Monday, June 11, 2007

Skirt update

Kristen Laurence over at Small Treasures (love her blog!) had a wonderful comment in my last posting on skirts that I wanted everyone to see:

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?


Jennifer F. said...

I completely agree. Great points! This reminds me of the friendly debate going on over at Mothers of Many Saints in this post. It's a really interesting issue to me. Especially that one of my more frequent sins is vanity, it's always hard for me to figure out where the balance is between wanting to put my best foot forward and being self-absorbed.

Thanks for the thoughts!

Kristen Laurence said...

It makes perfect sense. A wonderful and thoughtful post, as always. You are such a beautiful woman, inside and out!

Ouiz said...

Thank you both so much for your comments!

Jennifer, I'm going to have to go over to see what's being said at the blog you mentioned!

Kristen, I especially thank you for your comment about not making it a moral issue, because that really nailed what I wanted to say about the whole thing!

Entropy said...

I am so enjoying these posts on skirts and dresses. I'm also relieved that you aren't 'bashing' those who don't wear dresses all the time.

What you say makes so much sense and thanks for saying it!

Mary Ann said...

One of the reasons I wear skirts / dresses only is to stand up for authentic femininity. Too often in this post-modern culture men and women are deemed to be no different from one another. Wearing a skirt is one of the ways I can witness to the fact that men and women are indeed different. Being a stay-at-home mother is another of those ways.

Maria said...

Great post. I don't understand with all the issues we face in our culture, why people make skirt-wearing a big one! (Though I tend to love wearing cute sun dresses - you don't have to match pants and shirts. It is by far the easiest and coolest way for me to dress in the summer.)

SuzanneG said...

Great Post! Once again, you can put down in writing what would take me MONTHS to!

Amber said...

I know I'm jumping in rather late here, but I wanted to thank you for your posts on this subject. I've really enjoyed them and found them thought-provoking. Also, I wanted to say thanks for helping me to have a little more courage to try it myself. I've been thinking about moving to skirts for awhile now, and reading what you've had to say and looking at some of the posts you linked to (and what they linked to... you know how it goes! *grin*) I felt very encouraged. Today is day 2 of the skirt thing - and my daughter and husband are very approving! Since I didn't have any skirts, I made one yesterday and ended up buying two yesterday afternoon (50% and 70% off, gotta love that) and I have plans for more. I'm excited about this, I know I've been wanting this for awhile.

Anyways, thanks again!

Ouiz said...

Wow! Thank you so much for your comment!!

Congratulations on day 2 of your "skirt wearing"! I'm glad that your family is enjoying the change!

It took a little getting used to for me, but now I don't even really think about it... although if I *do* wind up wearing pants for some reason, my kids will usually look at me quizzically and ask, "are you wearing Daddy's pants?" [grin]

Like I said earlier, it's certainly not a "salvation issue" by ANY stretch of the imagination, but if it helps us to be more aware of the Lord, or more feminine, then it can only be a blessing!

God bless and thank you again for such kind words!!

Mrs. V said...

I have been wearing only skirts (excpet every great once in awhile) for several months now. I love wearing them and feel completely weird in pants now.
But, like you, it is not a matter of forcing it on anyone else. It isn't even a salvation issue. It is what I feel the Lord has called me to do.
God bless!