Annette Daly outside Effort Baptist Church on Rt. 53. Photo courtesy of Annette DalyRecently a friend of mine posted a picture of a new pair of jean shorts she had bought for her child’s back-to-school wardrobe. Later that day she was informed that the shorts were not appropriate on school grounds because they had ‘holes’ in them. In the current fashion industry we call that distressed, and this style is what is trendy right now. This got me thinking about dress codes and what we wear to church.
If our school’s have a dress code then why don’t our churches? Some say that dressing to visit someone in jail requires more of a dress code than those going to church. Some regions and denominations have felt that our normal casual attire has gone too far and they have begun taking matters in to their own hands.
Dress codes differ from church to church and just like the work place, have changed over time. Some churches are literally okay with “Come as you are.” Others are not and have begun posting dress code signs. The Vatican requires visitors of St. Peter’s Basilica to obey the dress code of no tank tops or shorts.
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:9 “Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel with modesty and self control, not with braided hair and goal or pearls or costly attire.” Modesty seems to be the key word but what passes as modest clothing is in the eye of the beholder.
I asked my friends their opinions. Chris Moir said, “God does not judge you on what you wear when worshiping him. Having said that, it is nice to dress up in Sunday best - as long as you are dressing for yourself and Him and not others. Flip flops and shorts are fine for services in the tropics or outside or on the beach!”
Kim Fitzgerald Wiseman said, “I think God just wants us there worshiping Him whether we’re in a suit and tie, dress or jeans but, that said, we should keep in mind that God is holy and we should show some reverence and dress with some modesty. No strapless anything, no halters, no short dresses/skirts, no short shorts, no see through, no skin tight whatever. I don’t have much in the way of dresses and skirts so I just wear jeans and I feel totally comfortable.”
Ida Baumgarth Swenson said, “Jesus takes us just as we are! And we should accept anyone else who seeks Him just as they are. But when someone really loves you, you want to look nice for them!”
In my opinion, the clothing we choose does send a message. Would you wear shorts and flip flops to a wedding or a funeral? Most of us would say no. At a bare minimum let us 1) not over expose 2) skip sports logo shirts or T-shirts with messages, and 3) men should take their hats off inside. See you next Sunday!
Annette Daly –Your Wardrobe Wizard is a Fluvanna County image consultant, speaker, and columnist specializing in teaching women of influence fashion and wardrobe skills that convey confidence and authentic style.