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Are there any dress restrictions for Christian women?

(152 Posts)
Daffy123 Tue 22-Jul-14 09:41:09

I know Christian women have to dress modestly but what does that entail. There is a church going Christian at my work and she often wears dresses and tops with no sleeves and short skirts

What does the bible say?

niminypiminy Tue 22-Jul-14 10:15:22

There aren't any generally agreed dress restrictions for Christian women at all. Some groups (eg. Amish) have dress codes, most - eg Catholics, Church of England, - do not.

MagratsHair Tue 22-Jul-14 10:40:56

The term 'Christian' covers so many variations of the faith I'm not sure there is a universally valid dress code. As in all religions the span stretches from fundamentalist to going once a year at Christmas and the followers within each variation will confirm to different ideals of dress.

I cant think of any modesty rules in the Church of England and people are free to dress how they wish and its personal responsibility to decide what constitutes modest, to me a sleeveless top is not immodest at all. The head of my DCs previous CofE school is a practising Christian ( has to be as its a faith school) and her profile picture on FB is one of those boudoir shots in her underwear, which to me is immodest. I think its down to personal choice in the end.

AMumInScotland Tue 22-Jul-14 13:10:46

Concepts of modesty change with times and cultures, so things that would have been expected in Biblical times are not necessarily the same now. And even then, the Bible doesn't give specific instructions - it's not that kind of book and wasn't written to be an detailed instruction manual.

I don't think many Christians today would have any problem with short skirts and sleeveless tops. I certainly don't have any qualms about wearing things like that.

It does sound like you're being a bit judgemental about this woman based on how she dresses. Do you want to be able to accuse her of not being a proper Christian?

Daffy123 Tue 22-Jul-14 13:14:11

I don't want to be able to accuse her of anything - was just asking a question

You sound very judgemental yourself

AMumInScotland Tue 22-Jul-14 13:24:12

Right, so you just want to be sure that she isn't breaking any rules so that you can reassure her? hmm

ArgyMargy Tue 22-Jul-14 13:28:19

You know Christian women have to dress modestly? Where exactly did you get that from?

Idontseeanyicegiants Tue 22-Jul-14 13:39:00

The book of Proverbs has a couple of verses that have been taken as guidelines for the more fundamentalist Christian women, it's quite popular in America I think.
Can't remember the verses but it includes 'she covers herself in cloth of gold'.
Google Christian modest dress and you'll get loads of links.

BristolRover Tue 22-Jul-14 13:41:03

Mormons consider themselves to be Christians, so you get the whole wonderful Mormon Garment there; the most brilliant piece of merchandising ever. L Ron must've kicked himself - I mean you only need one copy of Dianetics over your life, but those guys invented an item you need multiple copies of at any one time, replaced frequently over a lifetime.

Daffy123 Tue 22-Jul-14 14:09:13

I don't want to reassure her, I don't want anything to do with her

was just asking a question hmm

MirandaWest Tue 22-Jul-14 14:20:56

If you don't want anything to do with her then why does it matter whether or not her religion has any sort of dress code?

LurcioAgain Tue 22-Jul-14 14:24:32

Okay, posting as an atheist here... you'd have to be from the planet Mars to make the OP in anything like a genuine spirit of enquiry. I call goady post!

DayLillie Tue 22-Jul-14 14:25:39

The bible says that if someone looks at a woman whilst thinking of sex, he is committing adultery/fornication and should tear out his eye rather than go to hell.

As far as clothes go, if you give them to people that have none, you are giving them to God.

ToFollowJulie Tue 22-Jul-14 14:29:06

If you visit Catholic churches in Italy or France you're sometimes given paper to cover your shoulders of thighs if they're bare, but that's more about dressing modestly in church I think.

combust22 Tue 22-Jul-14 14:39:50

Cor 11:2-16

" For if a woman will not be covered, then let her be shorn! But since it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For indeed a man ought not to cover his head, being the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.".

The bible is quite clear. Women who don't cover their heads are a disgrace.

DayLillie Tue 22-Jul-14 14:40:35

Women used to wear hats in church until the '70s and strapless wedding dresses would have been frowned upon until recently. However, as Muminscotland says, concepts of modesty change, and I think that was more to do with the social norms of the time.

I was having an interesting discussion recently with friends who went to convent schools. It was interesting how the nuns' uniforms were gradually whittled down during the 60s/70s. It made the beginning of the school year interesting, guessing which bit of the uniform would have been done away with (convents were quiet places).

AMumInScotland Tue 22-Jul-14 14:41:05

A very small number of fringe Christian denominations, mainly in the US, make a big deal about women dressing 'modestly', and they have quite specific rules about what that means.

I have never heard any ordinary church-going Christian woman (or man) in the UK talk about any need to 'dress modestly'. I have never heard any Christian in the UK suggest that sleeveless tops or short skirts are inappropriate for everyday wear.

So it's hard to know where you are coming from with this question, unless you feel that she is dressing inappropriately given that she is a Christian.

She is wearing x. Therefore she thinks x is fine. She is a churchgoing Christian. Therefore she obviously does not feel that being a church-going Christian makes it 'wrong' for her to wear x, else she wouldn't do it.

bronya Tue 22-Jul-14 14:46:29

I'm guessing you are from a religion that DOES have a dress code, and it offends you? She's free to wear whatever she chooses.

ReallyTired Tue 22-Jul-14 14:53:43


If you don't want anything to do with this woman then why do you care how she dresses?

If you are interested in what the Bible has to say on rules then

Matthew 22:36-40

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Maybe dressing nicely for church could be linked to loving God, but it really doesn't matter from a christian point of view what this lady wears to work. What the lady wears to work is a matter between her employer and herself. Its really none of your business!

niminypiminy Tue 22-Jul-14 16:42:08

I'm guessing actually that the OP doesn't know any other practising Christians -- that's quite a common situation in the UK today -- and has little to go on for information about what Christians are like but urban myths (despite having done RE at school). The thought is something like 'surely if she is a Christian she should be dressing differently'. Well, no. Really, as everyone has said, Christians are for the most part just like everyone else, including in our dress.

Deverethemuzzler Tue 22-Jul-14 16:48:04

I didn't modify my dress at all when I was a practising Christian.

Never was asked to, it was never an issue in all the years I attended Church.

Not even when I met Bishops and stuff.

Plymouth Brethren dress 'modestly' and cover their heads, mormons, Amish and other smaller sects do.

Daffy123 Tue 22-Jul-14 17:09:05

Miranda do,I have to have anything to so with her in order to ask a question? hmm

Lur people live throwing the word goady about. How about I call you a troll and then we are even? grin

bronya she doesn't offend me but you do

Reallytired I guess you have never said anything about something that is nothing to do with you hmm

I thought this was a safe place to ask a question. Obviously not.

sonlypuppyfat Tue 22-Jul-14 17:21:26

I've always been led to believe That Jesus Sets You Free and that means free from rules about covering yourself up marking your body, etc any rules like that.

cheapskatemum Tue 22-Jul-14 17:30:02

Dare I mention that some Christian women are not allowed to wear a crucifix/cross pendant in their work place?

nicename Tue 22-Jul-14 17:31:50

No restrictions in the mainstream church. I'm sure there are some branches on the extreme fringes that say no trousers, only long clothes, no flashing boobage, but I can't say I've met any christians with a dress code (apart from clergy).

The whole concept of sin in 'word, thought and deed' doesn't cover wearing short sleeved t-shirts.

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