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Subjects

Christian Apparel and Attire

James Dodson

The modest attire of a Puritan family.

The modest attire of a Puritan family.

"The greater sort of men are exceedingly careful, by all means and ways to follow the fashion, and to take up every newfangled attire, whensoever it comes abroad. A course flat contrary to Christ’s doctrine, which commandeth an honest care, only for necessary ornaments, and condemneth the contrary, and that upon special reason; because this inordinate and affected care, is commonly a great pick-purse."—William Perkins, Cases of Conscience, printed in his Workes. (1616).

 

Works:

 

Letter CCXLV.-date unknown-Augustine of Hippo-In this letter Augustine addresses how women should dress and declares they should go about with their heads covered, avoid the use of cosmetics and shun costly attire and any ornaments connected with heathenism.

Commentary on 1 Peter 3:1-6.-1523-Martin Luther.-Luther explains how the apostle would have women behave in all departments of life. He discusses modesty of apparel and the need for women to be submissive to their husbands.

Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:9-14.-1528-Martin Luther.-Luther instructs women on modest, including discussion regarding attire and headcoverings. Underlying the entire discussion is an emphasis upon the woman's social subordination to man in family, church and nation.

A Sermon on the Adorning of Women.-1555-John Calvin.-In this sermon, Calvin explains what it means for women to maintain modesty in both their inward and outward frame including a circumspect modesty in their appareling.

Letter XXXI. To His Sisters in Edinburgh.-1556-John Knox.-A letter written to several women touching on the issue of women's appareling and then move on to the issue of dedicating to idols.

On Appareling of Ministers and their Wives.-1575-The National Church of Scotland.-This contains the judgment of the General Assembly regarding the attiring of ministers and their wives in particular.

The Right, Lawful, and Holy use of Apparel.-1608-William Perkins (1558-1602).-In this extract, Perkins discusses the use and abuse of appareling together with rules for modesty and prohibitions befitting Christians.

On Appareling.-1676-James Durham (1622-1658).-Extracted from his book The Law Unsealed, this section is part of his exposition of the meaning and intent of the seventh commandment. Durham upholds headcoverings for women and admonishes a careful modesty in dress.

On Sobriety in Dress.-date unknown-Thomas Manton (1620-1677).-Some considerations on the origin and use of clothing from an eminent Puritan explaining why modesty is to be pursued.

Excessive Adornment in Dress.-1897-Anonymous.-This article addresses the concerns of modesty in appareling and bears clear testimony against the use of costly attire, fashionable hairstyles or the ornamentation of jewelry.