One of the recent pressing issues that has struck the Philippines, or so it was a week or two ago, was the issue on the dress code that is to be worn in Churches. As an active attendee of mass, as well as a teenager and Filipino, I’m not partial to just one of the sides that has been pointed out.
As most newspapers would say, it was actually parishioners that complained to the Church archdiocese that there should be a dress code in Church, due to the commonality to which people attend Church. Others treat it as some sort of gimmick event, dressing in skimpy outfits and baggy jersey shorts, whilst wearing simple slippers on their feet. In some ways, it seems to be an amusing fact for most that people actually attend mass in such attire, but for some – it has become the norm.
In some way, who am I to say that I complain about the attire that some women and men come in. Admitting is the only way, and I shall do so. I come to mass in slippers (worn outside the house), mini-skirts and at times, sleeveless outfits, but that’s far as I go. From my point of view, I find that there are some outfits that can still be considered allowable for Church. Most probably, many of those who complained about the way people dressed in school, were traditionalists and thus laid out all that they deemed inappropriate for Church. But as an open-minded student and Catholic, there are some things I’d like to point out in their complaint.
In my point of view, I find that sleeveless blouses, to some extent, are still appropriate for mass. Considering that the Philippines is such a tropical country, and the weather is hot for most parts of the year, sleeveless blouses are a normal attire for most. It’s not entirely inappropriate for women to come to mass in sleeveless blouses, as long as it is not the kind in which one’s bra could already be seen. Racerback should also be discouraged, as they show too much skin for someone who is just attending mass. Even though racerbacks are more comfortable for those who feel hot because of the weather, it can be distracting for most people attending mass. Babytoll tees and normal sleeveless blouses that open up at the beginning of one’s arm are still okay in my book, as long as they aren’t the very body-hugging type, and are long enough to cover the stomach.
The sleeveless blouse Hilary is sporting here is still decent.
For men, a sando (wife-beater) is not something one would like sported while in mass. Though they are very drafty and perfect for the hot weather in this country, sandos are the type of clothes that can be seen through. Because of its netted cloth, it’s not something that one would deem appropriate for Church. For the house, for the beach, for Tagaytay or for the malls, yes…but not for Church.
Skirts on the other hand are also another matter. Mini-skirts, for me, are still somewhat of an appropriate attire for mass. Mini-skirts, not micro mini-skirts that reach only up to one’s upper thigh. There should be a distinction between such as women who attend mass wear both mini-skirts and micro mini-skirts. Admittedly, I also wear mini-skirts, but they are still of appropriate length (mid-thigh, and does not hitch up one’s leg when sitting down), and do not show off one’s underwear. The same goes for shorts. As long as it’s up to mid-thigh, it is still decent enough to be worn to Church (and does not show-off one’s underwear).
Jersey shorts, as complained by churchgoers is not something one should wear to mass. First of all, we aren’t in a basketball game, or any sport event for that matter. The problem with jersey shorts is that it can sometimes be loose, to the point that one’s briefs can be seen. Also, there are some jersey shorts that have a very thin cloth, which inevitably shows off the guy’s ass. Yes, you may have a fine ass in my point of view, but I don’t think other women would like to see your briefs through the cloth.
Slippers as well is not something I’d ban from Churches. To tell you the truth, the first time I saw people sporting slippers to Church, I was shocked. I had likened slippers to what one would wear at home, but since coming to Ateneo, I realized that a lot of people sport slippers everywhere. As long as the slippers are not the types that are to be worn at home, and are still of good quality, they can be worn to mass.
Moving on, from my perspective on the matter, I’d like to point out an observation. People who go to mass nowadays continue to to wear slippers, shorts, razorbacks, and other attire discouraged by the Archdiocese. Maybe it’s just Filipino ignorance that results in Filipinos not following laws, and such. And yet, I continue to carefully pick out my attire so that I don’t insult anyone.