Advanced Christian standards of dress for women

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Advanced Christian standards of dress for women and girls

2TG No. 38 13:3-4 (EN) Materials.—They are to be of good quality, durable, and appropriate for the climate and occupation of the individual. Nothing gaudy or extreme. Sheer materials and large, showy prints are taboo.

Colors.—Colors are to be becoming to the individual. Color combinations should harmonize, and not be showy or sporty.

Sleeves.—In public, sleeves are to be long enough to cover the elbows when arms are bent. They should be of a style that does not expose the armpits when arms are raised.

Skirt Length for Women and Adolescents.—Skirts shorter than about one-half the distance between the bend of the knee and the ankle are immodest, and hence improper for a Christian lady.

Skirt Length for Pre-adolescents.—Skirts are to cover the knees. Do not make them so long as to cause the child to be uncomfortable or unnecessarily to be a laughing stock.

The fit of the Clothes.—The clothes are to be well fitted, and not to hang in a slovenly manner. They should be comfortable and neat, but not so tight as to show the lines of the body.

Necklines.—Necklines should not be lower than 2 or 3 inches below the hollow of the neck, and should fit so as not to expose the breasts when the individual leans over.

Patterns.—Dresses are to be designed along modest lines, not sensual or extravagant.

Buttons, Belts, Trimmings.—These accessories should be conservative, neat, and trim, as well as becoming to the dress. There should be nothing put on so as to attract attention to that one thing.

Sweaters–Except in the case of pre-adolescents, slip-over sweaters are immodest when worn without a jacket or coat. Even jacket-type sweaters are not to be so snugly fitted as to accentuate the shape of the body.

Work Pants—They are not to be worn in public places or on the street, but only in such occupations as would render dresses immodest or dangerous. Even then they are to be of style designed strictly for women, not for men. Wear culottes. Little girls may wear overalls designed for them.

“Changeable Suits of Apparel”–The amount of clothes is to be governed by the individual’s occupation and the climate, not by ever-changing fickle fashions. Have only as many clothes as are necessary to keep neat and clean, no more and no less.

Corsets, Girdles, etc. These should not be worn unless by physician’s order for some ailment. Garter belts that do not interfere with circulation, are all right.

Wedding Apparel Veils and long dresses are not to be condemned for weddings. Trains are unnecessary.

Bathing Suits, Sunsuits, etc. Never should anything which exposes the body, be worn in the presence of men and boys. Mixed bathing groups are taboo.

Hats Style.—Hats are to be modest and trim, not with extravagant brims, or like pill boxes. They should not be unnecessarily large or ridiculously small, but conservative and becoming.

Trimmings.—Adorn the hat with nothing that attracts undue attention to itself. Veils and other ornaments hanging for show, are out of place. The trimmings should be becoming but not showy.

Color.—The color of the hat should harmonize with the rest of the clothes, and should not be flashy or conspicuously bright.

Head coverings on Religious Occasions The headcovering should be suitable to the particular occasion, and meant for the purpose of a headcovering rather than be something grabbed at random. The latter is disrespectful. Little girls should be taught to wear headcoverings as soon as they are able to understand about it.

In other public places.—A hat is more modest-appearing than the bare head in public.

Shoes Style and Quality.—Shoes should be durable and conservative. Avoid toeless and heelless dress shoes. They appear immodest. On proper occasions, sandals are permissible.

Height of Heels.—For health’s sake, the heels should be under 2 inches. High heels are unhealthful.

Colors.—Wear practical colors. White shoes are not practical on farms and in villages where the streets are not paved. Black shoes look dressy longer, and are more suitable for the gospel worker than other colors of shoes.

Trimmings.—Trimmings should be suitable to the shoe, and not showy or dangling to attract attention.

Wear service weight.

Rolled Below Knees.—Immodest if discernible. Put no flesh on display.

Bobby Socks.—Taboo if legs are exposed. They are all right for infants in hot weather.

Stockingless.—Condemned unless barefooted.

Hairdress Upswept.—All right if not extreme.

Medium length Hair Worn Hanging.—Permissible for girls if kept tidy.

Bobbed Hair.—Taboo for women and adolescents; all right for infants and little girls if necessary, but better to let the hair grow.

Naturally Wavy or Curly Hair.—Arrange it as naturally and as becoming as possible.

Straight Hair.—Do not try to make something extreme out of your hair that God did not intend. Arrange it neat and becoming.

Permanent Waves, Finger Waves with Hair Sets, etc.—All such artificialities are taboo.

Rolling Hair on “Rats,” Rollers, etc.—All right if necessary.

Hair Clasps.—All right if necessary, but color of clasp should if possible blend with the color of the hair. Use nothing bright or showy to attract notice.

Ribbons.—Permissible for little girls to hold the hair in place.

Jewelry Wrist Watches.—In the fullest sense, a wrist watch is a bracelet with a timepiece on it, and should not be worn on the street or in public.

Dress Pins.—All right, if they serve a purpose, and are not showy or fancy. Ornamental brooches are condemned.

Miscellaneous Jewelry.—Necklaces, neck chains, lockets, bracelets, earrings, rings, etc., are all condemned.

Cosmetics Face powder, bath powder, lotion, astringents, cold cream are all right if necessary, and if not purchased extravagantly. But rouge, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, mascara, perfume, fingernail polish, nail white, etc. are condemned.

Personal Hygiene Deodorants, depilatories may be permissible if absolutely necessary, and if nothing harmful is used. Antiperspirants are unhealthful.

For Men and Boys

Suits Style.—Suits should be cut along conservative lines—nothing sporty or extreme. Especially should the suits to be worn in the pulpit be neat and conservative. See that the suit fits well and does not hang in an ill-fitting manner.

Material.—The quality of the material should be durable, and in keeping with the climate and occupation.

Colors.—Practical colors that are not flashy, should be used. If the coat must be of one color and the trousers of another color, care should be taken that the colors blend well, and do not appear sporty. On the whole, such combinations should be shunned. Never should they be worn in the pulpit.

Shirts Sport Shirts with Open Collar.—Open collar sport shirts may be used when on outings in the country or on similar occasions. In the church or on the street, though, they are out of place. Collars should never be worn open lower than the first button.

Sleeves.—For dress and pulpit wear, sleeves should be worn full length. Rolled up or short sleeves may be worn if the occasion demands them for convenience’ sake. Sleeveless shirts are taboo in public.

Shirts Worn Outside Trousers.—Shirts hanging outside the trousers mark the wearers as either being sloppy or trying to appear sporty or something—they know not what. They detract from respect.

Going Shirtless.—In public or in the presence of women or girls, the man should always wear a shirt. Teach the young boys to do likewise.

Ties Style.—Either the bow tie or the four-in-hand may be worn—whichever is best for the suit or the occasion. Wear nothing extreme.

Colors and patterns.—The tie should not be sporty or flashy, but it should be attractive and should harmonize with the suit and be becoming to the wearer. Loud colors and showy patterns are out of consideration.

Accessories In Outside Breast Pocket.—The wearing of a handkerchief or pen and pencil in the outside breast pocket can serve no purpose but to attract attention, to bolster pride. Do not thus cheapen your character, but put them in the inside pockets where they belong.
Wrist Watches.—In the fullest sense, the wrist watch is a bracelet with a timepiece on it, and should not be worn on the street or in public. If you find it necessary to carry a timepiece, use a pocket watch.

Tie Pins and Tie Clasps.—Tie pins are taboo. If it is necessary to wear a tie clasp, use one that can be concealed within the folds of the tie. Wear nothing for show.

Watch Chains.—Watch chains on display are as much out of place as is a tie pin, ring, or bracelet. Keep it out of sight.

Miscellaneous Rings, etc.—Rings and other jewelry are condemned.

Arm Bands to Hold up Sleeves.—Arm bands are unhealthful if they are worn so tight as to interfere with the circulation. If it is necessary to wear them, use nothing conspicuous. Better, though, to shorten your sleeves.

Scarfs.—Never wear scarfs merely for show. Choose colors that harmonize with the rest of the clothing—nothing gaudy.

Rolled Down Socks.—Socks should be properly supported, otherwise they appear immodest and untidy.

Shoes.—Select shoes of durable quality and practical style and color. White is impractical on farms and in villages where the streets are not paved. They do not appear conservative in the pulpit, and they attract undue attention to the feet. Black shoes look dressy longer, and are more suitable for the gospel worker than other colors of shoes.

Bathing Suits and Trunks.—These are all right on proper occasions, but mixed bathing groups are taboo.

Hair.—Arrange the hair as naturally and as neatly as possible, doing away with all such artificialities as permanent waves, etc. If the hair is dry, use oil that is not overly scented, something that is beneficial to the hair and not just for “smell.”

General Appearance.—Do not fall into slovenly habits: Keep the hair cut, the face shaven (if you do not wear whiskers), and the clothing tidy and as clean as the occupation permits. God requires His representatives to dress in such a way as to commend their religion both to the high and to the low, to the rich and to the poor. Dress neither extravagantly nor shabbily. Stay in the middle of the road under all circumstances.

Simplicity in Dress

2TG No. 38 24:2-3 (EN) “In his sermon on the mount, Christ exhorts his followers not to allow their minds to be absorbed in earthly things. He plainly says: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for you life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ ‘And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’ {2TG38: 24.2}
“These words are full of meaning. They were applicable in the days of Christ, and they are applicable in our day. Jesus here contrasts the natural simplicity of the flowers of the field with the artificial adorning of raiment. He declares that the glory of Solomon could not bear comparison with one of the flowers in natural loveliness. Here is a lesson for all who desire to know and to do the will of God. Jesus has noticed the care and devotion given to dress, and has cautioned, yea, commanded us, not to bestow too much thought upon it. It is important that we give careful heed to his words. Solomon was so engrossed with thoughts of outward display that he failed to elevate his mind by a constant connection with the God of wisdom. Perfection and beauty of character were overlooked in his attempt to obtain outward beauty. He sold his honor and integrity of character in seeking to glorify himself before the world, and finally became a despot, supporting his extravagance by a grinding taxation upon the people. He first became corrupt at heart, then he apostatized from God, and finally became a worshiper of idols. {2TG38: 24.3}

2TG No. 38 25:1-2 (EN) “As we see our sisters departing from simplicity in dress, and cultivating a love for the fashions of the world, we feel troubled. By taking steps in this direction, they are separating themselves from God and neglecting the inward adorning. They should not feel at liberty to spend their God-given time in the unnecessary ornamentation of their clothing. How much better might it be employed in searching the Scriptures, thus obtaining a thorough knowledge of the prophecies and of the practical lessons of Christ. {2TG38: 25.1}
“Christ is our example. We must keep the Pattern continually before us, and contemplate the infinite sacrifice which has been made to redeem us from the thralldom of sin. If we find ourselves condemned as we look into the mirror, let us not venture farther in transgression, but face right about, and wash our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb, that they may be spotless. Let us cry, as did David, ‘Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’ Those to whom God has intrusted time and means that they might be a blessing to humanity, but who have squandered these gifts needlessly upon themselves and their children, will have a fearful account to meet at the bar of God. {2TG38: 25.2}

2TG No. 38 26:1 (EN) “Those among Sabbath-keepers who have yielded to the influence of the world, are to be tested. The perils of the last days are upon us, and a trial is before the professed people of God which many have not anticipated. The genuineness of their faith will be proved. Many have united with worldlings in pride, vanity, and pleasure-seeking, flattering themselves that they could do this and still be Christians. But it is such indulgences that separate them from God, and make them children of the world. Christ has given us no such example. Those only who deny self, and live a life of sobriety, humility, and holiness, are true followers of Jesus; and such cannot enjoy the society of the lovers of the world.” — Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 628, 629, 632, 633. {2TG38: 26.1}

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