For a long while, you'd never see a Duggar woman in anything but long skirts or long dresses. And though these gals have been changing up their wardrobe recently, the family's religion — and the spiritual journey of matriarch Michelle Duggar — influenced their sartorial decisions for years.

As In Touch previously reported, these reality stars are Independent Baptists, a branch of Christianity that's already more conservative than most. But the modest dress code is also a personal choice for Michelle Duggar, as she explained in a 2013 TLC Q&A.

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On Valentine’s Day everyone is thinking about LOVE and finding ways to express their love. I am so thankful for Michelle. Not only is she a wonderful wife; caring, selfless, kind and compassionate but her beauty continues to radiate from the inside out and I genuinely love her more today than ever. One of the things we’ve learned as a couple is that no matter how many children you have, or how busy you get, you have to continue to place a high priority on your marriage. Don’t neglect it. Don’t take it for granted. I always tell husbands, “Continue to date and romance your wife. Make sure she knows how special she is. Love you Michelle! •Click the link in our bio to see our list of Romance Advice!•

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"After I was born again and became a Christian, I really began to cover up," she said. "I felt like the Lord was saying to me, 'You know what, you probably shouldn't be wearing that. It's a little bit low cut, or a little bit too high, you know?' I just really felt like I needed to obey what God was saying to me first and understand later. And then I saw in the scriptures a lot of things that helped me understand why I was feeling uncomfortable with my previous clothing choices."

After this revelation, this Duggar mama said she cleaned out her closet and started fresh, picking up skirts and dresses from local thrift shops. And her children followed her lead.

"As we studied as a family, we found we could come up with our idea of what we thought modesty was, but we really wanted to see what the scriptures said about it," she told fans. "Our interpretation was that from the neck down to the knee should be covered. By keeping those private areas covered, there's not any 'defrauding' going on."

If you're wonder WTF "defrauding" even means, it turns out, that's another part of the Duggar belief system. "My kids are taught the definition of defrauding as stirring up desires that cannot be righteously fulfilled," Michelle explained. "We don't believe in defrauding others by the way we dress."

We were all surprised to see this 51-year-old wearing pants during her recent Hawaiian vacation with husband Jim Bob Duggar, but even back in that 2013 Q&A, Michelle reserved the right to change her mind. "Jim Bob said, 'What about when we're riding bicycles or going hiking? Do you think the Lord wants you to wear a dress then? How are you going to do that? What about swimming and all these other things that we do?' And I said, 'Well, I don't know the answer to that, but I'll cross that bridge when we get there.'"

So there you have it. When it comes to dressing the Duggar kids, Michelle has been the one calling the shots. And we can only wonder what she thinks of their recent rebellion!

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