Casual, casual

No matter where you are, no matter the occasion, casual dress – slovenly in my view- seems to be the goal.

Back in olden days when I went to my grandparents house for a holiday every man wore a jacket and tie, it was part of making the holiday special. Us kids knew we were grown up when we could wear a clip on tie or bow tie.

circa 1952

The same was true for attending church, weddings and funerals. Was it all necessary? Not in the strict sense of the word, but it was a sign of respect, the fact that some people made it an opportunity to show off notwithstanding. And as I said, it made the occasion special.

Yesterday I watched a streaming of my granddaughters confirmation- COVID kept us from attending- a pretty big deal for Catholics. Each child approached the priest with a chaperone. I am still in shock at the way some of them were dressed – if you want to call it that.

Tee shirts, jeans, sneakers. A sport shirt with the tails hanging over a pair of shorts, etc. No respect given to what is supposed to be a solemn occasion.

Exactly what is meaningful and important these days? Some may argue that the dress is not important, the fact people attend church, other ceremonies is what is important. To that I say the time put into the occasion, the dress, is a reflection of attitude and respect.

If you run off to an important ceremony- important to the people involved at least – with no more effort than heading to a ball game or bar-be-que, or washing your car, you really don’t care – and it shows – at least to those of us who have been around for awhile.


  1. I agree completely. This reminded me of a reversed scenario years ago when I attended a performance by George Winston at a Performing Arts Center. My husband and I dressed up as did most of the audience that night. I had never seen Mr. Winston perform but had listened to his masterful piano recordings. Imagine my surprise when he appeared on stage in stocking feet, casually dressed more like a hippy than the tuxedo clad pianist I was expecting! Respectful dressing goes both ways.


  2. You are a person with many blessings if this is in the top 100 things about the world that bothers you. If a family gathers together, I am a happy camper Love your blog, but I am not with you on this point.


  3. How about, why don’t the men and older boys attending these events shave their faces? The scruff look, IMHO, shows a lack of respect too. I just saw some wedding photos, the groom hadn’t shaved in three or four days…..what’s that about anyway?


  4. It is just not church, the same happened in businesses. I don’t know if it was the price of clothing (suits, dresses) or the lawsuits over dress code policies made many companies just started providing uniforms or company shirts with logos.

    When did over priced ripped jeans displaced quality dress clothes?

    I used to take suits and ties when on vacation but kind of stopped that when the airlines started charging per bag or going overweight. In fact this past spring I was in New Orleans and had dinner at a white table restaurant on Bourbon St., unbeknown to us when we entered. There was no signs. It was 90 degrees and i was wearing shorts. We were going to leave and go to our hotel and change since it was only a block away and we drove so I had the suit and tie with us. But instead they sat us in the bar with other couples dress for the heat. I would have gladly changed for it was worth it but in the end, why?. They took our money and the bar was just as nice.

    Maybe business have learned not to judge people by their covers. Some not well dress people are worth a lot of money. Maybe clothes no longer make the man.


  5. Dick,

    I agree. I attend Mass on Saturday evenings. I wear a jacket, dress shirt and slacks. Lately I have dispensed with the tie. It is amazing how many of the congregates wear shorts, jeans, tee shirts, etc.

    Chris K

    Sent from my iPhone



  6. According to a 2021 report, “… Church membership in 2020 dropped to 47% of the more than 6,100 respondents to a Gallup Poll. It is the first time since the polling firm started measuring church membership in 1937 that a minority of adults said they belonged to a formal religious institution. Back then, in the midst of the Great Depression, 73% of adults said they belonged to a church. Over the next six decades, membership levels remained steady at about 70% before a measured decline began. The number of nonchurch members continues a downward trend that began at the turn of the 21st century. …”

    You have to think church pastoral and lay staff have noticed, are concerned. Do they still wear uniforms in Catholic schools? The other likely issue here may be economic status. Has church membership become more concentrated among those with less income (immigration) or has the decline become more pronounced among the higher income (well educated)?

    Interestingly, in my church, people, including children, tend to go only so low as “business casual”. No one needs to suggest certain attaire is inappropriate. The few times I’ve noticed it, it tends to be high school students.


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