A Proverbs Wife

Proper Attire for Worship

Is there a proper attire for worship? Are some things inappropriate?

What are your thoughts on wearing flip flops, jeans, mini’s, tanks, form fitting clothes or just plain casual clothing to church?

Do you think that it is appropriate? If so why. If not why not.

Let’s look at the Bible. What does the Bible have to say about it?

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12 thoughts on “Proper Attire for Worship

  1. I think the whole dress code expectation keeps many people away from church. Worrying about what your wearing should not be part of the spiritual experience of getting closer to God.

    When we were looking for a new church a few years ago we went to several services at different churches and chose the one we felt most drawn to which just happened to be the one where the congregation was dressed in casual everyday clothes not fancy “sunday clothes.” They were also involved in a lot more community outreach programs than some of the other formally dressed congregations and that was more important to us.

    I also remember as a child, not having a lot of money to buy fancy dress clothes for church so we didn’t attend services very often. My mom even once apologized to a priest for “not dressing up” for church. I still remember him telling her that God welcomes us in any clothing and does not judge us by appearances, but what is in our hearts. I sure wish society in general would follow that rule so people wouldn’t feel compelled to impress each other constantly with new clothes, fancy cars and houses they can’t afford.


  2. Jessica Bish says:

    I think of modesty more than dressing up or dressing down. My pastors wife made a comment this week about – look at what areas have skin showing – would you be comfortable having a man touch you there (not your husband). Because he may not be touching you with his hands but he is with his eyes…. very eye-opening.


    The Proverbs Wife Reply:

    @Jessica Bish,

    Thanks Jessica…this is a great to explain the effects of modesty and how we as women should view our part. Even if you don’t SEE men looking at you believe me they are. My SIL did a test where she sent her daughter out ahead of her as she walked to school one day. As her daughter walked by she observed how many men gawked at her teenage daughter after she passed them by.

    The same is true for most women. We don’t see the stares that come after we have turned away or walked past a man.

    Great comment.


  3. Show respect to the God who created you. Dress modestly at all times, not just in church. Don’t wear expensive clothes and bedeck yourself with jewelry. By doing this, you are drawing attention to yourself and not giving the glory to God. Common sense.


  4. ~ Angi :) says:

    Hm. This can be looked at a number of ways. Primarily, worship is an internal heart matter, so concern over the condition of the heart should come first. Are we walking in repentance? And therefore, sanctification, and faith for the righteousness of Christ being imputed to us? Do we have an expression of gratitude and thankfulness within?

    But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:4

    It will be the content of our heart that will produce the external expression. Does that external expression have to be in the form of what our society calls “Sunday Best”? Should that external expression be revealed in skimpy clothing?

    Somewhere in the middle there is a beautiful distinction between modesty and comfort; modesty and looking good/feeling good.

    May the Holy Spirit so deal with our heart that we, in return, express Him, not ourselves, externally.


  5. AHighandNobleCalling says:

    I think of it like this: If I were going to meet someone important, say the President, I would dress for the occasion.

    Doesn’t the most important One, the King of Kings, deserve better?

    It is also in our hearts. Are we dressing to impress people, or are we revering God?


  6. I grew up in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) denomination, where dressing has been an issue for years. My parents were taught from the saints of the early years of the church and those teachings included no pants, no makeup, etc. As times have changed, so has the general subject in the COGIC churches. Many wear makeup and pants. I grew up getting formally dressed for church and I and my family still do dress that way, but our church has people who dress up and those who dress down and those who fall in between. I think that’s the way it should be, but just be modest in what is done. I don’t feel comfortable wearing flip flops to church, although that’s almost all I wear at home and to the store. I grew up wearing pantyhose all the time, but now I just wear them on Sundays. I think the important thing is modesty. So many men are easily tempted by women in low cut tops and dresses, short skirts and too tight outfits. Those are items that I feel should be left at home. I’m overly girly (where the diva comes in) and I enjoy dressing up. Especially when it comes to church, because we are part of “royalty”!!!


  7. Milehimama says:

    I also wanted to note, that most of the churches I have attended have a dress code. (If you aren’t up to code, they won’t keep you out, it’s just a published standard.)

    The codes are generally similar, and say no shorts, sports clothes, denim, flip flops, or sleeveless shirts.

    I think Matt 22:1-14 is an applicable verse.


  8. Anonymous says:

    I don't like to wear anything too casual, & I expect my children to follow suit. Pants are fine, dresses or skirts are preferred. Sleeveless is okay, spaghetti straps are not. Clean shoes (better flip-flops are fine in the summertime), groomed hair, etc. The idea of too much skin doesn't seem appropriate for the sanctuary. These are our expectations of dress for worship. Surely there will be some of your readers who dress more formally, & those who feel comfortable dressing down a bit. I do not have Biblical support for any of my choices, as I've outlined here. I guess it's more by 'feel'. Some clothing just says, "I'm going to scoot around town, I have errands to run." Sometimes it says, "I'm headed out to the garden, I have to get this compost spread out." And sometimes it says, "I'm going to a house of worship, & I want to try to look my best for God, the same as if I were visiting a dear friend, or relative I haven't seen in a while."

    I know that for some time now, people have chosen to dress more casually, & behave more casually, in an effort to prove that they're not uptight or nervous, that they hold an equitable view of all people & all situations. I think this is a mistake, & backward thinking, to be honest. But, I can only be responsible for myself & my children, & I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out an individual person's motives for the outfit he or she chose on a given Sunday. I just try to maintain a feeling of generosity about the whole thing, even if I don't like it.



  9. Milehimama says:

    The argument is made, that God doesn’t care what we wear, He loves us anyway.

    But one way WE can show Him love is by making an effort.

    Our utmost, for His Highest, as it were.

    I cover my head during public worship, as well, even though it is not a requirement.


  10. It’s funny, my husband and I just discussed this last night. I typically dress nicer, he typically wears shorts. My mom never let us wear shorts to church (jeans were fine, but not shorts) and I was explaining why. I pointed out that when his uncle gets married this month, he won’t wear shorts to that out of respect for his uncle and fiancee.

    If we respect our friends and family too much to wear jeans and flip-flops to their wedding, don’t we owe at least that much repsect to God?


  11. Oh, perhaps I should have added, even though my comment was already really long…That flip flops are my dress shoes 🙂 I don’t wear anything cruddy looking to church, though. I think it is showing respect to dress up for serving the Lord.


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