Summer attire at Mass

It was hard not to notice people coming to Mass looking like they were ready to work in their gardens, go to a picnic and/or spend time by a pool or a beach compared to Mass the past few weekends as the summer weather seems to have arrived in my state. I had to do my best not to think uncharitable thoughts of those wearing things like strapless dresses, short shorts, dresses/skirts that don’t even reach the top of the knees, spaghetti straps, tank tops and tee shirts with questionable items on them.

I am not asking for people to cover up completely and show no skin but at the same time, I think good old fashioned decency has gone away. Makes me wish I was able to go to Extraordinary Form Masses more after people tend to dress better for those Masses.

What do you think should be acceptable apparel for summer time Masses? In my opinion, the following is okay:

*Short sleeved shirts that are decent, not tight, revealing, and with nothing questionable on them - both genders
*Sleeveless shirts that are not tank styles, spaghetti strapped or strapless (more for females as I’ve never seen a dressy style sleeveless male shirt that’s good for Mass)
*Capri pants for women and girls - not tight fitting
*Khaki shorts that reach knees - both genders (more geared to males)
*Dresses / Skirts that reach at least reach the top of the knees, preferably longer. *Dresses not tight, revealing, spaghetti strapped or strapless.
*Shoes or sandals that are decently clean - both genders, preferably not the casual looking flip flops but something more dressy

I know many people may have been on vacation and were visiting but I don’t think it takes much effort to bring a decent yet weather appropriate outfit for Mass with their other summer items. Even when I went to Mass when visiting my grandmother and walked a few blocks to Mass with my mother, we at least wore a nice short sleeve shirt and capris (or a nice summer dress) as kids.

I completely agree with you that people should show more respect to the Lord in how they dress when attending Mass. I would suggest though at the times you are struggling with this the most, take a moment to thank God that those people are there and offer a prayer for all of God’s children.

So many of our Catholic bretheren don’t go to mass, don’t know or believe in their faith, support pro-abortion candidates, or have left the faith, etc. Right now, we need more of God’s children returning to their faith and receiving his word and sacraments. Hopefully in time, the attire at your parish will improve. Certainly continue to dress nicely as you do. Sometimes the example we set can influence others without us even knowing it. God bless.

That looks like a good list.

I usually wear cardigans and fairly simple-looking dresses. I try not to wear any bracelets (like bangles) or flashy jewelry either.

Speaking of which, I’m amazed by how my father dresses for Mass in the summer. It’s good to dress well but even when it’s 80 something degrees outside, he still manages to wear socks, long slacks and leather shoes. I don’t know how he does it. He still picks on me for wearing sandals (which are nice btw). If Franciscans can wear sandals, I’m sticking to my footwear and my dresses. After all, there’s the chance I might not be able sit close enough to a fan.

I don’t want people to wear clothes that isn’t really them because I would want people to feel comfortable in Church as they do anywhere. To dress different might be dressing falsely. All Christians - all Catholics aren’t the pinstripe suit Christian we so fondly expect. Catholics are a real mix of people who will have a real mix of taste and Jesus loves you.

We can make people conform to our expectations but does that mean their focus is on what we want or is their focus is on God? Yeh it might look a bit shortsighted to some if they choose to go to church in bikinis in summer and jeans etc in winter but if they are comfortable about their attire then they are much more likely to be focused on God. Are we focused on God or are we focused on other people and what they are doing or not doing :blush:?

Finally!!! It’s time for the Clothing Crusaders!!!

:D:popcorn::extrahappy::bounce: :banghead::yawn::yyeess:


Where are the SHORTS threads?

Granted, this is coming from the view of an evangelical, I myself would not make attire a point of contention that might harden the hearts of those we criticize enough to have them quit celebrating the Mass.

We can’t see in their hearts, only God can. And, others who may dress a little “better” than others, are not necessarily purer in heart, spirit, and love than those who appear as we think they should have to convey respect.

Do we remember John the Baptist for his bringing people to conversion, or for his shabby dress? If he walked into our church this morning, would be cast unapproving eyes on him…kind of like the Pharisee who remarked in the Temple how glad he was that he was not a sinner like the tax collector?

Jesus addresses the virtue of faith over appearance in Matthew 11:7-8 …maybe we should have as much understanding.

***As they were going off, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, "What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. ***



Personally I hate seeing people who bare too much flesh in a church (like low cut tops and bare shoulders). Goodness knows how they feel comfortable, to me it just feels disrespectful and it makes my skin crawl. I can understand the point that people should feel comfortable, but modesty is a virtue that should be practiced. For me it looks like if people can’t do this in church, there’s no way they can be modest.

This said, it’s not really our business how other people dress. We shouldn’t look down upon them for it, but just instead pray that they are growing as a person. At least, that’s my theory.

It’s all about modesty, people! I don’t buy into this “it’s too hot” nonsense. If my priest can offer Mass in as many layers as he does, including a cassock, pants, and a long sleeve shirt, surely to goodness the congregation can cover themselves up and wear what is appropriate for where they are. I’ve had to spend my Summers in an church with no a/c in a full skirt suit. We can suck up it for an hour or so. Perhaps use the discomfort to remind us how much worse Hell is and how we don’t want to end up there. :rolleyes:

We should also ban certain colors (too loud, too garish, too irreverent) and certain fabrics (denim is devilish and seersucker is salicious).

Don’t forget footwear, Clothing Crusaders! Improper footwear could quite possibly bring down the entire Catholic Church! :eek:

Cover those ankles, sinners!

As I was reading this, I was sadly reminded that church attire for any season was one of the big reasons I stayed away from the Catholic Church.

I’m a single female & support myself 100% (which means most of my funds go to “survival”). I don’t have much of a social life (in that I don’t “go out”) because I don’t have time or finances to purchase clothes for every occasion. I do however, believe in modesty & cleanliness. I don’t wear flip flops or shorts to church, but I do attend in jeans & a t-shirt (not tight or flashy) or some other simple “ensemble”. I’m honestly not comfortable in much else. Its just not me. Thank God I found a parish where its ok to come as you are! I might not be a Catholic otherwise. :blush:

and you don’t see him (and us servers) wilting in the vestry before and after the service do you :shrug: Luckily no one sees what we wear underneath our gowns, singing or serving :blush: :smiley: gowns hide our summer attire so if people are being accused of dressing down then they could wear a gown on top, and no one would see :smiley:

My parish never seems to get above 80 inside so I just wear a suit and tie, as usual (sometimes it is stiffling, I admit). At the EF Mass people observe traditional standards in dress (some are fairly casual but still very modest) so I don’t have to think about this stuff any more, but reflecting on it, I think I’d draw the line at shorts. I don’t think men (I can’t speak for the ladies) can really justify wearing shorts at Mass unless they have a medical condition. If I see a guy in short, I assume it’s the best he could do for some reason, and leave it at that.

One Priest told us to look at how we were dressed. Would we be dressed this way if we knew Jesus was going to walk in the door to celebrate the Mass that day? or would we dress in our finest?

I have seen women wearing shorts that left little to the imagination. I have seen a young man wear a baseball hat all during Mass and received Communion with it on his head and nothing was said.

To be sure people do have different income levels and not everyone can wear $1000 suits. And if all someone has is a pair of old jeans with holes in the knees then that person is wearing their best to honor the Lord.

It is those that can dress better and don’t that IMO show disrespect.

I sit close enough to the front that when he’s at the pulpit I can see the sweat running down the side of his face. I can also see him fanning himself in the confessional when hearing confessions.

Our altar boys wear proper church attire under their cassocks they where. Those white albs you see at the OF are often see-through enough that what’s written on their t-shirt underneath is visible. Furthermore, it’s absolutely disgraceful to be in the sanctuary in flip-flops!:mad:

I recall once reading a story on the internet about a bride who came to church in a strapless dress with her cleavage hanging out, and the priest made her wear a surplice over it.:thumbsup:

No lay person should judge anybody else at Mass (I still do sometimes, I admit) for what they wear, but all the arguments are on the side of dressing the best one can at Mass, financial and cultural considerations included.

As I came to realize this I adapted my dress at Mass very gradually as my means changed. I started by going to the thrift store and spending $10 on a tie, sportscoat, and dress shoes, all used. Now I can afford discount suits at the department stores.

Don’t let anyone put you down for not meeting their standard, but definitely do the best you can. Let the way past generations of Catholics dressed for Mass be your guide.


Don’t let any of these Wardrobe Witch-Hunters chase you out of the Catholic Church! :thumbsup:

what is dressing better - for whom and disrespect for whom? disrespect for you or for God? God sees much deeper than what our attire is. It is not for us to judge:blush:

Yeh I have heard the same sermon too - may be different words but same sermon. And yes I hand on heart would dress exactly the same way if Jesus walked through the door that day because Jesus is there all the time anyway and can see us all the time anyway can’t he. So why be different just if he appeared in flesh… I am me whether in church or at home and Jesus will meet me and not some poshed up well behaved me. I speak to our priest as naturally as I can/do to anyone else. He don’t get posh aires and graces from me. In fact he actually sees the more distressed me at times than anyone has ever seen anywhere. The priest along with Jesus and God sees me, and not what others want to see of me.

I totally understand this response and agree, except for the part at the very end. I’m Catholic no matter what other parishioners think about how I dress. I do wear jeans to church sometimes, with a nice polo shirt or something along that line. I make sure the jeans are neat, not faded or scraggly and I’m very comfortable wearing them in church. Jeans are not the “work” clothes they were in our parents days. They are an accepted item of everyday dress. What do you imagine the apostles wore when they celebrated and worshipped? How was Jesus dressed as he walked the countryside bringing the Good News to everyone?
That being said, I think the emphasis on dress should have a much lower priority than the fact that people are there. I work with someone who thinks it’s horrible that people go to church in anything but their finest clothes. Now this individual thinks very low cut shirts and short short skirts are ok, because they’re “dressy.” One other thing I should mention about this woman with the very strong opinion about how people dress when they go to church - she very, very rarely goes herself. She is pretty much a “Chreaster,” because of her daughter’s sports schedule she says.
Personally, I think showing up says way more than what you’re wearing. :twocents:

Banlon (shudder) should be banned from all of civilized society. It even has “ban” in its name.

People who want to dress down will do so no matter what anyone says.

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