Is it wrong for women to wear some items of men’s clothing?


Sometimes when I’m at home I’ll wear some of my husband’s clothes because they’re very comfortable for lounging (basketball shorts, t-shirts, things like that). I’ll also wear his basketball shorts outside in the yard when I’m playing with the kids, once again because they’re very comfortable and also much more modest and longer than women’s shorts (just in case a neighbor might be out and about and see me). I’ve also bought a few t-shirts from the men's section that I wear out in public because I liked the design printed on them. No one in their right mind would ever mistake me for a man or think I was actively trying to dress like a man at all. I have very long hair, wear women’s jeans, etc. Are any of these things I mentioned a violation of the command for a woman to not wear anything that pertains to a man? Or is that an “old law” command that no longer applies?

Thank you for your time.


The Israelites were told, "A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 22:5). From this, we understand that there is to be a distinction between men and women's clothing. However, the style of clothing is not specified. In the days of Israel, the dress of men and women was basically the same: tunic, robe, and cloak, but they differed in cut and styling. See Ancient Hebrew Clothing for several good illustrations. Clothes in the Ancient World gives greater detail.

Thus, an item might be common between male and female clothing, but the overall ensemble must be distinctive. If there are items that are distinctly male or female then it is wrong for the opposite sex to use them. In our culture, both men and women wear shorts and t-shirts. Selecting longer, more modest shorts is not wrong.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email