Dress Code for Catholic Mass

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by bigtimebuck4, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. bigtimebuck4

    bigtimebuck4 Senior member

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    What does everyone feel is the appropriate dress code for a Catholic Mass? I typically wear a suit to the big one's (Christmas, Easter, Sacraments, etc...) and slacks and a button down shirt to the others (sometimes a sports jacket as well). My curiosity stems from my experience this weekend when I attended my nephew's first communion and noticed most of the men wearing sport jackets. I assumed since it was a special ocasion more formality would be required, but maybe since it is still the weekend a suit is overdoing it? Maybe this is overthinking something which, after all, is insignificant so long as you are in attendance and fullfilling your obligation.

    Another thought, and this may lend more credence to the sport coat thought, but if I am kneeling in a pew for long periods of time in super 110's+ I can't imagine that is good for the fabric? Perhaps something more sturdy would be a smarter choice. What is everyone's thoughts on this?

    FWIW I made this specific to Catholic Mass because my experience has foudn that there is a greater variety of formaility betwene different Protestant denominations than within the Catholic church. Perhaps this is ignorant, if so I appologize. I certainly do not intend for this topic to discuss anyhting more than how to appropriately dress for Mass. If you have an opinion regarding the relative merits of one religion versus another there are countless places to discuss that on the internet outside SF.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  2. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    The standards will vary from community to community. I wear a suit for Christmas and Easter, but mostly casual otherwise. If I am a Lector, I will usually wear a sportcoat with slacks and a button-down.

    I may be wrong about this, but I think Catholics are generally poorer than Protestants, so the standards of dress may be affected by this -- again, it will vary from community to community.
     
  3. saint

    saint Senior member

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    Despite going to Mass at a church where a large proportion of the people dress casually, I usually wear a jacket and slacks most Sundays. I wear a tie depending on the day, since I no longer have a lot of suits, I rarely wear one to Mass. My wife and kids also wear nice clothes.
     
  4. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    Maybe in the Six Counties, but I doubt this holds true anywhere else.
    I rarely go to mass, but when I do, it's a suit and tie for the major holdays (and first communions, confirmations, etc.), sport jacket and slacks otherwise. While many are dressed more casually, quite a few of the other church-goers seem to be dressed similarly to me.
     
  5. Bradford

    Bradford Current Events Moderator

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    I'd say its pretty casual. Very few people wear suit and ties anymore and even a sportcoat is fairly rare.

    I've typically seen anything from t-shirt and shorts, to jeans, to khakis and a polo shirt.

    Of course, it all depends on your age and part of the country.
     
  6. KObalto

    KObalto Senior member

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    Our very fit, very religious governor used to wear muscle t-shirts to mass at our mutual parish when he was mayor.
     
  7. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    I usually only make it to Mass once a month or so, but I almost always wear a tie when I do. I generally attend the 8pm Sunday "Young Professionals" Mass (affectionately called "Ass Mass" due to the likelihood of meeting a charming young lady while at church). It's a running joke amongst my friends that I dress to meet women, but, in reality, when I'm only going once a month I might as well be respectful to the Parish while there.

    That said, I often find myself saying "peace be with you" to dudes in cargo shorts. Such is life.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  8. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  9. sns23

    sns23 Senior member

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    Main holiday = suit
    Any other day= business casual
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  10. LooknGr8

    LooknGr8 Senior member

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    My family just changed from Catholic to Episcopalian in the last year. I've seen both sides. At least in our region there's no rich-poor split. I will say Catholics here (New England) are much more informally dressed (i.e. Tom Brady jerseys during football season, etc).

    In a suit or sportcoat/wool pants (i.e not khakis) and tie I am one of the most dressed up people most weeks either place. Not only do I have an interest in dressing well (there are 5-6 others like me around so at least I'm not the only one) but my dad taught me "this is how you dress for church," and old habits die hard. :)

    I know my dad (he's 85) would find it inappropriate that some kids are allowed wear (pro) sports T-shirts and jerseys to church/mass (he'd say something about idols and false gods) but me, personally, I'm glad they showed up and are at least making a go of it.

    Easter, etc...maybe 2/3 of the men dress at least in khakis & dress shirt/sport shirt. If you're at a special event (christening, wedding etc) if it involves your family, you're dressed in the best you've got. Otherwise...that sportcoat stuff OP mentions is par for the course.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  11. eg1

    eg1 Senior member

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    YMMV -- Ontario had "the Family Compact", so the Anglican establishment was very strong here. Worse, the Orange Order was politically prominent, especially in Toronto, until about 50 years ago. Their rump of a parade is the longest consecutively held in North America.

    This is typical of my fellow Conventual Fransiscan parishioners. :)
     
  12. waarior

    waarior Member

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    I think whatever you feel comfortable in is fine, and the large amount of variety gives a certain amount of license to dress as formally as you want. No one will really look twice if you are dressed in a suit, or in sandals and a swimsuit.

    My favorite quote from our priest at the start of his sermon a few years back:
    "God may not care what you wear; but I do."
     
  13. bigtimebuck4

    bigtimebuck4 Senior member

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    I agree with the general sentiment that business causal is the standard and you can dress it up a bit more for special ocasions. I am surprized by the reports of jerseys, cargo sorts, etc... some of you report as normal. I think my church is a bit more conservative than most, but that is extremely rare in my expereince unless it is Saturday evening or Sunday evening Mass. Don't ask me why, but for some reason the wife lets me wear jeans on Saturday night, but not Sunday morning lol
     
  14. Thanks SF (a new me)

    Thanks SF (a new me) Senior member

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    +1 ... having been raised in a fairly devout Catholic family, suit and tie on every special occasion. on Sun/Sat services, SC/slack most of the time; once in a while jeans but never ever in shorts, sandals, flip flops.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  15. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    The last time I attended mass was in Tempe Arizona. I was astonished. Most looked like they were at a softball game.

    As a boy growing up in Iowa, we always wore a coat and tie. Everyone.
     

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