I think it's wonderful that many women wear only skirts, but I truly appreciate when they don't push it on other Catholic moms, making it a moral issue.
Some of us are called to bring our families to heaven, and that is no small task. Some of us feel called to bring others to God, and sometimes (as in the case here in southern California) this will only work if we look more "normal" if you know what I mean. Not immodest, not super trendy, just respectable by cultural standards.
Does this make sense?? I love it when I see a beautiful mother wearing only skirts. But based on a particular calling I feel, my location of residence, and experiences in the past of bringing friends to the Church, jeans and capris as well as skirts are for me. :)
First, I gotta say Amen! I agree with you, Kristen!!
Skirt/dress wearing is NOT a "salvation issue," and should never be treated as such. I think MODESTY is required of all people (men and women!), but how that plays out in our lives may vary greatly. Some feel called to pursue a "Mary-like modesty" in terms of how they dress (long skirts, 3/4 sleeves, very shallow necklines), while others have less strict interpretations of modest clothing.
I think the question, "Would Jesus be pleased with what I'm wearing?" goes a long way in sorting out the modest from the immodest!
Secondly... and with all due respect to those women who feel called to "set themselves apart" by the way they dress.... I don't want to have someone look at me and immediately think, "Oh... she's got some religious thing going on." I don't ever want to throw up some wall between me and the person next to me.
My goal is to dress in a way that highlights the beauty and dignity of womanhood.** (see note below) For me, that includes crinkly skirts, bright colors, fun jewelry, and open toed sandals. For others, that may mean sweater sets, or preppy outfits, or denim jumpers. I want people to say, "oh wow! Love your outfit!" and think nothing more of it.
In fact, I have some friends who still haven't "caught on" yet that I wear mostly skirts and dresses. It has registered on some subconscious level, perhaps, but that's as far as it's gone.
I have never come out and told my children that women "should" wear skirts and dresses, either. I talk about the importance of acting like ladies and gentlemen, and showing that to those around us.
I'm not sure WHY God has led me down this particular path in terms of dressing. I may stand before Him one day and discover that I misread everything, and He wasn't asking me to do the skirt/dress thing after all. That's OK. I really haven't lost anything!
I hope that clarifies the skirt issue a bit better...
**note: what really affected me more than anything was noticing, for the first time, how often I went for what was purely comfortable, and not caring whether it was sloppy or not. I'd go shopping at my friendly neighborhood Mart of Wall in flannel pajama pants, or bum around in the house in sweats all day, because it was comfortable. My opinion then was "I don't need to impress anyone!"
Since then I have felt the need to take the few extra minutes to look "presentable," and not simply dressed. I am not a high-maintenance person by ANY means (make up and hair takes 5 minutes!), but I no longer go out, or even stay home, in grubby sweats and an oversized T-shirt.
More than anything else, I do it to look like a woman, and to show my kids that one should carry oneself with dignity.
Does that make sense to anyone?