What’s the “dress code” at your church? Still wearing dresses and coats and ties, or are short pants common in the summer? Some are quite critical of the casual dressing that is becoming more and more the norm in churches everywhere. They say people should have more respect for God and His house. I occasionally wear a dress or skirt in the summer, but because of my audio media role, I usually wear pants. I never know when I will need to crawl around tracing a cord or something. This is simply a result of changing times. Back in the day, there weren’t cords to trace in the church, and then when there were, men held the positions that had to do it. The culture has changed.
Watching an Agatha Christie video over the weekend prompted these thoughts. There was Miss Marple and Mrs. Bantry traipsing along the seashore on their impromptu holiday in tweed suits and heels (Miss Marple’s were more like brogues, but you get the visual). I was reminded of a time in history when people dressed up for most everything. Coats, ties, and dresses on airplanes; out to dinner with no special occasion; even to the movies. Hard to imagine for younger generations. So when we see the same thing happen in church, we should be careful about casting stones.
Casual dress in the church is not necessarily a result of disrespect or lack of reverance. It is mostly a result of a changing culture. I do believe the degree of effort we put into looking good tends to reflect the degree we value and respect something. However that effort may not translate into suits and dresses. We are a casual society more concerned more with being true to ourselves than with empty rules.