I wear skirts and dresses every day and have done for almost 2 years. I don't look down on women wearing pants, I actually only let go of my remaining pants and jeans last month, after finally being convinced that, if I hadn't needed them for over a year, I won't need them again. Funny that, how I felt I 'needed' this item of clothing. So I understand it's a personal decision and certainly not a salvation issue. Nonetheless, I thought I would share some of my experience on the matter as I see a growing number of women wishing to do the same, and some inspiration as to why.
Yesterday, while ice-skating at a local rink (yes, in a skirt) , a girl around 12 years old came up to me and complemented me on my outfit. Now, my outfit was whatever I could find as I was rushing out the door with a baby that hadn't co-operated all morning. Not the prettiest thing I've ever worn. But it was the skirt that stood out to her, and her friends who I caught watching me later in the afternoon. I now regret not taking those extra 5 minutes to put on something nicer. I made an impression on these girls, an impression of femininity. In my 3 years of skating at this rink I have never once seen another woman in a skirt at or below knee level (there have been girls in short skirts and tights, slightly different). We make an impression on people wherever we go, whatever we are doing people are watching just as we are forming an impression of the people we meet, the lady behind the checkout, the woman sitting at the table next to us, we always make an impression on someone. What impression do you want to make? Clothes play a big part in this impression.
Now the practicalities. I have done a lot of things in skirts, and modestly. I have
Ridden a horse
Ridden on rides at a theme park with those stupid between the leg harneses
Camped by the creek
Done heavy work in families yards
With a bit of luck I will soon be adding rock-climbing to this list. Many of these are traditionally 'pants' activities, but why? All of these can be done safely, comfortably and modestly in a skirt WITH THE RIGHT CARE TAKEN. I emphasis this point because in some of these cases, it's not a matter of modesty or practicality, it's a simple matter of safety. If you don't think about the type of skirt you're wearing, it can be downright dangerous to do some of this in it.
So below are the major objections to skirts in various activities, and my best tips for them!
Lets deal with this one up front, if you go bike riding in a loose skirt it will get caught and you will crash. If you go skating in a tight skirt, you will not be able to separate your legs far enough and you will fall. Think about the situation. I had a dangerous situation when I went swimming in the surf in a skirt for the first time. I didn't have a modest swimsuit, they are much harder to find in Australia and were too expensive for me at the time. So I wore a slightly below the knees, light and quick-drying pleated skirt over a maternity one-piece. I got in the surf, and my skirt clung and begun to get tangled. It also did not give me anywhere near as wide a leg span as I had expected. Thank God I was a local who knew how to be safe in the surf, knew about rips and whether the tide was coming in or out, etc. If I had been a tourist who had never been in surf before, I could very easily have been pulled out and unable to get back in what turned out to be a very constricting skirt. Modesty or not, I will not wear a longer than thigh length skirt in the surf until I can be sure the same won't happen again (hoping the swimdress I am ordering shortly will be suitable for surf!) So please think about the safest type of skirt for the activity you are doing, and then build the rest from that.
The first thing I would like to say on this topic is, pants are not immodest, pants are unfeminine. There is a difference. checkered material is generally considered less feminine than floral prints, does that mean florals are more modest than checks? Absolutely not, and in the same way, pants are less feminine than skirts, but not necessarily less modest, and a skirt can be very immodest also in certain styles. And that leads me onto my next point, being, layers are your best friend in situations like these. When I went on the rides at the theme park I knew the harness would come between my legs, so I wore a pair of pants specifically set aside for layering underneath. It didn't matter if I looked feminine while on the ride, it DID matter that the people lining up couldn't see my underwear! With a bit of maneuvering I did manage to get my skirt covering my thighs most of the time, but for the occasional spot where they were visible, pants covered my modesty and, frankly, at those times no one noticed whether I looked feminine or not! Upon getting off the ride I smoothed my skirt down and looked feminine once again. Keep a couple of pairs of tights or plain pants for this purpose. Maybe if you're wearing something victorian in nature you'd even like to try out a pair of bloomers! In other instances your legs may be showing more than you'd like, but not all the way up. In this case, I LOVE thigh high socks, which reach a couple inches above the knee. I think they look great in the right outfit personally.
In winter I have people say 'it's too cold for a skirt!', In summer 'it's too hot for a skirt!'. The preferred dress is jeans or shorts in these instances. So when is it ok to wear a skirt then? I can't speak for very cold temps, I have never even seen snow, so I give no advice to those living in those climates, maybe you really have to wear something other than a skirt?. But I can speak for the Australian winter, which feels pretty cold to me! and the Australian summer, which can be sweltering, especially in a country where air conditioning is not considered a necessity.
To keep warm there are thigh highs and pants, layers are great. But I rarely ever use them, because I consider the material and style of my skirts. Some of the skirts in my wardrobe are paper thin, others are denim or material that's very thick. Some of my skirts have underskirting with them, others do not. Some of the skirts allow air to blow through the material to a point, others block it out completely. And then we have A-line skirts and gathered skirts, skirts that come straight down and skirts that poof out with lots of material. I have skirts that I can wear stand-alone in any temperature my climate gives. Wear thin, straight skirts in the heat of summer, and thick, gathered skirts in the winter.
...is much less of an issue than people think. Really, unless you wear short skirts or tight skirts, kneeling down, climbing up, and moving about are not a problem most of the time. Our grandmothers used to only wear skirts, and many of them were much more active than we are today in out age of the internet.
I'm yet to find an activity I can't do in a skirt. With a little forethought and consideration, you can do anything in a skirt just as well as you would in pants.