Should Little Girls Only Wear Dresses?

A reader asks…


“I love your Modest Monday posts! They are so helpful to me in inspiring me how to dress modestly. I have a question for you about dressing your daughters in skirts. I noticed in today’s post you have little Deborah in a footie pajama. I loved those for my little guy, he spent his first six months in those almost exclusively. 🙂 But I also know that you and your girls choose to wear only skirts. At what point to you generally switch your girls to skirts full time? Although I don’t have a little girl, I have bought clothes as gifts for several friend’s little girls lately, and it has made me wonder about modesty for little girls. I see so many outfits for little girls that are adorable and seem so innocent on a baby or toddler, but on a grown woman it would be indecent. As a mother of several little girls, would you be willing to share some of your thoughts with me?”

My answer may surprise (and possibly disappoint) some of my readers.

We don’t have our little girls wear only dresses.

*gasp* 🙂

Little girls (our daughters are four and under, so assume I’m talking about this age) do not have a figure, thus making it easier to dress them in a little pair of pants and a top without drawing attention to themselves. If we were talking about a thirteen year old daughter, I would be writing something different. Babies are totally innocent – and I don’t know of any reason why dressing a baby girl in a sleeper could be considered immodest. I think at this age it is preference for a family. If you are convicted in your family to only wear dresses, and you prefer your daughters to wear dresses from birth on – by all means go for it! But to consider as a general rule that baby girls must wear only dresses in order to be modest? I can’t go so far as to say that, and I’m a pretty modest mama. 🙂

Should Little Girls Only Wear Dresses? A Modest Mama shares how she is raising their girls.

As Carrianna gets older, she has less and less pants in her drawer, and more skirts and dresses. I think this year she has 2 pairs of pants that are geared for play clothes. She prefers dresses at this point, and I want her to be used to wearing them. I have her wear shorts under her dresses to help her be modest as she is playing. Sometimes I think wearing a pair of pants can be even more modest for little girls unless they have a pair of shorts or pantaloons under their skirt.

Some other posts that are helpful on this topic:

5 Ways to Find Modest, Affordable Clothing

Raising Little Girls to Embrace Modesty

A great resource for finding gently used clothing for girls is ThredUP. I shop there often for all three of my girl’s clothes. I purchase Gymboree tops to go with their skirts, as they hold up very well and can be passed down. Hanna Anderson clothing from ThredUP seems to be longer and more modest.

You can get $10 in free credit to try ThredUP out if you are a brand new customer and sign up through this link

I’d love to hear my readers thoughts! I know this could be a hot topic, as some ladies feel pretty strong about what their daughters must wear to be modest.

Are your little girls allowed to wear pants?



103 Comments on Should little girls only wear dresses?

  1. I think this is a great question! And one I have struggled with myself to decide for sure. At the moment we have a 6 yo and a 17 month old girl so have been able to kind of revisit our feelings on what we thought was best with the second. As far as modesty goes I am really similiar to you on that matter since it’s hard to look at a baby girl and see anything wrong with her wearing sleepers or comfy pant/onesie sets. Although I will say that it can be a little shocking how soon you can find things nowadays that just look more revealing or older than what we preferred for our 6 yo. (I’m thinking more starting around the age of 4 though probably)
    One thing I do try to be careful about is to dress them very feminine, even if it’s pants or sleepers. Making a difference in the genders is important to us as well as modesty so that is something we try to take into consideration with all of our kids. Girly prints, colors, etc can really make a difference with this I think though! A couple times our youngest daughter had on something as a baby that I guess appeared to be a more gender neutral color several people would have to ask if it was a boy or girl….which really bothered me and made me realize I wanted to be a little more careful of that in the future!
    Now that our oldest daughter is 6 she exclusively wears skirts and dresses unless just playing around the house or in our back yard. We love the matching sets with dresses and pants/shorts underneath though and try not to make a big issue even now with dress or skirt length as long as she’s covered well. Our little one is starting to wear more of that type of stuff too and we will gradually just ease her out of pants and sleepers as she gets older.
    This was an excellent post and shared your thoughts so well! I know people who are stricter than us in this area and then others who are alot more lax. We are comfortable (for now anyway) with falling somewhere in the middle since the modesty issue doesn’t seem as big a deal but yet we want to show them as being feminine at any age! I look forward to hearing more thoughts of others on the subject.

    • I agree with this, BUT, there have been many times when I have had my girls dressed in pink, with bows, etc. and (especially older people) have STILL said, “What a good looking little fella!” 😉

      • This reminds me when my oldest daughter was about 3 mo old. One Sunday a older lady at church looked at my little gal dressed in a light green frilly dress and commented, “What a sweet little boy you have.” So much for trying. LOL. We live in the USA at the moment, but I have lived in Germany too. I found that children until about age 7 were dressed in more unisex clothing there. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether a child was a boy or a girl when I saw children out and about. I agree with your pts in the post. Think of modesty #1 and also think of looking gender appropriate.

        • These posts are not telling parents how they have to dress their children. They are saying what they do and why. I find their ideas good. If you don’t, that is up to you.

  2. My little girls and big girls wear pants. I don’t want for my daughter to wear jeans (13 years) or my 7 year old. I guess I have become lax. I used to have them in dresses all the time except for bike riding or outdoor play. Then I decided, modesty is an issue, yes. My oldest is a stubborn girl. She has become a lady. I worry that her clothes don’t show modesty in the way I would like. I’m is pretty strict. However, us being in Poland has limited my resources. I don’t want to order clothes and have to return them. So, we are waiting for the US in two months. Then, I think wardrobes need makeovers. I feel most comfortable in long dresses or skirts. I also feel more comfortable when my girls are dressed that way.

    • Rachel, I have a very close friend who lives in Poland too! She’s a missionary in Krakow. 🙂 They too are coming to the states soon.

  3. Hello from Canada! I have an 11 months daughter and at this point, for her to be modest, I prefer if she doesn’t wear something that we can see her torso, like a spaghetti straps cami would allow. She wear pants or shorts because it’s easier to carry her, and on top she wears onesies or long t-shirts, always with a little sleeve. I always wear skirts myself, and as she grow older it will be more and more part of her wardrobe, and it will come gradually as her understanding of being feminine and modest will develop. To me, modesty is more an attitude than a choice of clothing: femininity is then a choice of clothing.

  4. I too, agree, that girls of this age (mine are 4 and 2) need something underneath at least. We have very few pants and no jeans in our little girls’ drawers anymore. But all of my babies have lived in the footed pajamas until they were walking age or more. My girls don’t ask to wear pants, they prefer, skirts or dresses, however, on really, really cold days or days that they go out and play in the snow, they wear fleece pants of some sort. This is mainly around the house, when we go out in public, we try to dress nicely.

  5. My daughters (ages 8 and 5) wear shorts or bloomers under their skirts or dresses if they’re going to be playing on monkey bars, slides, etc. But they do wear skirts and dresses all the time, not because they have a figure – obviously they don’t; but because I want them to learn at a young age to dress femininely, and to embrace their femininity.

  6. We don’t do dresses only. But my little girls love dresses, in fall and winter usually with leggins underneath. in summer with bike short underneath. My oldest daughter (17) has been tossed between skirts and capris right now. It’s hard to find modest skirts that aren’t old farty looking. OR skirts that aren’t way to short! 🙂

    • even though it says in the bible for females not to wear male’s clothing. I find the shorts for boys to be much more modest than the skank wear shorts for girls.
      that is what my daughter wears when she wears shorts. boy’s shorts. keeps her upper legs modestly covered.

      • I agree — but I try to make the boys’ shorts look less like boys’ shorts. Right now, my daughter (6) & I are in the process of carefully removing the cargo pockets from a pair of shorts we just purchased. If we succeed and washing removes all trace of the seams (or at least most of it), they’ll look just like modest little girl shorts. 🙂

  7. we do pants, be it jeans or stretchy leggings, as well as skirts or dresses. I have never actually thought about whether to wear pants or not….more important to me is the covered up aspect, my girls are 5.5 and 3.5 years. I do a lot of girls colors/prints as well, but for outdoor play and the weather we experience here in Canada a lot of the year, pants are way warmer;) In summer or warmer weather, we do shorts but more often then not they are under skirts and dress, to cover up the girls:)

  8. This is a great post on a highly debatable topic!

    We do dresses only, but hadn’t made that commitment when my daughter was born. When we did, we got rid of all her pants – she was about 2.

    At 7, she knows nothing but skirt-only-wearing — and she ALWAYS wears bloomers (or similar) underneath. As you said, little girls in skirts can be QUITE revealing! LOL!

    She does still have big footie pj’s, and I would certainly dress any baby in them. Sleep is a time when, as a grown woman, nobody can see you but your husband – the “daytime, public” rules are not necessary here.

  9. Based on what we’ve researched in the Bible on modesty and dress, we don’t wear dresses or skirts exclusively. I often prefer them in most cases because I like the way they look and think they (can be)more beautiful than pants. Our daughters are provided with wardrobes that are modest and which give them modest choices with both pants and dresses/skirts.

    • I feel the same way as you. I think modesty is an issue of the heart. A girl can be immodest or modest in pants, a skirt or dress. My daughter and I do wear pants, but in a modest way. Yes, skirts and dresses are more “feminine” but as for modesty I don’t believe it is the only way. I do love to wear skirts when the weather is warm, but in the winter you will usually find me in pants. However, my daughter LOVES skirts and dresses and she wears them 95% of time on her own choosing. She is 10. 🙂 I think not forcing the issue but explaining what modesty is, has given her the freedom to choose. I grew up in some very strict Christian schools whichwear skirt wearing was forced upon by a lot of parents and have seen those very same kids all grown up and wearing anything but modest clothing. 🙁 Bottom line- teach the importance of modesty no matter if your child wears pants or skirts and let the Lord work on their hearts.

      • You’ve got it. I wish those with more liberal views would realize that modesty is important, and those with rigid rules would get back to the real issue… MODESTY. Anything can be abused. Let’s teach our girls to be ladies and our sons to be men. And let the girls wear dresses, pants, skirts but all with modesty. Nothing short and nothing painted on.

      • Beautifully said. I did my own study and did not conclude to wearing skirts or dresses only either. I do love Deborah and co’s skirts though!

  10. We are not a dress only family so I have no problem with mine wearing pants. I find that most little girl pants look feminine in cut, color and pattern. They do however, prefer dresses and so we purchase bike shorts or leggings to go under skirts and dresses.

  11. We have our little ladies wear only dresses, but as far as being a newborn, we are not strict on it. I like to dress them in dresses when we go out because I think it is cute, but at the house I have them wear the footed sleepers all the time in the winter. I will also keep them in pants in the winter time if they not walking yet. For one, it is difficult to crawl in a dress. It keeps getting in the way. When they start to walk is when we start to take away the pants and use only dresses with shorts or pantloons underneath.

  12. Love this post! We welcomed our first daughter in October and I have been trying to decide where to stand on this topic. I love reading everyone’s opinions!

  13. I do not wear skirts exclusively, but I wear them quite a bit, especially if I’m going out in public. This is something I’m actually struggling with right now : ) My feeling on dressing little girls is it’s good to get them into the habits you want them to keep when they’re older. That’s why they’re bathing suits will be getting alterations from me this summer : ) Since I don’t wear skirts exclusively they don’t either, but my feelings may change on this.

  14. Both my 5 year old daughter and I wear skirts all the time. I make most of her skirts, and she wears them full (for running and playing) with leggings/shorts underneath. She actually still wears jeans sometimes, under an above the knee dress. We are called to be modest and feminine. When I pick out my clothes the question is more “Am I modest?” When I pick out hers its more “Is this feminine and functional?” (I do NOT believe it is a “sin” for a girl to wear pants … I just think it’s easier to teach her “girls wear skirts, boys wear pants” if Im not switching her own wardrobe back and forth.) The most important thing to remember though is to follow what the Lord has convicted you to do and not be legalistic. God wants a HEART bent toward Him above all!

  15. In the winter, our wood burning stove is the primary source of heat in our home. We allow our 3 yr old daughter to wear blanket jumpers, as well as the boys. My 10 yr old daughter wears thick night gowns with the “sweater” type material tights underneath. Modesty is preached abt in our church (in love), so its not hard for our girls to become convicted abt how to dress. ALL of the female gender in our home not only consider the skirt, but the length. The same goes for the shirts and blouses. When raise our arms, can ppl see down our sleeves? If we sit down, can ppl see up our skirts? It doesnt do a lady much good if one just considers wearing a dress to be modest. We train up our daughters to learn this from a very young age. We need to teach our daughters this WHILE they are innocent.The heart is cultivated durring the time of innocense.. Just food for thought.. God bless this ministry!

  16. We do exclusively dresses and skirts, but we don’t really start requiring this until our girls are walking well. We have four girls (and 1 boy) ages 6, 5, 17 months, and 2 months. It is very hard for babies to crawl in dresses sometimes, so we have chosen to wait until they are walking well to start dressing them in exclusively dresses/skirts. My older girls hate even the thought of wearing pants except as pjs. But that is all just our family’s preference.

  17. Our family does not do skirts only for the females. However, we do encourage modesty! Even when my daughter was a baby, we did not put her into halter tops, spaghetti straps, or backless shirts. We choose longer length shorts & capris. Skirts & dresses are below the knees (when she was younger, we would require shorts under!). Sometimes, my daughter may have a pair of pants that are too snug (she’s tiny & needs slims, but sometimes the ‘slim’ really should have said skintight!), but at home (where we spend most of our time) we don’t often make a big deal… but they are NOT allowed out! I believe our encouragement of modesty is working. She received an Easter dress from her grandmother this week… it was sleeveless (though not spaghetti straps)… she said she didn’t feel comfortable wearing sleeveless items, so she is looking for a little shortsleeve sweater top to wear with it on Sunday 🙂

  18. Just to add… although little spaghti straps & halter tops, and some other items do not look immodest on a LITTLE girl, it would when a figure starts developing… therefore, we do not want to get ‘used to’ wearing revealing items… because after all… ‘What’s the big deal, I’ve worn this my whole life! Why is it wrong now?’

  19. We choose to put dresses only (besides the six month old who wears onsies around the house)on our girls. It’s not a modesty issue at that age, but one of femininity. If need be she can wear a pair of pants or shorts underneath. My goal is to train her to carry herself like a lady. That does not mean I don’t allow tree climbing or the like, but we are training her to know that she is a girl and to conduct herself as such.


  20. I am genuinely curious… not at all trying to be disrespectful- but how is wearing a dress more modest? pants (IMO) actually cover up MORE than a skirt or dress…. i’m confused.

    • Alisha,

      Dresses are considered more modest as they don’t show the tight outline of a woman’s backside, and her figure in general. Some skirts and dresses are MORE immodest, but if you believe in wearing skirts for modesty then ladies pick more flowing long skirts, not mini skirts or long skirts with a slit cut up to your knee. Dresses are also more feminine looking on a woman than pants….:)

        • We have to think about our dress from a mans point of view. Men are driven by their sight. To cause a man to lust after a woman or a little girl (which happens more than we think) is a sin on our own part. The Bible tells us not to be a stumbling block to anyone else. When a women or little girl wears clothing that is reveals their skin or figure with like tight fitting pants, short skirts and shorts, low cut blouses and so on, it defiantly causes men to sin. God wants us to honor him in how we dress by keeping our skin and shape covered. The length of sleeves, skirts and what not should be chosen carefully. When I chose to dress more modestly it was because I noticed men starring and even stopping to watch me. I didn’t think I dresses immodestly but started to see what it actually was that men were looking at. It’s not only skin it’s shape also. I’m very careful now about how tight and how long my clothes are. My girls wears skirts and dresses mostly. They don’t wear pants in public but we do have looser basket ball type shorts and goucho type shorts they wear to play in and occasionally wear in public. I look at how they are covered and not necessarily what the article of clothing is labeled as.

  21. As a woman of the ripe old age of 49 I have to say that I have struggled with this issue of modesty. Even though I was raised in a Christian home my grandfather was a baptist preacher, wearing skirts and modestly, sadly was never really discussed. When I began 4th grade we were now allowed to wear pants to school and from that time on pants was all I wore. Now as a grown woman trying to honor God with my dress, when I started wearing skirts full time I found it terribly challenging. In fact there were a lot of tears along the way as I struggled to know HOW to wear a dress on a daily basis. My husband and I were discussing this just the other day how strange it is that a woman wouldn’t know how to wear a dress. Doesn’t that statement alone sound odd? I mean I am a woman and didn’t know how to wear dresses in a practical way every day. I guess I am saying all of this to say, I wish I had been taught from an early age how to dress modestly as a child. I wish my mother had taught me about modesty and honoring the Lord with the clothes that I wear. As I came to this conviction late in life, I am sad to say that I did not teach this principle to my own daughter. And now I have granddaughters and they aren’t being taught about modesty either except what they see and hear from me. I don’t impose my convictions on them, but I do answer their questions when they ask my why mamaw wears a dress all the time. Still I believe it is up to each family when they teach their girls about modesty and how they live it out, but I wish I had know it early, then it would have been much more natural to me and I would have passed it on to my own daughter.

    • Donna,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! My daughter is so used to seeing me wear dresses, that I think she just assumes mamas wear dresses only. Yesterday I painted our kitchen and I couldn’t find a skirt that I was ok with ruining with paint. I put on the one pair of pants I have, and Carrianna kept telling me I had on boy pants and why was I wearing them? So she is very aware that girls wear dresses, and especially mamas. Since she is so girly we are not going to have a problem transition her to only dresses….

      • Caroline, I have no doubt that your little girls know their mama is modest. I am sure you are a very good example to them of what a modest mama looks like. In fact, you were an inspiration to me. When I first started wearing dresses and feeling convicted of my clothes, I went searching for other women who felt the same and came upon your blog. The “She Wears Skirts” articles are what helped me so much. I will always be grateful to you for those posts. Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this important matter. God Bless.

    • I have been wearing only dresses for a year now, mostly dresses for about two years. It made me feel better to know someone else came to this path later in life also. I think people think I have lost my mind! This is not something people in my church do, just something I feel I should, for a few reasons. I wish I had done it when my girls were little.

      • Thank you Honey. Sometimes when we do something for the Lord that other people don’t understand, it does make you feel a little crazy. But I am just trying to keep my focus on HIM and not what other people think or even how difficult it is for me sometimes. I think as long as our hearts are on trying to glorify God, there is blessing in that. If nothing else it will make people question us why we are dressing this way and it will give us a chance to share the gospel. 🙂

  22. I actually think dresses on little girls are less modest than shorts and pants. That is, until the girl is mature enough to learn how to wear the dress modestly. Little girls, generally, do not remember how to sit and act in a skirt or dress to appear modest. Once they are old enough to consistently learn how to properly act in a skirt or dress (this can be practiced at home), then possibly the right skirt could be more modest.

    • I would agree with that if they did not have on bloomers/pantiloons under their dress. I forgot to put a pair under my daughter when we went to church and I kept pulling her long dress down during church. Wearing pantaloons or shorts underneath are a good option to still be able to wear dresses but be modest. 🙂

  23. I currently have 3 daughters. We do always wear skirts/dresses. I was just convicted of this for our family. We also don’t like the dresses for the really little girls as they show the bum. When they start walking is a good transition time. The girls (9,7,&2) wear pants under their skirts in the winter and shorts in the summer. I want them covered when they ride a bike, climb on the monkey bars, or climb a tree.

  24. We do skirts only, unless we are in the yard/house. even then we wear skirts most of the time. I used to let the girls wear pants (jeans) until they were around 8ish for play but we have been on a modesty journey. we have 7 kids, 4 of which are girls (a very developed 10y, 6y, almost 4y and 2 1/2y). Our views changed when our oldest girl started developing at 8y. We started teaching about the meaning of modesty. Saving our bodies for our future spouse, in every way, and being a lady. I didn’t wear only skirts all my life, but I noticed when I did I acted like a woman and was treated like one. I pointed this out to my daughter. She stopped asking to wear pants and has embraced being a ‘princess’. My other girls have never known much else. We buy leggings, thicker cotton ones for winter, wear shorts under skirts when playing. They have learned there isn’t anything you can’t do in a skirt. We have even ripped jeans apart and made skirts out of them. Sometimes it means being creative to not look ‘frumpy’ but it is worth the effort, and I can’t even sew! lol

  25. I have three girls (11, 4, 2) who mostly wear dresses/skirts. The little girls see what mama and big sister are wearing and want to do the same. They do have pants/overalls/capris though for hiking, camping, and just outdoor play. My older daughter also wears pants/capris when Daddy feels that those are more appropriate (such as camping and hiking), she still looks like a little girl. I’ve been noticing quite a few long shirts/short dresses in stores that work well over those pants/capris keeping them modest and girly.

    Feet pajamas are a hit around here too. Even my older daughter would rather wear those during the winter. Nothing immodest about those. 😉

  26. Yes, my daughter is allowed to wear pants. She is 2. I do dress her mostly in dresses. Little girl dresses are so adorable! However, she does have a few pants as well for play. I too put something under her dress though. In the winter it was tights or leggings, this summer it will probably be shorts or leggings.

  27. We have 5 children, 3 are girls. Ages 3, 8 and 11. Our “rule” has always been to dress modestly. I personally, wear mostly skirts-but not as a hard and fast rule. I prefer long, swaying, feminine skirts and my husband prefers the way I look when wearing them. That being said, I also wear pants and capris. When my oldest two were younger, it was easier to control as I only bought dresses (and always required shorts under). But, now, as they get older it becomes a question of “which power struggle is worth the fight?” My oldest stopped wanting “dresses” and preferred skirts for a while. No problem. Then, went totally off them all together. She is very strong willed and we had to decide whether to force the issue. We chose not to and allow her to wear pants and capris (as I also do occasionally) but for her this meant she NEVER wears skirts anymore. She understands the importance of modesty and I see her making wise choices in that direction. So…her personal choices and tastes do not match mine, but I’m thinking her heart’s desire to please God does. And that’s good enough for me-even if she never wears another dress/skirt in her life!

  28. My oldest (4) and my self always wear dresses or skirts in public unless it’s this one outfit from CrazyLegs. My youngest (13 months) wears what we have, which is mostly dresses, but she does have some pant sets. In the next few months as she grows she will be in dresses more and more because she will be able to wear sisters hand-me-downs.( I made the mistake and gave a bunch of clothes away :/ ). When I dress the girls in dresses the always wear leggings. And any dress that has thin straps they were sleeved shirts under it. I don’t find it difficult to find infant dresses. Plus it is easy to make your own anyways. My oldest understands what’s modest or not and she never complains about only wearing dresses. I started working on her heart early on.

  29. We have our little girl wear only skirts and dresses, she’s 3. We didnt start at newborn, although she did have a few newborn dresses. We gradually transitioned her, and she was only dresses by 9 months or a year (I dont remember which). She learned to crawl in a dress, and for a while wore a size too big when all we could find were the “diaper romper” type dresses. Which is acctually a tactic I still use. She has a denim skirt now that’s too big around, but it’s a wonderful length. So I put several darts in the waist.

    I’m very thankful for you guys that mentioned bike shorts for wearing under. Last spring/summer she was potty training, so I didnt bother with shorts — I was more interested in getting her to the potty in time. Over the winter she wore leggings. Now that it’s warming up I’ve been trying to find some shorts for her to wear under, but all I was finding were some rather poofy ones that made the skirts poof out funny, and just look silly. I had never thought of bike shorts, so, thank you!

    • We found just-above-the-knee leggings this spring in a variety of colors which excited my 11 yr old since she can now color coordinate outfits and climb on the monkey bars modestly.

      • what about cutting off leggins to knee length for skirst and dresses. My daughter is slim, so we get extra wear out of most of her clothes.

  30. I haven’t read any of the comments so I apologize if anyone has already expressed these thoughts.
    As a mom of a 13yr old girl we have some struggles. I blame alot of this on the fact that we did not become skirts only until she was approximately 6-7 years old and then during our transition we had opposition from our families that made things a nightmare. My thoughts here are that while, as infants and toddlers, its not about modesty (per the comment about a toddler not having a figure to cause clothing to be indecent) but is about training. For us the switch has been difficult because my daughter says we used to find nothing wrong with clothes and now she “can’t wear anything!”. These outbursts are fewer and fewer as she matures and starts to grasp the relationship differences between boys and girls, etc. but my heart keeps going back to the verse “train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”. Training starts at a very very young age and I believe, if I had to do it over again that I would put our girls in skirts/dresses always. Pajamas are different as we wouldn’t let anyone see our sleepwear so what we sleep in is different but for day to day clothing I believe I would not put another daughter in britches. I feel that lettig them wear something when they are younger and then switching would be harder than just training them from birth that modesty is a biblical command. I would absolutely put bloomers, shorts, or leggings under the dresses for modesty reasons.

  31. So glad you wrote this! Our only daughter is four and you’re so right about them needing pants even with skirts or dresses for modesty, lol. I also think there’s a tendency for people to become legalistic in this area and to impose restrictions that become silly and impractical. There are times that pants have a place, even for grown women, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t being modest (for example, when I’m not pregnant, I enjoy running, not competitively just for fun, and I wear baggy sweat pants that go at least mid-calf and baggy t-shirts). I enjoy wearing skirts most of the time, but don’t feel as though I or my daughter would be sinning by wearing coveralls/pants to do certain kinds of jobs at home. Modesty should be about honoring God in our clothing, but also about not imposing restrictions/requirements simply for the sake of keeping them. It has to be taught as a heart issue. My daughter actually prefers dresses and will automatically put on pants underneath them. It’s important to train them to think about being modest and feminine, not just hand them a set of rules. Thank you again for sharing this and I hope it will encourage others as it does me, to rejoice in the liberty and freedom that comes in honoring God through Christ and submitting to His authority without being a legalist. Love in Christ!

  32. Our concerns for dress for our girls are modesty and femininity. We personally use a lot of sleepers for the first year, or outfits with pants, as they are very convenient, but we make sure they look like girl sleepers that would look odd on a boy 🙂

    Once they move beyond 9-12 month clothes, our girls are wearing dresses only during the day, with pants or bloomers underneat. We want this to be something that is the norm for them, for as long as they can remember. They may continue to wear pajamas at night until about 2 years of age, but then it’s nightgowns at night.

  33. When I was little we attended a church that also had a school and my dad taught there. They required their employees/employee’s families to wear skirts in public at all times. So I wore mostly skirts till I was around five and we left that church. Since then, I’ve worn pants and skirts/dresses, although I am a true girly girl so I love skirts and dresses. I personally do not feel convicted to not wear pants, but I understand why people might feel that way. We don’t have any girls yet so I haven’t even thought about how I would dress my daughter, but it is interesting to think that how I dress might already be forming my son’s opinion on gender and fashion.

  34. We have taken the same path that you have. We don’t believe that the Bible says we HAVE to wear dresses, but that we do have to dress modestly, and I want to dress in a way that revels in the fact that God made me a woman 🙂 Yet, like you said, on a tiny girl, the figure isn’t an issue. I have heard the excuse to start them on dresses young so that they know how to wear them, but I don’t neccessarily think it works out that way. That said, I did dress my first little girl in lots of dresses—-I was just so excited to have a girl ! So she had plenty of dress wearing practice 😉 However, she is tall and long-limbed ( much unlike her mother) and it was when she was 4.5 that we went to have photos done at the mall. I took her with her hair all done in a little button up top and a pair of pants, so that we could change into our pretty dres clothes there. It was when I realized that her figure from behind looked like the models on the boards in the malls…that i decided it was time to wear dresses. that should reveal the sickness of our society- two fold.Not only do we sexualize children, but the ideal female figure (from mall advertising perspective, at least) is that of a long-limbed child…just add breasts. Anyhow, she now wears dresses, often with leggins underneath. They look more little girlish, and it is what she wants to wear anyway. Her 2 year old sister wears dresses (again with leggins or stretchy pants underneath)because she wants to do what big sister does. If I ever ave a little girl that does not like wearing dresses…..well, we will see how we handle that. the goal for us is perserving their girlhood and modesty…not dress wearing in and of itself.

  35. I believe that to cut down on the confusion since my conviction is for girls to be dresses/skirts only that the choice should be for me to have my girls from birth to wear dresses. Why have to explain them outta wearing pants and shorts and why explain as to why they can wear them but you don’t. I have my girls wear shorts/spandex Capri’s under their dresses for modesty. We wear night gown dresses and i’m going to be getting modest swim dresses here soon as we are going to be going swimming.Thanks for your encouragement and great post.

  36. I was raised to wear skirts only and still wear skirts only. As a kid my mother allowed us to wear onesies (as babies) and footed pajamas and that was it. My mother and father’s reasoning: train up a child in the way they should go and when they’re older they won’t depart from those ways. We were told that pants were men and skirts were for women. I never owned a pair of pajama pants until I was 23 years old. I didn’t wear shorts or culottes under skirts either. My mom and dad said that if we sat like ladies then we wouldn’t need to wear any of the aforementioned.

  37. I let my daughter wear pants, but usually she has leggings and a dress on. I aim for feminine and modest, and don’t buy things that I wouldn’t want her to wear at all, but I do give her some choice.

  38. Our family has recently (as of last year) switched to dresses and have ditched the pants. Our decision was not based necessarily on modesty issues because we have always dressed modestly, but we felt that a girl/woman should look feminine. Our girls (9 and 2) and myself have really enjoyed the switched.

  39. Thank you for this great post and for sharing openly what you view is on this subject. I only have 2 sons (19 months & 11 days) but I have 5 sisters so I am very familiar with girls and dresses. I have 4 sisters 10 and under. We always dressed the babies in sleeper suits/onsies/etc and when they got older (1+) we’d put cute dresses on them with pantaloons. My sisters won’t even go out of their room when dressing until they have pantaloons on – they don’t like not having them! 🙂 I think there are many ways to dress your little girls and keep it feminine and modest. I see it mainly as a heart issue. I exclusively wear skirts – but I know women who can wear pants modestly….

  40. My 2 y.o. has worn only dresses from birth as we believe the Bible teaches that. She does wear tights, pantaloons, leggings, for warmth underneath in winter and shorter bloomers or lightweight pantaloons underneath in summer for modesty when necessary. I believe you should teach little girls to “keep their dress down”, “sit like a lady” at a young age then they will have that ingrained in them to stay modest no matter what they are doing. My daughter already smooths her dress down whenever she climbs up on the couch, etc. As far as that being impractical that strikes me as kind of funny cuz my 6 sisters and I, (having never worn pants) have done just about anything you can imagine with a dress on and stayed covered at that, including skiing, jumping off 30 foot bluffs into the lake, you name it. Wait, I take that back I’ve never bunjee jumped or skydived, yet 🙂 At a young age we didn’nt care if people looked at us funny and as we got older we just learned to smile and keep going. I think it is perfectly fine for little ones to always wear a dress.

  41. Thank you for posting this ! 🙂 My daughter is two months old and our goal is to have her wear dresses full time (with bloomers or pants ). Our difficulty is in finding little dresses that come down past her bottom 🙁 I want her covered to at least her knees !
    She has been wearing footie jammies around the house and dresses out, but as soon as I get enough sewn she will be in dresses full time 🙂
    I do agree that there are situations where pants are more modest (and safe)so we’ll keep a few pairs on hand for that 🙂

  42. While I believe that dressing modestly is very important we do wear jeans, too. I have my girls wear long dresses or if they have a skirt they wear shorts under them. I really like the skorts that have been available for little girls the last few years. Sadly, it seems that this year the styles have changed again. Maybe I’ll make a pattern for them. If I feel the dress they are wearing isn’t appropriate to wear outside the house I let them know that and they aren’t allowed to wear it out anymore and usually it gets packed up shortly after that point.

  43. Thank you for this post. My DH and I were discussing this last night. We live in a very liberal, non-modest (among other things area) and I am concerned how this will affect my girls (now almost 4yo and 10mo). If I am the only person they are exposed to who is modest (I wear skirts and modest swimwear, no spagetti straps etc.) I worry that they will wonder or not get the message if all they are surrounded by are beliefs that do not belong to us. Though we live in a small community (which is also an area with a large Menno group) we also live near a major city that is VERY liberal and in-your-face about conservative issues (Pacific NW). Anyway, it was helpful to read everyones comments and idea.

    One thought though – this was how I explained modesty to my DH and for family when it comes up – if you are at the mall or other public area and you see a woman walking ahead of you what do you notice about her? If she is walking the same direction as you do you first notice how she looks in her jeans (particularly her bum)? Do you notice the cut of her top (cleavage) if she is walking towards you? What do you want people to notice when they see you in a public space? How do I want people to look at my daughters? I teach them modesty now because I don’t care to deal with a stubborn attitude when they are 13 and modesty is most important. This explanation seems to settle people into a thought process. Maybe it will be helpful for someone else who feels alone in their convictions, as I do.

    Blessing to you!

  44. We have one daughter so far and she is a little over a year. We wear dresses and skirts all the time. The only time I let her wear pants/sleepers, is for bed. I feel it is an important thing in implementing it at a young age. I have been considering letting her wear pants or leggings under her dress for modesty. As she gets older it is most important for her to wear modest clothing, and into todays fashions modest clothes even for little girls can be hard to come by. God Bless!

  45. What great comments to read! I just found your website through the Heavenly Homemakers page.
    This has been such a journey for me the past few years. I did grow up in a Christian household, but never was taught to be modest. I had “restrictions”, but they were not really much at all. Now that I am married and have children (including 10 and 3 year old daughters) we are coming face to face with modesty. Unfortunately, a number of our friends’ marriages have dealt with husbands straying with inappropriate computer images. It was during this time, and the fact that I was finally studying the Bible on my own, that I knew I needed to change the way I dress. I started wearing more skirts, but not only skirts. I actually don’t own any dresses at all. I am not a “girly” girl by nature. All of the skirts I wear now are long, non-slitted and very versatile! My struggle has been how much to take over in terms of my daughters dress. Since this is more a decision from my own heart, and not my husbands leading, I chose not to dictate what they would wear. My daughters have since made more skirt and modest choices and they have learned from me why we choose to dress modestly. I have family who still purchase clothes as gifts for them, and of course, they are all the tight and fitted clothes. I pray the Lord would lead my husband in the right direction. I think my big hesitation in taking charge of it is that I used to do a lot of leading and try and have a lot of control. I imagine that our extended family has seen more submission from me these past few years. I know that in the old days, they wouldn’t have been surprised to hear my husband answer a “why is…” question with, “Well, Annie decided…” So, I wait on the Lord!!

  46. The one problem I have with very young girls in skirts is that it is extremely difficult to crawl in a skirt. My little lady would get so frustrated every Sunday morning when she would try to stand up from being on the floor. She would inevitably step on the hem of the dress and not be able to get up. Also, her knee would catch on the hem as she tried to crawl. Yes, I still made her wear dresses to church. However, it was simply easier to learn to crawl and walk when she did not wear a dress.

  47. My pastor believes the Bible teaches distinction as well as modesty. He does not believe in pants on girls because it is men’s apparel. He says people should be able to tell from a distance by the clothes whether they are boys or girls. I am not sure yet if I agree. I tend to think that a little girl dressed in all pink still looks like a girl even if it is a pants outfit, so… LOLBut we dress our girls in dresses because we are training them from young to wear dresses as they get older 🙂

  48. As I have grown more in my understanding and faith, God has brought to me that what He really desires from me is Matthew 6:25: “Take no thought of what you shall wear”. He really wants me to take little notice of it, and not obsess over it, for a couple of reasons.

    He has given me the job of planting seeds for Him. So I spend a lot of time with non-Christians, because that’s who needs those seeds planted. I grew up in a Christian bubble, where I rarely if ever met someone who was *not* a Christian, so this was a change.

    Part of that change is that, like Paul, I need to be accessible and not off-putting. So I dress in a very neutral way: not rich, not poor, not country, not city, not fitting into any particular box, but familiar enough to be approachable.

    Am I immodest? No. I probably show less skin than most people I know. In fact, today what I’m wearing shows my forearms and hands, and my neck and face.

    But it’s pants. Kind of baggy jeans, definitely not form-fitting or “revealing” in any way. Not the type you’d see someone wearing on the cover of a car magazine. In the summer I wear clamdiggers (like long capris) that hit just above my ankle and fall straight down, almost like a skirt, but these allow me to run without showing anything. And I wear short-sleeved gauze shirts that hit right above my elbow.

    What I do is find a particular shirt or pair of pants that fits my need of cultural neutrality, and then I buy every color/pattern variation they have of it in my size. It doesn’t happen very often that I find something like this, maybe every 3-4 years.

    This allows me to talk to other moms at sports practices, people in coffee shops, non-Christian moms at homeschooling events (yes, there are slews of people homeschooling who aren’t Christians; anyone want a mission field?), bikers waiting in the same automotive shop, people in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, long-term poor in the food pantry.

    I feel completely that I’m in God’s will in this. He’s not called me to wear dresses. I’ve never felt very comfortable in them. My daughters, on the other hand, often wear dresses. My biggest job with them is to teach them what God has taught me, that it’s possible to obsess over what we wear, even if what we’re obsessing over isn’t the fashion of the moment but being “modest”. I do not want them stuck in a Laodicean Christian bubble, where people spend a lot of time concentrating on fine points of doctrine but miss the sea of lost people right outside their door.

  49. I actually prefer to dress my girls in pants because I feel that they are actually more modest than skirts. If I have to put bloomers on under the skirt to hide my child’s body, then I don’t want her wearing the skirt for that activity. Instead I prefer to just cover her modestly in pants. Also, I don’t find the issue of femininity to be a problem with pants. After all, if I would never dress my son in cute little pink flowered pants because they look feminine, then clearly they are gender-specific for girls. Skirts are often seen as being SO feminine that they are overly sexualized. I think a modest pair of pants draws less attention and shows less skin, so I prefer to focus on the modesty of the garment rather than the type. I also think it’s important that we teach our boys to be modest as well. Both genders should be taught reverence for their own and other’s bodies, not just girls.

    • My boy who is 6 yrs always wears a swim top, and never feels comfortable baring his chest in public. At home he “demands” privacy until fully dressed, and has naturally been that way since about 4 yrs old. I agree with teaching boys to be modest. Oh how I can’t stand to see men half way dressed due to the excuse of sports or swimming. It wasn’t like that a century ago.

  50. I have two daughters, and although we don’t have a skirts only policy, they both prefer it anyway. They are 3 and 6, and I would like to encourage them to continue to enjoy wearing such sweet, feminine clothing. I myself do not wear skirts, as at my house growing up being a woman, and everything “girly” was considered terrible by my parents. I was constantly told to stop “being such a girl”. I am still trying to heal and haven’t yet become comfortable wearing dresses, except on rare occasions. I want to encourage my own girls to love that the creator made them intentionally, and have the freedom to enjoy being feminine. I absolutely love how they look in dresses and skirts, and I hope they continue to choose this for themselves.
    I am very conscious of modesty, though. I hate how most skirts you can buy as so short! Most often, I buy a skirt that is three, four or sometimes more sizes too large for my daughter. I then take in the sides ( or tighten up the waist if the item has those adjustable, button holed elastics.. which I love!). I prefer that shorts or skirts alike reach the top of the knee.
    I am very conscious of them wearing shorts underneath, and teaching them about nice ways to sit. I was abused by a neighbor when I was four, so unfortunately, I know that too many people can see a child that young in an inappropriate way. At our house, once you are out of diapers, it is important to wear shorts under a skirt. I also feel there is no reason to permit spaghetti straps on shirts, although since so many dresses come with them now, we ask the girls to wear a sweater over top of it. In so many ways, I feel it is best to ” start as you mean to go on”. Why confuse children by having one standard and suddenly switching it later?

  51. My 2 year old daughter wears pants most of the time (as do I), though she has recently started loving dresses. We are very choosy about what she wears, though. We’ve been given some clothing (some brand new, some hand me downs) that we’d never let her wear, even as a 2 year old. She was recently given one dress that is sleeveless and ties, it ties around the neck and has a v-neck cut. We’d never let her wear anything like that when she’s older and see no reason for her to wear anything like it now. I’ve toyed with the idea of letting her wear it with a shirt underneath, but I doubt my husband would go for that. She does not wear shorts or short skirts/dresses. I’ve been really shocked to see some of the outfits that are made for toddlers these days.

  52. I offer my girls outfits of all kinds — including pants, jeans, capris, shorts, skirts and dresses. I do not choose things that look sexualized, but I often choose things that are not particularly girly.

    In winter they wear leggings under their skirts/dresses and in summer they wear shorts underneath. This is to allow them freedom of movement, without the feeling that they need to watch out for showing their panties. Also, in winter they wear t-shirts under sleeveless dresses, but in summer I don’t worry about it. I find dresses and skirts very economical because they last much longer than pants as kids grow. A dress can be worn from just above the toes clear through to just at the knee — that’s easily 6 inches of growth. Pants are ‘done’ by the time they are 1 inch too short.

    I don’t think pants are mens’ garments. Women have worn them in many cultures through history, and in euro-centric culture for a significant amount of time. Similarly skirts, robes and dresses have been frequently worn by men, although only in Scotland from the perspective of recent euro-centric cultures. Since these things vary according to time and place, I think Christians do best when they reference their own time and culture as the relevant context for the decision, not something from the past.

    That’s why I don’t feel the need to limit my girls’ clothing choices beyond keeping them adequately covered and not ‘sending the wrong message’ through styling that they don’t understand.

    • I agree that modesty is more about being covered and wearing things that don’t draw attention. In the US, dressing fashionably seems to be more important than other places. Plain solids seems to give more choices. I’ve never flet comfortable when young females start commenting on how they like this or that clothing or accessory on each other as a standard of greeting. There’s nothing modest about that thinking or training. My 8 yr old is slim & tall, so tight is not an issue, but finding skirts or dresses below the knee can get challenging. She prefers to wear some sort of covering under them because she feels too bare without. She gets frustrated in the strong thrust for pink by the clothing industry…especially strong pinks, but works with softer shades and prints in this color.

  53. My girls are 8 and 3 and they both wear skirts/dresses only. That’s how they both prefer to dress. Always have. Under their skirts/dresses they wear bloomers or knee-length shorts/capris, like your daughter has on in that top picture.

    I’m 30 and always have something underneath my skirts/dresses too though. You just never know when that Wyoming wind is gonna kick up and you end up showing more than you want lol

    For jammies, though, we do still wear our footed pjs or pants/shirt sets. Overall, the girls do enjoy their nightgowns more though. So I’m slowly working on getting ’em more nightgowns. And during cold winter months, we’ll probably have some sort of thicker pants to wear under them.

    Being dresses/skirts only {except for pjs} is pretty new to us still. A change we made about 2 months ago {a conviction}. And we’re loving it. 😀

  54. I can’t add much that hasn’t been said already, and I probably am not as “feminine” nor “modest” as most of your readers (I wear pants and knee-length dresses with leggings). I put my 18 mo old in dresses while she was learning to crawl, and it really inhibited her. It is a little easier now that she walks, but they still trip her up occasionally. I loved sports as a child and would like my daughter to have the chance as well.

  55. I think you summed up my thoughts on pants for little girls beautifully! When we lived in Texas (far south where it almost never freezes), I dressed my little toddler in dresses almost exclusively. When we moved to Oregon, though, I decided that pants were more practical at times. I’ve tried to make it a policy that she wear skirts when we leave home (unless we are going to the park or something like that), and since she doesn’t like how tights tend to fall down, we invested in some footless tights (which stay up better) that she can wear with socks if it’s cold. Also stretch pants. But I try to keep her liberally supplied with skirts and dresses, and she loves wearing them. I think I will probably be not buying many pants, if any, as she outgrows the ones she has. Though, honestly, I do wear pants some myself. I wore skirts exclusively for 10 years, and it wasn’t until I was engaged that I started wearing pants (with my fiance’s approval and actually encouragement). I still wear skirts mostly, but sometimes pants are just more practical. I’ve been careful to avoid the extremes of low cuts and skin tight ones, and usually wear a long top with them. Kind of like tonight, I’m going to wear some dress pants to a supper at church, with a long maternity top over them. I don’t have the money to buy maternity skirts (and they are just as hard to find new as they are to find used), and having just moved, I don’t have time to make or modify any (though I plan on doing that sometime this month, before my belly gets too big to wear my larger skirts up high). It’s easier to find modest tops, or to make a dickie to wear under a low-cut top, than it is to find skirts.

    So I don’t expect my daughter to come to the place where she never wears pants (unless she chooses to), but I want her to always be comfortable in skirts–not like some teens I know or have known who said they didn’t like skirts. And as she grows, we discuss modesty. She knows why I made a dickie recently, for instance–to make this nice maternity blouse modest. And she knows why I wear longer skirts, etc.

    I want to mention, I really do enjoy your blog. It’s actually the only one I subscribe to by email (I do get a number in my rss reader). Thank you for sharing!

  56. My husband and I have a two year old and we are slowly transitioning to just skirts and dresses. She and I are taking the transition together..I was raised far from modest! So it’s been a hard road trying to just wear skirts or dresses all the time. I try to always wear a skirt out. I just feel harlot like in pants now that the shape comments from my husband and reading have been brought to my attention. I can’t really think of one pair of pants I have that doesn’t show off my butt. Maybe not horrible oh my look how tight those are…but enough for a man to stare at you know what I mean?
    My little one is so cute she really likes wearing dresses! And when I try to put pants on her for play she always says belly because they are more tight on her then a skirt or a dress. She does wear overalls and sweat pants fishing and hiking and playing outside if she’s going to get really dirty…we really just need to invest in more play dresses! She absolutely at 2 has to have short or pantaloons underneath!!!! The little underwear things they sell with dresses do not help with modesty! And she’s potty trained so she doesn’t have the innocent diaper look either. I pray she is able to be modest as she grows older! We will eventually allow no pants at all except for hiking (we go on hard hikes not easy ones) but most likely we’ll be able to just put thick pants on underneath a play dress. It’s really all trial and error. God knows our heart so that is what’s important!
    God Bless you my sisters in Christ

  57. Very interesting comments from everyone, I have enjoyed reading all of them. Since I have also come to “the wearing of skirts” later in life (early 40’s), I giggled at some, nodded in agreement at some, and tried to look at things from a different perspective at some. 🙂

    I now wear skirts or dresses almost all of the time because I felt by lead by the Holy Spirit to do so. However, we do a lot of outdoor hiking. Some of it can be rather steep. I also have been know to work on top of a ladder. On those days, I wear capris or jeans. I do work in my garden, clean, mow grass, rake, etc. in skirts and have hiked in skirts. It just depends on how “high up” I’ll be or how much bending over or squatting I am going to be doing.

    Please let me say this: I know not all women climb ladders. I happen to be one who sometimes does. I do a lot of painting, simple seasonal decorating of our church, etc., which can require climbing a ladder. If I have a skirt on while doing these things, even with leggings or shorts on underneath it, I believe it could cause a very uncomfortable situation for my brothers-in-Christ. On those days, I have on either loose-fitting jeans or loose fitting capris. If there is a man there who can do the ladder climbing for me, then I gladly let him. If not, then up I go with something on that I hope honors my Lord and Savior.

    Sadly, I viewed things a little differently when our daughter (who is now 14) was younger. I was okay with letting her wear spaghetti strapped shirts or shorter skirts. I don’t think she was immodest, but when it came time to leave those things behind because her body was changing, it was not the easiest of transitions. I now whole-heartedly agree that if you feel called to have your daughter not wear that kind of clothing when she is older, it is much wiser to never let her start to begin with. We do not require her to only wear skirts, but she does wear them frequently. We do ask that she dress modestly.

    And lastly, I would like to ask if anyone has considered this: men in Jesus’ time and for many many years afterwards wore tunics, which are basically dresses. Pants didn’t come into existence until much much later on . I am very aware of the scripture that clearly tells us not to wear men’s clothing, and I truly want to honor my Savior in that command. I also do not ask this with a spirit of controversy, but I am very curious to know – taking into consideration the fact that men wore dresses back then, how others interpret that verse?

  58. I am glad I’ve been led to this post. Just this past week I’ve been convicted of my dress. I wear modern hip clothes, and I want to stop. I feel like I am drawing the wrong attention to myself, even though I DO NOT wear shorts or low tops, I still feel wrong. I mad the decision to start wearing modest dresses and skirts, and If I need to wear pants, for them to be slacks with a modest button top. My daughter has started to worry about fashion and this is where my conviction began. But in all honesty, I am excited to start this new wardrobe. I gave my life to the lord a few years ago and I have made the decision to follow his word. I am heavily tattooed and that alone draws the attention. I hope the modest dress can even me out.. LOL

    • Jaclyn, I too was convicted about my immodest clothes about a year and a half ago. It was hard for me to imagine only wearing long modest skirts. But after the first couple of months it was much easier for me. I wear them everyday now. I don’t even own a pair of pants. They are so uncomfortable! Praying for you on your new journey to modest dressing. It is a struggle at first, more so with family and friends wondering what you are doing. I don’t know how many times I got told I was being legalistic. God knows your heart.

  59. I was so thankful to come upon this today. I follow you on facebook so I don’t know how I missed this. I will follow your blog now too. 🙂 I have 3 sons and 1 daughter who is 17 months old. She has pretty much only worn dresses her whole life. Whenever I put her in pants she looks so weird to me. We live in Alaska so I know all about cold and getting outside in the weather. Thicker tights has worked wonderful for us. She does sleep in a footed sleeper at night but I don’t feel that there is any problem with that. I am thinking that this summer I will have her wear some leggings under her dresses, or some shorts. I guess we’ll see how the summer goes.

  60. Modesty doesn’t just come in the form of a dress. You can be modest wearing pants as well or even capris. I grew up wearing long skirts only and covering shirts. I feel most comfortable in jeans. Or leggings with a long tunic (salwar) over them. I love salwars I wish I could find more here! Not a skirt girl or dresses either but when I do the length is never above the knee. I think miniskirts on moms, ESP after 30 is tacky.

  61. We don’t wear skirts exclusively, and probably by your we don’t have the most modest standards aren’t (necklines, we allow bare shoulders, bermuda shorts, knee length skirts, pants, jeans etc, but no mid-driffs, or mini skirts, or short shorts), but we all have different standards.

    I did want to point out that child predators “attack” children as young as an infant. Some are drawn to children w/o figures.

  62. I have a question. I live in Florida and the heat and humidity combined made it extremely uncomfortable to wear nylons and nylon slips. I have found some cotton slips. What do you do about leg coverings as an adult woman? I do not wear skirts above or near the knee as I am uncomfortable sitting in them. I do wear pants as they tend to be more comfortable then pantyhose and dresses/skirts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Hope I am not too out of line asking the question as this appears to mainly focus on children, but I could use some help. Thanks.

  63. I am so thankful that my husband (then fiance) and I decided on the only long skirts before we married. This gave me time to adjust as I was almost 30 when I gave all my 10 pairs of jeans/pants away. It was an easy decision between myself, my fiance and God, but my family did not understand and still doesn’t (4 year later). I am now expecting our first girl (our son is 1.5). Dressing him didn’t seem difficult. We don’t do shorts, but that was still easy. A girl seems complicated because I didn’t grow up wearing dresses. Thank you to all who shared their hearts on this subject. I can now see the modesty issue and the practical issue (difficult to crawl in a dress). She will learn what I do and hopefully the heart issue behind it.

  64. I think transitioning a daughter to skirts only really should be done as early as possible. I changed my daughters’ wardrobe from about the age of 8 and this made for a lot of arguments. She is 11 now and thankfully, the arguments are history, but I do feel that things would have been so much better if we had started her out in skirts only when she first started to walk.

  65. Interesting topic of discussion. My little girl is two months old now and has worn dresses and jumpers since day one. Growing up, I did not always wear dresses until I was older. Looking at Scripture to see what God says about clothing, we find not one key principle, but two: modesty and distinction. An honest application of both of these principles is necessary for biblical dress. They go hand in hand. A girl can dress modestly in a pair of loose pants and a sweatshirt, and not look like a girl, whereas a girl can dress distinctly in a dress and be very provocative in her appearance. If modesty was the only issue, then why do people feel comfortable dressing their little girls in pants, but they would never put their little boy in a dress? I find it interesting that many responses I have received in regard to this topic have included questions like, “Well, there are girl pants, right?” Let me ask this, “Are there boy dresses? Why not?” God said in His Word in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” God made it clear that a man should not wear a woman’s garment–and don’t we feel uncomfortable putting a dress on a boy? But isn’t it interesting the different wording God chose to use in talking about the woman–“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man…” In the study that I have done, God is saying that a woman should not wear anything that looks like something a man would wear. Just a little thought to think about.
    Also, when my family moved away from pants and started wearing dresses, I still was a tree climber and went mountain climbing in a skirt. My sisters and I just wore other things underneath to keep ourselves modest, but we figured that “where there is a will, there is a way.” Besides, wearing dresses all the time created great opportunities to witness to others about Christ. We are always getting asked why we wear dresses and if we are Christians. Having my own little daughter now, her daddy and I want all to know that our little girl is not only modest, but she is distinctly a girl.

  66. Just stumbled across this post and wanted to add my two cents. I personally have my 6 year old daughter wear only skirts or dresses for two reasons. 1) like you, i want her to be modest and to learn to feel comfortable doing so because the Lord requires modesty but my number 2) reason is that the Lord also wants girls and boys (or men and women for that matter) to be different. You might say, but pants can be unisex and I agree. A pink pair of pants for instance, is obviously for a girl. But the Lord didn’t say wear unisex clothing. That’s exactly what He doesn’t want – men and women looking the same. He said to be different from each other.

    Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”

  67. As long as the pants are modest we don’t think it matters. My middle child is the total opposite of girly and you can hardly get her in as skirt BUT she is the most modest of my children. You would never catch her dead in anything but jeans/a hoodie or T-shirts! Shorts are often an issue with girls these days but if you get jeans that fit modestly then you can cut them to the desired length. 🙂

  68. Our baby girls wear sleepers, but when they start walking, they wear only skirts and dresses, with pantaloons underneath for modesty. I agree with Kelly above about the reasons why this is important. However, each family must determine their own convictions.

  69. My story is the same as so many ladies who’ve already posted, I grew up far from modest, was saved later in life and then the Lord called me to wear skirts about 5 years ago. A pastor preached on the subject and I brought the topic to God, he impressed a question upon me; what do you wear when you go to church? Am I not with you all the time? I threw my jeans in the trash that day! It wasn’t an easy change but God was very faithful in providing an entirely new wardrobe for me and my daughter through thrift and garage sales, and even gifts and hand me downs. We have a farm and do everything in skirts in the summer and fall, including garden and mucking stalls, the only exception we make is snowpants and carharts for winterchores and skating on our pond. And they are large and baggy. Our daughter was seven when we switched and did not adjust easily, she understood the heart issue and importance for women and men be separate in apparel,but she was a child and also wanted her tomboy sweatpants :-). So I sewed her A line skirts out of fun girly polar fleece, feel the same, look girly. We also do leggings undrneath, and now that we were blessed with another baby girl she has worn skirts since day one. For the brief stage she was crawling I put her in those scooter skort skirts, to the knee, just so she wouldn’t crawl into the hem, and as soon as she was walking confidently she was back in longer dresses. It doesn’t slow her down one bit, she’s two and a half now and starting to make gender distinctions already. I am sure if we all wore unisex clothes it would be a lot later. Another few things to help stretch a wardrobe; get clothes a size or two too big, then take in the sides, there are lots of tutorials on how to take in a shirt or skirt. Add a ruffle or pretty ribbon to the length of the skirt, and goodwill and yard sales are your best friend! T shirts and cami’s are staples to make a blouse or sweater modest, and don’t give up on a skirt just because it has a long slit, oftentimes you can losen the thread and sew it right up providing there is enough stride. Pass on your children’s clothes to someone that can use them rather than having a yard-sale, and someone is sure to do the same for you. God will always bless you drawing nearer to Him! Enjoy the path less travelled by

  70. We never had any rules about pants vs. skirts, only the length (after 3yrs old, we preferred them to be knee length at least). At the age of 3 and 4 my daughter preferred skirts and dresses and refused to wear pants (which was an issue since all her clothing was gifts/hand-me-downs and I was too frugal to buy anything when her dresser was overflowing). Now at age 5 she is willing to wear pants if playing outside in the winter, and she always has leggings, tights or bike shorts under her skirts/dresses. But she got holes in knees of 3 pairs of leggings last winter!

  71. Just curious…what about athletics? And, really, not too many posted about having older children. What do you do when they want to take ballet, play soccer or basketball? I’m asking about boys or girls since some of you mentioned no shorts even for boys. My husband’s family is extremely athletic. So I have reason for my questions. My nephew played college basketball (on scholarship) and professionally in Europe. Several have played other sports on scholarship.

    • We don’t have a no shorts rule for our boys. 🙂 As for girls, there are workout skirts with leggings under them that might work for sports.

  72. I mostly dress my now 12 in skirts and dresses. She does own some shorts and long pants. I actually don’t think modesty is an issue and actually a couple of things. One is I let her have some pants so she does not become totally obsessed with wanting something she can’t have if that makes sense. Another thing about modesty is being forced into too much modest clothing can send the message that there is something wrong with her body.

    Finally in my view any argument about tempting boys or leading them on. I think that disrespects boys. We want our boys to be strong but this argument implies weakness. And the reality is that most boys are strong. We don’t have hoards of teenage boys raping girls because they were too weak to resist. (Yes it does happen but it’s the rare bad apples)

    • I totally agree with your thoughts! I’m thinking I’ve changed my mind on a few things since I wrote this article years ago. 🙂

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