Haha. You are also in Australia which is like the Vatican of trendy Pentecostalism.
(I wrote my master’s thesis on Pentecostalism and American popular culture, so excuse me for the completely unnecessary detail. But since no one is ever going to read my thesis I might as well share some of it with you guys!)
When Pentecostalism started in the first decade of the 20th century, Christian workers were actually encouraged to wear the latest fashions as a way to appear “relevant” or “incarnational” or “missional” as we would say today. Pretty quickly there was a strain of legalism that asserted itself and was inherited from the Wesleyan-holiness movement.
The big problem from the 1920s until the 1950s was the fact that Pentecostals couldn’t tell Holy Spirit filled people from carnal people because (by the standards of 1900) the morality of women’s fashion trends had declined so much. 1920s Pentecostal tracts on “dress reform” were filled with references to the fact that “flappers” dressed in clothes that only a decade earlier no one but prostitutes would have been caught wearing.
There was actually a tract written in the 1950s where a Pentecostal woman saw a very “worldly” looking woman on a train. She began to witness to the woman about “her need for Christ” and the “worldly” woman then took over and spoke about Jesus and the Bible for the rest of the train ride. It turned out that the “worldly” woman was a Bible teacher!
So, there definitely was a strain of legalism at work. The problem was that no one could ever agree on exactly what “worldly” fashions looked like. Also, people were always trying to challenge what seemed to many to be arbitrary holiness standards.
But it helps to understand that these types of attitudes were rooted in the fast pace of cultural change that occurred in America during the early 20th century. An entire generation of Pentecostals perhaps were too slow to adapt to things like harmless clothing styles. However, the charge can be made that many Christians today are too quick to embrace any cultural change no matter how damaging to the cause of Christ. :shrug: