care (especially on windy days!), but it certainly is no hardship.

I am always amazed by the responses we get when we are out in public; all six of us girls in our skirts or dresses. Mostly it is positive, especially from the older generation. Sometimes we have been mistaken for Amish :) However, I have been accused of being judgmental of women wearing slacks - even though I look upon this as a very personal decision, one which I know is not for everyone to make. Once when one of my daughters did wear pants to a family function, I remember the reaction of one of the lady attendees - she was so excited to see her in jeans, she couldn't contain herself. From her comments, you would have thought that my daughter had just been released from a prison camp!

This idea of women dressing like men happens at all ages. There are times where I will see a young person and I honestly can't figure out whether they are a girl or a boy. Just yesterday, I was sitting behind a person with gray hair at Mass and I honestly could not tell from behind whether it was a man or woman because of the way they were dressed (it turned out to be a woman). I guess our position in our house is, if you are a girl, why not take advantage of the wide range of fashions and wear beautiful, flowing, modest feminine clothing. I really think that it makes a difference in how people (especially men) treat you. I also know that I feel more lady-like when I am dressed like a lady. Yes, it is getting harder and harder to find modest feminine clothing, but it is out there, you just have to look harder. Overall, I have to say that all the extra work has been well worth it. I hope that my daughters' future husbands will appreciate the care that they take to dress like ladies. I know that my husband does!

God Bless!


  1. and even if you cant find anything you can always sew it!

  2. Wonderful post mamma!

    LOL, was that the time when I refused to change from the jeans that I wore to the freezing football game because I "didn't have time"? I remember that!
    (Though I did. And now I have no excuse because I am a registered quick change artist... complete outfit change once in 2 min! Less, actually. That was regular clothes... not the time I did from the Civil War hoops to a different outfit - with make-up! in about 5 minutes. Maybe less?)

    But I would change now! I have defiantly grown in modesty awareness, and feel so uncomfortable wearing pants in public! Alas for me, I do look good in them... but I just don't like them anymore!

    Some people think we are amish? I knew other people got those remarks.. but I didn't know anyone had said that to us! Funny.

  3. We have the same thing happen to us, Laura.....The one activity I have not mastered is bike riding. Any advice? I'm "afraid" to bike ride in my skirt. I have found that I'm so much cooler in the summer in a skirt, despite it's length. I've also found that we're almost ready to go anywhere when we wear skirts. No "changing" necessary. Great column because I appreciate the support. Makes us feel not sooooo different. In Hanceville all the ladies and girls are in skirts. It's beautiful! God bless, Dolores

  4. beware, vanity!

  5. You are right! Thanks for the reminder. I really don't feel that I am better than anyone else just because I have a skirt on and they don't. Like I said, it really is a very personal decision. Sorry if it came across the wrong way!

  6. So sorry. The vanity comment was refering to the dress for a week.

  7. Dear anonymous,
    Out of curiosity, why do you think that the Week in Feminine Dress is vain? I can certainly see how it could be, but may I inform you that the girls who do it are not doing so to say "Look at me! I am wearing feminine dress for a whole week! See how much better I am then you?"
    Let me quote the young lady whom I first heard about this from:
    [...]Four times a year - spring, summer, fall, and winter - the ladies at the Sense and Sensibility forums have what we call A Week in Feminine Dress. Those participating dress in feminine attire over the course of the week to show how skirts and femininity are both pretty and practical, and we share our day-to-day pictures with one another.[...]

    I do not see this as something where we are trying to display how much better dressed we are then others, but as a way to show that dressing in a feminine matter can be both pretty and practical. I also see this as another way of encouraging others to dress similarly, that they are not alone, there are others out there who do wear the same kinds of clothing that you do and to not be afraid.

  8. Dear Lady Rose, while dressing in a feminine manner is laudable, the attention to detail and the numerous photos could be an occasion for vainglory. Because of the simplicity of wearing a t-shirt and a skirt, it seems showy to post so many photos.

  9. May I ask... have you visited my blog?

    If so, then why don't we continue this discussion there?

    The link can be found in the sidebar of this blog.

  10. I for one think it's a great idea to have the "Dress for a Week". The teen girls that are trying to dress more feminine are in the minority in our culture. The current fashions for teen and adult women are shocking. It is an uphill battle for the girls and the photos are 1) one way for them to support each other, 2) a way to give other girls ideas on how to dress in skirts, etc. who may be interested and have no idea on where to begin and 3) a way to show other teens that, yes, you can dress more feminine and not look "dowdy". Lady Rose, I think it's a lovely "ministry".
    Dolors H

  11. Thank you Mrs. H! You put it ever so much better than I did!