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Beauty & Fashion

Can Christian Girls Wear Pants?

Many Christian girls have asked whether they can wear pants, because the Bible reads:

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the LORD your God detests anyone who does this.

This verse has been interpreted a number of ways. Some Christians believe this means women shouldn’t wear pants, because pants are considered men’s clothing. Others explain that men’s and women’s garb in this context refer to trade or business. For example, men should go out and do men’s work and women should stay at home and take care of women’s work.

In an article titled “The Truth About Deuteronomy 22:5,” author Jason Young has his own theory. He writes:

The phrase ‘that which pertaineth,’ or simply the word pertaineth in the King James Version of the Bible, is translated from the Hebrew word keliy, which means ‘article, vessel, implement, or utensil.’ 1. Translators commonly render keliy as weapon, armor or instrument in the Old Testament. The word man, in both the first and last part of Deut 22:5, is the Hebrew word geber meaning ‘man, strong man, or warrior (emphasizing strength or ability to fight).’ 2. It is important to note that this is not the only word for man in Hebrew. Verse 13 of this very same chapter uses the Hebrew word ‘iysh, which is also translated  man and means just that – ‘man, male (in contrast to woman, female).’ 3. It is apparent that Moses, when writing Deut 22:5, was quite intentionally not talking about a man in general, but a very specific kind of man – namely, a warrior or soldier. Considering this, perhaps a better translation of this verse would be as follows:

‘The woman shall not put on [the weapons/armor of a warrior], neither shall a [warrior] put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God’ (Jason Young, actseighteen.com).

Personally, I don’t think the verse is very clear. I do believe there’s a much larger, underlying message. Maybe it is as described by Young. Whatever the translation, I’m not convinced the verse is referring to specific types of clothing, but rather, a larger teaching. After all, many historians believe that early users of pants were both men and women.

I’m not going to detail what I believe this verse really means, but I am going to suggest that it doesn’t mean women shouldn’t wear pants.

However, since the Bible is clear about women being modest when dressing, I will offer some tips when shopping for pants. I have two.

  • Choose pants that were designed for women.
  • Select pants that are modest. For example, pants that are too low cut at the waist or so tight that they look like a layer of skin are just inappropriate. Take a look at the two images below. Both are way too tight and sexy.

The two sets of pants below are more appropriate. They are both wide leg pants that tie at the waist and flair out in a very feminine way.

Straight leg pants are also appropriate. Below are two sets of pants that are both cute and modest.

Images credit: Amazon.com

Whether Christian girls can wear pants is really not the issue. Instead, the focus should be on what style of pant is appropriate for a Christian girl who is devoted to modesty.

PI ladies, do you like to wear pants? What do you think of my picks?

Image: istockphoto | Thinkstock


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  1. Leftie

    Posted by Leftie on January 11, 2017 at 21:33

    This may, unintentionally, sound disrespectful, but let’s just say I was drawn to this article mostly from the. . .absurdity of it. (Not the first time this has happened on this site, and unlikely to be the last). On the surface: Duh! Who doesn’t wear pants in lieu of skirts like all the time? Deeper: What are you insinuating? that women are unequal to men? (This shocks me no more on this site).

    Both my parents have worked outside the home my while life. (Gasp!! What kind of raucous, Godless, confused abomination must I be, being exposed to such skewed values? Ladies are for cleaning, cooking, and childbearing, no?) Spoiler alert: I’m okay. I came out a bit liberal, but I’m okay, despite the fact that a MAN played an equal role in making sure I didn’t die or something, or you know, maybe he just ran the dishwasher. AND might have even watched me while my mom was WORKING!

    Definitely a deeper meaning to this verse. Maybe it means a woman’s place is in the home, which is what I think. (I don’t think that’s okay, though). Maybe it means women shouldn’t wear warrior’s armor. (Does this mean women can’t join the military?) Whatever it means, can we all agree it’s just a teensy bit, say, outdated? And that’s okay, we study history for a reason, it was a long time ago.

    And since we live in the now regardless of if we want to, and Gauette does in fact acknowledge that girls wearing pants is pretty much an inevitable reality by teaching us how to select such pants, I will comment on that as well ?.

    How to get dressed as a woman lesson número uno (more like eighty-five):
    Choose pants designed for women.

    Fair enough. I suppose. Pants are pretty neutral anyway I thought, for the most part. And my aforementioned liberal views (Darn it, mother! By helping keep us in a structure with a roof, well fed, clothed, and comfortable, you like destroyed my fundamental values!!) lead me to think that whoever wants to has the right wear whatever pants they want and live their best life without judgment. But I promised myself that I wouldn’t get heated at the comment, and look, I just did. Oops! Let’s move on.

    Two (eighty-six):
    Be modest. Don’t select low waisted pants. (Actually not being snarky now: What’s wrong with low waists if you are wearing a long enough shirt? I hate said pants because high rise is so much more comfy to me, but still).

    Those white pants might get inappropriate quickly depending on what underwear you wear or if you get sprayed with a hose or something. Mostly I wouldn’t wear them because white clothes=perfect “canvas” for spilled coffee, marker marks, etcetera.

    Those jeans with questionable sequin logo placement are a mixed bag. To sexy pose? I’ll give you that one. To high heels? Sure. To tight? Naw. There’s plenty of space in my opinion. Not everybody is going to look like that model (Or forget a shirt).

    On those flare things: if I wanted to wear a feminine article of clothing or a skirt, would I be here?

    The last two are bootcut pants but nice. I’d wear those black ones without the little ties that I think are there hanging off of them.

    So your picks are fine. I still love my skinny jeans and non-femenine, gender neutral pants and my leggings.

    Sorry for long winded, sarcasm filled rant.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by olibear on December 8, 2015 at 23:11

    God actually gave instructions to priests to wear linen breeches under their garments to hide their nakedness. Linen breeches were pants, therefore the verse does speak about pants in reference to men’s clothing, since women were not allowed to priests at that time. Exodus 28:42-43 God bless 🙂 Also the Lord does not live piercings, makeup and alterations of the body you were made into. He wants us to look the way He made us, without the makeup, hair dye, or piercings. He wants modest women, because otherwise we lead men into adultery and cause them to stumble by our looks.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by bebeloveyou on March 7, 2015 at 17:37

    i really dont like the way christains say pants are bad im a christain myself but what u wear has nothing to do with your faith and i mean yes sometimes some cloth are inappropriate like really skinny jeans and booty shorts,booty shorts make guys look at your butt and be tempted(usually guys dont like when you show of your body too much)

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by olibear on December 8, 2015 at 23:18

      Our Faith should lead us to follow his commands so that we can see eternal life. John 3:36. Mathew 5:8 tells us that only the pure in heart shall see God. I wonder what reason compels you to wear pants as a woman of God. I feel that you’ll see pants are worn to show off the feminine body and it is done out of the desire to sexually attract men.. God speaks about linen breaches as garments for priests to wear in Exodus 28:42-3. We can from there understand that the earliest concept of pants was meant for men. Then we can look at Deuteronomy 22:5 and as we apply today we can see that the idea of pants was meant for men who were to be holy rather women in general. I love you and I hope God will give you understanding in this subject. God bless 🙂

  4. Hawky2000

    Posted by Hawky2000 on May 28, 2014 at 20:24

    Wait so what I’m wondering is why pants would even be consider to have an effect on this verse because from what I know back then everyone wore togas/dresses… Also I have a HUGE problem with finding long enough “girl” athletic shorts that will please my dad so I wear guy shorts, is that like bad or something?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by olibear on December 8, 2015 at 23:20

      We can see that he first thing referred to that is similar to pants are called linen breeches in Exodus 28:42 and we see in the next verse after 43 that they were designed for the sons of Aaron so that they would be more modest

  5. Twipi

    Posted by Twipi on May 25, 2014 at 10:20

    I believe that there is such a thing as modest skinny jeans. I wear skinny jeans but I feel they are not excessively tight. The ones in the pictures are pretty tight compared to other skinny jeans, and their poses and heels made them appear more provocative than I believe they actually are, so I feel they are not an accurate representation of all skinny jeans. My skinny jeans still are fairly loose and thus I believe they are modest.

  6. thebobduncanexperience

    Posted by thebobduncanexperience on May 19, 2014 at 17:17

    No. Women should not be able to wear pants because it is MAN’S clothing.
    Men deserve more clothing options, and more rights, than women.

    • Wabby2015

      Posted by Wabby2015 on May 22, 2014 at 10:28

      Are you a man?? No woman would say that men deserve more rights than them. You can think that women shouldn’t wear pants, but I do think it’s quite wrong that you think that women shouldn’t have any rights!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by caseedilla98 on May 15, 2014 at 21:54

    So if it says women should not wear a warriors armor does that mean she should not join the armed forces?

  8. Dreamerofcreations

    Posted by Dreamerofcreations on May 10, 2014 at 22:52

    I think that verse, (in my opinion) is trying to say that you shouldn’t wear guy clothing to try to specifically look/feel like a guy, (aka being Trans) and that guys shouldn’t wear specific women clothing to look/feel like a woman.

    Yes, pants/jeans originally were made for men, to work comfortably in. In that time, they were in the form of “overalls” and the women were always in skirts. That was the fashion and that was just how they dressed.

    I don’t think that “skinny jeans” are bad or “inappropriate” as long as they are kept to a modest looking level, and aren’t worn to attract guys for our bodies. We don’t want something that hugs our every edge that pops out our bums, and meant to make us look sexy. We’re supposed to preserve our bodies for God and keep ourselves pure. Plus, guys like casual-looking girls anyhow.
    If you’re girly and like skirts, go ahead and wear skirts that are at least knee-length. If you’re more of… “tomboy” or just like it loose and casual, go for the jeans, that are at least in the girl department.

  9. Project Inspired

    Posted by tofulife on May 3, 2014 at 18:38

    My whole family is Christian and loves God. Most of my jeans are skinny jeans. I personally do not think its provocative or immodest at all. I also have skirts that are above the knee. In fact all the girls in my youth group wear skinny jeans and skirts and shorts all the time. We are just regular people. Now if someone to wear a mini skirt or short shorts that would be another thing. It wouldnt necessarily be a sin (and even if it were Jesus washed away our sins.), Its just a bad decision or mistake.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by tofulife on May 3, 2014 at 18:41

      INFACT- My whole church is super casual jeans and a tee or skirt and a shirt. We come to church to love jesus and spread the word to others!

  10. Kiersty98

    Posted by Kiersty98 on April 22, 2014 at 12:14

    My family personally does not wear pants because of our beliefs on that verse but i love maxi skirts and anything flowly most of the time because I am a total girl when it comes to how i dress 🙂

    • Kiersty98

      Posted by Kiersty98 on April 22, 2014 at 12:16

      *totally girly girl

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by LexaWerner on April 29, 2014 at 12:31

        Would you happen to know where to find Maxi skirts for a cheap/reasonable price?
        Thanks a ton!!!

  11. LivviBear

    Posted by LivviBear on April 17, 2014 at 07:54

    I love sweats, they’re SOOOO comfy, and not tight! It matches my casual style taste…

  12. aggiegirl45

    Posted by aggiegirl45 on April 16, 2014 at 22:53

    I love to wear jeans, I’m country, lol
    The thing is, is that back in Jesus’s time men wore robes, which is kinda like a dress. So we really don’t know if jeans were men’s clothing at first. I also don’t feel modest in skirts or dresses, I think it’s easier for a guy to get up a dress/skirt, but harder to get up into a pair of jeans.

  13. Midori

    Posted by Midori on March 11, 2014 at 17:36

    I don’t wear skirts unless they’re peasant skirts. I’m not a real girly girl most of the time – and that’s okay. I mostly wear shorts, cargo pants and jeans.

  14. mirandy

    Posted by mirandy on February 15, 2014 at 05:17

    I think it depends on who you are. Because I am a figure skater I have to wear short skate dresses/skirts on an almost daily basis. While I wish they were longer I’m not going to stop doing what I love just because there’s one thing I don’t like about it. I think with the pants it’s what you’re comfortable with.

    • iceKate

      Posted by iceKate on May 24, 2014 at 15:00

      I’m a figure skater as well, so I totally understand where you’re coming from! The dresses my coach picks out for me tend to have longer skirts, and, I feel, if you are determined to wear a dress that honors God, you will find one! It’s frustrating for me when all of the dresses are low cut, or RIDICULOUSLY tight! I feel you, girl! 🙂

    • iamikilili

      Posted by iamikilili on February 18, 2014 at 08:37

      I think that part of wearing a shorter skirt is because figure skating is a sport, and you don’t want what you’re wearing to hinder the movement in any way. Like how we wear swim suits when we go swimming. I doubt you’re wearing your skating skirts/ dresses all the time in normal settings. 😉 So I think that wearing slightly less clothing (within reason) for a sport so that it doesn’t hinder your movement is totally appropriate. 🙂

  15. ShanellElise

    Posted by ShanellElise on February 14, 2014 at 11:52

    Hmmmm. Well i do believe girls can wear pants. Skinny jeans are my thing. Those wide pants look like 70s fashion. As long as they aren’t to tight then yeah(Same for yall dude’s out there).

    • Punkand5SOS

      Posted by Punkand5SOS on March 25, 2014 at 00:08

      I agree, I hate any pants that aren’t skinny jeans, I hated all the pants they show’d expect the first two…….well…………..

  16. Eurydice

    Posted by Eurydice on February 11, 2014 at 07:44

    My boyfriend wears women’s pants. ~_^

  17. James122

    Posted by James122 on February 11, 2014 at 07:14

    I never really thought about the fact of not wearing pants because they originated as men’s clothing. Hmm. Well, I think that if they are modest then it should be fine. But also, consider this; Back in the day, men wore togas and clothing similar to that, as did women. So maybe this verse is more talking about cross-dressing kind of things, as my dad has said in the past.

  18. chicken_chick

    Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 16:09

    Whoa! I love Young’s description!!

  19. Busygirl996

    Posted by Busygirl996 on January 31, 2014 at 23:24

    I like skinny jeans (as long as they’re not TOO skinny) straight leg jeans and flare jeans 🙂

  20. Musician4Life

    Posted by Musician4Life on January 31, 2014 at 20:52

    I don’t even think about it when I wear pants or skirts, but I know there’s people who do. I personally love my low rise, skinny jeans. I rarely wear skirts, pretty much only at fancy events and I occasionally wear casually dresses, but very rarely. I just prefer pants, they’re way more comfortable.

  21. horselover0509

    Posted by horselover0509 on January 24, 2014 at 19:14

    “stay home and take care of womans work” really bothered me. Im sorry nut no. If a woman wants to be successful their is nothing wrong with that. It is a choice that each couple has to make based on what works best for them and their family. 🙂

  22. gracers122

    Posted by gracers122 on January 23, 2014 at 12:57

    I don’t wear pants without wearing a long shirt/sweater over….one that at least covers my bum

  23. goatwrangler

    Posted by goatwrangler on January 21, 2014 at 11:14

    Hmmmm. I don’t wear tight pants. I’m uncomfortable in them. Guys either have different standards of modesty, or are very confused, because I know boys that wear prettier pants than I do. 😛

  24. feministgoddess

    Posted by feministgoddess on January 5, 2014 at 19:38

    Gender is a social construct. There aren’t “men’s clothes” or “women’s clothes”. Nothing wrong with breaking the gender binary.

    • Graceey

      Posted by Graceey on March 15, 2014 at 09:57

      I agree. I think maybe the verse was talking about being homosexual. Honestly, sometimes I wear my older brother’s shirts. 🙂

  25. All4Godsluv

    Posted by All4Godsluv on December 20, 2013 at 15:42

    Sometimes you must wear guy clothes. I am joining the military, I am going to wear girlish stuff, but still i will wear a uniform, and my hair being short i may sometimes look like a boy. I believe the bible says a lot of good stuff, but God didn’t write it and this is a different time period, sometimes going against what the bible says happens, Deal with it. Sorry but really?! lets face it, the bible doesn’t give us many rights does it? Sometimes you will look “immodest” sometimes you will wear boyish clothes.

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by allyymclean on December 13, 2013 at 20:45

    Given that the verse is from Deuteronomy, the old testament, and when Israel was under the old covenant, I currently maintain my opinion that this is one of the things that was subject to change with the new covenant and time.

  27. goatwrangler

    Posted by goatwrangler on October 2, 2013 at 13:18

    Why not wear pants desinged for guys? I live on a farm, and it’s a pain in the butt to wear girl jeans all the time. They’re always low rising and tighter. It’s just practical for me to wear guy pants for chasing goats and shearing sheep. Besides, it’s not as revealing when your pants get wet. (From a sheep shaking like a dog when it’s wet, usually)

    • Sarisa

      Posted by Sarisa on January 23, 2014 at 22:03

      I totally agree with you. I’m a farm girl too and sometimes I wear my brothers clothes, sometimes just to stay warm.

  28. Grace Pierpont

    Posted by Grace Pierpont on August 7, 2013 at 09:29

    Yes, it’s ok to wear pants!

  29. TityGodgirl

    Posted by TityGodgirl on May 3, 2013 at 03:49

    Total eye opener… Thanks a lot!!!

  30. XcanaceX

    Posted by XcanaceX on November 14, 2012 at 20:54

    I think – and this is just my personal opinion – maybe this pertains more towards cross-dressing type stuff? Like guys putting on girls clothes and acting like girls, and vice versa. I agree that it’s okay for girls to wear pants because, pants aren’t just guy clothes! Sure they used to be, but you don’t exactly see men walking around in women’s jeans unless they’re gay or just really confused…lol! They wear pants specifically designed for men. And women wear pants specifically designed for women. 🙂

    • swagggirl

      Posted by swagggirl on February 7, 2014 at 20:18

      When I first read this verse I thought it was relating to homosexuality. Pants never crossed my mind.

    • mkay77

      Posted by mkay77 on January 22, 2014 at 17:42

      Just a heads-up but not all homosexual guys act/dress feminine. That part of the comment could be interpreted a bit offensively. I’m sure you had good intentions; I hope you didn’t take my comment the wrong way!

  31. Project Inspired

    Posted by Katerina on September 1, 2012 at 19:59

    I totally agree with you in this! I enjoy wearing skirts/dresses and dressing up (being ‘girly’), but I can also be a bit of a tomboy sometimes, and skirts are pretty impractical when you’re running around in the woods, climbing trees, jumping on a trampoline, etc. Besides, nobody wants to see me in skinny jeans or booty shorts! 🙂 Thanks for the insight!

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by live life to the fullest on August 20, 2012 at 07:55

    I think that it is always good to wear skirts or dresses they are usually more modest and they are more lady like. I think that God likes us to dress in the form that He made us. He likes us to act and dress like ladies and we should!
    If you do wear pants try to go with more baggy pants. Most guys find lots of pants too revealing.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by jessme on November 12, 2012 at 09:04

      Where did you hear that most guys find pants too revealing? My husband seems to think that they are more modest than a lot of skirts. Also, most rape victims are those that have long hair and skirts on because they are an easier target. I wear equally skirts and pants all the time. I also think that you can be very feminine wearing both variances of the outfits. It just depends on the person. Of course you can make a skirt look “inappropriate,” but the same goes with so many other clothing out there. Let God convict you of what you should wear. I pray every morning for God to help me pick out outfits. It’s not silly at all. And guess what, more often than not I’m wearing a comfortable pair of jeans and a cute flowing top. God is in the business of the heart.

  33. Lexis

    Posted by Lexis on August 10, 2012 at 19:05

    I like skinny jeans better, is that necessarily bad?

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by TheGoodLife on July 26, 2012 at 14:59

    If I could, I would wear skirts (knee-length or lower) 99% of the time. However, my Christian parents don’t think it’s necessary and don’t want me to be teased or even more excluded at school. This being said, I try to dress VERY modestly (necklines ideally come to collarbone and I DON’T wear shorts) to my public school and plan to wear skirts more often in college and on.

  35. Project Inspired

    Posted by prolife4life on July 19, 2012 at 23:48

    i wear guys pants all the time because you can chose the length i really don’t think that’s a problem with god

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Daughter Of Christ on July 23, 2012 at 07:39

      There are some times you cant wear skirts though, I am playing soccer next year, and that is one of the times a skirt just wouldnt work… I agree that very tight or low jeans arnt a great idea, as they show off to much shape, But im still unsure about this….

  36. Project Inspired

    Posted by LostinParadise16 on July 19, 2012 at 21:03

    This verse means what it says! I don’t understand why you can be confused about something so simple. It seems simple enough to me. The word pertain means “to do with” so women should be and dress like a woman and a man should be, dress and act like a man. What’s not to get? I don’t mind wearing pants around the house or in privacy but what is with all the confusing translating stuff? Warrior? Really? So a woman can’t put on armor and fight in a war? I don’t mean to be rude but it is so petty. God doesn’t want His word to be confusing and get this: IT ISN’T CONFUSING. God isn’t the master of confusion, Satan is! So many people have watered down the Word of God and just say, “Oh that was old time, it doesn’t matter anymore,” or “oh that word means something else entirely.” Seriously?! 2 Peter 1:10 says “give diligence to make your calling sure; for if you do these things you shall never fail.” Whether you agree or disagree, by taking time to read this you are enlightening yourself. A fool despises instruction but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. (Proverb 15:5) Also all scripture is profitable for doctrine. Let me try to say this if you want to know more:
    Genesis 1:27 says God made male and female. So this is a distinction, right? Well we need to dress to our distinction. In other words, wear what reflects our gender. This pleases God. We are different so let us BE different and dress the way we would be distinct from male. Also this is not merely ceremonial, but a moral law! All scripture is profitable for doctrine. Take the scripture how you will, but I believe that is means what it says and isn’t confusing in any way. I say again, God isn’t the master of confusion, Satan is!! Please remember that.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Jesusfan on January 21, 2014 at 08:01

      I totally agree!!!

    • atla_bee

      Posted by atla_bee on June 28, 2013 at 22:49

      I agree with you..

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by morgi on November 17, 2012 at 08:15

      Ya but there actually are underlying meanings. Scripture isn’t always literal. For example, when the bible says to hate your parents, it doesn’t actually mean that. It just means you should love God so much that in comparison, you seem as if you hate your parents, even though you should love them. Therefore, I think that this scripture is not literal. I believe the Hebrew translation is right. Like the whole women’s right thing was just out of jealousy, even though spouses should submit to each other.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by LexaWerner on April 29, 2014 at 12:29

        Where in the bible does it say to hate your parents? It says to love God more than your parents, but I don’t think it says to hate them. It says to honor and respect them, but to love God more. And LostinParadise16 I totally agree with you!!!! For a long time I almost stopped wearing skirts, and then I stumbled upon Deut. 22:5 and I’ve started wearing skirts as often as possible. I still wear sweatpants sometimes in private like at home, but I try to wear skirts in public if possible.

  37. Project Inspired

    Posted by prolife4life on July 18, 2012 at 23:54

    i really don’t think skinny jeans are inappropriate

  38. Skittle1524

    Posted by Skittle1524 on July 17, 2012 at 17:57

    i wear pants all the time i wear dresses to church on sunday though

  39. emily.kate

    Posted by emily.kate on June 28, 2012 at 12:27

    i hardly ever wear skirts or dresses.. i just dont like wearing them so i live in my jeans and pants. i like baggy jeans:)

  40. Project Inspired

    Posted by HeavenlyAuroraz on June 25, 2012 at 20:39

    My church is against this. But they hate everything, so….

  41. Project Inspired

    Posted by LittleAngel on June 23, 2012 at 03:21

    To be honest, I never even thoughht about if it’s modest to wear pants – I just wear them 😉
    in Germany where I live none of the christian girls I know cares about this question… but I dont like too tight pants as well (they just make me feel like my legs are far to big :/ ) and so I do wear skirts and dresses sometimes but not all the time. I think they can be impractical (e.g. when you run) and I just hate leggings and tights so I cant wear them in winter anyway.