As far as the old saw of excluding “dishevelled tramps” from Mass: the question is not about people who just wander in to a Catholic Church during Mass, but for the average parishioner who plans on attending Mass every week. Even poor people dress up for weddings and other special occassions. My grandfather was a poor Mexican laborer most of his life, but when he went to Mass, he always wore his best white shirt and coat.
Thank you for your reply to Hugh, above. We (however broadly that should be taken) should try to give proper attention, together, to what-all is appropriate, respectful, and – ‘diversely' – decorous.
The scene in Zeffirelli's ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon' comes to mind, where St. Francis and his brothers come before the Holy Father: ‘very Seventies', perhaps, but also very well-imagined with an eye to history and Faith. St. Francis for arrogance in seeking permission to practice ‘Apostolic poverty' thus clad – as far as I can see, they each implicitly recognize the licit appropriateness of both.
I think, too, of the old joke: just because you can pray while brushing your teeth, it does not mean it is equally appropriate to brush your teeth in Church.
‘Abusus non tollit usum', an abuse does not take away the possibility of proper use, but it must be possible both candidly and charitably, humbly to seek to distinguish the range of appropriate ‘use' in any given circumstances.
Two summers ago, I was looking for a new dress and couldn't find one. At the third store I visited, I asked the manager why there were no dresses. He said their buyers told them that women don't wear dresses anymore so they didn't provide dresses for the stores to sell. I told the manager that women don't wear dresses because they can't find any to buy! When I do find a modest dress in a store, my husband tells me to just go ahead and buy it because I never know when I'm going to come across another one. And that, Msgr., is why women wear skirts and blouses so much.
Additionally, at my old parish I would schedule the lectors and EMs. It was very hard to get people to understand that if they wanted to lector or EM that they had to dress properly, especially the younger girls who dressed as if they were going clubbing. At special Masses, such as Easter, I would always schedule the people who dressed well. Sometimes the others would get upset and say I was playing favorites but, when the Bishop came or the church was going to be packed, I felt a responsibility to make sure the parish put its best face forward.https://www.rksloans.com/title-loans-pa
it is indeed VERY hard to find decent length skirts or dresses.... when you do, you have to buy them right away even if they are not on sale, sigh.
if someone cannot find any in your area, find out where the Muslim clothing stores are, they always have long skirts. i gave up trying to find stores.
and the poor girls dressed to go “clubbing” i feel for them, like many other younger people that is the only “dressing up” they know how to do....
It seems to be very frustrasting to be a woman in these circumstances. I have had many women tell me how hard it is to find decent and modest clothes for themsleves or their daughters.