How far have we been dumbed down? Quite a bit. Let me preempt some "dont' judge by appearances" objections by pointing out this little factoid. Dress is not appearance. Dress is behavior. One chooses their wardrobe based upon their beliefs, attitudes, and core character. As such, it is fair game for comment and even criticism. If one truly believes that they are attending Holy Mass, the Unbloody Sacrifice of Our Lord and that they will receive Him in the Eucharist, why does their dress belie their beliefs (apart from poor catechesis received)? May I suggest some improvements?
- For both men and women No jeans (including denim dresses), shorts, sneakers, sandals, bare shoulders, bare midriffs, tee shirts. Clothing in good repair, nothing torn. Nothing too tight or baggy.
- Gentlemen (of all ages) Jacket and tie at all times - and keep them on. That presupposes, of course, dress shirts, dress slacks and dress shoes.
- Ladies No slacks. Skirt and dress hems no higher than the knee. Nothing sleeveless. Nothing "see-thru" (unless there is at least one more layer). No bare legs in summer; wear hose (NOT fishnets). Close-toed shoes.
Parents, that means that you should not allow your daughters to go to Mass dressed like hookers - nor should you allow your sons to go dressed like they just broke out of jail. You might find that if you insist on proper dress, that their attitudes will change - provided, of course that you yourselves follow suit.