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How to Dress for Church?

What to wear to Church?

Wearing your gym outfit or a dress meant for a party to the Church should be a strict no-no. It's a place of worship, and you should be suitably dressed when in reverence. Typically subtle and a bit conservative – your dress for the Sunday mass should be more formal. Not your beach dresses, minis, shorts, halters, tanks, or sweatpants.

But it does not mean that your attire has to be old-fashioned or uncomfortable. Comfort is one of the primary aspects that you should consider when choosing a dress to attend Church. However, you wouldn’t want your relationship with God to appear as casual; hence, anything that is too informal and distracting should be avoided.

The other aspect of choosing a costume for Sunday is to wear something that gives you good and positive vibes and, at the same time, is appropriate for the congregation. After all, you’ll want to go all out and participate in the services openly – that is why you must wear something that makes you comfortable and feels good.

The Dress Code for Church – What to Wear & What Not to Wear?

Generally speaking, there is no official set dress code for Church. However, your specific Church might have some dos and don’ts, and you should be aware of them.

Even if the so-called ‘dress code’ is not mentioned anywhere, you are still expected to follow certain basic dressing prerequisites for the Sunday service or otherwise.

Following are some of the universally-accepted dos and don’ts of the attire:

  • Don’t wear anything that is too revealing.
  • Wearing tees with a brand or team logo are not acceptable.
  • T-shirts bearing offensive words and textual content should not be worn.
  • Stylish hats are okay to wear but not baseball caps.
  • Avoid wearing pointed and very high-heeled shoes. The best choices are either kitten heels or flats.
  • Pants are fine but avoid wearing skin-tight leggings and jeans.
  • When it comes to accessories, keep things simple. A pair of studs is a perfect choice.
  • When wearing skirts, choose ones that are at least knee-length or ankle-length. Avoid wearing figure-hugging pencil skirts.
  • Wear a garment that covers your shoulders. If the costume is off-shoulders and has a low-cut neckline or spaghetti straps, try to cover it with a blazer, sweater, or a top that reveals the revealing part.
  • Choose feminine prints and patterns, more on the lines of floral designs.
  • Avoid wearing animal prints or sheer material.
  • The temperature inside most Churches in western countries is pretty cool. Therefore, carry a cardigan or a jacket, just in case.

The bottom line is that you should be dressed modestly when at the place of worship.  You need to maintain the decorum of the place. It is not a place where you meet friends and relatives and chat. Or, this is not the place where you come prepared to attract a rich man for marriage. You could of course do that but not inside the Church, especially at a Sunday service, funeral service, or a congregation.

Catholic Church Dress Code

There is no formally written ‘Dress Code’ in a Catholic Church. It pertains to all kinds of functions conducted in a Church, be it the Holy Mass, a Christian marriage function, a funeral, or a Baptism.

However, there’s an unwritten code that is accepted by one and all. In the Lord's presence, worshippers are expected to be properly dressed. Most Catholic Churches mention a dress code for women on their website.

Even if you are keen to meet a like-minded Christian single for dating, steer clear from dressing overtly or seductively in the Holy house of God. You can always go online to meet a date with similar religious beliefs as yours.

Believers quote the Parable of Jesus from the Holy Bible, where a man attending a wedding was improperly dressed and was thrown into the darkness. It figuratively meant ‘thrown into Hell [Mt. 22:11-14].

Some of the basic guidelines of the dressing standards for attending a service in the House of God are:

A. General Rules

  • Women and men must wear solemn outfits appropriate for the sacred celebrations.
  • Their attire should be neat and clean and, most of all, decent.
  • Casual dresses are inappropriate.
  • Logos related to sports on the dress is not acceptable.

B. Rules specific to women

  • Women are expected to cover their heads using a Chapel veil or mantillas. This is a pretty common dress code, and women have worn it for over 2,000 years.
  • Skirts and dresses are permitted that are at least knee-long. The knees should be covered while standing or sitting.
  • Wearing low-cut, sleeveless, tight-fitting shorts, leggings, slacks, tank tops, etc., is considered inappropriate.
  • Skirts and dresses should not have slits or long cuts at the side.
  • Spaghetti straps are not allowed.
  • Plunging necklines, flashy clothes, beach wear, and very bright colors are not permitted.
  • See-through and transparent garments are not permitted.
  • Flashy piercings and accessories are impermissible.

How to Dress for Church in Winter?

Since it is cold, you need to take care to protect yourself from the chill in the air. These are some of the choicest options for winter:

  • Long skirts over tights or leggings with a long sleeve top amply cover you to protect you from the cold. It is perfectly tuned with the dress code of the Church too. You can choose from a swing skirt to pleated or midi skirts. And, instead of a top, you can wear a sweater too.
  • Long soft sweater dresses are good to go with or without a belt.
  • Ankle boots or tall knee-length boots are fine.
  • The classical long-sleeved maxi is a good choice.
  • Floor-length woolen frocks are perfect too.
  • Long overcoats and jackets with oversized knitwear to protect the neck and chest region should be preferred.
  • A woolen skirt-top suit is a good choice during the cold season.

How to Dress for Church in Summer?

When the mercury rises, you need to change your wardrobe and your attire to attend the Holy Mass or Sunday congregation. These are some of the options to try:

  • A pleated skirt and a light all-purpose blazer over a Cami top.
  • A short-sleeved knee-length dress
  • Light-colored pants with crochet tops and a soft blazer on the top
  • A white maxi dress with kitten heels and a white hat
  • A gingham dress with platform espadrilles
  • A formal pantsuit
  • A printed yellow flower shirt with a beige skirt with a belt
  • Slim-fit trousers with a cotton shirt
  • A Bohemian attire

What to Wear to a Church for a Wedding?

A wedding in the Holy place means that you need to respect the religious connotations of the Church. Most Church weddings are semi-formal or formal occasions. Therefore, you need to find the right balance between casual and formal to dress up for a wedding at the Church.

Sometimes, the bride and groom specify the dress code on the invitation card to match a pre-decided theme. That makes things easier as you know what to wear and what not to.

If not mentioned, it is better to stick to neutral tones. Dark colors like black or grey are fine for an evening wedding but avoid very bright colors like neon, etc. Ensure that the hem and neckline are modest.

For women, the best choice for the event is an elegant cocktail dress paired with high heels and accessorized with a pearl neckpiece and ear studs. Carry a shawl or a scarf if your attire is a bit revealing or it is an off-shoulder top. You can wear smart skirts paired with blouses and jackets. You can also wear pantsuits, formal ones.

Avoid wearing short skirts, dresses, or any other attire that exposes your body parts. Also, be careful to select the color as usually white, all-red, metallic, and bold colors; all-black colors are considered inappropriate for the event. You should also not twin with the bride, her mother, or the bridal party members as far as the color of your dress is concerned.

Also, the not-to-wear list includes donning sportswear, swimwear, denim, tees, sweatshirts, or clothes with holes or that are ripped in places.

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What to Wear to a Church on Sunday?

For Sunday Mass, make sure to wear dresses that are comfortable and cover your knees when sitting in the pew. A jersey, a high neckline dress, or a blouse paired with a smart pleated skirt or pants looks good and decent.

A button-down jacket attire is ideal for winter. You can also take a cashmere cardigan over your blouse to avoid the chill. For summer, you can wear a cotton shirt dress with long sleeves, or a pair of well-tailored pants, matched with a pair of closed-toe shoes. A cropped, long-sleeved pullover or a turtleneck blouse over a floral-printed midi skirt for the hot season and an added trench coat during the winter look perfect too.

What to Wear to a Church for a Funeral?

The color best suited for the occasion is black or any other sober color like brown or blue. Skirt suits, formal pants, trousers paired with a shirt, a blouse, or a pantsuit are the most appropriate choices for women.

Avoid jeans and tight leggings. Apply as little makeup as possible and keep your accessories to a minimum.

Shoes should either be pumps or flats. Sandals and open-toed shoes are also good to go. Try not to apply perfume; if you have to, stay clear of strong scents.


The bottom line is to keep it all simple, modest, and in line with the religious undertones while dressing for the Church. If your Church mentions a specific dress code, make sure that you adhere to it. It is advisable to check the website of the particular Church before you choose your attire.