I saw earlier this week that the new blog Fine Linen and Purple is hosting a linkup: What I Wore Sunday. I am blessed in both this phase of my life and our parish to not have to think much about what I wear to church on Sundays, so I barely even mused about why this sort of thing does not especially interest me before moving on to some other site.
Then Sunday came.
And I wore the wrong thing. I often wear pants to church, but today I thought I would wear one of my work dresses since they have not gotten much use because I am currently on leave.
I would have put more, er at least some work into my hair and worn makeup if I had been going to work, but I am currently celebrating the fact that I don’t have to waste time on physical appearance for church. Let all that is within me bless the Lord, if you know what I mean!
So I tossed on my RM Richards Crystal Pendant Dress (just snapped the pendant off to make it workable), Kenar sweater, and my Natural Soul by Naturalizer flats for a quick and comfortable Sunday outfit which I was soon to regret.
You see, for one reason or another, current American dresses tend to stink for Church. I can typically get away with wearing my work dresses because I am neither pregnant nor dealing with a small child. But I have seen so many women–who presumably care a whole lot more than I do about being modest or appropriate–have routine wardrobe malfunctions due to the perils of dresses. Loose knee-length dresses such as the one I wore today are some of the most dangerous. You think you’re fine, but suddenly you are showing half of your thighs. Thanks to growing up wearing skirts and dresses I am generally aware of what is happening with my clothing and know how to move around at work in ways that allow dresses to, well, work.
But Church is different. Liturgy and dresses are a match made in purgatory. There is a reason that priests wear pants underneath their long robes.
I knew all of this, and still ignored it. After all, I was not really thinking this morning.
So I wore the dress, and was immediately conscious of that fact when an usher asked Josh and I to bring forward the gifts. You know what that means, right? In our parish it involves a profound bow to the priest with one’s back to the entire congregation.
If one is wearing a skirt or pants and shirt, then the shirt will come up from waistband leaving the hemline relatively steady. But that grace is absent from a dress, which means that the hemline rises rather more significantly than most women seem to notice. Think of the Roman chasuble which tends to be about the same length as many women’s dresses. You know what happens when the priest does a profound bow? We all thank God for albs.
So today God got a simple bow from me, and I got a reminder to not wear dresses to Mass…
…at least not until my husband approves of my long homeschool-inspired dresses again.