Yoga pants – those form fitting, loosely swaying, controversy spurring sports pants. What will we ever do about those leisure clothing items? What was once designed to be worn for the specific purpose of doing Yoga has become a highly popular women’s attire for day to day life. Along with the yoga pants catastrophe has emerged the leggings dilemma. Leggings, which were once only worn under skirts or dresses, have now become a common replacement for jeans. Are these clothing items appropriate attire for women? How do Christian men feel about them? I interviewed a few fellow students to find out how Christian men feel about women wearing yoga pants and leggings as everyday attire. I asked them to share their general feelings on both pieces of clothing and asked them to respond to the statement, “Girls don’t need to dress modestly because it’s not their problem if a guy stumbles; it’s the guy’s problem,” which is a statement I’ve heard many girls state before as an excuse to dress immodestly. I think it’s important that we as a community hear one another’s perspectives.
Andrew Kringlen, Christian Bohuslavizki, and Bryson Gobel share a very similar perspective on this topic. They feel as though it is up to women to decide what they wear, however, they advise women to use caution.
“Yoga pants are great for keeping warm in workouts/wearing casually,” Kringlen said, “Just put some shorts or something over the top please!”
“Ladies, this is not a men’s or women’s issue: it’s a sexuality issue,” he said in regards to women taking responsibility for their modesty. “The Bible echoes modesty throughout scripture. We’re also called to surrender our rights for the good of others. Don’t do something if you know it’s scandalous.”
Bohuslavizki agrees with Kringlen, “It’s your right to wear what you want, but it also draws attention to areas that I bet you wouldn’t want people to look at regularly,” he said. “It reveals a lot due to its tightness and outside of workouts I would wear them with caution. Just like how when I am 21, I am free to drink alcohol, but it wouldn’t be wise of me to drink alcohol with people who struggle with it because I’m called to lift my brothers and sisters up not tear them down with my freedoms.”
“I think they are situational,” Gobel said, “Although I don’t feel I have the right to stop a girl if she wants to wear them wherever… I think guys and girls should respect their own bodies and sexual identities enough to not flaunt themselves.”
He continues to explain that girls should use caution when wearing these articles of clothing and be aware that they have the potential to cause lust. “It’s not her fault if it causes a guy to ‘stumble’ but I don’t think she should be surprised by that,” he said. “I just think guys and girls should be mindful of the consequences of what they wear.” He explains that one should not be “surprised or offended” if what they wear leads to lust.
Jack Metcalfe seems to sit somewhere in the middle. He shared that he usually doesn’t mind when girls wear yoga pants or leggings, however, believes they have their time and place.
“I think a lot of women wear leggings and clothing like that in tasteful ways, but I do think there is a time and place for them,” he said, “I don’t think they are inappropriate, but they should be situational.”
In response to some women feeling as if modesty isn’t necessarily important, he said, “I agree that it’s up to men to control their thoughts and actions. I think it’s best if both men and women do what they can to support each other in their thoughts. So it’s best if women are careful for men’s sake, but that’s up to their own conscious.”
On the other hand, Seth Danley and John Mellison share a slightly different perspective.
“In general leggings are form flattering and probably very comfortable,” Danley said, “They are becoming more acceptable as a semi-formal item which is cool considering their general usefulness and attractiveness.”
“Yoga pants seem comfy, cozy and fly; in fact I might wear them if I wasn’t so shy,” Mellison said. He believes that women should have the freedom to wear what they want. “‘Modest is hottest,’ I’ve heard it oft said, that’s how the old saying goes. But in my humble, modest opinion, that isn’t related to clothes. In fact I am certain, convinced to a ‘t,’ that those of the female persuasion, ought only to wear whatever they wish, on any type of occasion.”
In conclusion, I’d encourage women to be considerate of their Christian brothers. While some men may not be bothered by this attire, you never know who will be and as the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.” Although you are not solely responsible for the sin of others, your actions do have an effect on those around you. Romans 14:13-23 discusses eating “unclean meat,” in this passage Paul encourages Christians to be understanding of their brothers in Christ, to watch their actions and make sure what they’re doing won’t be causing those around them to sin. I think women should have the same perspective when it comes to the way they dress. But please, don’t take my word for it as my words don’t hold ultimate authority. Take note of what these Christian men have said and feel free to ask your male friends their opinions too; it can be very eye-opening when coming from a close friend you love and respect.