It’s 2022 and some of our young people may be asking, ‘What are church clothes?’ I would venture to say that they’ve never been to church, at least not a traditional, “old school” church.
Kids Used to Have Play Clothes and Church Clothes
You didn’t play outside in your church clothes and you didn’t wear your play clothes to church. What you wore to church was clean, neatly pressed, and stayed in the closet until Sundays.
Your outfits for Sunday School were only ever worn to Sunday School. You even got new outfits for Easter and Christmas that you could wear to Sunday School after the holidays were over.
Your play clothes were the old jeans with holes in them, wrinkled t-shirts with no sayings on them. They were different colors or maybe a cool graphic, but no words that would annoy anyone.
You could get your jeans and shorts dirty and mom wouldn’t care. That’s what the washer and dryer were for, or washer and outdoor clothes line like I used to use.
Blue Jeans and Sneakers – in Church?
You did not wear blue jeans to church, heaven forbid! Girls and women must wear modest dresses and some of the older women even wore little hats. Easter Sunday the little girls donned their new bonnets that perfectly matched their dresses and new white shoes.
Men dressed in their best suits and ties with crisply ironed dress shirts and polished shoes. Some older men wore hats that they respectfully removed when entering the church building.
Wearing sneakers to church was totally out of the question. Women wore polished heels, girls had their little Mary Janes and men wore tied dress shoes.
This is how I grew up in a rather strict Baptist church. In fact, the same policy held in the private Christian school I had to go to. Girls wore dresses, boys wore dress slacks and shirts. You changed into your play clothes after school.
You could wear your school clothes to church, if they were still presentable. If they got dirty at school, or got rips or tears into them, they morphed into play clothes.
Oh, how times have changed. And in my opinion, for the better!
What are Church Clothes Today?
Of course the attire worn today wouldn’t exactly be called your “Sunday’s Best” back in the day. Our church-going ancestors would think, ‘Why do you wear your play clothes to church?’
However, people from long ago who wouldn’t dare go to church in their worn out clothes would probably think, ‘This is more like it. Now I feel like I fit in!’
Obviously not all churches have adopted this almost anything goes attitude for what their congregation wears on Sundays. But those that have seem to have larger congregations whose love for the Lord is more important than what they look like. And I love that about our church!
Come As You Are – Everyone Welcome
It took some getting used to, I’ll admit, considering how I grew up. The first few visits to our new church I still wore my “nicest” or newest jeans with what I would call an “appropriate” nice top. My husband wore is nicest sports shirts and jeans too.
Gone are the days of saving your best for Sundays when it comes to your wardrobe. No more pulling on stockings and checking for runs during the service, or making sure your hair and makeup are exactly perfect. Those outfits are saved for weddings!
But for church, we can all sit comfortably and do what we’re supposed to do – pay attention to the Word being taught that morning, not what we or anyone else is wearing.
For anyone thinking about finding a new church to go to regularly, those on the outside looking in can just come on in, however they’re dressed, feel at home, and learn about Jesus.
And isn’t that what’s important?
What Are Your Church Clothes? What do you think about wearing on Sunday mornings?