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I’ve seen them come dressed that way for Eucharistic Adoration

I’ve seen them come dressed that way for Eucharistic Adoration

Also, the nice, modest dresses, are usually very expensive, as they tend to be made by high fashion designers

I definitely agree about the men in shorts, particularly the old men whose fathers would have died before entering Church in such disrespectful garb.

And since many blouses are made in stretch-fabrics which are form-fitting, the problem is made worse–for many women, a blouse is the LEAST modest option available for Sunday Mass!

I don’t understand the need for shorts. They live in air conditioned homes, drive air conditioned cars and go to air conditioned Churches. Are they preparing for spending extended time in a much warmer environment?

Yes to the pastor who said God only cares about what is in our heart, he forgets that we are body-persons. God is not only after our heart, but also our mind, intellect, will and body.

I agree with much of what you write, Msgr. Pope. However, on your point # 11 for women you wrote: “Women should wear a nice blouse (if they are not wearing a full dress). The blouse or shirt they wear should not be too tight.”

I will echo those other posters who lament the disappearance of dresses. While it is possible to purchase a dress, they are usually quite expensive and not necessarily modest (since many are designed with plunging necklines and tight fits, in fabrics that cling and reveal). If you see a woman at Mass wearing a nice, old-fashioned dress chances are she made it herself or has had it for years. For a woman living a vocation to motherhood (e.g., on a single income) dresses are frequently out of reach.

But why, then, do even traditional-minded women wear knit tops instead of “a nice blouse?” A dirty little secret of the fashion industry is that most blouses these days are cut at least one bust size *smaller* than the size of the blouse; this is done on purpose to reveal, so to speak. I used to wonder why I couldn’t find a blouse that fit–now I know. Sizing up to avoid the problem doesn’t work as then the sleeves, etc. are too long or the blouse is too-big overall.

Since these bits of fashion information are usually not things gentlemen are aware of (especially priests!) I share them to encourage charity when we encounter a woman in what looks like a casual knit top and skirt. She may not have as many other choices as one would assume.

What I have personally done with today’s dresses is wear a jacket over them. I buy the dresses that are longer in length, either at 3 inches above the knee or the long peasant skirt length, and cover them with a cardigan or blazer. I have found that even today’s strapless dresses can be made modest with the help of a jacket or cardigan buttoned up. I too have had problems with blouses/button-down shirts, mainly because they are not made to accomodate a bust, even and especially the women’s sizes. For example, Coco Chanel was one of the first creators of the woman’s skirt suit, and her suits are often passed down in families by generations of women. Of course, her very nice modest suits also will set you back about a thousand buckaroos and who has that kind of money these days?

Katherine, I do that too–in the winter! Here in TX when it gets to be triple-digits in the summer, a cardigan over *anything* is awful (I can’t even imagine a blazer). Of course, my biggest problem in finding dresses is that I’m 5’2? tall. The petite department (what’s left of it) doesn’t sell many dresses, alas.

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