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What Does the Bible Say About..What We Should Wear?

I am curious as to what the bible says about what a female wears. My friend is Baptist and he believes that we should wear loose fitting clothing, and not show our thighs. I am asking if you could tell me where in the bible it says these things. Thank You.


You won't find any scripture that tells specifically what kind of clothes to wear. That would make the Bible applicable to only one period of time. For instance, in the first century most men did not wear pants. In fact, in most European societies men didn't wear long pants until around the 17th or 18th Centuries. So if the Bible specified styles men might still be wearing tunics or togas.

There are, however, some scriptures that address dress in general terms. Paul said it was his will, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (1 Timothy 2:9-10) It is entirely possible that he is talking here about what should be worn in the assembly of the church, but it would apply everywhere. There are those that say he absolutely forbids braids, jewelry, and expensive clothing. The one thing for sure is that he says women should dress in "modest apparel." In general, that would be anything that doesn't call undue attention to oneself or unduly arouse men's passions.

Peter says, "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." (1 Peter 3:1-4) It is obvious that he is not condemning braids, gold, and clothes in general. If you took that at face value, you could say he was telling women they shouldn't wear anything at all. Instead he is saying that women, in this case, should worry more about their actions and their motivations than their clothes.

Some groups would go overboard on defining what is modest apparel. The Amish, for instance, traditionally wear only black, white, or grey, and the clothes should cover all but the face and hands. Married Orthodox Jewish women generally wear long skirts and sleeves past the elbows, and are forbidden to appear in public with their own hair uncovered. Loose fitting clothing past the knees may be appropriate for some, but I don't think they can find a scripture where they can bind that on someone else. In some situations shorts or culottes may be more modest than covering up from neck to ankle.