Woman’s dress (1 Tim. 2:9)



Should dress themselves


And decently

In suitable clothing,

Not with their hair


Or with gold,


Or expensive clothes.”

Ὡσαύτως γυναῖκας ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ μετὰ αἰδοῦς καὶ σωφροσύνης κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς, μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν καὶ χρυσίῳ ἢ μαργαρίταις ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ

Paul said, “Likewise (Ὡσαύτως), women (γυναῖκας) should dress themselves (κοσμεῖν ἑαυτάς) modestly (μετὰ αἰδοῦς) and decently (καὶ σωφροσύνης) in suitable clothing (ἐν καταστολῇ κοσμίῳ), not with their hair braided (μὴ ἐν πλέγμασιν), or with gold (καὶ χρυσίῳ), pearls (ἢ μαργαρίταις), or expensive clothes (ἢ ἱματισμῷ πολυτελεῖ).”  Only this letter to Timothy used this unique word καταστολῇ, that means a garment, garb, clothing, dress, or attire, and the word κοσμίῳ, that means orderly, virtuous, decent, or modest, as well as the word αἰδοῦς, that means a sense of shame or modesty, and the word πλέγμασιν, that means a braiding or braided hair.  Paul next took up the clothing or attire of women at prayer.  He used a series of unique works to explain how he wanted the Christian women to dress.  They should be modest and decent with suitable clothes.  This does not seem to be too drastic.  I suppose it depends on what you call modest, decent, or suitable clothes.  Then Paul told Timothy what they should not be wearing.  They should not have braided hair.  They should not wear gold or pearls along with any expensive clothing.  This seems to assume a well-off community that could afford to have these expensive clothes and jewelry.  The prohibitions were very precise, not generic.  Do you wear gold, pearls, or expensive clothing to church?

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