A Modesty Question For Women- Skirts

Hey there again, it’s been a while!

So people of CAF, particularly women, what are your opinions on tennis skirts as everyday wear? I know they’re shorter than “regular” skirts, but are they too short? How many inches above the knee would you say is appropriate for a young, modest Catholic girl?

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So I think it depends on the “overall look,” honestly. If you look in the mirror honestly, you will know. I’m quite short for a girl. In a tennis skirt I look like a 9 year old. So I wouldn’t wear one for that reason. Definitely wouldn’t look “immodest” on me though. But if you’re 5’9” with gorgeous legs it’s going to look different on you & you’ll probably want to avoid. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what someone is going to notice first when they see you. Your thighs? Time to find a longer skirt. How dumpy you look? Time to find a shorter (or at least more tailored) skirt. You’ll know. I tell my girls that if they look in the mirror and feel like a beautiful flower they are doing it right. If they feel like body parts, something isn’t covered enough. I know that’s vague, but I just think measuring inches misses too much individuality.


I think business attire is a good guide for modesty. What would an attorney wear in court? You wouldn’t see a skirt more than a few inches above the knee.

That’s a nice way to think of it! Although sometimes that look is too formal. But it does seem like a good rule of thumb.

IIRC, St. Padre Pio would not hear the confessions of women whose dresses/skirts were not at least 8 inches below the knee.


And that was a personal preference of St. Pio. It is not a hard and fast rule to always be subject to.


Clothing that is “in style” these days, in this culture, is probably a bad idea.
From Jesus:
John 5:44 “How can you believe, who receive glory one from another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?”


Where is she wearing the skirt - on the tennis court? To the hamburger stand after playing tennis? To Mass?

And can you see her posterior or anything else when she leans over or sits down?

And finally, why is she not able to make her own prudent clothing choices but instead needs the opinion of a bunch of Internet strangers to know when she looks suggestive or out of place? Catholic women playing tennis and wearing the skirts is hardly a new thing.

^^This. Most of us by the time we got to our mid-teens knew when we were “showing enough” to be suggesive or racy. We didn’t need to take a poll.


Padre Pio references are the Godwin’s Law of modesty threads.

He also forbade shorts on men of any age who came to his confessional. Somehow we never hear about that.


I hear about it all the time :slight_smile:

We often are told men ought not to wear shorts to mass.

And why should we not listen to yet another saint that supports modesty in dress, and one who had the stigmata, no less?


Personally, I wouldn’t wear a tennis skirt, too short


Because people often act like his words are the last word on infallible teaching re: modesty. Like there can be no new developments in the subject since him.


It depends on the situation. For example, a dancer would be able to wear short skirts due to restriction of movement. However, I personally do not wear short skirts and always wear skirts that go below the knee, or right on the knee.

I have been taught from a young age to be modest, so it became a natural habit for me.

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Thank you for your input everyone! I suppose it would be best to go for a knee-length one. I’m not sacrificing modesty for aesthetic.

k, from the perspective of a 51 yo husband and one who has a daughter as well as my wife:

  1. If my 5’5" 100lb soaking wet wife were wearing a skirt more than 1" above her knees, I’d call it inappropriate. Same with my daughter.

  2. If my wife went out like that, she’d have some explaining to do when she got home, and I don’t care if she only walked down our street and back.

  3. My daughter no longer lives here, thinks she is “trans,” and doesn’t wear skirts, so that isn’t an issue. If it were, same rules as wife would apply, IF I had a say in the matter. But, since she is 24 and doesnt live under our roof, I’ve no say now.

That said, back around '86-'88 when we were in high school (we graduated 88, together), I recall my then girlfriend wearing some miniskirts that nearly made me blush for her. But as an adolescent male, I certainly did not discourage it much.
However, looking back, it was indecent and she shouldn’t have owned such…

My $0.02

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Okay, I didn’t know that the tennis skirt is a big fashion hit these days. OP is this just for normal street clothing or for playing tennis?

Apparently they’re in style now, I just happen to like the clean and simple aesthetic, plus, it’s pretty versatile. I had it in mind as a casual piece of clothing


Good analogy. I like that.

However, and I may have asked this on CAF before (if I did, I don’t recall what the answer was, if there even was one) — but if he was hearing confessions behind a grate, a screen, or in a box, how did he know what the penitent was wearing?

I have to think the short answer is, if he could read hearts, he could also have a private revelation as to how Penitent X was dressed, kind of a “spiritual ESP”. Does anybody know?

These modesty threads (no pun intended) tend to go from zero to dumpster fire in a very short period of time, so while I don’t make a practice of “muting” threads — I want to know what everyone else is thinking, you can never learn too much — this will probably be my only comment.

Have I been caught in a time warp?


How often is your wife “soaking wet”? If you are worried about her skirt clinging to her legs or becoming see-through in the rain (a rather silly concern to entertain in my opinion), a more positive solution would be to give her an umbrella or a raincoat. I would add that a short skirt is something that she would presumably wear in the summer, so this concern would depend upon the climate where you live. I am from England, so we expect rain during the summer; people who live in Las Vegas, on the other hand, hardly see any rain all year.

I think if I ever told my wife that she had some explaining to do, she would probably book me a room at the Travelodge until I came to my senses.

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