What is appropriate clothing to wear at Mass if you're a female?


#21

No official teaching, but should be modest. No cleavage showing, no tight clothing, no t-shirts suggestive of sex or violence, no leggings being worn as pants (they aren’t pants), no see-through clothing or strapless tops, no flip-flops.


#22

I wear longer skirts, and sleeves. I feel at peace dressed like that at Mass


#23

Wear the clothes you would wear if you were attending the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Because you are.

When at Mass you are presenting yourself before your Lord and King. Wear the nicest, most modest clothes you own and act with the greatest restraint and dignity.

“We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper.”

This was the teaching of Pope Pius XI and it would take some significant gymnastics (coincidentally also banned for Catholic women) to say it isn’t Magesterial.


#24

Not everything a Pope declares is law or doctrine.


#25

My oh my, it’s quite obvious you have spent some time thinking about this and I wonder why? As long as your own clothing selections for mass suit your conscience then you should feel comfortable and at ease. It is not our pervue to tell others how to dress or what tatoo to cover or not.


#26

There is no official teaching. Some particular churches have a posted dress code addressing things like skirt length. Normally it’s considered good to dress like the majority of other attendees. What would be considered fine at a Newman Center would probably get the fisheye at a Solemn High EF Mass.


#27

In general, clothing should be modest, clean, and neat.

There are always exceptions. For example, I know that around here when the steel mills were booming, there would be masses at hours that would accomodate the mill shifts. At the parish I attended for daily mass near Wall Street, we would have construction workers come in for 12 pm mass, so there was a mix of people in suits and jeans.


#28

“”"Wear the clothes you would wear if you were attending the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Because you are.

When at Mass you are presenting yourself before your Lord and King. Wear the nicest, most modest clothes you own and act with the greatest restraint and dignity.

“We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper.”

This was the teaching of Pope Pius XI and it would take some significant gymnastics (coincidentally also banned for Catholic women) to say it isn’t Magesterial.
]"""

I like this ChunkMonk. Yes we can wear any other clothes at any other time we want but this is our time in the presence of Our Lord and should be our best and most modest.


#29

This is what I was speaking to. No working man should be shamed for attending Mass, especially Daily Mass, in well-worn, work-dirtied clothes. No woman, either.

There’s much to be said for custody of the eyes that doesn’t simply extend to salacious dress, but to things that you find displeasing in your taste and view of what should be acceptable. The people with stricter rules than the Vatican can go pound sand.


#30

I agree except no jeans for men. Jeans can look nice but unless you are poor and literally cannot afford something more formal, they aren’t really appropriate for mass.


#31

Yeah, that’s where I’ve been (for Sunday Mass no less!). I was working overnight into Sunday morning, and I literally walked from work to Sunday Mass. Probably smelled like floor stripper half the time too, but that couldn’t be much helped.


#32

Me, too. The worst was when I was in college and I worked in the Cafeteria. I was lucky to go to a Catholic Uni and we had Mass on campus. I had a wonderful, wonderful supervisor who would let me skip out of my shift a few minutes early so I could book it to Mass. I ran there. I stank of fries, grease, and pizza. It was not pleasant for even me. But I was able to make it and still have enough money to feed myself.


#33

I think the moral of the story is that people sometimes dress the way they do, not because they want to slob out or are disrespecting the Liturgy. It’s out of circumstance. We shouldn’t be quick to judge.


#34

I didn’t mean to sound judgemental. If the choice is not going to church because of work clothes (and there is no other time to go) or going in work clothes, of course go in work clothes. Mass should never be missed (if that is the only possible time to go ) because of what you’re wearing. I was referring to the people that aren’t at work and have the time and ability to clean up and get ready before hand. Sorry if I sounded harsh or stepped on any toes. That wasn’t my intention. I’ve seen many medical people go to early Mass in their scrubs or after work in their scrubs. Mass is the MOST important part of our week, it is what we should do first and everything else placed after or around it. God Bless Y’all and thanks for all of the insight.


#35

I think what people are saying is don’t worry so much about it. Wear something decent. In most parishes I’ve been in the standard has been either clean jeans or slacks, and a nice top. Sometimes skirts/dresses for ladies, especially in summer. If the church lacks air conditioning perhaps nice knee-length shorts for men.


#36

It is God’s house, so just remember that when choosing clothes for mass. Most importantly, you are dressing for God, not others.


#37

I was tempted to judgement once when a woman was at church in her active wear - yoga leggings and a bra top. I still don’t think it was appropriate, wouldn’t wear it myself in that setting, and wouldn’t advise anyone else to either.

But I believe the Holy Spirit nudged me to keep my eyes on the tabernacle rather than on the sartorial choices of fellow worshippers. She was a complete stranger and I do not know her story or why she came to be in church that day, so I kept my counsel.

What I’m trying get across is that we must personally wear what we feel is spiritually and culturally appropriate, but should hold back on the supercilious judgement of others.


#38

I don’t think it’s appropriate either, but maybe she found out some bad news that day and felt compelled to go to church. We never know the battles someone is fighting.


#39

Exactly. I prayed for her.


#40

I agree with you. Though for myself, I try to consider the circumstances. If I’m catching a mass right after work or while traveling, I won’t let my state of dress or cleanliness stop me, and it shouldn’t. As at least personal preference, if I wake up on a normal Sunday morning going to my normal 11 AM mass, I do hold myself to a higher standard (and nothing super special, generally slacks and a polo) than I would while traveling or in non-ordinary circumstances, and I don’t judge the circumstances of others, either.

Oh, and to be clear, I also understand that not everyone has the luxury of Sunday off like I do, or a 9 to 5 shift on other days. For some the norm has to be to come straight from work. If that means work clothes, that’s what it is.


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