Dress code in Church, addressed?

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.


13 Responses to “Dress code in Church, addressed?”

  1. October 30, 2007 at 1:41 am

    ” People who go to mass nowadays continue to to wear slippers, shorts, razorbacks, and other attire discouraged by the Archdiocese.” Well, it’s freedom above all. Even God doesn’t force people to do good.

    I guess it’s not just about insulting anyone but more of being dressed for the occasion. If we had the chance to meet the Queen of England, for sure we’d wear something better than the ordinary. I’m sure you know that in the Mass, we encounter the biggest V.I.P. in the world. That’s why the concept of “Sunday best” attire was formed.

    As for the specific clothes, I guess it would really depend on the situation / culture of the community. That’s why it’s important that the diocese is the one that gives the advise. For example — in rural towns of indigenous people who are Christian (where men usually don’t wear shirts, a jersey is already the Sunday best.

    Just some food for thought. 🙂

  2. October 30, 2007 at 1:59 am

    @ Frances: Thanks for the food for thought. 🙂 I agree with you on certain aspects. I do believe that there should be freedom regarding the attire that people wear to mass. I also think it should be dependent on occasions and places where such churches are (in your comment, in relation to rural areas). But at the same time, I believe that as long as nothing indecent is shown or announced, people should themselves decide what is proper or not. In any case, it will be they who will be embarrassed, and not God.

    Basically, it’s a confusing situation, in regards to open-minded Catholics who want to keep propriety within the Church…like me. XD

    Thanks for the thought provoking comment though.

  3. 3 Danny
    January 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    I Think I Like To See People Naked Like Vanessa H The One That I Saw She Had A Miny Skirt And To Tell You The True I am A Girl And I am Bisexual.

  4. 4 Danny
    January 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    And If You Have A Problem then come and say it to my face

  5. January 15, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    @ Danny: I have no problem with mini-skirts, and neither do I have a problem with people being bisexual. The situation here is not about outfits, but outfits to be worn in Church. Please read the entry before you write about your opinions.

  6. 6 adsf
    March 17, 2008 at 6:23 am

    I think another issue has to be taken into account. I am particularly against (sort of) miniskirts because they do tend to show the legs too much. alam nyo naman dito sa pilipinas, a lot of guys are malicious. Partly because the majority of the Filipinos still did not attain an education.

    Anyway, we also must think of the guys in the Christian community, or the whole Filipino community for that matter, that we do not become temptresses to sin through our choice of clothing. Men struggle constantly with their “urges” and attraction for women. The Bible says that if any man looks at a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Shouldn’t we, therefore, as women be accountable for the men and see to it that we do not lead them into sin by letting their eyes wander on our elegant shapely bodies?

    We must select our clothing in such a manner that it will leave little to the malicious man’s imagination.


  7. 7 adsf
    March 17, 2008 at 6:32 am

    In the end i believe we must accept and follow the Catholic Church’s decision because our religion puts us directly under them. It’s also to show respect for the Church as an institution. An institution is defined by its minions/attendees/members. It is very unsightly to see people who wear clothing that does not support the church’s advocacies of modesty and propriety.

  8. April 9, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    @ adsf: You have a lot of good points. And I agree with a lot of what you said in your comments. I guess, sometimes as teenagers, it’s hard to accept restrictions, especially since we are taught in school that the church doesn’t turn anyone away.

    Also, in my opinion, maliciousness is in the eye of the beholder. Anyone can find ANYTHING alluring. 🙂 But thanks for your point of view, it’s much appreciated.

  9. August 25, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Let me begin by saying that i love your blog dresdendoll.wordpress.com a lot
    now.. back on topic haha
    I cant say that im 100% with what you typed up… care to explain deeper?

  10. September 5, 2008 at 2:48 am

    @ Christian: Why, thank you for the compliment. Which part do you want me to explain in further detail? My post is mainly opinionated though.

  11. November 11, 2008 at 12:36 am

    Thanks for writing this.

  12. March 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Hey everyone! 😀
    Im new to dresdendoll.wordpress.com.
    I hope I can be a regular here!

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The Doll(dalera)

What lies behind the mask of a doll, kept sheltered and propped against the shelf wall. Beautiful and untouched for all to see, she comes unmasked in beautiful glory.

The Doll behind the mask

A fresh university graduate from the Ateneo de Manila University who loves to write stories, articles and poetry. Enjoys reading books - mostly fiction, and loves to play video games.

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