Dressing like a Man for Mass

April 28, 2015

Many are beginning to recognize the severe Catholic “man-crisis” and the necessary imperative to aggressively “emangelize” Casual Catholic Men. While new ardor, methods and expressions are needed from the Pope to the parish priest, laymen need to step up to their personal responsibility and respond to Christ’s commandment to make disciples (Matt 28:19-20).

But the average Catholic man who is beginning to take Christ seriously about His call for all men to bring Him disciples, might be at a loss: “How can I evangelize other Catholic men? I haven’t been taught.”

For those men (and all men), here is a simple but powerful way to immediately begin to make a difference: Dress like a man for Mass.

Why Men’s Clothing at Mass Matters

The Catholic “man-crisis” is widespread and is having a devastating effect on men, women, children and the Church. 1 in 3 men who were baptized Catholic have left the faith. Of those who remain, 50-60% are Casual Catholic Men, not knowing the faith and not practicing the faith, men who in essence have left the faith. Sadly, large numbers of young people are following their lukewarm fathers out of the Church.

One obvious marker of the loss of faith among Catholic men is revealed in how men approach the Mass. Only about 1/3 of Catholic men attend Mass weekly and many of those have not grasped the miraculous nature and absolute necessity of the Mass. Research gives insight as to the root of the problem: men don’t understand the Mass – 49% of Catholic men are bored in the Mass and 55% of Catholic men don’t believe they “get anything out of the Mass”.

Boredom has its roots in a lack of catechesis. Men’s attitude of being “bored” in the Mass reveals the catechetical failure of the Church. Clearly, men who are properly catechized could not be bored in the Mass, for they would understand that the Mass is the “source and summit” of the faith in which men have a direct encounter with the Eternal King Jesus Christ. A man can’t be bored in the Mass if he has been taught and understands the Mass.

Boredom also results from the desacralized way some priests and parishes participate in the Mass. The desacralized Mass has many insults to Christ, including the lack of reverence of some priests, syrupy pop music that no one would listen to unless forced, a focus on community rather than Christ and a parish culture of casual attire. A desacralized Mass appears common and casual, leading to Casual Catholic Men, men who are casual about the faith.

Men who are bored by the Mass, dress like they are bored. On any given weekend in many parishes, the majority of men show up for Mass dressed, at best, like it is “Casual Friday” at work or, at worse, like they are going to a tailgate party. Men don’t wear suits or ties, choosing instead to wear khakis and polo shirts, jeans and sports jerseys, flannel shirts and cargo pants or even worse.

Casual clothing at Mass contributes to a sense of commonness about the Mass. When the people at the Mass look like they are going to the multiplex to see a movie, there is a loss of awe. Helping restore a sense of awe in the Mass is essential for over 8 out of 10 men never or rarely participate in a parish activity other than the Mass. If men are not being reached in the Mass, they are not being reached. Wearing clothing that reflects the awe that a man should feel as he approaches the King of the Creation sends a signal to other men that Someone awesome is present.

Unmanly Excuses for Casual Clothing at Mass

Men have all kinds of excuses for why they wear casual clothing to the Mass. Each of these excuses exposes both a lack of reverence for Jesus Christ and an unmanly lack of virtue.

The Personal Convenience Excuse – Some men don’t dress reverently for Mass because they want the convenience of wearing casual clothing, perhaps because it is relaxing or to avoid going home to change before the next Sabbath activity. These excuse-makers might say something like “I don’t feel like dressing up for Mass” or “I just want to relax on Sunday.”  This is simply an excuse for sloth, revealing an unmanly lack of discipline and willingness to sacrifice.

The “I never dress up” Excuse – Some men have a personal ethic of wearing casual clothing, perhaps out of a non-conformist rebellion against authority or orthodoxy. For most, this excuse doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, for many of these same men do in fact dress up in various outfits, conforming to their chosen “posse”. Examples include men who wear expensive jerseys for their chosen sports teams, wear expensive “leathers” to ride motorcycles, dress in tuxes for big social events, buy expensive fishing or hunting clothing, buy all kinds of expensive athletic wear or dress up themselves up with permanent (and expensive) tattoos. This excuse is often two-faced, an unmanly trait.

The “God doesn’t care” Excuse – Many men use the excuse that “God doesn’t care about clothes” to justify why they choose to wear casual clothing. This opinion is conjecture and incorrect, for God actually does care about clothing (see below). It is unmanly to blame God for one’s own laziness.

The Money Excuse – Some men use the excuse that they can’t, or others can’t, afford appropriate clothing. Most American men across economic classes have plenty of money to buy all kinds of expensive clothing and other things. For those who truly have limited financial resources, discount/thrift stores sell very inexpensive clothing. It is unmanly to falsely use a lack of money as an excuse for disrespectful attire.

The “Parish Culture” Excuse – Many parishes celebrate a deliberate culture of a casual dress for Mass. The rationale is that somehow dressing down encourages parishioners to be more comfortable and friendly, as if community building were the point of the Mass, rather than the worship and communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is unmanly to be a cowardly conformist or to be ignorant about something as important as the Mass. Catholic men need to be countercultural, even in their own parishes.

Dressing like a Man for Mass

In contrast to unmanly excuses, here are some manly reasons why dressing like a man for Mass is important:

The Mass is infinitely more important than any worldly event – A man should wear his very best clothing for every Mass is of infinite value. While cultures around the world vary, a reasonable standard in the U.S. for men’s dress for Mass is a dark suit, collared shirt, a tie and dress shoes (for examples of how men dress for important occasions in the U.S., see presidential portraits, presidential medal awards, Heisman Trophy finalists, wedding attire or even what young men wear to prom, etc.). Every single Mass is infinitely more important than even the most important worldly event, for Jesus Christ Himself is present.

Justice demands that men give their best to Christ – Post-modern men need to become re-acquainted with virtue, especially the cardinal virtue of Justice. The word “virtue” comes from the Latin virtutem, meaning “moral strength, high character, manliness and excellence.” The root word of “virtue” is the Latin, vir, which literally means “man.” Men have always been called to virtue and to be virtuous is considered “manly.”

The cardinal virtue of Justice is giving God and one’s fellowman his proper due. Man, in his sinful nature, can never fully give God his due, for Man owes everything to God and has little to give Him except thanksgiving and praise. One concrete way to show thanksgiving to God is to meticulously dress to approach Christ in the Mass (e.g. mirror-shined shoes, a crisply pressed suit, a starched shirt and a carefully knotted tie, etc.). The least that a just man can do when attending Mass is to dress like he is meeting a King.

Christ explicitly demands respectful attire – In Christ’s parable of the Wedding Banquet (Matt 22:1-14), Christ says this:

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The broader principle of proper spiritual preparation to approach Christ does not negate Christ’s most basic teaching about respectful dress. Clothing is one aspect of a man’s inner preparation and is also a signal to other men about his reverence of his Lord and King. Paul also warns men to not approach the Eucharist in an unworthy manner to avoid bringing down wrath and judgment of God upon themselves (1 Cor 11:27).

Each man’s life hangs in the balance – The eternal lives of every man and woman and their children hang in the balance when they face Judgment at the time of death: each and every soul will end up in Heaven (with first perhaps some necessary time in Purgatory) or Hell.  Each man will face Jesus Christ alone in the Final Judgment. Men on trial in the temporal world, pleading their case before a worldly judge, almost always wear respectful clothes. The respect that a man should give the eternal Judge is infinitely more than any worldly judge, for He will decide each man’s eternal destiny.

Every man desperately needs the help of our King – Given the array of forces that Satan is continually assembling against men, each man desperately needs the supernatural graces of our Lord and King Jesus Christ. A man approaching Christ in the Mass should dress like he is beholding to Christ.

Being in Mass is a man’s greatest honor – Jesus Christ the Eternal King, in His full Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity is really and truly present in the tabernacle. When a man enters the parish, he is coming into the presence of Almighty God, the Greatest Man. The fact that sinful and puny men can actually come into the presence of the Greatest Man is an honor above every honor. Consider: if the President of the United States invited you to the Oval Office, it would be a great honor and you would certainly wear your best. Meeting the president is nothing compared to the divine honor of being in the presence of our King Jesus Christ.

Each man owes God everything – Each man is born and kept alive exclusively by God’s Grace. The fact that a man’s lungs breathe and his heart beats and his body converts food into flesh and blood is a gift from God. Every person in a man’s life, be his wife/girlfriend, children, family and friends, are all living breathing miracles given to a man by God. Christ recognized man’s need to give God thanks by establishing the Eucharist (literally means “thanksgiving”). If a man truly understands his dependence on God and wishes to give God thanksgiving, each man should at least dress like he means it.

Each man should instill the awe of Christ in his family and others – A man’s greatest responsibility is to lead his family to Christ so that they may receive the life-changing, miraculous Body and Blood of Christ. Children observe and pattern their father’s behaviors and a man should do his best to communicate an awe of the Eucharist to his children. Men who take the trouble to dress well, and to help their children dress well for Mass, send a clear sign that awe and reverence is required when approaching the King. Each man also has an obligation to his brothers to help lead them to Christ; dressing in one’s Sunday best will make an impact on other men.

Dress for the King

Stopping the hemorrhaging of Catholic men from the Church will require a broad and sustained effort enlivened by the Holy Spirit. But each man, in every parish, can do his part this Sunday by dressing like a man who knows he is coming into the Presence of the King.

Dress like a man who is awed by the Mass. Other men will notice, including Christ the King.

Matthew James Christoff is a Catholic convert. He is the founder of The New Emangelization Project which is committed to confront the Catholic “man-crisis” and to develop new ardor, methods and expressions for the re-evangelization of Catholic men. Matthew is also a co-founder of CatholicManNight, a parish-based men’s evangelization effort that has drawn thousands of Catholic men into Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, fellowship and lively discussion. Matthew lives in Minnesota with his beautiful bride (and childhood sweetheart); they have 4 adult children, 3 “in-law” children and two grandchildren. 

Matthew James Christoff

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Reader Interactions


  1. Zac Peirce says

    You nailed it on the head!! I find all of your points to be right on the mark and is something men really need to make an effort in.

  2. ardentshepherd says

    This is generational. Looking back through the years (when the same amount of men were leaving the church), men dressed in this manner more often. It was what they went to work in, how they went out to parties, how they relaxed on their day off. The quality of worship has very little to do with the clothes that one is wearing. Being adorned in dress clothes does not make men pay more attention. At least not to the mass. To draw a distinction between what is “nice enough” seems to be awfully judgmental and unnecessary. I’d rather see the church filled to the rafters with khakis and polos then see the church empty with suits and ties.

    • paxdomine says

      No, that is just simply how we justify the sin of sloth in our Modern era of narcissistic individualism and self-centered quest for importance in the pubic square where it down;t belong in God’s House to tell yourself that “everything is ok” when it is not. Save filling the church to the rafters with khakis’s and Polos for the mega church protestants who will all die off in hundred or more years when their splintering sends God finally into oblivion. The (Mother) Church, and The Holy See has lasted for over 2000 years with the high standards and uncompromising theology and dogma even with some vile corruption at times and the Devil’s sincere attempts to destroy Her. This superior than thou Modernist POV allows for all sorts of compromises to our accountability to The Lord and casual dress in God’s house is only one of them. Not dressing in your personal best is akin to destroying sacred music in a parish setting with candy pop settings of the Ordinaries & Propers of The Mass with tunes that are found on the radio in the lowest common denominator or dumbed down because “it’s easier for people to relate to and easier to sing along” (even though Mass is not sitting around a campfire but gathering around THE EUCHARIST). Casual dress is also akin to trading in your tithing to God for your maxing out your 401k contribution. Improper attire is once again comparable to receiving The Eucharist without examining your soul or going to Confession as you tell yourself “at least I am here sitting in the pew.” Check out “Seven Deadly Sins; Seven Lively Virtues” with Fr. Robert Barron. It will have you considering your suit or that nice dress the next time you go to mass.

      • AthenaC says

        “tunes that are found on the radio”

        Really? Where? Frankly, that would be an improvement over some of the stuff that is deemed to be music at my church.

        In any case, Mass is an athletic event for me, because I spend it wrangling a 2-year-old boy. So I dress appropriately – athletic shoes and jeans. Anything else would be unsafe.

        • Mr. Brown says

          “Unsafe”??? Yeah, so many of us were killed in church by our fathers’ suits and ties. sheesh, why not sweats?

    • Warren Postma says

      I wish I believed you. I’m starting to think that it does matter. That if we allow our brains to become any more Relaxed and Casual we may actually stop breathing. (Well, not that bad, but you get my drift.)

    • tbrec63387 says

      How we have so lowered the bar. Many, if not most churches allow casual attire and in some cases grubbies and it sure hasn’t attracted anyone to mass, has it?

      Yeah, I’d lobe to see every mass packed to the rafters but what I see happening are that some of the faithful, who go to mass on a regular basis are becoming annoyed with what they see.

      Will we ever see suites and ties by all the men? I highly doubt it but it sure would be nice to see dress slacks, button down shirts and dress shoes.

      I just completed a full your of CRHP and one of the days that we met, we discussed how we dress for church. Most of the guys are business professionals so I asked them how they would dress for an interview, or a fist meeting with clients. Obviously they said suite and tie. Then I asked them who was more important, God or a client, God or an employer? It was a rhetorical question but it got them thinking.

    • heymracosta says

      I have to respectfully disagree with you, ardentshepherd. Dressing in my “Sunday best” helps me shift into a different mental, emotional, and spiritual mode. Mass is the experience of heaven on earth. There is a reason the priest wears liturgical vestments in which to say Mass. We men should pick up the clue and dress in a manner that helps us focus on Mass.

    • frlacombeguild says

      Unfortunately, society has made the distinction on what is “nice enough.” Culturally speaking in North America, people are inclined to wear “their best” clothing to weddings, nights out, special events and so on. What more important event could there possibly be than witnessing the sacrifice of Christ on the alter, and then accepting this sacrifice in the form of the Eucharist? By dressing up, we are stating that this is important, and deserving of our best attention.

    • Jenn Erich says

      “Generational” is just another excuse. I am appalled at Mass by men (and women) dressed like toddlers ready for a picnic. I will never forget one Sunday standing behind a grown man in a thin white T-shirt that said “Jack Daniels” emblazoned on the back. It went swell with his ripped sloppy blue jeans. The writer is making an excellent point. If you can’t wear your “Sunday best” to spend an hour with the King of Kings, why are you going? It’s disrespectful to God and to others to dress like a slob at Mass. My husband and I enjoy wearing our very best clothing to Mass. Your last sentence implies a false choice. Men are now allowed to wear khakis and polos but they still do not attend Holy Mass. It’s not the clothing keeping them away, but it could very well be the clothing that keeps the next generation in the church. Dressing properly is a simple way to show God how important He is in your life.

  3. Alberto says

    As a Catholic man I feel insulted by this article and find it pathetic. Are we all really worried about what garments we’re wearing to worship Christ?? You think people in Christ’s time on earth really worried about what clothes they wear to seek forgiveness and salvation? Did Jesus Christ not spend time with the poorest of the poor, as well as the worst kind of people imaginable? This article oozes with elitist thoughts. I’m so glad we have Pope Francis to reiterate this and help us guide our efforts to serve the poor and marginalized.

    Oh and I’ll leave this here for you too: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25 NIV

    • Joseph says

      I agree Alberto. On FB, when this article appeared, I gave my two cents worth on this issue. I’m from Texas. Guess what most of us wear? Jeans, western shirts, boots and cowboy hat. One person replied that I could do better. Really? Did I just get called out on this? When I was raised by my grandparents since almost birth, they took me to church every sunday. I’d see people wearing some nice clothes. All it did was make me feel ashamed because I only had what I had. So I go dressed as a regular person. The Lord sees my heart and knows my thoughts. He never stops speaking to me or gracing me with His presence on Sunday any more than any other day. He loves me. How many would tell their children, “I don’t want to see you until you dress better?”. Yeah..I thought so. This subject is very touchy with us men. Because it attacks our individual image. This article is more likely to turn someone away, than to change someone’s mind.

      • Hermílio Carvalho Jr. says

        Hello, my brother in Christ. Although I’m replying to you 8 years after your commentary, it’s still a relevant issue today.

        God will never turn away his children, no matter what they dress or what they do. It is not shameful to wear rags to His presence… Because to the One who has everything, all we wear might as well be rags.

        However, imagine a young man attending his own wedding. He gives no importance to his dress, and decides instead to wear an old jacket and sodden pants. This is not correct, because it disrespects the entire meaning of marriage.

        The point is not to wear fine clothing to Mass. The point is wearing your best, with the full consciousness that you’re responsible for setting the example for the other men attending.

        It is good to be reconciled in Christ and present at the Eucharist. It is even better to do those things and set an example of conscientiousness to your brothers.

        Best wishes from Brazil.

    • Mr. Brown says

      Alberto, don’t take it so personally. The scripture you quote from in Matthew says “do not worry” – Worry is far different from choosing. To dress in your best clothes to visit and worship our Lord and Savior is not to worry about what you will wear, it’s choosing to wear appropriate attire.

  4. Peter says

    As a life-long Catholic who had approached the Mass with regularity but casualness for most of it, I can tell you my attitude and the attitudes of men around me started to change when started I dressing up for Mass. I had to take the time to prepare my appearance, and so later I started realizing the importance of preparing my heart and mind as well. I wear a suit to a wedding, a funeral, and formal social situations. I think our Lord deserves as much. Any less is self delusion. And it’s only a matter of time before other men’s wives start to ask their husbands, “How come you don’t look that nice at Mass?” It’s a sign of respect. True, God doesn’t care how we look, but we should.

  5. Bobby says

    Peter, well said. I too looked long and hard at the way I was dressing for Mass. No, my clothes weren’t dirty just…undignified, to be in the presence of my King. I began to dress in a suit coat and tie and before long other men began to dress up a bit more. Not all wore suit coats and ties, but they put on more appropriate clothes like dress shirts and slacks and nice leather shoes. I look at it this way. If we dress up for weddings, funerals, proms, audience with Queen Elizabeth etc…then we can also dress up for Mass. Another way of looking at it is this; God gave us His best, His own son’s life for ours. The least we can do is give Him our best in terms of attire. Yes, our best may not be as good as another person’s best, but it will still be our best.

  6. James Petrovich says

    Here in the U.S., we have the luxury, and I highly emphasize this term, of arguing for how to properly dress up for mass. Let’s recall that two-thirds of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world today live outside the West, many in some fairly rough neighborhoods. They don’t have the luxury of elegant vestments. If you read books of St. Francis of Assisi, this saintly man wore torn up garments to praise and glorify the King of Kings. My point is that although we should make every effort to dress up for mass, it’s not the end of the world and it’s certainly does not equate to a crisis.

    • MDelfino says

      I agree with you James. Why are we discussing what color to paint the guest room when the kitchen is on fire?! While marginally important, this is hardly the crisis we face. If the Power and Real Presence of the Holy Mass was understood and believed by more catholics, we wouldn’t be so focused on what anyone is wearing. And we would readily forgive that poor person who comes in just trying to make it to Mass/ get to Jesus. I pray that those who obsess over this issue just pray with more diligence and reverence and maybe someone will notice their actions and the result of their dedicated prayer life. Otherwise, why stop at a jacket and tie? Why not a tuxedo?

      • NicolasD says

        MDelfino, I’d like to point out that I absolutely agree with you about the need for more Catholics to understand the Eucharist. It surprises me that you disagree with the article! The example set by other Catholics goes a long way to showing the gravity of the Mass and the Eucharist to those who are lukewarm. Since we have such luxury in our country, we cannot excuse ourself from making at least a decent effort to take Mass seriously, and dress accordingly.
        I’d like to point out that I do think that a full-blown suit might be a bit much for every Mass, though. While perhaps another commenter has a point in saying that we shouldn’t go for empty numbers of Catholics, I think that if dressing nicely was really that huge a divider among people who were considering the Faith, then a polo is perfectly acceptable.
        What many people seem to be assuming is that this article is trying to say that appearance matters more than internal Faith. I don’t believe that is the point at all. The point is that there is a definite psychological link between dressing well and acting well. The average hoodlum doesn’t wear a suit; I’ve never seen a saint with his pants slung low on his thighs. The example and impression that we give to people is crucial. If dressing nicely doesn’t matter, why do you dress up for job interviews? If we’d dress up for an audience with the Pope, I think at least decent clothing is within reason for a Sunday Mass.

    • joelynch14 says

      I agree with James. I believe one should make every effort to dress up for Mass, but we should avoid legalistic views that everyone has to wear a certain thing. Personally, a dress shirt, dress pants and nice shoes are enough to help me approach the sacrament reverently, but for others it may be different. Dressing up helps us get in the right frame of mind, but of course it really comes down to how we prepare our souls.

  7. Tim says

    Seems to me it is a matter of dressing up. Even with suits and ties, if it is simply ‘just another day at the office’ wear, then how is this different? It would, I think, make women and children step up. It is so clear that if a father leads in this way, his family follows. But how about a special suit you only wear on Sundays, or maybe a special shirt and tie that are more dressy than the normal everyday ones? Liturgy, and the Lord’s Day, is set apart for God.

  8. David L. Gray (יוסף דוד)‎ says

    Well written article, but altogether you’re talking about the outside of vase right? The veneer. The pretense. You seem to presuppose that by virtue of a person having the pretense of reverence, that will somehow transfer or affect their interior disposition towards sacred space and holy things and persons.

    I’m not buying it. I’ve seen too many devils in suits and robes at Mass. Nor, am I under the impression that I can go put on a football uniform and become a great football player. Nor, am I buying that true manhood has anything to do with dressing European.

    I usually wear very nice and clean jeans to Mass because I’m coming from my job. In the winter I actually like wearing jeans always because I don’t use kneelers and don’t have to worry about getting my dress plants dirty on the knees. I also avoid dressing very nice for Mass, because I have a personal feeling that if I put on my best clothes, then I’m making the Mass about me, and I might be drawing attention away from the Cross if people are, as you say, “noticing” me.

    You might be right about some of us, but don’t cast a blanket judgement on all of us. Some of us are just simple men who are being true to our conscience and call.

    • Woody says

      Oh, David, I expected better of you. Your comment has disappointed me. And just to remind you, the diabolical wears all sorts of clothing.

        • Woody says

          I read your blog often. Your comment on what one wears to Mass doesn’t fit your articles you post on your blog. That was the disappointment. Wearing a coat and tie to Sunday Mass doesn’t seem like a big deal. I am surprised by many comments here on why guys don’t take the time to wear a coat and tie.

        • joelynch14 says

          David, I believe in the importance in dressing up, but I do agree that dressing up to the point of sticking out like a sore thumb can be a cause of distraction for people. I think we should dress up as much as we can without causing people to stare at us and take focus away from the altar. In the ideal world, everyone would be dressed up so this would be irrelevant, but that of course is not the case. There may be some that disagree with this, but this is just my opinion based on what I have experienced at Mass.

          • David L. Gray (יוסף דוד)‎ says

            Think is a very great point Joelyn, and I think the author is suggesting something similar – that all men should be dressing in jacket and tie – a type of uniformity. Mind you, my current parish is socially conservative and the liturgy is as about as traditional as you can get in a Diocesan Novus Ordo parish, but what I just learned about this parish is that most mean are wearing shorts and polo shirts to Mass this time of the year. So I’m sticking out wearing pants and a collar shirt, but I don’t think I’m distracting yet. Sad and funny . . . .

  9. john spizziri says

    anyone who does not dress when he meets The King, will seem to lack respect for Him. We all say, “I don’t because…” and follow it with a selfish reason. The way you present yourselves to others is a reflection on how much you respect them. By the way, I have two daughters with 7 grandchildren, all under the age of nine- and they ALL dress to the nines for The King.

  10. Jeri-Lynn Woods says

    I totally agree with Mr. Christoff that clothes at Mass are important. Yes, it’s true that what really counts is what is in our hearts… but what we bother to put on our outsides not only is a reflection of what we are inside, but it actually has a concrete effect on how we feel and behave.
    I recently wrote a home-business blog post called “Dress Like You Mean It”, discussing this very subject as it applies to someone who has an at-home, online business: “I found that the simple act of wearing “serious” clothes for my own business was a big help in overcoming a problem I’ve been faced with for a while: taking my own business seriously. Even if I don’t happen to have a face-to-face meeting with a client on a given day, dressing for business helps me to keep my mindset focused on business.”
    The same principle applies even more at Mass. (By the way, as a woman I am a definite supporter of women dressing like LADIES for Mass – which applies also to those women who, like myself, wear slacks to Mass. It’s still possible to take care and look appropriate and, yes, ladylike.)

  11. CB says

    This article is spot on!!! Its a sign of respect. If you would dress well and appropriately to go meet the Queen of England or for a hot date, then surely you can dress well to go to Mass and worship our Creator! And despite all the modern excuses, it DOES matter because how you present yourself is a direct reflection on who you are and what is important to you. This is especially true for the most important thing on earth–the Mass.
    A little tip..I often have a change of casual clothes in the car if I have other things planned later…its not hard people. As a young woman, dressing like a lady for Mass is important. The same applies for men. All too often, I have been so put off by guys rocking up to Mass in shorts and a tshirt. Have a little more respect for God and you will find that you will have more respect for yourself.

  12. Joe Rodriguez says

    I understand the underlying point and I agree, but in Matthew 22:11-14 I believe that the parable was speaking in reference to being clothed in the garment of righteousness not actual clothing.

  13. Jim Davis says

    Here is an easy proof to summarize this article:

    1. Would you wear a suit and tie to an important interview? Yes
    2. Is God more important than any interview? Yes
    3. Therefore, wear a suit to church where you are in the presence of God.

  14. Stephen Joseph Hill says

    What do you suggest one wears to daily Mass? For Sundays, I always wear a suit with tie (unless I am serving at the altar, in which case I walk in with said suit and tie and then change into a cassock and surplice). For daily Mass, however, I typically wear khakis or blue pants with a button up shirt. Do you think we should wear a shirt and tie to daily Mass as well?