Apparently, people have forgotten how to dress appropriately. We were raised that you dress for the occasion. For example, going out to dinner a play, the orchestra or fine dining restaurant meant a dress or skirt, blouse or sweater and dress shoes. Going to church meant dressing up, because in the words of my mother, “if you can’t dress up for God, who can you?” Holidays at a relative’s house meant wearing our dress cloths as well. After college when I began interviewing for jobs there were very specific rules for what to wear to a first interview, second interview. As well, there were rules about what NOT to wear.
Dressing appropriately does not mean you have to be uncomfortable, it simply means you need to dress for the occasion in an appropriate way according to what you will be doing and the people with whom you will be. Failure to teach our children this is as atrocious as not teaching them table manners or to respect authority.
What happened to taking pride in how we look? What happened to taking time to plan our outfit for a special occasion or outing?
Recently, on a Saturday evening we went to the ballet at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. My husband wore slacks, collared shirt and jacket. I wore black dress slacks and a dressy sweater. There was a group of girls sitting two rows in front of us all dressed in skirts and sweaters. It was obvious that their ballet instructor had brought them and had “coached” them on behavior and what they should expect. In contrast, I saw a woman with her two daughters wearing dingy sneakers, Capri pants and t-shirts.
Before you call me a snob for pointing out that the mother and daughters were not dressed appropriately, read on. Do you think they were comfortable among others who were dressed up? It does not take a lot of money to dress up a little more than Capri pants and sneakers — even to put them in Walmart brand dress cloths.
I’ve heard preachers explain from the pulpit while wearing cargo pants and sandals that “ties just weren’t them.” That’s fine, but could you at least wear long pants and a collared shirt? You want to present yourself as a credible source of information. I’m not sure I can take someone in cut-offs seriously when he is trying to lead me to salvation. Tell the congregation (especially those checking church out for the first time) that you are a believable. Isn’t worship time our gift of ourselves to God? Why wouldn’t we want to look our best?
Ok, while I’m on the subject let’s talk about the “baggy pant syndrome” that so many of our teens are lost in. We were in the park watching some kids play ball while on the other basketball court older boys were playing a shirts and skins pick-up game. The whole time he was playing this one guy was struggling to run, be ready for the ball, shoot and hold his pants up. I was scared that I was going to learn more about this boy than I needed to know. Besides how fun was that for him to not just be able to run and enjoy the game?
Let me encourage you to take a look at yourself. You are a precious child of God, a special person. Take pride in looking your best and presenting yourself appropriately. If you are a parent, teach your children what it means to dress and present themselves with pride and confidence. How we wear our cloths says a lot about how we feel about ourselves.
What do you think?
All the best,
P.S. — I also believe appropriate dress for a day off at home or running errands is sweats, no make-up and hair in a pony tail.