I wear skirts and dresses


One of the most popular topics among women Christian bloggers is the issue of whether  women and girls should only wear skirts and dresses or is it ok to wear slacks/jeans. Some say Christian women should only wear skirts/dresses, others say it isn't a sin issue therefore it doesn't matter as long as the outfit remains modest. Others say skirts should be to the ground, others are happy at knee length. When you look across the blogs the responses are a mixed bag and it must be confusing to those women trying to decide which way to turn. 

So what do I think? This is my own personal convictions on the topic and I am not telling anyone else what to wear. 

I grew up wearing skirts/dresses almost exclusively. All the women in my family - young and old  - wore skirts and dresses. I simply wasn't allow to wear anything different. accepted this quite happierly as a child but as I got older (into my teens) it began to niggle me, partly because I began to stand out which wasn't something I enjoy at all (I preferred to blend into the crowd). Interestedly, none of us wore long skirts, we all wore knee length (or just above the knee during the mini-skirt period), long skirts were for hippies (I did grow up in the 1970's). 

I never saw my mother in pants until after she had her stroke in her 70s when wearing a skirt were too difficult to get on and off. 

When I left home I was very keen to throw off what I considered to be a legalist view point and started to wear jeans, pants and shorts. I wore pants for many years, however as I got older I moved back to skirts and dresses and now almost exclusively wear them.  It wasn't really until I looked at photos of myself in pants did I realise that I didn't look very feminine or pretty in pants and being a little overweight, they really didn't look good on me. 

So why do I wear skirts and dresses these days? For me: 
  • Skirts and dresses are feminine and I want to look feminine
  • Everyone wears jeans (or black trousers) and I find them to be very unfeminine, however they do have their purpose occasionally
  • Clothing has become very unisex and I want to be seen clearly as a woman in feminine outfits, for me this is in skirts and dresses. Wearing a skirt for me is a visual acknowledgement of my sex. 
  • I enjoy wearing skirts and dresses - and I wear long, knee length and everything in between
  • They are comfortable, cool in summer and warm in winter
Whether I wear a skirt or not, is not an issue for my husband, he doesn't mind what I wear (pants or skirts). However he isn't fond of what he calls "tent" skirts so I don't wear them very often (except in summer when I find them cool to wear). 

There is no bible verse to say that women cannot wear trousers.  However there are verses about the way we look and dress - to be modesty attired, to not be flashy in our clothing and not to spend lots of money and time consumed about our clothing as the more time we focuse on our external adornments takes precious time away from the Lord (1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 3:3-4).  A woman can dress just as modestly in slacks and a pretty top as in a skirt. Sadly for those women who do like to wear trousers, the current fashion for women is the very tight pants (as seen below) leaves nothing to the imagination. And for women who love wearing skirts - many modern day skirts are very in-modest and cover almost nothing at all. 



So what about Deuteronomy 22.5?

 A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.

From what I have read, this verse has more to do with cross-dressing (pretending to be of the opposite sex as in men dressing up as drag queens) which is why God saw it as an abomination (as He did with homosexuality). It isn't so much about women wearing trousers and most women who wear trousers are are not doing so to pretend to be a man (however, the style and cut of many women's trousers are very masculine as you can see above). Interestedly, men during biblical times wore robe like garments rather than the modern trousers. Their outfits (in design) would have been similar to what women were wearing. However women dressed up their outfits with jewels and other adornments. The clothing worn by men and women over time have been influenced by the culture they live in, men in Scotland wore the kilt and in parts of the Pacific (e.g. Solomon Island), men still wear something very similar to skirts and you certainly wouldn't say that these men were doing the wrong thing. 

Wearing trousers is a matter a woman's own conscience before the Lord. Women should not preach and boast about wearing skirts to make others feel guilty and accusing them of not taking their Christianity seriously. In the effort to be modest and discrete in dress, makeup and jewellery, we can easily become very rigid in our behaviour and see those who do not do as we do as wrong. We must not become legalist about our dress. And we should not go the opposite and dress in plain drab clothing thinking this will make God happier. 

Our true beauty is not our clothing or our jewels, it is our gentle and quiet spirit. Our outer beauty will fade with age (nothing we can do about that), but our hearts should be exceptionally beautiful, "precious in the sight of God" (1 Peter 3:4). 

Remember, one can dress in a skirt and behave in a very unChristian way, someone in jeans can have a heart of gold and walk the path of God with all her heart. We must not judge others by what they wear. 

Source from: sweetinnocencedresses.com

*****

Comments

  1. I agree with your comments, and I wear skirts, dresses, and jeans. But I have to say, I always feel more feminine and comfortable in a dress. partly because of my body shape, I think they look better on me. Women can also be very immodest in a dress, depending on the cut. Thanks for the post; I think you gave a good, balanced point of view.

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    1. I also feel much more feminine when I put on a dress or skirt and I just love the feel of a well made skirt. I line all the ones I make as it makes them even more comfortable. And modesty is in the eye of the beholder - what I think is modest I am sure others wouldn't agree with me. Many of my skirts of knee length, not everyone would agree that is modest. Its a complicated issue!!

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  2. I very much appreciate your conclusion--we must not judge others by what they wear. One time I read a blogger complaining about how she'd moved to a new city and met some Christian women who didn't dress like Christians at all because they were all wearing pants and she was quite distressed by that. And I found that so sad.
    We can, and must, love people, whatever they're wearing. I love wearing dresses and skirts, but I don't wear them exclusively. My husband HATES floor length skirts, so most of mine are knee-length or just below--and there are plenty of activities where jeans seem a little more appropriate than a knee-length skirt (especially since I live on top of a windy hill! I also wear leggings with skirts and dresses--to me, that's the warmest option in the winter!

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    1. My husband doesn't mind long, just not tent like skirts ! I like to wear tights under my skirts in winter, they keep me warm.

      Some Christians are very quick to judge others who do things differently, they assume they aren't "Christian" enough and that includes the way some dress. It is rather sad.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I've score most of my girls and my long skirts at the thrift stores. We love our jean skirts.

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    1. I occasionally find nice skirts at thrift stores but not often. Ebay is quite good. These days I make my own often from fabric bought in sales! I am yet to try my hand at making a demin skirt but I would love to try.

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  4. Hello Jo, I agree with this well written post! And it is always a hot topic and I do wear pants once in awhile but skirts and dress'es is the norm for me! I think so many clothing articles seem to look so unisex. I hope you are well and I have enjoyed reading this post! I am still on holiday!
    Blessings, Roxy

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    1. Hi Roxy , all well here. God has been good with answered prayers.

      Enjoy your holidays:)))

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  5. Thanks for a great post! I don't wear skirts and dresses all of the time but I do wear them a lot (but any pants or shorts that I wear are always modest in length and and are always loose fitting) Thanks again! <3

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  6. Hello Jo! I am stopping by and following along with you via Jes over at Strangers and Pilgrims... I also think Skirts are very feminine and look great.. I would wear them more often but my legs are such a mess with very bad veins and are so swollen at the end of the day.... They just look awful on me.. I do love the longer straight skirts and maxi dresses that are back in this Summer season. I love that they fall at my ankles covering my legs.. Still, I mostly choose pants or longer capri/ankle pants in the Summer.. I so agree with you. Femininity and modesty are not taught enough among our younger women.. I believe is is important for older women to set the example. I appreciate your heart and the boldness you have to posts on these issues.. May you continue to do so...above all, what is in the heart will show through our attitude and our dress.. So much truth here in your post.. Keep it up.. I hope you will stop by for a visit and maybe follow along with me too. Blessings!

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    1. I think one of the reason for not jumping to conclusions about what people wear is the reason you give here. Not everyone can wear skirts, but it doesn't make them any lesser a Christian. My mother wore skirts all her life, now she only wears pants as a result of her disability making it too hard to wear a skirt and at 81, her comfort is more important.

      Off to visit your site:))

      Blessings

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  7. I love seeing women wear feminine clothing. I also find it very interesting to notice that those who grow up wearing skirts legalistically (like your family and mine) will often want to wear pants (that which is forbidden is often desired!)... And yet, I have raised my daughter with the option of pants for certain things, and she PREFERS and WANTS to wear skirts all the time! She very rarely wears even pjs because she just loves nighties, and she *only* wears pants when playing outside for modesty or safety! She just LOVES wearing feminine clothing - such a blessing!
    I love those two dresses at the end of your post, Jo - they are SO feminine and pretty and beautiful! I prefer long skirts most of the time (I have bad veins from pregnancy, which I think are better covered) - not just to cover up my veins, but also because they are so feminine and flowy and pretty. :)

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    1. I can now chose to wear pants or skirts and I choose skirts and I do love wearing them. Perhaps if I had that choice as a child I might not have been anti later on. I think this is the issue of being legalistic. I do wear track pants if I'm in the garden, it's just do much easier.

      I love those dresses to, they say feminine so much. In winter I wear both lengths (with tights), but often in summer I wear long as they are cooler because they are flowy.

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  8. Superbly written. I loved the photo's at the top. The long crocheted skirt was so pretty. I totally agree with your post. And you stated it with wisdom and gentleness. I have had this topic on my mind for a while. You've really brought to light some very good points.
    Thanks for sharing. I've enjoyed visiting your blog. I'd love you to visit me! Hope the rest of your week is
    beautiful.
    Sherry

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    1. I also loved that long crocheted skirt too - very feminine and pretty. Thankyou for your kind comments. Off to visit your blog :))

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  9. Hi Jo, this post was a highly visited one... Seems like a hot topic indeed! :) I fall into the skirts only category because it feels very feminine... I must agree with you thought, it is not about who is “right” regarding skirts verses pants, but it is clearly about being modest and feminine... The distinction of the two sexes is necessary and any blurred lines in our gender are clearly considered an abomination... So whatever we decide wear, we should wear it wisely. Thanks for linking up with the Art of Home-Making Mondays!

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    1. Thankyou for the link up on Mondays - its great to expand ones readership and meet other Christian ladies.

      Yes, a hot topic for sure and one that we could discuss for ages!! The blurring of the genders has become such a problem - and I particularly dislike the tight jeans for both young males and females - it is such a bad look and very unfeminine. God does want women to look feminine and men to look masculine :))

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  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on why you wear skirts. Two years ago, the Lord impressed upon me for me to be my daughter's example. I studied, prayed and asked my husbands opinion and then just tried skirts for a week to see how I liked them. I love them! I never knew how comfortable I would be in them, and how warm in the winter and cool in the summer I would be. In the summer I wear bike shorts underneath and I am good to go. We are not exclusive skirt wearing. Husband actually has rules such as pants/shorts for bike riding, etc. But we have enjoyed our transition into a more modest and feminine approach to what we wear. All the while asking God to guide me into dressing only to impress him (and my hubby) and to just be the example my daughter needs. Enjoyed your post!

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    1. I agree that there are some activities that are best done in pants and not skirts - for me that would be garden. I fine skirts are much cooler in summer and with tights they are very comfortable in winter with boots. I have never been uncomfortable in a skirt (unless it is too tight!!).

      At home in the evenings I often change into track pants as I find them the most comfortable to lounge around in and in summer I might wear 3/4 length pants. I think it is important not become legalist about this.

      Thanks heaps for your comments.

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  11. I wear mostly skirts, but as a USDA inspector on a high speed beef kill (350-390 head of steers slaughtered per hour) I have to wear the plain navy blue pants that we all must wear. No exceptions. While I feel awful that I can't be in the skirt, and some days it would be cooler because some days it's miserable in the pants, because of safety around 180 degree water in the sterilizers and the knives plus all of the men around, it's easier to just stay in the pants on the line to maintain modesty and uniformity. The uniforms are very drab and the only reason we stand out is we are the only ones who are allowed to wear white shirts. I get fed up with some of the women of the region I live in saying that skirts are the only things that a good Christian wears and that I should quit my job. It feels some days like it's darned if I do and darned if I don't

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    1. Some Christian women are very thoughtless with their comments (and hurtful) - they make an assumption that if they all wear skirts 24/7 and are at home, everyone else must do the same without thinking about the personal situation of other women. We are not all in the same situation. I would like to be at home, but that isn't the path the Lord has asked me to follow and until He does, I will continue to do as He asks me to do. And I will do it without complaint.

      Follow the path the Lord has set out for you and not what others think you should be doing. You only need to answer to the Lord and not your neighbours.

      Blessings

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  12. While I do love to wear dresses I very seldom do as I work in an office and a beautiful pant suit or professional looking pants with a blouse and a nice jacket are much more appropriate. Trust me, when ladies are bending over to get into a
    file drawer they look much better in pants than a dress. We who wear pants do not
    condemn other women who wear dresses. I am always amazed at the women , expecially Christian women, who ostracize women who wear pants. We all find a lot
    of legalism within the church among the dress only wearers.

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    1. Its all about personal taste. I work in an office where dressing smartly is a requirement and I always wear skirts or dresses. Its what you feel is best for you and you feel is the most modest option for what you do. Yes, i agree, legalism is a big problem.

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  13. I appreciate your viewpoint on here. I feel quite similarly as well! Thanks s much for putting this out there and sharing your thoughts in a humble way!

    God bless,
    Patty

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    1. Thankyou Patty - this is quite a controversial topic and some women have very strong views and expect other women to wear likewise. Our level of modesty and our choices are choices we need to make with God and not with other women. Whilst I rarely wear trousers, partly because they don't suit me and because I don't think they are God - I will not judge another woman for wearing them.

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  14. So well put!!! I agree with you! I, too, wear dresses and skirts. People ask me all the time if it's for "religious reasons". I always smile and tell them it is for "feminine reasons" and explain it simply seems more ladylike to me.

    I found your blog through Modest Mom's link up today. When I clicked on your link it took me to another article, but this one in your side bar caught my eye first. :)

    Nice to "meet" you!!

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    1. I have never been asked that question in all the years I have wore skirts. I have however when I said I hardly ever drank alcohol (followed by, you must be boring!!). I agree, skirts and dresses look so much feminine and pretty whereas pants tend to show bad shapes and look very unfeminine.

      So glad to meet you :) Do come again.

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  15. I wear skirts and dresses all the time. I like to feel feminine and pretty. I do not have any pants, but for gardening and other jobs where a skirt would be awkward I wear culottes. It is my preference to wear skirts, but I appreciate that ladies who want to wear pants have the freedom to do so. A lady can look smart (and feminine) in pants, just as one can look a mess in a skirt. I find it so unladylike to see a woman with a bare midriff or a top that barely conceals her breasts. Another pet hate is seeing women wearing a top with spaghetti straps that are so narrow that the straps of her bra are plainly visible. There is a balance to be struck between comfort and modesty. Even in a blazing hot summer I wear a blouse or dress with either short sleeves or no sleeves but I don't display that which might cause offence. An A line or cotton skirt keeps me cool and preserves my femininity.
    Sarah

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    1. Thank you for dropping by. I tend to wear my sleeves these days - even if they are capped sleeves, less about modesty and more about getting older and having fatter arms!!! One doesn't need to go over the top to look feminine - yesterday I wore a patterned skirt and a bright pink top with little sleeves and a necklace that complemented the outfit, I felt so feminine in it. No, I am not a fan of spaghetti straps, less so with older women:(

      It can get very hot here and trying to find the balance is important in summer - another problem can be tops that a see-through (such as white) so I avoid these on really hot days when layers aren't very nice.

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  16. When I started work as an office junior in a law firm there was a strict "no pants" dress code. This did not bother me and I wore conventional suits with a skirt, usually grey or dark blue. Sometimes I would wear a dress and jacket. Over time the dress code was relaxed and ladies were allowed to wear pants. I still wear skirts and dresses but I did wear pants a few times until I saw that a woman in pants bending down to pick up a file is in danger of her top riding up and showing flesh and possibly her knickers. Also tight pants tend to show the outline of your knickers. I make a point of wearing a blouse that is sufficiently long to remain tucked into my skirt even when reaching up for a file on a high shelf. Also don't bend down to pick up something, even when wearing a skirt - bend you knees and reach down. Another tip ladies - when wearing a dress if you wear a slip, don't wear a half slip - reaching up for a file on a high shelf will raise the hem of your dress and show you slip to everyone. I am now the senior secretary in the law firm and I give the new girls friendly advice on dress at the familiarisation sessions. I want my girls to be smart and a credit to the firm.
    Helen

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    1. My niece is an American and works for a law firm and she often wears pretty dresses and shoes and comments are made because none of the other women bother and they tend to go for the trousers and tops. When I go to work I wear either skirts or dresses, but as it isn't quite as formal I don't need to wear suits, instead I can go for the smart feminine look of pretty skirts and blouses or t-shirts dressed up with scarves and necklaces. But I do see some women wear the most appalling outfits where bending down in NOT an option :(

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  17. I love wearing pretty dresses and skirts. When I get dressed in the morning I want to make a statement that I am a girly girl. I find that pencil skirts are too restrictive and so I love A-line, full or pleated skirts.
    Anne

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    1. I'm not as fond of A-line due to my shape so I little more controlled drop - but I with you with being feminine.

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  18. I love this page; I particularly like the two dresses being modelled, especially the black and white one. Sadly, I do not have the figure for it any more. I also liked the pages on 'being feminine' and 'femininity in clothing sadly lost'. Last week my firm gave a black tie dinner to celebrate 100 years of the firm and the retirement of our senior partner. It was an opportunity for the ladies to wear evening dresses or ball gowns. I wore my favourite frock, a long dark red dress with a full skirt and a net petticoat. I feel so feminine wearing it. Sadly some of the young girls wore dresses with no back and little front, showing bits that are better left not shown. Two girls attended wearing ladies' tuxedos. I cannot understand why a lady would want to wear black trousers and jacket when there are so many more feminine options available. Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
    Sally.

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    1. So do I, I think they are so pretty. I agree with modern outfits for girls. I have seen girls going off to their Formals (Proms) and some of the dresses are just so ugly and lacking in any feminine shape or look. And no, I also can't understand the while tuxedo look at all :(

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  19. Hi Jo. I almost never comment on posts like this as I don't even own a dress or a skirt as I consider them to be the most uncomfortable garments ever invented. I like loose pants & long tops, traditional for women in many parts of the world. I find I have far more freedom of movement & am far less likely to have an *unseemly moment* when a clambering child scrunches up my clothing or a gust of wind whips by. I have tactile issues & pants & tops cause me far less trouble in that department. I enjoy looking at other women wearing pretty skirts & dresses but feel no less feminine for choosing to wear pretty pants & tops. ♥

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    1. I am sorry that you find skirt and dresses most uncomfortable. I agree that pants can be smart and feminine (see my post a few days ago). You say that you like loose pants - have you tried culottes? I wear culottes where a skirt or dress might give rise to what you call an "unseemly moment".
      It is great to feel feminine and pretty!
      Sarah.

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    2. I so understand about an unseemly moment caused by a gust of wind. Last Summer my firm's Summer Party was on a river boat. I wore one of my favourite dresses. I was chatting to another lady when the wind blew the skirt of my dress right up. Embarrassing! The other lady did not suffer the same fate. She showed me that she wore a divided skirt to avoid such problems. I learnt from that!
      Louise.

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    3. Where you live is also best for loose and comfortable and what you are wearing sounds perfect for the conditions. Only on Friday I was wearing a summer frock and the wind came along and I had to quickly hold the bottom before all was revealed :( !!

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    4. Louise - I think the Queen wears weights in her dresses to stop that from happening and I thought she had suggested it to Kate after a few instances where her dress below up in the air!! it can be very embarrassing.

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    5. In the 1980's I was a British Airways stewardess. I wore a dress on long haul flights to hot countries as the suit was inappropriate. Most of the girls sewed small coins in the hem of the dress to avoid embarrassment on a windy airfield. It worked.
      Wendy

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  20. While I prefer skirts and dresses, I do wear trousers now and then. However, I agree with Anne (February 7th) that when getting dressed I want to make a statement that I am not just a woman but I am feminine. I start with pretty lingerie, it makes me feel good, although no one else sees it. I take trouble over my hair, a woman's crowning glory! I wear discreet make up. I use scent, I want to smell feminine. My clothes are smart whether its a skirt or trousers. My shoes are pretty. My handbag matches my outfit. My jewellery is understated. I want to look and feel like a lady!
    Caroline.

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  21. I noticed that Sally (February 9th) and Joy (February 12th) use the word "frock". To me a "dress" is ordinary and every day, but a "frock" is something outstanding for special occasions. A woman can wear a dress but it takes a lady to wear a frock.
    Laura

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  22. I am a full time housewife. I like this page and also those on housework with pictures of a retro 50s housewife. I generally wear a blouse and skirt for housework, but trousers where the nature of the work calls for trousers. However, I always wear a pinafore apron for housework and cooking. A nice floral pinafore means that I am pretty and feminine whatever the job. I spend all morning in my pinafore and once the work is done I can take off my pinny and change into a pretty dress for the afternoon.
    In the evening I put the pinny on again to cook. It is second nature to put on my pinny as soon as I go into the kitchen.
    Some say that an apron makes a woman subservient. I disagree, I see my pinny as a statement that I am getting down to work.
    Susan

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    1. You are absolutely right Susan. I spend most days wearing a pretty tunic apron. I have several so that I always have a clean one handy. I like the full coverage of a tunic apron. A waist apron does not keep my blouse clean and while a bib apron is better, I find the neck strap uncomfortable unless I wear a blouse with a collar. All my aprons have pretty patterns, rather than plain, so that I can look and feel feminine.
      Rachel

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  23. I love the two dresses modeled. Where can you buy such dresses nowadays? I am a pants and tee wearer and I do agree with you, dresses and skirts are more feminine, I am considering taking the plunge and start wearing dresses and skirts, gradually of course.

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