Have you seen that bumper sticker? Once in a while I catch a chuckle by imagining that I pull up to the irreverent hipster with the “I’m Not Wearing Pants” bumper sticker, roll down the window of my 2004 Dodge Minivan and shout, “Hey buddy, I’m not wearing pants, either!”
You see, I very seldom wear pants. No, no. I am not an exhibitionist; far from it, actually. I stopped wearing pants in favor of a more inherently feminine and modest statement of wearing mostly skirts.
It all started a number of years ago when our parish priest gave me a copy of Colleen Hammond’s much discussed book, Dressing With Dignity. While the topic was amusing and it provided hours of heated discussion among my girlfriends, myself, and most interestingly, our husbands, there was one notion that we could all agree on: We women are called to a real femininity – and our Church and it’s holy saints have a lot to say on that topic.
I understand that one might argue, as I did when I first started contemplating this notion, that a skirt in and of itself does not equal feminine dress. To that person, I would say “I agree with you.” An ankle length skirt, paired with sneakers and socks, and a hoodie sweatshirt is not a feminine outfit. This type of dress would be considered modest — but decidedly unfeminine.
A skirt provides a woman with a level of modesty because it protects the eyes from the intimate curves of the womanly physique. Femininity adds an additional layer of lovely to a woman’s dress. It provides color, texture, and visual interest to the wardrobe of a woman. I aim to strike the balance between modesty and femininity.
Padre Pio, now St. Pio of Pietrelcina, minces no words on this topic. Among the most resonant of his writings, he succinctly states, “…let your whole exterior be a vivid image of the composure of your soul.”
So, let me tell you a bit about my soul. My soul yearns to be united with Christ. In the meantime, I truly believe He gave me this vocation as a wife and mother as a mode to this end. It is my personal calling to be the best woman I can be – in order to rest eternal in Him. In short, modest and feminine dress is my cry to the Lord, “My heart is restless until it rests in You.” (St. Augustine of Hippo)
Through personal discernment, reading and prayer I have landed in a place where I’m not wearing pants. Perhaps I’ll buy the bumper sticker.