It’s well after Labor Day, and I wore white pants with white wedge sandals to church last weekend. According to some, I made a fashion faux pas. Was it because of the white or because of the pants? Apparently, a number of good Catholic folks would condemn me for wearing pants–of any color.
Yes, it’s tough being a Catholic in today’s culture. I figure it’s hard enough trying to build a modest wardrobe for myself and 16-year-old SuzyQ. But then I come across discussion about whether it’s immodest or even sinful to wear pants. Not just the pants that are so tight that they look painted on and flesh rolls out over the top of them or even the ones that are cut so low that they leave more of one’s backside uncovered than covered. This discussion was about any pants: trousers, dress pants, jeans, etc.
Now, do Catholics really have nothing better to worry about than whether pants lead men into impure thoughts? Sadly, I have known women who, though only implicitly, cast some judgement on women who don’t wear frumpy jumpers and long skirts exclusively. Now, as I read more Catholic blogs, I find out that people actually believe it’s no coincidence that women started clamoring for ordination about the same time that pants became an acceptable part of their wardrobes. Some even link pants to the Culture of Death that pervades this country. Pants?? So pre-marital sex, abortion, shacking up, “alternative lifestyles”, sexualization of children, and so on all trace their roots to pants?
I happen to love skirts and dresses. Usually they are easier to fit, and they can be very comfortable, especially in the summer. But I also think pants are very practical, and they can be very attractive with the right fit. Both can be tasteful and modest. Sure, I would like to see more women wear skirts and dresses, particularly to Mass on Sunday. It just makes it look like they put a little extra effort into going to Mass. (I blogged about it here.)
The world thinks we Catholics are crazy enough as it is. I don’t think equating pants with immorality helps attract people to the Church.