What Does The Bible Say About Women's Apparel?
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What Does The Bible Say About Women’s Apparel?


Last week I started a section of Taber’s Truths called “Ask The Pastor” Within a couple of days I received a letter asking me to address the issue of women wearing pants.

I considered whether or not I wanted to address this issue or ask one of the female contributors to this website to handle the question.

I decided that I would handle the question because for years women were subjugated rather than led in a godly manner by men and that subjugation caused them to have to live in ways that really were not in line with biblical principles so a man should be the one to set the matter straight.

Should Women Wear Pants?

The question of women wearing what is considered man’s clothing comes from scripture found in Deuteronomy 22:5

5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.

When I was growing up there was a time when I was about the same size as my mother. There were a few times when the laundry was done that our clothes got mixed together and her pants were confused with my pants.

I still remember not paying much attention and just grabbing a pair of trousers and putting them on.

Immediately I knew that they were not my pants.

Even though they were blue jeans, and they were the same waist size and length, they did not fit right.

The reason was that they were designed and made for a woman.

They didn’t sit on my hips right and they didn’t allow room for male genitalia.

They were “women’s” clothes.”

In the passage in Deuteronomy, there is a heart issue that is being addressed not a clothing issue.

The reason that God did not want men and women wearing each other’s clothes was that they were either trying to hide from their responsibilities or trying to take on responsibilities that were not theirs.

In the law of Moses, it was the man’s responsibility to provide for the wife. A man who was hiding in women’s clothes was trying to get out of that responsibility.

Likewise, when a woman was trying to hide her identity as a woman by wearing man’s clothes, she was trying to take on a responsibility that was not hers and she was trying to be something she was not created to be.

So it was not about the style of clothing they were wearing but the fact that they were trying to deceive others with that clothing.

Biblical Principles Concerning Clothing

So is there anything in the Bible concerning the clothes women wear?

Yes, there is.

In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he exhorts the women to wear modest apparel.

1 Timothy 2:9
in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,

The Greek word for modest is “Kosmios” Which means well arranged, seemly, modest.

Some have interpreted that to mean plain because Paul talks about braided hair, gold, pearls, and costly clothing.

However again we need to go to the heart of the matter.

The reason Paul talks about those things is that they are used to attract people for the wrong reasons. It places emphasis on earthly attractions rather than upon spiritual attractions.

Paul was not telling the women to be plain. He was telling them not to emphasize earthly attractions.

Notice the word means to be “well arranged” and “seemly” It means that they are to take care to look put together and appropriate for the situation. It also says that it should be modest apparel.

Here is the crux of the matter. A godly woman, or man for that matter, needs to dress in a way that will accentuate their spirituality rather than accentuate their sexuality, affluence, or once again, hide who and what they really are.

This will vary from culture to culture in how it is applied.

In one culture a nice dress may be a sign of affluence wherein in another culture it is an accepted norm.

Personally, I could never wear a $1,000 dollar suit. Not only would it be something that was bringing attention to affluence but it would be hiding who I was as a person. I am not a $1,000 dollar suit type of person.

However, to those that work on Wall Street, a $1,000 dollar suit is nothing.

So, ladies, I hope you have found that this article is balanced and not subjugating in any way.

I would just like to encourage you to think about these things.

Is what you are wearing accentuating your spirituality?

Are you well put together in your dress?

Are you dressing in an appropriate manner to who and what you are?

Are you being modest in your dress and not exposing areas that are meant for your husband only?


Pastor Duke

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.