Every congregation has their own dress code, whether it’s stated explicitly or everyone just somehow knows what level of formality is expected. If you have been to the church you’re going to before, there’s no problem: simply dress like everyone else did. However, if it is an unfamiliar church and you’re apprehensive about what to wear, here are some failsafe tips on dressing appropriately.
You’re entering a place of worship which is likely populated by conservative types, so dress accordingly. Don’t wear anything sloppy such as trackpants or a top with this morning’s cereal spilled down the front. Slogan T-shirts, beanies and pants worn low so that your underwear can be seen are never a good look, but are completely inappropriate for a religious setting.
Wear full length pants. Jeans are acceptable in most establishments, but do wear a leather belt.
A button down shirt is a safe choice, although usually any fitted long-sleeved top will do. Tee shirts are too informal for most churches, so don’t attempt to wear one until you have been there and know it’s the done thing.
Dark coloured, closed toe leather shoes are the most conservative footwear choice.
Your outfit should be perfectly ironed and free of any distractions such as stains or stray lint.
How religious is the church?
As a rule of thumb, the more conservative and religious the church, the more formal you have to dress. If you’re going to an Orthodox church, dress in business casual at a minimum.
It’s different on religious holidays
You may have been to the church previously for a regular Sunday service, but if you turn up on Easter you’ll find that the style is quite different. It could be that the dress code never changes, but chances are a more formal style is expected on religious holidays. If turning up to a special holiday such as Christmas or Easter, you can’t go wrong with suit pants and a nice shirt. A suit jacket and tie in most churches is too formal.
It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed, and going to church is no exception. If you’re not sure if what you’re wearing is formal enough, don’t wear it just to be on the safe side.