What are some Bible principles on the dress code for women?

Hello T,

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The Bible reveals that God cares about how women dress. A Christian woman should be known for her beautiful heart and helpful attitude as opposed to fancy clothes “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price” (1 Peter 3:3,4). Adorning (Gr. Kosmos) means “ornament,” “decoration,” or “adornment” (Isa. 3:16–24; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10).  The English word “cosmetics” is derived from the Greek word kosmos.

It is not fitting for Christian women to make a display of dress and ornaments to attract attention to themselves. Their greatest attraction should be their Christian conduct (1 Peter 3:2). Instead of focusing on fashion to draw attention to themselves, Christian women should focus on the “inner beauty” of a meek and quiet spirit.

The apostle Paul wrote, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (1 Timothy 2:9). Rings, bracelets, and anklets were customary for women in the Roman Empire. Such “wearing of gold” was contrary to the principle of Christian modesty and simplicity. Money that could be spent in more profitable ways for the eternal good of both spender and receiver is often spent on rich apparel.

Modesty refers primarily to a genuine personal concern about the response your dress and behavior produce in the heart and mind of another person. A godly woman’s clothing should properly cover her body (Genesis 3:21) in such a way as to cause no problems in the thoughts of the men around her.

There is beauty in simplicity. Jesus referred to the beauty of the lilies of the valley saying, “Consider the lilies of the field… I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:28, 29).

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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