Jinger Duggar Wears Pants, Shocks The World: Why Duggar Women Don’t Wear Pants

Jinger Duggar recently shocked the world (well, at least, that portion of the world that enjoys following what the Duggars are up to) by wearing pants (as reported by the Inquisitr)! So what is it that is particularly shocking about an adult woman wearing pants? To answer that question, you have to know what the Duggars are about.

So why don’t the Duggar women, and the women who marry into the family, wear pants?

Family trip

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There are two answers to that question: a broad answer and a more narrow answer.

The Broad Answer

The Duggars practice an intensely conservative brand of evangelical Christianity that imposes strict rules, especially on women, that include no drinking, no smoking, no gambling. Kids, when they’re old enough to attract the attention of the opposite sex, don’t date; rather, they “court.” The suitor must first get the permission of the girl or guy’s father, all dates are chaperoned, and physical contact (beyond a side-hug) is forbidden.

And as for dress and appearance, as Jessa explained in a recent report from Wetpaint, they favor modesty above all else.

“The girls have kind of coined the idea of ‘modern modes. They can still choose from a wide array of styles, but still stay modest.”


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That means they wear minimal make-up, their clothes are attractive but neither revealing nor particularly fancy, and jewelry is kept to a minimum.

The appeal to modesty, especially in women, comes from the New Testament.

“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10.”

The issue here is that “modest” is an adjective, and its definition is open to interpretation. You probably know Christian women whose definition of “modesty” doesn’t forbid them from wearing pants. And of course, other Christian denominations take an even stricter view of modesty than the Duggars.

Some Christian women have an even stricter definition of "modesty" than the Duggars. [Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

Further, the New Testament doesn’t mention pants specifically (because “pants,” as we know them, didn’t exist at the time). So how do the Duggars get from “modesty” to “no pants, only skirts.” The answer to that question is a narrow one.

The Narrow Answer

To understand why some Christian denominations eschew pants on women, you have to turn back a few hundred pages in your Bible to the Old Testament. Back in Deuteronomy, God hands down hundreds of laws. One of them is this.

“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. Deuteronomy 22:5”

Since pants are generally seen as a men’s garment, pants are forbidden for women — at least, by a strict interpretation of this passage.

Several other passages in the Old Testament include laws like this that modern Christians either look the other way at or have conveniently forgotten about. That same passage also forbids wearing clothes made of two kinds of fabric (if you ever see a Duggar woman, ask to see the tag on the back of her shirt – it may very well be a blend of two kinds of fabric) and calls for stoning to death of women who were not virgins on their wedding night. So, you know, there’s that.

As for why the Duggars and some other Christian groups obey these laws in the Old Testament on not those laws in the Old Testament: the answer is complicated and involves quite a bit of theology. Since the Inquisitr is not a theological publication, the most basic answer will have to suffice: the New Testament commands modesty, just like the Old Testament, while the New Testament is silent on the two-kinds-of-fabric and stoning-non-virgins bits, and more about the “love thy neighbor” stuff. (There’s a lot more to it than that, but this is the general idea.) And Christians, like the Duggars, are all about the New Testament, not the Old one.

Needless to say, as Jinger and the other Duggar women age and move out of their parents’ home, they have freedom to explore their own lifestyles and fashion choices.

[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]