Those who’ve watched the Duggars over the years know they’re sticklers for modesty. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar raised their 19 children in a fundamentalist Christian household, and it came with a number of rules. And some of the most controversial guidelines surrounded what the girls in the house were allowed to wear.
Many of the Duggar women still abide by the dress code they were given as kids. But it seems one infamous article of Duggar clothing doesn’t seem so modest after all. Here’s what fans and critics alike noticed.
The Duggars are all about modesty
Jim Bob and Michelle have a number of rules for their kids, but their dress code might be the most infamous. When growing up, the Duggar daughters are required to wear long skirts instead of pants, and all tops must cover their shoulders and chest area.
“We avoid low-cut, cleavage-showing, gaping, or bare-shouldered tops; and when needed, we wear an undershirt,” a few of the Duggar daughters wrote in their book, Growing Up Duggar. “We try to make it a habit to always cover the top of our shirt with our hand when we bend over. We don’t want to play the peekaboo game with our neckline.”
If a woman who’s dressed provocatively passes the Duggars, the women have a code word for that, too — and it’s “Nike.” According to the Duggar women, “That’s a signal to the boys, and even to Dad, that they should nonchalantly drop their eyes and look down at their shoes as we walk past her. … It’s meant to help keep the guys’ eyes from seeing things they shouldn’t be seeing.”
Jessa and Jana Duggar showed up in pencil skirts to help Joy-Anna Duggar
As the Duggar women have gotten older, many seem to be going their own way with fashion. Jill Duggar notoriously wears pants and sleeveless tops now, though she’s officially the black sheep of the family. As for Jessa and Joy-Anna, they both seem to mainly stick to long skirts and tops that cover the shoulders. And since Jana still lives under Jim Bob and Michelle’s roof, she abides by the dress code, too.
It seems certain articles of clothing that many would think might upset Jim Bob and Michelle are actually allowed, though. Pencil skirts hug curves, but since they’re technically skirts that hit right at the knee, the Duggar ladies wear them.
Recently, both Jana and Jess sported pencil skirts while visiting Joy-Anna. The sisters were helping Joy-Anna set up the nursery before her baby girl arrives, and many noticed the tight skirts they wore for the occasion.
Duggar family critics think the skirts aren’t modest at all
Reddit users were a few of the first to comment on Jana and Jessa’s choice of skirt. And many questioned why the women were comfortable wearing tight skirts instead of pants.
“Seriously, how are these more modest than pants,” one Reddit user questioned.
“It’s not .. but they don’t care,” another wrote back. “They film their home births so modesty isn’t really their priority. it’s just for the church and their lordships. And I think it’s also a control thing.”
Others guessed that the Duggar women prefer skirts because they’re stereotypically more “feminine” than pants, and there are serious gender divides in the Duggar household. This, again, verifies that the dress code isn’t necessarily all about modesty. It’s also about setting gender roles.
“I think that’s how you can tell which fundies actually want to be ‘modest’ and which fundies are just wearing skirts because they think they have to,” yet another Reddit user noted. “It defeats the purpose of modesty and proves that they just do it because the men make them and their IBLP beliefs have brainwashed them and not because they care about covering up.”
We’re sure we’ll see plenty of pencil skirts in the future, as this seems to be a favorite article of clothing for all of the Duggar ladies!
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