Women should Wear Dresses and Skirts, Not Pants – Part 4

  • Catholic Candle note: The article below is part 4 of an article showing that women should wear dresses and skirts and not pants.


    Recap of the first part of the article


    In part one of this article, we saw five reasons why men (as well as women) need to understand the Catholic standards of modesty for women (and men).

    The article then lists four reasons why women should not wear pants:


    1.    It is objectively a sin against the revealed Divine Law for a woman to wear pants;

    2.    It is objectively a sin of lewdness[1] under the Natural Law for a woman to wear pants, even apart from the issue of pants being more revealing of a woman’s body;


    3.    A woman who wears pants objectively commits a sin of feminist usurpation of man’s role and “nature” and denial of her own “nature” and role in God’s plan; and

    4.    A woman wearing pants objectively sins because pants are immodest for her due to their revealing too much of her figure.


    Then the article looks at the first of those reasons.  The first part of which is found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/02/19/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants/

    Recap of the second part of the article

    In part two of this article, we saw the second reason why women and girls should wear skirts and dresses and not pants: viz., because it is objectively a sin of lewdness[1] under the Natural Law for a woman to wear pants, even apart from the issue of pants being more revealing of a woman’s body.  The second part of this article is found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/03/21/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants-part-2/

    Recap of the third part of the article

    In part three of this article, we saw the third reason why women and girls should wear skirts and dresses and not pants: viz., a woman who wears pants objectively commits a sin of feminist usurpation of man’s role and “nature” and denial of her own “nature” and role in God’s plan.  The third part of this article is found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2024/04/17/women-should-wear-dresses-and-skirts-not-pants-part-3/

    This article is a companion article to our article about Mary-like Neckline Modesty, which can be found here: https://catholiccandle.org/2023/05/21/marylike-neckline-modesty/

    These articles apply to girls as well as women and assist them in fulfilling the role and great work for which God created women.  Read more about this role and great work here: https://catholiccandle.org/2019/12/02/the-role-and-work-that-god-gave-to-woman/

    Women should Wear Dresses and Skirts, Not Pants – Part 4

    4.     A woman wearing pants also sins because pants are immodest for her due to their revealing too much of her figure.

    Let’s start this section with a recap to see the connection between rebellion and immodesty:

    Recap of the Three Types of Rebellion Present When Women Wear Pants

    The devil is the inventor of sin, as St. Thomas Aquinas teaches.[1]  The devil is the first revolutionary and his battle cry is “non serviam!”  We see Satan’s rebellious spirit in his inducing women to wear pants:

      He leads their rebellion against God, getting them to wear men’s clothes against the revealed Divine Law.  Deuteronomy, 22:5.

      He leads their rebellion against Nature (getting them to wear men’s clothes) against the Natural Law.  Summa, IIa IIae, Q.169, a.2, ad 3.

      He leads their rebellion against men’s authority (getting women to wear men’s clothes) as a feminist rebellion against living the role in life that God intends for women.

    But rebellion is only one of Satan’s favorite weapons.  Immodesty is the other.

    Satan Promotes Immodesty at the Same Time, Using These Rebellions

    Considering that Satan chooses women wearing pants as a tool of rebellion, we would expect (even before looking into the issue) that Satan’s tactics would not only foment rebellion but would also promote impurity, since impurity, like disobedience, is one of the most common sins that Satan promotes. 

    Satan knows what Our Lady warned at Fatima that “more people go to hell because of sins of the flesh than for any other reason.”[2]  Thus, Satan promotes impurity because he knows impurity is such an effective tool for damning souls.

    Upon reflection, we see that our preliminary expectation is correct that Satan’s tool of women wearing pants combines the sin of rebellion with the sin of immodesty because pants are too revealing of a woman’s body.   

    Let us now look at this issue of pants being immodest on a woman.

    Different Dangers for Men and Women Regarding Impurity

    Men and women are different and possess different tendencies towards impurity.  Men are more easily led into sins against purity through their sense of sight.  For this reason, modesty for men chiefly requires custody of their eyes as the guard of purity. 

    By contrast, women are more tempted in matters of impurity through vanity by seeking to attract the eyes of men by excessive exposure of their (viz., the women’s) bodies.  Thus, it is in the “nature” of women that they are more interested in being admired by men for their appearance rather than admiring men’s appearance.  That is why also, that men are more interested in the appearance of women than they are interested in women admiring their appearance.

    Of course, this does not mean that men should be unconcerned with the modesty of their own dress or that women should be unconcerned with custody of their eyes.  But the stronger, typical tendencies are for men to encounter dangers against purity because of looking at women, and women to encounter dangers against purity by the way they seek to attract men’s eyes by their appearance.  These different tendencies of the two sexes are why men are the usual consumers of pornography and women are the usual subjects of pornography.

    Further, God made woman the more beautiful and attractive sex, and He made women’s bodies more sensual.  Thus, the virtue of modesty requires that this greater attractiveness be concealed with womanly attire, which takes Nature into account.  So, women must wear clothes which cover up more.  They must wear loose-fitting dresses and skirts. 

    Three Ways Pants are Immodest for Women

    Pants reveal too much of a woman’s figure because:

    v  Pants make a woman’s legs more visibly defined.  A dress, compared to pants, fits the lower body in a way similar to how a mitten fits a hand, compared to a glove.  Plainly, a glove reveals more of the hand’s shape. 

    (This importance of a woman concealing her feminine silhouette is also the chief reason why modesty requires her to wear a slip under her dress, viz., to avoid the outline of her legs being visible.)

      Pants “allow daylight” (to show between her legs) all of the way up to her private parts.

      Pants also reveal more of the contours of a woman’s backside than does a dress or skirt.

    So, because women are obliged to dress in a manner that conceals the contours of their bodies, rather than reveals them, this is why they must wear dresses and skirts, not pants. 

    Answers to Six Objections

    There now remains only for us to answer six objections to this key moral principle (viz., that women should wear dresses or skirts, and not pants):

    1.    Objection:  A person could object that some (so-called) “modest” pants can be permissible because they conceal more of a woman’s figure than do “some skirts”. 

    Response:  This “justification” only shows that there are some skirts which are immodest also and should never be worn.  Further, although a woman should never wear an immodest skirt, nonetheless, such a skirt does not involve her committing the sins of rebellion which occur in wearing men’s clothes.

    2.    Objection:  Couldn’t we say that our modern society has now accepted women wearing pants so that pants have become women’s clothes (as well as men’s clothes)? 

    Response:  No.  As we already saw above, pants were not generally accepted by society as “women’s clothes” until relatively recently, when society got sufficiently corrupt so as to accept women wearing pants.  This was in the same period in which society began to accept various other evils (e.g., tattoos[3], cremation[4], rock and roll “music”, and wives and mothers being career women[5]), all of which showed and promoted the degenerateness of society.


    But what is accepted by a corrupt society is not the proper measure by which we should make the determination what is acceptable.  Here is one way that Pope Pius XII teaches this truth:

    [A] garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already-corrupt society, but according to the aspirations of a society which prizes the dignity and seriousness of its public attire.[6]

    3.    Objection:  A person could say that women wearing pants is “no big deal” and that “I’m used to it”.


    Response:  Such excuse merely shows that the person has become used to sin and has suffered some moral taint.  Here is one way that Pope Pius XII warned against this attitude:

    The most insidious of sophisms, which are usually repeated to justify immodesty, seems to be the same everywhere.  One of these resurrects the ancient saying “let there be no argument about things we are accustomed to”, in order to brand as old fashioned the rebellion of honest people against fashions which are too bold ….[7]

    4.    Objection:  Suppose a woman has duties which “require” her to perform activities for which a dress is immodest because the wind blows her dress upwards, or she is on a ladder cleaning, or because of the way she “must” move her limbs during such activity.

    Response:  It might be that some activities would require a dress that is longer or of heavier fabric than modesty requires for other activities.  But there are no activities which a woman should perform which cannot be done under appropriate conditions and wearing modest and womanly clothes.  Furthermore, all activities suited for women have been performed in earlier generations, by good women in dresses or skirts.

    5.    Objection:  “But where I live it gets so cold in the winter!  So. I ‘need’ to wear pants to stay warm.”

    Response:  Cold weather is not a new phenomenon and winter is not a new invention.  Throughout the history of mankind, women have dressed modestly, in womanly clothes, and stayed warm.  But, of course, warm, womanly undergarments will help accomplish this, as well as long winter coats and dresses made of thick fabrics suitable for the season.

    6.   Objection: There can’t be anything wrong with a woman wearing pants when she is alone, when no one will see her.


    Response: 1) Notice that God’s Commandment in Deuteronomy does not forbid cross-dressing only when the person will be seen.  Cross-dressing is forbidden all times.  2) Further, it is a sin of lewdness under the Natural Law to cross-dress even in private.  Perhaps this is easiest to see in the case of a man who, in private only, dresses in a pink calico dress (as in the example given above).  3) Wearing pants changes a woman’s outlook even if she were to wear them only in private, since she is still wearing the “feminist uniform” and still showing (though in private) that she “wears the pants in the family”.  We are creatures of habit and this practice would have a deleterious effect on the woman.  4) It is generally unwholesome for a person to walk around nude without a good reason to do so such as showering, even if no one sees him/her.  Likewise, (although to a lesser degree than nudity), it is unwholesome and sensual for a person to dress indecently even when alone if there is no good reason to do this.

    Three Additional Consequences of this Standard of Womanly Modesty

    Please note the following consequences that flow directly from the above Catholic requirement of Mary-like modesty that women should never wear pants:

    1.    Just as women and girls should not wear pants, this same standard also applies to photographs, paintings, and statues, whether the woman or girl who is depicted is known or unknown.  It would obviously be illogical for a woman to carefully dress modestly herself but also to promote or display scandalous art on her wall (or scandalous pictures of her relatives hung with magnets on her refrigerator, etc.).  For the very same reason that she is forbidden to dress this way, a Catholic is forbidden to promote or display such immodest images.


    2.    Parents, especially mothers, have a duty to guide their daughters not only to comply with the Catholic standard of modesty but also to love this beautiful virtue.


    3.    If we somehow come into possession of pants that are meant to be worn by women or girls, we should not give them away or donate them, because then we would become an accomplice or accessory to someone else’s sin of wearing these pants.


    From the above considerations, it is clear that women should not wear pants because the virtue of womanly modesty forbids this and also because it is a revolt against God in three ways.

    We live in pagan times.  Just as a living organism only stays alive (i.e., remains a living plant or animal), if it resists the corrupting influences (e.g., of bacteria) which are all around it, likewise we must protect the life of our souls (which live the life of grace) by resisting the moral corruption of sin all around us.

    Let us beware of rationalizing immodesty by saying that the standard of Mary-like modesty is too old-fashioned and that we live in modern times where the requirements of modesty are weaker.

    It is Catholic Common Sense that we should not adopt the dress or other practices of the anti-Christ revolution (including women wearing pants) no matter how many other people do so in our corrupt times.  So, however much the cultural revolution has accepted “unisex” clothes and women dressing in men’s clothes such as pants, nonetheless, when women wear pants “they are abominable with the Lord”.  Deuteronomy, 22:5.

    Let us live our Catholic Faith!  We need to restore all things in Christ!  One important aspect of this is for women to dress like women and to not be an abomination to the Lord.

    Catholic feminine modesty is a beautiful ornament of a good woman or girl.  All of us – men and women – should love and appreciate this virtue!

    [1]           St. Thomas Aquinas, Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, ch.8, §1250.

    [2]           The Whole Truth About Fatima, Frere Michel de la Sante Trinite, Vol. II, Ch.4 appendix II.

    [3]           Read about societal acceptance of tattoos not occurring until society became sufficiently corrupt, roughly beginning in the 1960s: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/tattoos-are-a-sin-to-obtain-and-a-sin-to-display.html

    [4]           Read about societal acceptance of cremation not occurring until society became sufficiently corrupt, roughly beginning in the 1960s: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/cremation-is-barbaric


    [5]           Society began to view it as acceptable for wives and mothers to abandon their role in life at roughly the same time (the revolutionary 1960s) as society began considering women wearing pants as acceptable and not shocking.  Read this article here: The Role and Work that God Gave to Woman, https://catholiccandle.org/2019/12/02/the-role-and-work-that-god-gave-to-woman/


    [6]           Pope Pius XII, Address to the Latin Union of High Fashion, November 8, 1957.

    Pope Pius XII, Address to the Latin Union of High Fashion, November 8, 1957.