Clothing Proscriptions for Women in Different Religions

PDF of blog post about clothing proscriptions for women in different religions

Tori Bloom

Spring 2016



February 27, 2016


In Judaism, there are many different clothing proscriptions for women due to there being many different kinds of Jews. The most common types of Judaism are Reform, Conservative and Orthodox, and in each of them, women are expected to dress differently.

Reform Jewish women dress very modernly. It is hard to tell the difference between a Reform Jewish women compared to a women who isn’t even Jewish due to there being very little restrictions in the way women dress. These women are not expected to cover their heads. Many Reform women dress in casual clothing such as shorts, t-shirts and even tank tops.

Conservative Jewish women are a step up from Reform. Many of them go by what their Rabbi’s teach them to do, so this can differ between many different Conservative women. Conservative women may not dress conservatively on a daily basis, but when it is Shabbat or any other important Jewish holiday, they may dress with by covering their shoulders, for example. Sometimes they even cover their heads to show respect, but not on a daily basis.

Orthodox Jewish women are constantly dressing with respect to their religion. They do not do this on certain times of the week; they dress the same way everyday. These women are expected to cover their bodies from head to toe. They cover their heads with headpieces and you can barely see any skin on their body. They wear long skirts and shirts that completely cover their shoulders and sometimes their entire arms, too.



March 19, 2016



In Christianity, Women are expected to follow Biblical principles on how they should dress at certain times. The way a women’s beauty is shown is a symbol of the spiritual beauty of the church. This means that when a woman looks nice, so does the church and they both represent each other.

Christian women are supposed to dress to impress their husbands only, but also to respect God for designing the women that way. Women are expected to dress modestly and appropriately. Some Protestant traditions prohibit women from wearing pants or trousers and growing their hair to a certain length. This is also similar in Mormon traditions, too.

In conclusion, when it is said that a Christian women is expected to dress “modestly” it doesn’t mean they can’t skin ever, such as when they go to the beach, but instead it means that they should just simply dress for the occasion. In other words, they should dress to impress. If women are going to work, she is expected to dress in work attire. If she is going to the beach, she’s not prohibited from wearing a bathing suit because it is appropriate for that occasion.



March 23, 2016



In Muslim countries, there are different ways that people prefer women to dress like in public. This is an important issue going on in Muslim countries. A survey in seven different countries reported that majority of people prefer when women don’t completely cover their heads, but not necessarily their faces.

The three kinds of Islamic ways Islamic women dress to cover themselves are burqa, niqab, and hijab. Burqa is when a woman is dressed with her face fully hooded. Niqab is when a woman dresses almost completely covering her face, but not as conservatively. Hijab is slightly less conservative than Niqab, with her face actually showing. Niqab is when a woman has her ears and hair covered, which is the way most people prefer women to dress. They believe this is the most appropriate way women should be dressed in public. There is also an on-going debate in many Muslim countries that a hijab is better for women to dress in public because it covers their entire face besides their eyes. In several countries, people agree that women do not have to cover their hair, it just depends which Islamic country you are in since some are more conservative than others.

Although there was many surveys conducted on the way women should dress publicly, these women have spoken up and believe it is their preference on the way they should dress for the public. They believe they are the only judges on whether what they wear is appropriate or not. In Saudi Arabia, women feel that they should be free to dress how they want to dress.


April 3, 2016



Buddhism is a very unique religion and culture. Many people do not even realize that Buddhism is a religion; many believe it is a belief. The way women are expected to dress in Buddhism is just like any other religion.

First off, before we get into the clothing, Buddhist women are expected to keep their morals at all times. They cannot engage in sexual activity when it’s not necessary, steal, lie, or drink alcohol excessively. They are expected to dress modestly and appropriate in their culture. The women are not supposed to wear tacky items, such as big jewelry or a lot of make up. The way that these women dress varies from different Buddhist cultures. Some of the main items of clothing that they are expected to wear are a set of robes worn during meditation. Some wear kufis and hijabs to identify them as being a Muslin Buddhist. Some Buddhist women wear all white or a white shirt and black pants.

Buddhism is a religion where there are not many restrictions on clothing, but to dress modestly and appropriately. Instead of women being expected to wear specific clothing items, they are more likely to just portray themselves in a particular manner instead.


April 14, 2016



In Hinduism, just like many other religions, women are expected to dress in particular ways. This has to do with the event they are at, what kind of person they are, their age, and the appropriate time to wear specific clothing items.

In Hinduism, just like many other religions, women are expected to dress in particular ways. This has to do with the event they are at, what kind of person they are, their age, and the appropriate time to wear specific clothing items.

Many Hindu women dress in saris. In India, many women dress this way more than any other Hindu country. In the 70’s, was when women started dressing in their traditional costumes. Western fashion has become increasingly popular for Hindu women, but many still wear a Sari.

When women visit the mandir, where they worship, they will normally wear a Sari to show that they are being conservative and respectful. Many wear exotic sick Sari’s. Some women also wear Salwarkamees. This is a tunic covering loose pants. Sometimes they wear a Chunni, or a shawl, to cover their shoulders. The way Hindu women dress is almost similar to Sikh women.