still confused

just when i think i’ve reconciled the issue, something else comes back to haunt me

quote from Thomas aquinas
“As stated in the foregoing Article, outward apparel should be consistent with the estate of the person, according to the general custom. Hence it is in itself sinful for a woman to wear man’s clothes, or vice versa; especially since this may be a cause of sensuous pleasure; and it is expressly forbidden in the Law (Dt. 22) because the Gentiles used to practice this change of attire for the purpose of idolatrous superstition. Nevertheless this may be done sometimes without sin on account of some necessity, either in order to hide oneself from enemies, or through lack of other clothes, or for some similar motive.”

last time i posted this, the responses i got were the is you did it to cross dress, then it would be sin but his writing suggests otherwise. it has a more serious tone. seems like, if you have a really good reason to do it, then it might not be a sin but if you just wanted to do it because you liked the clothes or for every day use, then it’s not ok.

on the other hand, even in the middle ages, there are certain garments that both sexes wore such as surcoats, doublets, hose etC

but the one thing women didn’t wear ofr a long time are pants, they wore them before christenization, or in nonchristian societies or now after the 1900s starting with the war and then slowly came in to more use. how do we explain this kind of gradual change and why was it not acceptable before but is now? and he says it is in itself sinful, which is more confusing because clothes are just pieces of fabric which shouldn’t be sinful for anyone to wear.

One last time…If the clothes you are wearing are made for women and you bought them in the women’s department, regardless if they are pants (which have been worn by women in Asian and Native American cultures since people starting wearing clothes), boots, or anything some extremist thinks are men’s clothes, they are WOMEN’S CLOTHING.

If you are dressing as a man and trying to pass yourself off as one to attract someone to commit a homosexual act, that is wrong and what these verses in Deuteronomy are speaking of and what the quotes from Saints are regarding.

If you are wearing a unisex uniform or happen to have on men’s boots or some other form of apparel because it fits you better or was less expensive, it is not a sin.

I am going to kindly ask you to please quit starting threads of this nature on here, since you know the answer, as you have been told many times in your questioning and all it does is start the whole “women in pants” debate up for the hundredth time. If you are really struggling with this, please speak to your confessor or spiritual director about your scrupulosity.

Please speak to your priest or confessor about this scrupulosity you are displaying here. You have been shown before that women wearing pants is not sinful, no matter how much extremists’ web sites want you to think it is with their pulling quotes out of context and the time and purpose for which it was written. Stop looking for things to confuse you and be at peace. Get help with spiritual direction from your priest or at his recommendation. You are driving yourself crazy with all this needless worrying over things that do not affect your salvation and are not Church teachings.

according to the general custom


I think that part matters, “according to the general custom.” You are talking about women in pants it seems like. That is generally accepted as the custom. Men in dresses not so much, but Men in kilts sometimes that is the general custom.

Used to be that only slaves wore pants and free men wore what we would now. consider a long dress. That custom changed, and Western men would now be prohibited under this rule from wearing those long dresses, no?

So I think that women wearing slacks or pants which are commonly considered acceptable for women is fine. Women can wear women’s pants suits, but would look totally different in a men’s suits complete with ties and men’s sock and shoes, wouldn’t they?

Also consider that the ao dai (sp?) that Vietnamese women wear traditionally was never changed when they became Catholic, even tho less modest forms of dress elsewhere were changed. The ao dai (pronounced: ah-oh-dye) is beautiful, and is a special dress over loose slacks. I can’t figure out how to link a picture, but look it up under images–they are loveley :slight_smile:

And I have to admit that for a time, women’s slacks were cut so low I just went ahead and bought some carpenter pants.

The Church fought this into the 50s, but since the end of the 50s has given it up as a loosing battle. This does not mean it is O.K. It simply means females ( for they are the main object of the discussion) have become more worldly. Nevertheles, it is never O.K. to wear " form fitting " clothes, fashion or not, since the object of such clothes is to draw male attention from males, who are more tempted through sight than females. It matters not what a particular female may think, males will undergo temptation whether they " intend " it or not. Fashion be damned.


I think that part matters, “according to the general custom.” You are talking about women in pants it seems like. That is generally accepted as the custom. Men in dresses not so much, but Men in kilts sometimes that is the general custom.

but it didn’t used to be the custom. i odn’t really know, i’m just confused. there’s no condemnation by the church now for it. was just wondering if there was any when things first started to change

Oh, yes, there are a few documents quoted on sites one can find by searching for catholic modesty; here is one which is particularly specific:
Standards of Modesty in Dress
Imprimatur dated Sept. 24, 1956
“A dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.”
The Cardinal Vicar of Pius XI

And yet it was only about 40 years before this was written that skirts rose above the floor length they had been for centuries.

yeah, i’ve seen that one before. i guess modesty is quite cultural. but st. thomas is more talking about women wearing men’s clothes and vice versa. but i guess that’s pretty culture specific as well.

anyways, the church nowadays seems to say it’s ok. and if they have the authority to decide bigger issues like circumcision and other bigger doctrine, i guess i can trust them on this one.

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