This is a fairly well-done article on one of my pet-peeves.
Having been away from the Church for 20+ until returning almost a decade ago in my early 30s, I still do a double-take when I see grown men wearing shorts to Mass, or sandals, and even flip-flops. It's just a parade of jeans, short-sleeves and/or t-shirts and yes, high skirts on the ladies and girls, including one or two who sing in the choir just to the side of the altar. It's as if all the adults were abducted. Even older people (60s and up) no longer look dressed well and in fact, I hate to say, are sometimes basically products of the Woodstock generation.
I'm further South in the U.S> than I used to be and yes, it's hot out here in the spring, summer and usually the autumn, but the AC is always cranked and yet people still attend with this beach bum look. It's as if they want credit just for showing up: as in "hey, what do you want from me?"
To me, it's another piece of rotten fruit from the '60 counterculture and '70s "Me decade", with that premium put on "comfort" and "individualism." The priests sadly say nothing about it but I try to set an example with my kids and how I dress. It's as if we are at entirely different functions.
Also, Sunday is less sacred with the end of the blue-laws that closed shops on Sundays, so people attend as if they are running off somewhere else: soccer practice, etc. I see softball games (albeit a Jewish league) and soccer games (all sorts of folks) all over at 9am on Sundays.
On Facebook recently, someone dug up a 1974 article from upstate New York where (Jewish) mall developer was pressuring the county to end the blue laws..and eventually succeeded. The comments were fascinating and it reminded me of how quiet Sundays were and how much they were a family day (Mass, etc.) but never shopping...for everyone, in effect.
I passed a immigrant (that's just descriptive) moving the lawn (one of those big machines) on Sunday outside the church in ajacent business last week and this is the norm even in my fractured family /divorced / secular/ Hindu/ Budhist neighborhood, which is oblivious to the day and the notion of it being at least a day of rest. The sound of the lawnmowers makes me want to move away.
Also, there's a real juvenile look for today's 35+ males. They look like school boys in shorts and even when dressed well as lawyers downtown, commonly top it off with a baseball cap and not a real hat, if it is raining or they want to cover their head.
It's also been said the internet /IT world casual trend extended from Friday's (a fad I had hoped would end) to the rest of the week. In a major US city, I see so many men even into their 50s ostensibly on the way to work in t-shirts, jeans and even sandals and flip-flops. It's been said with the bad economy (1 out of 5) that the casual look is fading but not fast enough for me.
I think we can slowly set the tone at Mass but it's going to be a long way back. Bring back the adults of society!