Visiting a couple of your parishes, I noticed that the women cover their heads in church. I asked Father [name deleted] when I visited him. He explained that the women cover their heads in church, don’t cut their hair short and don’t wear pants or tight clothes even outside church....The men he said usually have moustaches and dress with long sleeves....I do not mean to be disrespectful, but what does this have to do with Orthodoxy? There aren’t any church teachings about these matters of personal choice, as far as I know. I am a woman and have short hair and wear pants almost always (not in church). But this sounds a little fanatic and strange to me. My priest says that it is quaint and borrowed from Protestant fundamentalists, which surprised me. Perhaps you could say something about this in Orthodox Tradition. (M.I., CA)This question is one which comes up very often in the Church. It is not easy to answer, since correct Christian behavior is predicated on the good intention of the Christian and his desire to adhere to and follow the precepts of the Fathers of the Church. Church rules never force a Christian to fulfill empty rules, but serve as guides to those who intuitively grasp the fullness of the Faith, which leads us to a way of life in which even the way that we eat, walk, speak, dress, and groom ourselves draws us and those around us to a loftier life, making us a peculiar people and a people apart from the world (St. Titus 2:14; St. John 15:19). Thus, for centuries Orthodox men and women have followed a style of dress and adornment that reflects the ethos of a Christianity lived partly on earth and partly in Heaven. Women have traditionally avoided cutting their hair short, wearing male attire (pants and other clothes which emphasize the body),* or adorning themselves with excessive jewelry and make-up. Men, too, are called to dress modestly, to avoid wearing their hair in such a way as to appear effeminate, and to maintain at least a moustache, so as to avoid the same impression. Orthodox Christians have adhered to these traditions because they express a living Faith, not because faithfulness to such customs and traditions is demanded by the Church or because they constitute, as such, matters of confession. They are undertaken in that freedom which we all find in Christ, which is not a fetter which binds, but a light yoke which helps us move forward in rightly cultivating the seeds of the Christian life.