The Review and Herald


February 6, 1900

Disease and Its Causes


Women should clothe their limbs with regard to health and comfort. They need to have their limbs and feet clad as warmly as do men. The length of the fashionable dress is objectionable for several reasons: RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 1

1. It is extravagant and unnecessary to have the dress of such a length that it will sweep the sidewalks and streets. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 2

2. A dress thus long gathers dew from the grass, and mud from the streets, which makes it uncleanly. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 3

3. In its bedrabbled condition it comes in contact with the sensitive ankles, which are not sufficiently protected, quickly chilling them, and is one of the greatest causes of catarrh and of scrofulous swellings, and endangers health and life. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 4

4. The unnecessary length is an additional weight upon the hips and bowels. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 5

5. It hinders the walking, and is also often in other people's way. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 6

There is still another style of dress that will be adopted by a class of so-called dress reformers. They will imitate the opposite sex as nearly as possible. They will wear the cap, pants, vest, coat, and boots, the last of which is the most sensible part of the costume. Those who adopt and advocate this style of dress, are carrying the so-called dress reform to very objectionable lengths. Confusion will be the result. Some who adopt this costume may be correct in their views in general upon the health question, but they could be instrumental in accomplishing vastly more good if they did not carry the matter of dress to such extremes. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 7

In this style of dress God's order has been reversed, and his special direction disregarded. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5. This style of dress God would not have his people adopt. It is not modest apparel, and is not at all fitting for modest, humble females who profess to be Christ's followers. God's prohibitions are lightly regarded by all who would advocate the doing away of the distinction of dress between males and females. The extreme positions taken by some dress reformers upon this subject cripple their influence. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 8

God designed there should be a plain distinction between male and female dress, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion, and great increase of crime. The apostle Paul would utter a rebuke, were he alive, should he behold females professing godliness with this style of dress. “In like manner also that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” The mass of professed Christians utterly disregard the teachings of the apostles, and wear gold, pearls, and costly array. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 9

God's loyal people are the light of the world and the salt of the earth; and they should ever remember that their influence is of value. Were they to exchange the extreme long, for the extreme short, dress, they would, to a great extent, destroy their influence. Unbelievers, whom it is their duty to benefit, and seek to bring to the Lamb of God, would be disgusted. Many improvements can be made in the dress of women in reference to health, without making so great a change as to disgust the beholder. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 10

The female form should not be compressed in the least with corsets and whalebones. The dress should be perfectly easy, that the lungs and heart may have healthy action. The dress should reach somewhat below the top of the boot, but should be short enough to clear the filth of the sidewalk and street, without being raised by the hand. A still shorter dress than this would be proper, convenient, and healthful for women when doing their housework, and especially for those women who are obliged to perform more or less outdoor labor. With this style of dress, one light skirt, or at most two, is all that is necessary, and that should be buttoned to a waist, or suspended with straps. The hips were not formed to bear heavy weights. The heavy skirts worn by females, their weight dragging down upon the hips, have been the cause of various diseases, which are not easily cured, because the sufferers seem to be ignorant of the cause that produced them, and continue to violate the laws of their being by girding the waist and wearing heavy skirts, until they are made life-long invalids. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 11

Many will immediately exclaim, “Why, such a style of dress will be old-fashioned!” What if it is? I wish we could be old-fashioned in many respects. If we could have the old-fashioned strength that characterized the old-fashioned women of past generations, it would be very desirable. I do not speak unadvisedly when I say that the way in which women clothe themselves, together with their indulgence of appetite, is the greatest cause of their present feeble, diseased condition. There is but one woman in a thousand who clothes her limbs as she should. Whatever may be the length of the dress, women should clothe their limbs as thoroughly as do men. If the limbs and feet are kept comfortable with warm clothing, the circulation will be equalized, and the blood will remain healthy and pure, because it is not chilled nor hindered in its natural passage through the system. RH February 6, 1900, Art. B, par. 12