Monday, June 2, 2008

The Etiquette of Summer Dressing

It is that time of year again... the time when many people use the sun as an excuse to strip to as little as they can wear and not be totally nude, while I, on the other hand, have to don my full coat of mail and suit of armor to go into battle in defence of modesty. You might wonder why I go to all the trouble, but if you have ever tried to explain modesty to someone, who is not modest, you will find that it becomes a hugely offensive subject.

I have noticed that the first issue coming up this year (besides hemlines) is immodesty at church.
As much as it is rude to dress skimpily no matter the season, or place, it is doubly extra rude to dress immodestly at church. That includes being fully covered, but wearing something see-through, letting your underwear or straps show from underneath your garment, showing bare skin when you bend over, or dressing in garments that are too tight, or so loose that they fall off. Not too tight, not too low, not to short, and I will add not outrageous. This applies to men as well as women, and children. Wearing a t-shirt with a beer commercial or heavy metal rock group logo to church should not be done.

Let's get to some recent inquiries. By the way, if any of you in the future want a personal answer to questions, I charge a dollar for every ten words of advice, via paypal.

"dear Etiquette Lady,
I don't think that if I went to church with my baggy pants, that God would care. If God doesn't care, nor should anyone else. -A Fellow You Know"

Dear A Fellow,

If you find yourself at church and your pants are falling down from your waist, discreetly pull them up and hold them up until you get home. While you are at it, you might want to say a little prayer of forgiveness for forgetting to wear a belt to church. In the Lord's sanctuary, you are there to worship with your fellow saints, who are supposed to be thinking about the Fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of the loom. They have better things to think about than your underwear.

"Dear Etiquette Lady,
I can wear what I want to church, no one can make rules for me. I think it is nobody's business what I wear to church." -Miss Crane Keye

Dear Miss Crane Keye,

Isn't it interesting that many places of employment have a strict dress code; and schools, from grade schools to higher institutes of learning, are imposing a dress code on students? For instance, you are most likely not allowed to wear anything blatantly immodest to your school classes. I think church would be considered more important than school, wouldn't you? One is for your earthly education, and the other is to save your soul. Seems to me that you can do the math on that one and figure out how you should be behaving in dress and conduct in the Lord's presence and at His table.

"Dear Miss Etiquette,
This is a free country. I think that you can dress any way you want, and I can dress any way I want, wherever and whenever I want. I do not condemn your style of dressing, and so I expect the same respect from you for mine. And aren't Christians supposed to love everyone, even their enemies? -Anonymous"

"dear Etiquette Lady,
I think that people that think bad thoughts when they look at me or the way I am dressed have filthy minds, and that that is their problem. I can't stop people's filthy minds, they have to. It is their responsibility.
-Please keep my name Anonymous."

Dear Mr. and Miss Anonymous,
First of all, it sounds like you are acquainted quite well with the arguments for modesty, and that you are determined to do what you want anyway. Therefore you will agree with nothing I say. However, you sought a reply, so I will make one.

I will address Anonymous #1 first:
Thank you for allowing me the privilege of wearing what I want in this free country! It is a country rich in beautiful scenery, and I am privileged to share this country with many many others. My concern is that I dress in such as way as not to ruin the view. Or make people think that they stepped into a nut house or nudist colony. Not only that, but I want to appear decent in front of the nations' little children. Furthermore, I want to help people to keep their minds clean, since, according to Anonymous #2, people may have a problem with that. And don't we want to help people with problems in this country? And I am here to help the immodest dress problem.
I consider it part of Politeness to dress modestly. I wonder if people who dress immodestly consider it polite or rude of them to do so?
And since 'tis not my place to condemn anyone, and I certainly have not been appointed to do so, I will happily spare you any pain on that score and instead take it out on your wardrobe. We are supposed to love the person, but not the thing that they are doing wrong. And I think that dressing immodestly is wrong. Is it not then loving to tell people that wearing revealing clothing is a problem?
Though people may think me judgemental, I think that they should be more judgmental themselves. When you look into your closet this summer, folks, please make a better judgement about what to wear, and try to cover up your underwear. Thank you.
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