The discussion on how what is considered "acceptable" church attire has evolved over time. Here are some tips on dressing suitably that can be used for today's modern church goer.
Sunday service attire wasn't always what it is today. Growing up the thought of wearing joggers and a hoodie was just a mere fantasy to most of us. Now we have whole congregations, like the church goers of Kanye West's Sunday Service, dressed down to t-shirts, joggers, and slides.
Our parents came from an era of button-down shirts and freshly pressed slacks and impressed that mentality on us. While it's nice to dress up sometimes or for special occasions, it's also good to have the option dressing in a way that's most comfortable for you whatever that may be.
Modern church attire can get confusing in comparison to our parent's and grandparent's "Sunday's Best". Much of today's church attire is chill and lax, but you also don't want to show up to Sunday service looking like a bum or lady of the night, unless that's the look you're going for, and in that case go off! However there is definitely a happy medium between looking presentable and being comfortable and here at God Is Dope, we think we've found it.
Evolution Of Church Attire
Traditionally church communities would refer to their finest clothing as their "Sunday Best," which is where the whole idea of always dressing nicely for church stemmed from. In some communities, church service was the main event of the week.
You would see church hats of every kind of color, shape, and size to match their finery and pearls on the women of the congregation. Panty hose and socks were required of all young ladies. The men and young boys would be neatly dressed in their best suit and tie.
People of higher financial status would use Sunday service and Sunday's best as an excuse unabashedly to flaunt their wealth and status.
Many modern Christians caught onto this and decided to reject the practice entirely as the purpose of Sunday service was and is for worship and not fashion or flexing. Instead, they began to opt for more minimalist and casual clothing for Sunday service.
Business casual is the easiest way to describe today’s church dress code. Jeans are encouraged - and even welcomed. And lucky for the ladies, there is no need to take out those uncomfortable heels or stockings every Sunday anymore.
It's all about what you feel comfortable in nowadays, something I'm sure the youth of today and youth churches love. By all means, you can wear a bodycon dress or grey sweats to Sunday service if you want, but just know you may get a few longer stairs on your way in and out.
Things to Keep in Mind If You’re a Lady
Come pre-Sunday service, there are some things you'll want to keep in mind ladies before you put together your outfit.
- Try midis and maxis instead of minis. When it comes to dresses a midi or maxi dress would be your best bet. Who wants to spend all mass pulling down a little party dress? Not me!
- Wear layers. No it's not because showing your arms is immoral or impure. Pretty much any church you attend should have air conditioning and they are kept pretty cool throughout the seasons. Bring a light jacket or hoodie you can slip on if you get chill mid-sermon.
- Avoid plunging necklines and cleavage. All churches are different and come with different sets of clothing norms. Still, whether you're well endowed or more on A or B cup gal you don't want people ogling your chest from their pulpit.
- You don't have to wear a dress if you don't want to. Like we said, casual attire is in, which means you can kiss those Sunday dresses from childhood that your mom always forced you into goodbye. You can rock jeans or longer shorts to church with ease.
- Dress comfy and low maintenance. Church service can be long, so it's best if you're comfortable - you may be there for two or more hours. Ensure your outfit is low maintenance and won't require constant fixing or adjusting.
Things To Keep In Mind As A Guy
There may be fewer fashion hiccups for church to consider as a guy, but they're still there - so pay attention.
- Stay away from hats. Hats during church service is a church rule that will probably never change, no matter how casual church attire gets. However, that's not to say you can't rock it before and after!
- Each church is different. When attending a new church, it can be hard to grasp what you should and shouldn't wear. Just be patient. We promise in a few weeks, you'll get the hang of things.
- Leave the chains at home and for those brunch sections. This is not to imply a simple chain or necklace can't be worn. But please no draping of cuban link after cuban link... save that for the club or brunch. Excessiveness comes off as gaudy and oddly out of place when it comes to church.
- Grey sweats are what cleavage is to women. The same that can be said for women can be said for men in this instance. If your packing don't get caught slacking and choose a pair of black or dark colored sweats if you must wear them.
- Keep it simple. We'll give you the same piece of advice we gave the girls; keep it simple. Church can feel like an easy way to dress up and show off your extra flashy items, but you probably shouldn't. A service shouldn't be about what you're wearing—it’s about listening to the word and getting your praise on.
The attention during mass or any sermon should be all for God not for your flyest fit, body, or nice kicks. Try your best to find a happy middle ground between comfort, looking good, feeling good, and respecting the Lord's sanctuary. Just remember, you don't have to overthink. Church really isn't about what you're wearing. It's about what you're learning and the company you're surrounded with.
God is Dope makes it quite simple for you to dress your best and yet remain comfortable and casual! Comment below if you're rocking your GID to church and how you dress it up or down.
Written by Precious Onukwuli