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Dress for Christmas Eve service (church)?

swiego

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Disclaimer: I'm not religious, not even in the slightest, and aside from gleaning some things from a Hindu parent and going to a Catholic school for 4th grade, I don't know much about religious practices either.

I'm attending a Christmas Eve service at a church with my girlfriend and her parents. It's a church that they've all been going to for many years and I want to be respectful. What's a proper dress code?

My assumption is slacks, jacket and tie. I'm more concerned with the look. Is this a white shirt and black jacket sort of thing? Can I wear a dressy sport jacket? Are cufflinks a bit out of place?

My thought is to coordinate colors well (jacket/suit/slacks/tie) but not try to appear too dressy. But, I never even stepped foot in a church so I really have no idea, and with her parents attending, well, I want to make a decent impression.
 

the_economist

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These days, churches vary so much in their dress customs that it's like asking "what is the proper dress code if I'm visiting a restaurant?" You won't cause offense by asking her parents, and churches usually make an effort to be accepting to newcomers, especially for a holiday service when they expect a lot of guests.

Some attendees might dress more casually because they're on holiday, and some might dress nicely because it's a special occasion--so I would expect more variation even among the members, which makes it hard to go wrong for you. I would avoid anything flashy though, and just try to convey an understated respectfulness, which sounds like what you're going for. A sport coat and tie seems appropriate, though I'd want to know more about the church before making that call. If you don't want to ask, you can often glean this info from their website if they have one. I have enough experience with this that I could probably tell you more if you give me the name and location of the church.
 

mafoofan Jr.

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you basically dress the same way you would to a dinner party. This is the only time of year (besides Eastern) when "all" the Catholics, even the ones that had been excommunicated from the Church, attend service. Because of these folks, and other non-practitioners of the faith such as yourself, it becomes a little more formal than it should be and you'll see more suits and overcoats on men. The most faithful will be the least dressed up. May God bless these folks.
Originally Posted by swiego
Disclaimer: I'm not religious, not even in the slightest, and aside from gleaning some things from a Hindu parent and going to a Catholic school for 4th grade, I don't know much about religious practices either. I'm attending a Christmas Eve service at a church with my girlfriend and her parents. It's a church that they've all been going to for many years and I want to be respectful. What's a proper dress code? My assumption is slacks, jacket and tie. I'm more concerned with the look. Is this a white shirt and black jacket sort of thing? Can I wear a dressy sport jacket? Are cufflinks a bit out of place? My thought is to coordinate colors well (jacket/suit/slacks/tie) but not try to appear too dressy. But, I never even stepped foot in a church so I really have no idea, and with her parents attending, well, I want to make a decent impression.
 

Salsalocust

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I would be delighted to see you attend, welcoming you in any attire.

However, what pleases your girlfriend's parents might be a necessary consideration.

Are they there to be "seen" or to share in the glorious 'communion' of the occasion.


I would look you in the eye, shake your hand and wish you a Merry Christmas.........






























...... checking your shoes as you leave



Merry Christmas,

Graham
 

dbtbandit67

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you'll be surprised, people aren't going to dress as formal as you think, take it from a Catholic that goes to these things every year. i'd say "semi-formal" is a better approach.

slacks, jacket, polo shirt
 

peshlaki

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You are there to worship,God won't care what you wear.
 

Taxler

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Originally Posted by peshlaki
You are there to worship,God won't care what you wear.

God might care to know you considered the occassion important enough to wear your best.
 

swiego

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Thanks everyone! I put together something that seems sharp but not too ostentatious.
 

philosophe

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Since it's a festive occasion, I'd avoid black jackets.
 

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