Slavic Way: The importance of clothing in slavic folklore and why I stopped wearing trousers.
It is believed that men and women primarily draw their energy from different sources. This point of view is present in most of the cultures across the globe, with the male-female polarities being described in various configurations, with various symbols (Moon-Sun, Water-Fire, yin-yang, passive-active, emotional-intellectual).
In slavic folklore it is believed that men draw their energy from above - the sky, which is symbolically connected to the masculine principle, Father Sky, the element of Air, intellect. Women draw their energy from below - the earth, which is connected to the feminine principle, Mother Earth, creation and nurturing.
It is represented in the way male and female bodies are built - masculine bodies are generally wider from waist up (wide shoulders), while feminine bodies are wider from waist down (wide hips). Of course, we're dealing with a serious degree of generalization here, but keep in mind that this point of view comes from ages ago, when gender roles were much less fluid than today.
Anyway, what does this point of view have to do with what people wear? When we look at traditional folk clothing, we usually see men in simple pants and women in skirts/dresses with multiple layers. Most elderly ladies in slavic countries, especially from rural areas, still wear long skirts and aprons. Personally, I don't remember ever seeing my grandmother in trousers, maybe except when she was on a trip in the mountains.
It's these babushkas who pass down their old knowledge for younger generations.
(Image source: click)
So, here's some information about the importance of wearing skirts/dresses and how it affects our femininity, straight from Russia!
First of all, it is believed that a long, flared skirt creates a protective circle around us. By creating a cone shape, it helps us to stay grounded - our crotch is not disturbed by unnecessary layers of material and thus is freely connected to Mother Earth, undisturbed.
According to old slavic beliefs, wearing skirts and dresses also helps you to rebuild and maintain a strong bond with your female ancestry (ancestry veneration is one of the most important parts of slavic paganism / rodnovery).
It is generally believed that a woman who regularly wears skirts and dresses is more in touch with her body and her femininity, and is less prone to common feminine health problems.
An interesting superstition from the east claims that if a woman really wants to charm a man, she shouldn't wear trousers for at least the first seven dates!
Folklore aside, I'll share some of my experience on this topic. You need to know that I used to be more of a tomboy in the past. A few years ago, it started to change and in the end I managed to reclaim my femininity. Since then I was wearing more and more skirts and dresses, and less and less pants (let's be real, they're uncomfortable as fuck anyway!). When someday, for no particular reason, I started despising underwear, my wardrobe became richer in long flared skirts and dresses - and I felt at home! It was mindblowing to me how I didn't discover this earlier.
Nowadays, I wear skirts and dresses most of the time - maybe except when I go on a trip to the mountains (Highfive, grandma!) or I'm half-naked at home. I honestly don't think wearing skirts would change me in any way if I wasn't ready for this change. But since the transition happened in the right moment, I have to admit it did affect me positively. My posture changed, now I'm walking straight and proud, I feel less constrained, more witchy and I even cook more often! I also became a part of a beautiful group called "Skirty Women's Circle" (PL: "Spódnicowy Krąg Kobiet") with lots of empowered women inspiring each other.
I challenge every woman to try this for at least a week! Let me know what you think.