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Offline PenitentWoman

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A few questions about modest dress
« on: July 08, 2012, 04:08:13 PM »
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  • 1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?


    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:
    ~For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25

    Offline Matthew

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 04:15:54 PM »
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  • The biggest question about #2 is -- where are you going?

    Parading around your body -- even by accident -- isn't such a good idea.

    "The World" suggests that we go to places like beaches to "find a spouse" -- but the kind of spouse you're going to find at a flesh-fest like a public beach is NOT the kind of attention you're looking for.

    Even if someone in your situation said, "I'm just trying to not hide at home all the time. After all, a spouse must be found somewhere, right? I'm just putting myself out there in public", a beach would still be a bad location, because of the kind of men that hang out there.

    Long story short, public beaches are actually occasions of sin, and should be avoided by Catholics. If you like swimming, find a private pool or go to the beaches when no one else is there.

    And yes, there is modest swim attire, but you have to be really careful around the opposite sex. You don't want to attract the wrong kind of attention, not even by accident.
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    Offline Matthew

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 04:19:10 PM »
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  • 3) Just past the knee

    Just past the knee seems to barely cover the needs of modesty -- and what happens when you sit down? It seems like pushing it, to me.

    Again, showing off your legs isn't going to make you even 1% more likely to find your future spouse -- at least a good Catholic spouse. Please keep that in mind. Catholics don't think with their "lower nature" (to keep it phrased for polite company).

    Maybe some bad Catholics do -- if you want a bad Catholic, be my guest :)

    And you also say a lot about you by how you dress. If you wear the shortest "acceptable" dresses and skirts, men are going to make assumptions about you. True, those assumptions might be false, but what else does a man have to go on, when he's face with a room full of women he doesn't know? He has to "go with the numbers", so to speak.

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    Online Nadir

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?

    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:


    1. The ideal, and the most feminine dress is a skirt, but if it is necessary to wear pants wear over them a long top that reaches to knee level. I believe the idea is to cover the outline of the body. Jeans and dress pants reveal that outline.

    2. I no longer go swimming but some girls wear a pair of board shorts and a T shirt, over her underwear. Some people would just go in fully dressed and have something to change into.  

    3. "Just past the knee" is permissible provided the skirt is not too form-fitting or of transparent material.

    This book is an eye-opener for modern women:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0895558009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0895558009&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20


    Offline PenitentWoman

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 04:28:37 PM »
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  • Quote from: Matthew
    The biggest question about #2 is -- where are you going?


    Swimming would be for taking my little one to the pool or beach.

    It would not be for any type of adult social thing.  
     
    ~For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25


    Online Nadir

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 04:29:42 PM »
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  • Good point Matthew, I should also have mentioned the fullness of the skirt and whether it rides up when you sit down.

    Offline Philomena

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 04:43:14 PM »
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  • Hi PW, excellent advice from Matthew and Nadir, much of what is covered by Pope Pius XI below.

    Here are a few thoughts from Pope Pius XI:


    On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, by mandate of Pope Pius XI, issued emphatic instructions on modesty of dress to all
    bishops, directing them to insist on these prescriptions: "We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth
    under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of
    transparent material are improper. "Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb."

    IN GENERAL, clothes should hide the shape of the body rather than accentuate it. Only this kind of clothing can truly be called "decent". This rule automatically excludes slacks (which are masculine apparel) for women. Feminine apparel is a skirt or a dress which must cover the woman's knees when she is seated. Decency in dress is to be observed, not only at Mass on Sundays, but every day of the week. The deciding factor is not whether slacks or culottes are more comfortable than a skirt, but rather to do the Will of God, by "loving Him in all things and above all things" (Collect of the 6th Sunday after Pentecost).

    IN PARTICULAR, when attending Mass, we must be still more careful about how we dress. For instance, women must cover their heads: "Every woman praying ...with her head not covered, disgraces her head" (1 Cor.11:5). This rule has been the constant teaching of the Popes, and Pope St. Pius X had it included in the Code of Canon Law (Canon 1262). It is a sign of humility and submission for a woman to cover her head, and draws down God's graces and blessings upon her. Now is it an indifferent matter, just as no exterior act is an indifferent matter, for it proceeds from our very person and reveals what kind of person we are.

    Both men and women must have their arms covered in church, even when the weather is warm. It is true that this is a sacrifice, and we should offer it to Our Lord, who suffered so much for us in His Body, in order to save us. Let us learn to imitate Him in mortifying our body.





    Offline PenitentWoman

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 04:44:06 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: PenitentWoman
    1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?

    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:


    1. The ideal, and the most feminine dress is a skirt, but if it is necessary to wear pants wear over them a long top that reaches to knee level. I believe the idea is to cover the outline of the body. Jeans and dress pants reveal that outline.

    2. I no longer go swimming but some girls wear a pair of board shorts and a T shirt, over her underwear. Some people would just go in fully dressed and have something to change into.  

    3. "Just past the knee" is permissible provided the skirt is not too form-fitting or of transparent material.

    This book is an eye-opener for modern women:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0895558009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0895558009&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20



    I can't wear a shirt to the knee because we have logo t-shirts. I do have a knee length denim skirt that I could wear over black leggings...
    ~For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25


    Offline PenitentWoman

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 04:51:13 PM »
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  • Quote from: Philomena
    Hi PW, excellent advice from Matthew and Nadir, much of what is covered by Pope Pius XI below.

    Here are a few thoughts from Pope Pius XI:


    On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, by mandate of Pope Pius XI, issued emphatic instructions on modesty of dress to all
    bishops, directing them to insist on these prescriptions: "We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth
    under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of
    transparent material are improper. "Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb."

    IN GENERAL, clothes should hide the shape of the body rather than accentuate it. Only this kind of clothing can truly be called "decent". This rule automatically excludes slacks (which are masculine apparel) for women. Feminine apparel is a skirt or a dress which must cover the woman's knees when she is seated. Decency in dress is to be observed, not only at Mass on Sundays, but every day of the week. The deciding factor is not whether slacks or culottes are more comfortable than a skirt, but rather to do the Will of God, by "loving Him in all things and above all things" (Collect of the 6th Sunday after Pentecost).ooi

    IN PARTICULAR, when attending Mass, we must be still more careful about how we dress. For instance, women must cover their heads: "Every woman praying ...with her head not covered, disgraces her head" (1 Cor.11:5). This rule has been the cosant teaching of the Popes, and Pope St. Pius X had it included in the Code of Canon Law (Canon 1262). It is a sign of humility and submission for a woman to cover her head, and draws down God's graces and blessings upon her. Now is it an indifferent matter, just as no exterior act is an indifferent matter, for it proceeds from our very person and reveals what kind of person we are.

    Both men and women must have their arms covered in church, even when the weather is warm. It is true that this is a sacrifice, and we should offer it to Our Lord, who suffered so much for us in His Body, in order to save us. Let us learn to imitate Him in mortifying our body.






    Shirts to the elbow and long sleeve at mass? Wow, I guess I thought short sleeves were okay as long as shoulders are covered.
    ~For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25

    Offline catherineofsiena

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 04:59:42 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?


    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:


    #1 - Don't fight the work dress code.  Do what you can until you move and get a better job consistent with your changing life and belief system.  You are not in a position to lose necessary income.  God doesn't demand the impossible.

    #2 - I know you've seen the swim skirts and swim shorts back in style?  Paired with a modest tank all the essentials are covered.  Your modesty is preserved without drawing attention to yourself like the Muslim women who wear the full body unikini.

    #3 - Just past the knee is fine.  Again, we don't have to dress like the 1850s to be modest.  As one traditional priest recently told me women can be modest and still be fashionable.  That's not a sin.  We aren't Jansenists.  The whole point is not to be an occasion of sin for men who are visual beings.

    Now, back to the beach/pool thing, the nurse in me is hoping you aren't putting a newborn in the water???
    For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. Matthew 26:31

    Offline catherineofsiena

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #10 on: July 08, 2012, 05:06:51 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    Quote from: Philomena
    Hi PW, excellent advice from Matthew and Nadir, much of what is covered by Pope Pius XI below.

    Here are a few thoughts from Pope Pius XI:


    On January 12, 1930, the Sacred Congregation of the Council, by mandate of Pope Pius XI, issued emphatic instructions on modesty of dress to all
    bishops, directing them to insist on these prescriptions: "We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth
    under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of
    transparent material are improper. "Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb."

    IN GENERAL, clothes should hide the shape of the body rather than accentuate it. Only this kind of clothing can truly be called "decent". This rule automatically excludes slacks (which are masculine apparel) for women. Feminine apparel is a skirt or a dress which must cover the woman's knees when she is seated. Decency in dress is to be observed, not only at Mass on Sundays, but every day of the week. The deciding factor is not whether slacks or culottes are more comfortable than a skirt, but rather to do the Will of God, by "loving Him in all things and above all things" (Collect of the 6th Sunday after Pentecost).ooi

    IN PARTICULAR, when attending Mass, we must be still more careful about how we dress. For instance, women must cover their heads: "Every woman praying ...with her head not covered, disgraces her head" (1 Cor.11:5). This rule has been the cosant teaching of the Popes, and Pope St. Pius X had it included in the Code of Canon Law (Canon 1262). It is a sign of humility and submission for a woman to cover her head, and draws down God's graces and blessings upon her. Now is it an indifferent matter, just as no exterior act is an indifferent matter, for it proceeds from our very person and reveals what kind of person we are.

    Both men and women must have their arms covered in church, even when the weather is warm. It is true that this is a sacrifice, and we should offer it to Our Lord, who suffered so much for us in His Body, in order to save us. Let us learn to imitate Him in mortifying our body.






    Shirts to the elbow and long sleeve at mass? Wow, I guess I thought short sleeves were okay as long as shoulders are covered.


    Sleeve length depends on the chapel.  Check with your priest.  Indult and FSSP tend to be more lenient.  SSPX may be more strict.  Modest short sleeve is fine.  Just no sleeveless.  That is the sticking point.  No pants or short, form fitting skirts either.  Again, everything is viewed from the question "Will this be a distraction for people, particularly men, who are in church to pray?"
    For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. Matthew 26:31


    Offline PenitentWoman

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #11 on: July 08, 2012, 05:22:01 PM »
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  • My baby is 9 months next week. She does like her feet in the water
     :) I don't really have time or any good reason to take her swimming now though. I'm thinking of the future.

    I would like to buy a skirted suit like you describe
     Wasn't sure if that was okay because the skirts are still pretty revealing.

    Next question. I have lots of immodest clothing (shorts, tanks, sundresses etc.) packed away. Is it okay to sell/consign these items or is that passing on sin to someone else?
    ~For we are saved by hope. But hope that is seen, is not hope. For what a man seeth, why doth he hope for? But if we hope for that which we see not, we wait for it with patience. ~ Romans 8:24-25

    Offline catherineofsiena

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #12 on: July 08, 2012, 05:56:41 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    My baby is 9 months next week. She does like her feet in the water
     :) I don't really have time or any good reason to take her swimming now though. I'm thinking of the future.

    I would like to buy a skirted suit like you describe
     Wasn't sure if that was okay because the skirts are still pretty revealing.

    Next question. I have lots of immodest clothing (shorts, tanks, sundresses etc.) packed away. Is it okay to sell/consign these items or is that passing on sin to someone else?


    9 months, whew! That's okay.  We had a young woman who brought her newborn into the ER.  She put her in the pool.  Our doc had a fit!  I had flashbacks ;-)

    Lands End has some fairly modest skirt/short/tankini sets on sale now.  Other sites have them but I've noticed Lands End and LL Bean have more modest cuts on their clothes.  I bought some good quality tees this summer at a reasonable price.  One thing that's a problem these days is that fabric is so thin.  It's a challenge because I don't like see through tops and that seems to be the current norm.  Macys online has Karen Scott tees for nine to ten bucks.  Good for everyday and thick enough that they aren't see through and the necklines aren't too low. Plus, with cooking and an infant it's no big financial loss when they get stained.  

    As far as the beach, you could go with a tunic and leggings or capris underneath? I would be more concerned about where you go and with whom.  Gyms and certain beaches tend to be meat market atmospheres.  I stay away for those reasons regardless of what I wear.  You will either be sexualized or ridiculed.  Not worth it.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

    If you want to salvage some of the tanks and sundresses get a shrug in a neutral color.  They're pairing them with maxi dresses this season.  A cropped jacket, short sleeve or long, can go over the tanks and a straight skirt for casual wear.

    Consign the rest.  You need the cash.  I used to do the same.  See, you are quite the savvy wife to be!  ;-)   Lydia, the seller of purple in the New Testament, was a good businesswoman AND a good Catholic.

    Don't worry about others.  They can buy clothes anywhere and you aren't responsible for their choices.  Right now you can only save your soul and guide your daughter in a good Catholic life.  You can't save anyone else (and that's advice from my priest given to me).

    Use common sense.  As you change your lifestyle it will become second nature.  The mistake people make when they tire of our sex saturated world is to go to the opposite extreme.  We don't have to wear prairie dresses.  Just take a look in the mirror and ask "is everything covered and could I be a source of temptation to a man struggling to stay chaste?"  I was questioning some of this in the past year and flat out asked my priest for advice.  He did not disapprove of my clothing choices.  That's another thing your future spiritual director can advise.
    For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. Matthew 26:31

    Offline Roman55

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #13 on: July 08, 2012, 06:08:07 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?


    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:[/quote

    No. 1.  Not sure.  What sort of work is this?  That should tell you if you even belong in that environment.  Just surmising: No.  Is the work itself 'objectionable' ie; 'cocktail waitress'?  Run as far away from that as you can!
    No. 2.  What swim suits were worn at the turn of the previous century?  Believe it or not, those are still made and are recommended by trads.
    No. 3.  I think 'just past the knee' is debatable, but on the surface, probably ok for your conciseness  and trad respectability.  Long skirts, from what I've seen at church, I think are great in that they are in good taste.

    Me thinking out loud!

    Offline de Montfort

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    A few questions about modest dress
    « Reply #14 on: July 08, 2012, 06:24:37 PM »
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  • Quote from: PenitentWoman
    Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: PenitentWoman
    1.) Are pants ever permissible? One of my jobs has a dress code of jeans or black dress pants. Not sure if I should put up a fuss.

    2.) What would qualify as modest swim attire? Or is there no such thing?

    3.) Is "just past the knee" really permissible or should I stick with long skirts only?

    I would appreciate feedback from both men and women. Thank you!   :smile:


    1. The ideal, and the most feminine dress is a skirt, but if it is necessary to wear pants wear over them a long top that reaches to knee level. I believe the idea is to cover the outline of the body. Jeans and dress pants reveal that outline.

    2. I no longer go swimming but some girls wear a pair of board shorts and a T shirt, over her underwear. Some people would just go in fully dressed and have something to change into.  

    3. "Just past the knee" is permissible provided the skirt is not too form-fitting or of transparent material.

    This book is an eye-opener for modern women:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0895558009/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0895558009&linkCode=as2&tag=httpwwwchanco-20



    I can't wear a shirt to the knee because we have logo t-shirts. I do have a knee length denim skirt that I could wear over black leggings...


    Dear PW, this would be perfect for your particular work situation.  I have also heard this from priests, that if a woman is legitimately required to wear pants for a particular reason (yours being your work environment), then it's best if you can wear a skirt over leggings and that would suffice.  If not, just do what you can!

    Your first concern right now is the care of your little one, so just do the very best you can with regard to dress.  Our Dear Lord and His Blessed Mother surely understand!  Your merit and graces will come from your INTENTIONS.   Remember, God knows your heart!

    In  the meantime, I have been including you and your sweet child in my daily prayers.  God bless you, PW!

     

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