Sunday best and then some

I was perusing the mormon.org website that has the FAQ where real Mormons can answer the questions. One of the questions asked what Mormons wear to Church and someone responded with the answer of “Sunday best, which is at least a white shirt and dress pants for men.”

“At least?” I asked myself. You mean, you can dress up more than just a white shirt, tie, dress pants, and nice shoes for men? This got me thinking – we complain a lot when people don’t come dressed enough – no tie for twelve year old rebellious deacons, flip-flops and t-shirts for women. But how would the average Mormon react if someone was over-dressed for the occasion – came in a tuxedo every Sunday? Totally out-dressing the members every time, looking handsome and dapper in his tuxedo? Would members grumble? Wonder if that man is being inappropriate?

I absolutely love this guy's tie. The girl, however, is just not dressed appropriately for Church, amirite?

I absolutely love this guy's tie. The girl, however, is just not dressed appropriately for Church, amirite?

I don’t think a man wearing a tuxedo every day will cause more of a stir than, say, a man wearing cowboy boots, bolo ties, or sandals (all I have seen). I know that in my old childhood ward, it was custom for the young men and women to come in their prom getup for Church the Sunday after. But I’ve yet to meet someone who comes to worship chronically over-dressed for the, uh, worshipful occasion. It’s interesting to turn the question on its head. I think a tuxedo-wearing saint will give other saints at least some pause, and in some way, it’s nice to know that you can still definitely be over-dressed for Church in our culture that sometimes obsesses over why someone didn’t wear a tie for worship services.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Sunday best and then some

  1. dteeps

    Personally, I would feel that someone who regularly overdresses for Church would be a little hypocritical – dressing up to show off.
    I guess it all comes down to WHY a person wears what they wear. If they wear flipflops because that’s all the shoes they own, not a problem. If they wear flipflops because they’re trying to show off their cute little toes, or because they’re too lazy or whatever to put on socks and shoes – that’s different.
    If someone dresses up with a white shirt and tie because that’s how they show God that they respect him enough to put on their “Sunday Best” for him, great. But if they wear their $1000 suit with the hand-sewn tie made out of gold. That’s a bit excessive, because it appears like they are spending too much on their outward appearance.

  2. Ted

    But in a way, isn’t that what we’re taught to do? To dress in our very best? And if the guy’s very best is a tuxedo and a hand-sewn tie made out of gold, shouldn’t he? After all, that’s our same justification for the guy who comes in flip flops because it’s all he owns.

    I admit there’s something unnerving/uncomfortable about someone who would dress like that for church, but…why? I would wonder if he’s showing off and being hypocritical, but that’s too similar to judging someone who comes to church in sandals.

  3. justjillsblog

    Oh, it’s all intent. And only God knows your true intent. Everything else is really just a question of how others will judge you. Seems to be a common thread in almost all issues of the church. If you wear a gold suit because you want to wear your very best for God, I’m sure God doesn’t mind. Hell, if you wear flip flops to show off your cute toes, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t mind that either.

    Tuxes aside, it’d be funnier to see girls over dress. Imagine a woman walking from Relief Society to Sacrament meeting in this huge poofy prom dress! Maybe I just think that’s so funny because the hallways in our building are so narrow.

    But anyway, flip your flipping on its head and consider wearing jeans to church. Other religions do it. If I am showing up with pure intent to worship, but just don’t want to wear pantyhose for crying out loud, I wish I wouldn’t be judged for wearing jeans. But, I see the point in dressing nice, so I’m not going to argue over it. I would just love it if we didn’t hafta.

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