Mothers and Dresses

Madame Monet and Her SonSo the other day my eleven year old daughter comes up, hugs me hard and long and says, “You are just so lovable when you wear dresses!”

Hmm. I began to wonder if wearing dresses produced a similar magic to that of apron wearing, which never fails to make me want to bake bread and clean house. Not a bad thing.

I’ve always loved the femininity of dresses and skirts, and even once did a “dresses only” experiment on myself for about a year’s time, at the end of which I decided it was being taken wrong by certain family members. Long story. Anyway, my husband always preferred me in jeans, etc, but he’s even come around to saying that he appreciates a certain femininity in a woman that is lacking when they’re never seen in a dress or skirt.

Well, the cute part of this story began with my daughter’s hug and has not ended yet. That same day as I went to prepare supper, I started finding little pink “I love you” notes in out-of-the-way, yet strategically appointed  spots.

  • In the microwave next to the thawed hamburger for the night’s meal.
  • In the silverware drawer, next to the forks, a pink square stating: “Super Mom!”
  • At the top of the black pepper grinder, beneath the clear plastic lid: “I (heart) you”…
  • In the bathroom shower, folded compactly, beneath the lid on the conditioner bottle. *Smile*

Yes, my oldest daughter was supposedly making Valentines for her friends with her little sisters in the kitchen, but must have been wanting to love me instead!

I think I need to wear dresses at home more often!

Have you ever thought of the impact our choice of clothing has on not only us, but those around us?

Drum roll…your thoughts, please!

21 thoughts on “Mothers and Dresses”

  1. I went through an all skirt phase when I first started exploring womanhood. One day my husband asked, “Don’t you own a pair of jeans anymore?”. During the summer I wear a skirt nearly all the time as an alternative to shorts (I will not wear shorts). During the winter, if its not too cold, I wear a skirt to church. Otherwise I wear jeans in the cold weather.
    I’ve been thinking about wearing some kind of head covering during my personal prayer time at home.

    Bethanie’s last blog post..Another blogger adopting

  2. yes I do think that what we wear affects those around us. I don’t wear dresses but I do dress modestly. A friend took her teenage daughter to the airport an told her watch the facial expressions of the men as the carefully dressed woman walked past them compared to those who were um…letting too much show. She got the point across no problem.

    Amy’s last blog post..A restful public holiday in my house…

  3. I used to have one dress that I would wear often. When I’d wear it, I’d get asked ‘why are you dressed up’? Most days I wear pants or khakis but when I do wear a skirt I think I get the “dress up” comment more.

    Colleen’s last blog post..A mini-date

  4. The only time I really enjoyed wearing skirts (mini’s) was in high school, after that, no way!

    And even though, I am on the worship team, I wear jeans and a nice top. I don’t wear dresses, but very rarely I will wear a peasant skirt. I just like being comfortable and in a skirt or dress you have to be careful how you sit, etc. And it is a lot easier working in the nursery in jeans, than a skirt! LOL!

    The way a person dresses speaks volumes on the personality of that person.

    Leticia’s last blog post..Death in my family

  5. Wow, this is convicting. Not so much on the dresses, exactly, but on how what we wear every day effects those around us. I’ve noticed that all of my “everyday” clothes seem to be gray. Not on purpose, they just are. I often wonder if that effects my mood. If I had a large clothes budget, I’d toss all the gray, and buy some colorful tops, at least. But, alas, it’s increassingly hard to keep my wardrobe nice. Pregnant, nursing, pregnant & nursing, fat clothes, fatter clothes, fall, winter, spring, summer, etc. And it’s always more fun to shop for the kids than for myself – everything fits them! Not sure what point I’m making here, but a very thought-provoking post, thanks!

  6. I think that what we wear has an impact internally just as what we wear is a reflection on our outside.

    I’ve noticed that when I dress more professionally, I expect more from myself, and I feel more formal. I think clothing directly influences what we think about ourselves, and not just the other way around.

    MInTheGap’s last blog post..Delayed Kindness

  7. Great comments! Thanks, all, for contributing.

    Bethanie, I think the issue of wearing a head covering is very personal. I heard it explained once by a head-covering family member, that it just gave her a personal “check” in keeping her humble. She admitted to caring too much about how she looked, styles, etc, and it helped her remember what was important. I know different people do it for differing reasons, and I appreciate that. This helped me understand why it was important to her. She did get a lot of flack for it.

    Amy, that’s a good moral lesson for any teenage girl. I think half of them don’t realize how their mode of dress affects the opposite sex. I know I didn’t have a clue.

    Colleen, that’s why it’s hard to wear dresses everywhere. I understand. Especially where you work with college aged people. I don’t think any of us want to create the impression that we are trying to “outdress” the rest of the populace, but we belong to such a “dressed down society” that no doubt, others will think we’re trying to make a statement. Well, maybe we are, I don’t know–it might take a big step like that to get the idea of modesty across to this generation! It’s easy enough to wear dresses/skirts to church, and that’s been something God laid on my heart three years ago…I’m beginning to wear them more and more often outside of church as well. But not exclusively yet. And I’m not requiring it of my daughters…I’d like it to be something God lays on their hearts. They enjoy wearing them for the most part.

    So Leticia, the question I’m dying to ask, is what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see a woman at church who is always in a dress or skirt at services? Just asking b/c of your comment about it speaking to their personality. I really hope that others don’t see me with a condemning spirit just because my girls and I wear skirts/dresses each week. :)

    MIn, it’s the internal impact that really makes me stop and take note. Like you said, I do feel more womanly and motherly when I’m “put together” for the day in a skirt, etc. I’ve often thought it was all “in my head” but I don’t think so anymore. Of course, it probably has to do with my upbringing and personality as well. My mom almost always wore dresses in my early childhood, and does exclusively now. But it was never a requirement of me in my growing up years…

  8. Thanks for commenting, Haley, your comment slipped through the cracks, but I just found it! 😉 I sure think being a mom of little girls means we should take seriously how we dress on a daily basis, especially since it seems to affect our outlook and productivity. At least on some levels. I know it does me…which is why I brought up aprons in my post, there is something undeniably magical about donning an apron…wow, I get all industrial on the spot! 😉

    Btw, I am still finding little pink notes everywhere…hee hee…in the flour cannister, in my chai latte mix…I’ve decided to keep all of them to remind me of how precious these days are/were…

  9. Wonderful subject. Two things come to mind on this subject. When we were early on in the ministry I heard a Youth For Christ leader make the comment: “You dress like you think and you act like you dress”. How you perceive yourself affects how you dress. And how you dress really influences how you act. Immodest apparel leads to immodest behavior, flirting, etc. And even before I heard that comment, a teacher in Bible college alerted us to the idea that if we dress and use make up in a way that is cross-current to the believers around us, we call attention to ourselves and calling attention to ourselves for whatever reason calls attention away from our Savior. I grew up on a farm and lived in jeans at home…helping in the dairy, tearing around in the farmyard, helping weed the fields…jeans were practical. We have to be careful not to ‘compare ourselves among ourselves’ and to extend a gracious attitude to others regardless of what they wear. We stand or fall to our God.

  10. Loved this comment, Mom, thanks for joining in. I really think the company you keep affects how you dress as well…just as it affects how you “live”. We are so easily influenced. Yes, we need to be careful and gracious when it comes to comparing…and remember that so often, others have to be convicted in God’s perfect timing as to how He wants them to behave, dress, etc.

    Your comment about calling attention to ourselves and thus, maybe away from the Savior by going overboard-counter-cultural bears some pondering. We need to be Christ-like, obviously, and not just blend in but yes, we need to have that difference that still attracts others to Christ. Is that what you meant?

  11. Yes, that is partly what I meant. Actually my teacher was concerned that if we future minister’s wives and homemakers were to live in the deep south, we would call attention to ourselves if we wore NO makeup at all for at that time southern ladies wore lots of makeup. And they might wonder just what motivated us to be drab. I think that difference that attracts is the fruit of our attitudes, our way of dealing with stress and troubles, our willingness to be faithful to our husbands and children, our freedom from a critical spirit…that says so much to onlooking unbelievers or untaught believers.

  12. I think it depends on the life situation and circumstances. Sometimes it’s cool, when girls are wearing the jeans and t-shirt ( today it’s even more popular then any other clothes). But it’s definitely nice to see the girl walking on the summer streets wearing the short dress. It’s very eye catching. So leave your jeans @ home and wear a “girl” style :) It will surely be welcomed by guys..

  13. I HAVE been thinking abou this lately. In fact, just tonight I took my three year old daughter out and bought her two dresses and a skirt – she wants to wear dresses. I don’t really have any skirts/dresses that fit, and I don’t have the budget to buy right now, but slowly and surely I am going to start collecting and wearing them. :)

    sarah mae’s last blog post..Lisa Leonard Designs GIVEAWAY!

  14. интернет реклама, I wish I could read your blog, unfortunately, I’ve not figured out how to make my browser translate foreign languages! 😉 I’m so glad to have you here and commenting though! However, lol, I guess I can see why you think girls in short skirts are eye-catching! Is this your blessing on Mothers wearing dresses, so they’ll be eye-catching? 😉 Eye-catching can be good and bad. Good if it makes people take note that this person is different and modest. If we’re dressing in a certain way to “be eye catching”, then more than our modesty is probably at stake.

    Hi Sarah Mae, thanks for commenting! Little girls love wearing dresses, in my experience anyway! Especially if their moms aren’t anti-dresses. Don’t you just love little girls in dresses? I do. I’ve also been in the position of not fitting into any of my skirts/dresses, and it stinks. You know, God can supply all your needs! Many times we’ve been on the verge of going out and buying new shoes or other items of clothing and my sis-in-law or someone else cleans out a closet and ta-da, it’s EXACTLY what we were going to go buy. In the right size and everything. God knows our needs better than we do, and we so often don’t think to “bother” Him with them, when we really should! Try it! I really could have written your comment 3 years ago…and someone gave me a bag of really pretty casual skirts…they were perfect for me. Anyway, just wanted to share that!

  15. I think all this “talk” about wearing dresses is ridiculous! I ALWAYS wear skirts or dresses. I can work outdoors, play with my grandkids, help load a truck with wood, and carry stuff in my skirt when a basket is not available, etc. I can cook and bake and do laundry in a skirt. Did you know that you can modestly ride a horse or bike while wearing a skirt? Pull the skirt between your legs from the back and tuck the front of the skirt under that. Looks like a nice pair of baggy pants.

    The issue isn’t what’s practical. Women wore skirts for thousands of years and never even considered that they were “impractical.” The only ones who DID condsider this were those who wanted to REBEL.

    Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the Bible tell us that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft? Don’t bother correcting me, I know that’s what the Bible says.

    I have no desire to rebel agains God, nor do I desire to be responsible for encouraging a man to think lustful thoughts. All women know what modesty is. That’s why they want to talk about it. They want to beleive what they want to believe. So they rationalize it away. They use today’s loose standards as their measuring rod for modesty.

    If you want to wear a dress or skirt everyday, who cares what others say? Isn’t that part of being a Christian? “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and say all manner of evil against you, FOR MY SAKE!” Do we wear dresses and skirts to be God-honoring women or do we wear them to shock the society we live in? If they are shocked it should be at our testimony before the world. If they are shocked at our clothing, then our clothing might not be modest enough OR they are being convicted by it.

    It’s time to think beyond ourselves. This is how we put God first–Anything I do, if it doesn’t glorify God, is WRONG! To glorify God is to reflect HIS glory. Not our own rearends in tight jeans.

  16. Mom, somehow I missed your comment when I saw the two after yours! Sorry! I do agree that the spirit reflecting through our actions and how we live, is the most important, and surely if you are wanting to honor God in every way, that bleeds over into how we dress.

    Hi Fiddlestorm! I loved your comment, really(!)and guess I asked for it! We do have a lot of opinions here, don’t we. Your comment affirms a lot that I’ve been picking up on these past few months by watching our CSA farmer’s wife do everything in a denim skirt. When we first went over there to help them butcher chickens, we wore coveralls, etc (it was super cold!) but there she was in her skirt and I presume, long johns, and believe me, we noticed she seemed plenty warm and functioned just fine! Thanks for the reminder that our excuses for wearing jeans/pants are really that, just excuses. We did go out and buy our two older girls their own sets of long johns and denim skirts from the thrift store, and it’s been an adjustment, but a good one.

    You said, “They use today’s loose standards as their measuring rod for modesty.” OUCH. Very true. And I’ve also been guilty of thinking if older, godly women can be modest in slacks and jeans, then I can be too. And believe me, there are many older women I respect and admire that don’t wear dresses exclusively. Have we all bought into the “loose standards” of the ones that came before us? It does get confusing when we surround ourselves with other people’s definitions of “what is modest.”

    I know what you’re saying about not caring what others think or say about our clothing choices (in regards to wearing dresses all the time) and have actually thought of that verse (Blessed are ye when men revile…) myself with chagrin, wondering if I missed the memo. Or ignored it in my spirit.

    Well, I’m not sure I *wanted* this onslaught of conviction about dresses right now, but if God’s talking to me through you…then I sure need to quit being wishy-washy about this subject and go one way or another.

    Your bluntness was quite refreshing. I’m glad you spoke your mind here.

  17. As for older women wearing slacks, I remember when the older women were expected to be examples to the younger women! OH YEAH! That’s in the Bible too!

    I believe when the Bible tells women to honour and respect their husbands they need to make sure they are NOT wearing clothing that will draw another man’s lustfull attention. That shows great disrespect to the man who loves and supports you. And when mothers send their daughters out dressed immodestly, they are teaching them to dishonour their fathers. If our clothing draws ADMIRING attention from other men AND women then we are on the right track. Of course those women have that rebelious attitude that I spoke of earlier probably won’t commend you for it.

    Many women who know me say they admire me for being ABLE to wear skirts all the time. But they just don’t feel “convicted” to do it. HMMM? Then why do they keep bringing it up? Sounds like they are denying their convictions.

    You’re a wise woman Mary!

  18. I don’t deserve that last comment of praise, but thanks. :) I’m glad you came back to comment.

    You know what really opened my eyes to how huge a problem immodesty is for other men? Debi Pearl’s Created to Be His Helpmeet. Wow. I had no idea of the extent of lust problems, but after reading several letters Debi printed in the book, there was no reason for doubting it. I wish I’d known that in my teenage years. I do remember my dad generalizing the fact that men had problems in that area, but not actually sitting me down and making sure I got the picture!

    My husband was raised in a home where tom-boy standards were admired and encouraged…dresses were considered ridiculous, even when attending weddings, etc. That’s somewhat of where I was coming from when I mentioned in my post that I quit wearing them exclusively. I think he felt that I was pushing some agenda…and I know the women in his family had to feel that way…I know this from the comments they’d inevitably make about why they couldn’t stand dresses, etc. And maybe as you mentioned, they kept bringing it up because of conviction, I don’t know. I’m older now, and think I could handle the barrier better. In fact, I’m so far off the deep end with most of the extended family that wearing dresses wouldn’t probably surprise them much anymore! 😉 But I do understand why most women my age don’t want to wear dresses/skirts exclusively, and my heart does go out to them. It’s hard when your husband doesn’t even understand/appreciate where you’re coming from. I think mine would by now, he’s one of the good ones! 😉

    I have a feeling I’d really like to meet you in person and chat some more about this! Glad we can do it here at least. Do your daughters and grand-daughters wear dresses? Just curious.

  19. My daughter went off to a classy nanny job in NY and she STILL wears skirts almost exclusively. Actually, I don’t think she owns a pair of jeans yet. So I’m not sure. My daughter in law is not a Christian yet, but she is soooooo close I’m on the edge of my seat just waiting for it to happen. She has always been a skirt person because it makes her feel feminine. My two granddaughters wear dresses or jumpers most of the time and by their own choices too. And they are almost 2 years, and almost 5 years. And get this–they live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity, and they get water from a pump and the kids (also a boy almost 3) stack wood in the yard daily. They basically rotate their little wood pile all over the yard. But the girls help while wearing dresses. And they play all over the yard doing lots of dirty messy “boy” stuff, all while wearing dresses! I’m such a proud gramma!

    We live in Maine where this type of living is getting to be a common choice. I know lots of homeschoolers who wear skirts all the time and live like this. I don’t live that way as, believe it or not, I’m too poor! But I am very domestic and bake my own bread, sew my own clothes when I can, knit up a storm when the urge hits, and cook from scratch. I’m whole foods vegetarian due to medical reasons, but the health benefits are amazing. My health is great when I stick to vegeterianism. When I slip, I end up sick and miserable. But it’s OK. I do it all in a skirt!

    And I’m a fiddler! In case you didn’t catch on to my name. If I didn’t have a child to homeschool I would fiddle all day! (And of course, I fiddle in a skirt-I believe I’m the best dressed fiddler in town!)

  20. Yesterday morning, my two year old came in and asked if she could pick out a dress for me to wear. I said she could and she picked out my pretty pink spring dress, it is my favorite also, but not at all practical on a cold day in the teens. I convinced her that a jean skirt was more practical. When she asked me to wear a dress I instantly thought of your post. I hope you will be able to come up over spring break and we can do some sewing.

    I completely agree that the fact that skirts aren’t practical has more to do with the style of dresses then the dress its self.

    I always seem to be able to get more done, when I have taken the time to get dressed all the way from hair to shoes. Then just throwing on clothes to be decent.

  21. Fiddlestorm,
    Yes! I figured you must be quite a fiddler, what a creative user-name! I’m very impressed that your daughters and grands have kept with wearing skirts/dresses–that’s quite a testimony to how you raised them. I’m serious about giving this over to the Lord…but honestly still have some issues! No good excuses, though.

    Andrea,
    I’ve been meaning to call and set up an appt for my sewing machine to get a check-up…it has several issues. Really hoping to get some skirts sewn up once the machine is up and running! It would be fun if we could do it together. Specially dresses! I wonder if God gives little girls an innate sense of “wanting” their mommies in dresses? And then that instinct is dulled over time and exposure to the ways of this world?

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