How to Visit a Church

What to Wear:

The question of apparel is paramount in preparing to visit a church. The cause of this can be traced back to the 1960s... or perhaps the '70s. I'm not entirely sure, because I wasn't around back then. Anyway, at some point in our recent history, it became the 'thing' to go casual. It had something to do with authenticity and being welcoming, I guess. Because Jesus didn't dress up all the time, why should we? Although there's no indication that he didn't groom himself more particularly on Sabbath days, the idea is that he would not have rejected anyone based on their clothing. (Where this notion came from, I also do not know. Especially as there's a specific parable in which a guy is kicked out of the Banquet of the Kingdom of God for not wearing the right outfit. Go figure.)

Not all churches participated in the 'go casual or go home' philosophy, thus creating the dilemma we face today: to dress up or not to dress up. Perhaps the answer is obvious to some of you, at least in theory. But stand in front of your closet on a Sunday morning an hour away from walking through those stranger doors, and you might feel differently.

I'll give some practical advice, assuming you're visiting a church for the first time and have been given no indication of its 'style'. For women: a dress or a skirt, and I don't care if you never wear them otherwise*. It should be a casual dress or skirt, the kind you might wear to work. Follow the seasons on this. If it's Easter Sunday (like today), wear spring colors. (I doubt your first visit will be on Good Friday, but if so, do NOT wear spring colors. This shouldn't take much thought to figure out.) For men: a button-down and slacks. If it's chilly, wear a coat or jacket. If it's not, the shirt and slacks should be fine. You do not need to wear a tie (this rule may be different in other parts of the country).

*Except I just saw my sister and she's wearing the most lovely outfit with pants, so there are exceptions. But you have to be my sister.

1 comment:

  1. I hate the "choosing the outfit for a first visit" routine in the morning. Stresses me out.


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