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Sunday Clothes

I don’t remember much about it really.  My Grandma and Grandpa liked to take me on trips when I was little.  Sometimes it was for me.  One I remember was driving into the mountains, which was much different than driving in the Great Smoky Mountains now.  There were many more panhandling bears back then.

This time, though, it wasn’t a fun trip for me.  Instead, it was to visit my Grandma’s Aunt Violet.  She lived in Oak Ridge, which wasn’t much of a secret city any more, at least it hadn’t been for the past twenty-five years or so.  No, this visit was for them to visit with Aunt Violet and to show me off.

My mom dressed me up the way she wanted.  I’m sure the clothes were fine, but when my Grandma arrived it wasn’t good enough for her.  I can imagine that I pitched some sort of fit when I had to change.

I mean who really wants to wear their Sunday clothes on Saturday?


My dad was one the first I knew of who did it.  Maybe the first.  Was he a trend setter?  Absolutely not.  Ahead of his time?  No way.  No, he was just a guy who did what he wanted when he wanted.

I don’t remember exactly when he began doing it, but if you pressed me I would say the early 80’s.  I didn’t realize the significance of it until much later.

He began wearing jeans 100% of the time.

He wore jeans to work and he wore jeans to church.  Granted, his church jeans weren’t his work jeans.  They were his newer jeans, not faded and worn.  And let me tell you, you wouldn’t have wanted to wear his jeans.  He took them to the cleaners to have them starched with a crease just like dress pants.

He wore his Sunday clothes, basically, on a daily basis.


I still remember it like it was yesterday.  It was the 70’s, you know back before the world lost its mind.  At least that’s probably what some people would say while looking back, though I’m sure at the time plenty of people thought the world was going to hell in a handbasket.

The new church, the one that I had helped build by buying a savings bond, wasn’t very old, maybe we had been in it for two or three years.  It wouldn’t be long before entered the 80’s, but Jimmy Carter was still president.

It was Sunday night and I was missing The Wonderful World of Disney.  The door opened and there was almost an audible gasp as she walked in.

She was the crazy lady of the church.  The one all of the proper ladies talked about.  Not that she was a loose woman or a hussie, or some of the other names you might hear about a woman.  No, she was just a woman who refused to do what all of the other women wanted her to do.

She was wearing pants.

I know that seems quaint, but it just wasn’t done back then.  Women wore proper clothes to church.  They wore dresses.  They wore their Sunday clothes.


Today in my church, it’s come as you are.  If you want to wear dressier clothes, that’s fine.  If you want to wear jeans, it’s all good.  Some even wear shorts.

Granted, even for me, it’s hard to adjust to some clothes.  It seems that, even when it’s relaxed, we still have our own definitions of what Sunday clothes are.

I just wonder if we who go to church on Sunday wear our Sunday clothes all week long?

Does your church have a “dress code”?  Are wearing your “Sunday clothes” the rest of the days of the week?

  1. February 17, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Far too many people still get hung upon the externals – as if wearing Armani or Brooks Brothers on the outside will change the character of the person wearing them – but God is not deceived by externals.

  2. February 17, 2014 at 5:24 am

    We have no dress code. I wear jeans to preach in. I wear jeans all week long. Sometimes i wear khakis to preach in. Depends on my mood. We have all sorts of dress BUT NO TIES! Very very few dresses and when they are worn they are usually casual type. I am much more concerned with those who wear their faith on Sunday but not the rest of the week.

  3. February 17, 2014 at 9:54 am

    We do have an unofficial dress code. No one wears dress clothes. It’s pretty casual. Anyone wearing a tie would feel like they were breaking the dress code even though we wouldn’t judge them.

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