She Wears Skirts – Why Skirts?

I guess I take modesty for granted now – this is a lovely blogpost for those who are questioning this choice, with a quote from Tasha Tudor.

via She Wears Skirts – Why Skirts?.

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3 thoughts on “She Wears Skirts – Why Skirts?

  1. I just made a comment to another friend on FB about this; it was over a discussion about “mom jeans” : ) I have worn skirts almost exclusively for more than 20 years now. I have two pair of old, college-era Levi’s 501, straight leg jeans ( with the buttons! ) that still (most of the time) fit. I wear them only occasionally. I’m a runner, so I do wear long, loose running shorts or long running pants in the winter. But my day-to-day apparel is something of a uniform, chosen years ago for both utility, comfort and modesty, and is some variation on a long (below the knee) “twirly” skirt of varying fabric and colors, some kind of cotton shirt or blouse, a cardigan, dark colored tights and Doc Marten oxfords (Fall/Winter) or bare legs and my birks or clogs during the summer. I’ve made something of a hobby of finding skirts in the right shape and style from thrift stores and vintage clothing shops in pretty patterns or colors and I have enough of them at any one time; if something finally just wears out, it’s retired. I never shop at regular stores for my clothes; I shop second hand and accept donations from friends : ) I am not a skilled enough seamstress to make clothing, nor do i really have the time with a family of six and multiple “urban farming” chores, Spiritual Direction practice, Doula/Midwifery work etc. so, this system works best for me.
    I have friends who’ve served in Tanzania in the Peace Corps who found that a skirt is not assumed to be feminine apparel alone in that culture, and in others we can easily think of as well; the “kilts” of Scotland and Ireland. The skirt is considered more comfortable, facilitating ease of movement etc. in many cultures so, I’m not sure I agree that it’s primary function, or an essential function, would be to enhance an idea of femininity. I would argue that draped material on either sex “guards” the body from excessive focus; men’s pants are often at least as immodest as anything women wear! I think the real beauty of a skirt or any kind of loose, comfortable clothing is that it enhances the totality of the person, engenders a sense of “wholeness” that is lost in clothing that is designed to be sexually provocative whether on men or women. I wear my “uniform” because my experience has been that it allows me to present an approachable, open “person” to the world, recognizable as female I expect, but not placing undue emphasis on one aspect of my being. My clothing, then, isn’t meant to disguise or hide a sexual person, but to keep the emphasis on the “whole” rather than on any one “part”.

    • That’s a good way to put it – that it puts focus on the whole person, not just the gendered/sexual person. But heavens! Never say to a Scotsman that a kilt is a skirt. They quite honestly do not see it that way. The drape and pleating of a kilt, its length, its weight, and of course it’s various kinds of closure designate it as a masculine garment even if it is not bifurcated tubes of fabric. This is true in African and Asian cultures. Draped fabric below the waist is often distinctly masculine or feminine; an American Buddhist I used to read was thoroughly scolded by his sensai for wearing a house kimono on the street “like a woman”! When buying Asian made garments in import or thrift stores, I would ask my Indian roommate if it was feminine or masculine. In our Western culture, however, skirts are distinctly feminine. It is a symbol rather than a sign; wearing a skirt does not make the person feminine just so; it is an expression of attitude and self-identification. But I find gender identity confusion and blurring to be destructive within our culture. More on that some other time.

  2. Thanks for this link, Magdalena – I found both the post and the blog really good.
    In Michelle’s comment (above) I loved this:
    ” I think the real beauty of a skirt or any kind of loose, comfortable clothing is that it enhances the totality of the person, engenders a sense of “wholeness” that is lost in clothing that is designed to be sexually provocative whether on men or women . . . My clothing, then, isn’t meant to disguise or hide a sexual person, but to keep the emphasis on the “whole” rather than on any one “part”.”

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