Meanwhile, the New Oxford Review offers some fascinating reflections on the importance of certain kinds of attire. To quote:
We can learn from this: If we want our sons to be masculine, we should dress them like boys. If we want our daughters to be feminine, devoted to motherhood and the other ways in which the maternal expresses itself, let us buy feminine clothing for them. There are times for jeans and sweatpants, but pretty dresses should have more than occasional use. One of the benefits of school uniforms is that for the most part girls wear skirts.
Another issue, though less important, is age-appropriateness. The 1950s saw the beginning of a revolution in the clothing industry, according to fashion historian Elizabeth Ewing, namely, "an explicit breakaway movement into fashions which effervesced out of the ideas of youth." In the 1960s this trend intensified as British designer Mary Quant and other fashion purveyors on both sides of the Atlantic created miniskirts. These dresses were saucy, immodest, coquettish, and above all, frivolous. All of a sudden, clothes became instruments to express independence, freedom, the gaiety of youth without responsibility, an insouciance with no care for the morrow, and sexual availability.
Since this was the age of the sexual revolution, younger women spent money on apparel that a generation earlier would have gone to supporting children. Such contraceptive clothing has since been a hallmark of our age -- garments acquired in great disproportion to actual need by those who have no children, or only one or two. These women also permit their 10-year-old daughters to dress like prostitutes -- and at times they themselves dress like their 10-year-old daughters. In her quest for eternal youth, the modern woman appears rather pathetic, the more so as she advances in years. Why not age with dignity? In his previously cited address to the Latin Union of High Fashion, Pope Pius XII comments that "those of mature age seek to obtain from appropriate clothing an aura of dignity, seriousness, and serene happiness." If this sounds unfamiliar, it may be because our age has dismissed dignity as irrelevant to the all-important search for personal fulfillment. Frivolity and its frequent successor, depression, leave little room for seriousness and serenity.
I would also like to point out that there is nothing wrong with being pretty, and wearing make-up, if it helps. Genevieve discusses this on the Feminine Genius blog. A married woman should not look like a nun. Christian modesty does not mean being drab. And if a young lady wants to find a husband, it is certainly within the bounds of morality to dress with restrained style and make oneself attractive. No normal man wants to go to bed with a nun, for heaven's sake.