A little whine about mode of dress

Coming out of a Protestant background, I have always dressed my very best to go to church. My sister, brother and I had a special outfit and shoes just for church and other special occasions and we did not wear them to school. Ever. It took me years to even consider wearing pants to church. So here comes the whine–I have been rather shocked at what parishioners wear to Mass on Sunday morning. If I have an audience with the Queen of England, I will dress up nicely. I have an audience with the King of the Universe each time I go to Mass so why wouldn’t I wear my best for Him? I know, I know, I should be happy that they are in the pews. However, I was very dismayed when a teenage girl in the pew in front of me last Sunday was wearing short shorts. Over and over I’ve reminded myself that at least they ARE in church and it’s really none of my business how they dress. Do I need to get over this? In the great scheme of things this is not an earth shattering issue, but I find it disrespectful and a bit disconcerting.


I understand where you are coming from, I live in Southern California and our Church is less than a mile from the Ocean. And yes I see people coming to church wearing the – what I think is the most inappropriate – attire. But being an Usher also we discussed this at one of our meetings with our Priest and he also stated the same thing that we should be happy that people are coming to Church and that we should not judge the way they are dressed. And that they may come to understand that they should maybe dress a little more conservative. And for the most part those that dressed “poorly” have seemed to have changed the way they dress as we do not see it as often. But summer is right around the corner and we will soon see.

May God Bless and Keep you.


First of all, you are correct and I completely agree with you. Many people do not dress nicely or dress inappropriately for the mass.

Second of all, yes, you do need to get over this. There is nothing you can do about how other people dress or what they do. You can only be responsible for dressing yourself. You thinking about how other people look and dress for mass serves as a distraction from the mass. Perhaps you can try to sit in the very front of the Church, so you do not need to look at the people sitting in front of you? If you have an audience with the King of the Universe will you spend that time thinking about how other people are dressed for it or will you spend that time talking and listening to the King?


Oh yay, it’s been at least 2 weeks since we had a “proper dress” thread!


You rock RJ, I was thinking the same thing lol

The pastor at our local parish touched on this during the closing comments before dismissal a couple of weeks back, and mentioned that folks should think seriously about upping the style of their dress, at least a little. It is a requirement at that parish that all lectors, extraordinary ministers, choir members, ect. dress at least fairly nicely so as to present the proper level of respect to the Lord. Nice shirts and blouses, if nothing else.

I know many people have expressed similar opinions to your own, but I will say this.

Often a used sports car is absolutely beautiful but has a terrible engine, and often the engine in an ugly, boring run-of-the-mill toyota is in great shape. And so the most important thing about a car is the engine, not its curves or paint or polish.

Meanwhile, many people are far too busying applying an extra coat of paint when they should be changing their oil!

Oh, gosh, my humblest apology for not seeing the other threads. Pass the popcorn. :eek:

I do see your point, everyone, and will do better with my own attitude. Yes, it is MY attitude that needs adjusting on this and I shall do so. Thanks for the smack upside my head.

A smack upside the head would be going way too far, HoosMommie. I think most of us see where you’re coming from.

Meh, some of us really do sit back and wait for the fireworks…It’s a tough job but someone has to do it! :wink:

FWIW, I agree with you that some parishes get ridiculously casual in dress. When people can show up on Christmas Eve, sit in the front pew and drink from Starbucks cups DURING THE HOMILY with no shame, I think the standards are slipping…No, that’s not dress but it reflects a disrespect and also a lack of rules from the top down…We used to see fur coats and suits on Christmas, now we’re lucky if the men put on a polo shirt instead of a t-shirt.

The fur coats have emigrated to the more orthodox, MUCH dressier parish down the road…and taken their contributions with them…



LOL. And thank you for the WELCOME HOME. I can hardly wait! Truly. I can hardly wait.

It seems to me that the best we can do is dress modestly, not frumpy, and hope that others will notice that
and want to do likewise.

I definitely see where you’re coming from. For me, it’s mainly modesty that is bothersome. I would rather see someone in jeans (casual attire, but modest) than a black mini-dress (dressy attire, but immodest).

Sometimes I see a girl wearing “booty shorts” at church and it does make me say to myself “Really?” I must admit. Then I just turn my thoughts to something else to avoid uncharitable thoughts towards others.

The little shorts are really ridiculous and inappropriate for Mass. I think anyone would agree about that. I just can’t believe that these girls have parents who let them leave the house wearing them.

Something to take into consideration that may be a contributing factor…

Presumably everyone that attended the Protestant services on Sunday mornings WANTED to be there. Therefore it is reasonable that they would take care in how they dressed and behaved. For Catholics, there are many that attend because they HAVE to be there. Do you see where I am going with this?

Catholic Churches are filled with “lukewarm” Catholics on Sunday mornings…“lukewarm” protestants can by and large simply stay home. This is not an excuse for the behavior, simply perhaps a bit of an explaination on why you seem to see many more poorly dressed/behaved Catholics at Mass then you might see poorly dressed/behaved people gathered at another Christian church.

I also would like to add Welcome and please be assured of my prayers!

First of all, God bless you on your journey.

I too am dismayed sometimes at how people dress coming to Mass. It’s sort of a pet peeve for me. As Catholics we are told to wear our best. I try hard to not be judgemental because who knows what somones best is. Also if you have a situation where you would miss Mass because you didn’t have time to change what you are wearing it is better to come as you are rather than to miss Sunday Mass. Although, I think with a little planning most people could avoid this.
The problem I have is mostly with immodest dress and men wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts. In my parish Father has asked us to, for men and woman, not to wear shorts and open toed shoes. Also for woman no sleeveless and low cut tops or blouses. A lot of the problem is with young people. Parents need to teach modesty early in childrens lives. I can imagine how difficult this can be these days.

Let’s all dress as though we we sitting in the presence of our Lord… because we are.:signofcross:

We have one couple that dress in jeans during the winter and jean shorts in the summer.

One Sunday they had worn for the first time of the season their shorts. Father greeted them with the statement that summer had officially arrived. They blushed from the coment. I have noticed recently that she is now wearing skirts. She looked good in it too.

I try to dress well for Church. I try not to care what others wear. I remind myself that I don’t know their circumstances. I am glad that they are in Church.

So - barefoot is ok at your parish?
Sorry, couldn’t resist the opening. :wink:

Actually you parish is doing a service by giving good
example in the way that the special participants dress. Hurray for the pastor.

:eek: :eek:

and Welcome Home! :smiley:

This still weirds me out.

I’m used to having a nice dress for church, and getting a new one every christmas, easter, and back when school started. I’ve noticed a lot of people in my church showing up in jeans, T-shirts, tank tops, Men wearing hats and not removing them! Gah! I could go on.

Anyway, I’m still learning to just let it go. It takes time. At least I don’t freak out on non-holiday sundays anymore! XD

Also, Welcome Home!! :thumbsup:

I have to tell you, the more I read this silly little whiny post, the more I realized just how trivial it really is. My time should be spent, not worrying about whether someone is dressed to MY standards, but contemplating whether MY life is measuring up to God’s standards. Apparently, it’s not. So I began my morning devotions this morning with a prayer to get that stuff right outta my head and let me focus on what’s really important.

Thank you ALL for being tolerant of one who has a loooooooong way to go.

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