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Beauty & Fashion

Style Guide for Christian Girls: Worship

There are no specific rules for dressing for worship. Some of your churches may have dress codes set up, or your pastor or priest may have voiced certain expectations for worship dress. Others, however, have not.

When I was a child living in London, all the parishioners dressed for church. That’s where the expression “Sunday best” derives from. People dressed in their best clothes for church and then redressed for the remainder of the day.

When I attended a Catholic college here in the U.S., my friends and others would wear jeans and t-shirts to Mass. It surprised me, but eventually, without thought, I followed along. When I married and had children, I didn’t think twice about wearing jeans to church. God looks to the heart, right?

Then I thought about all the places I usually would dress up, maybe out of respect or just to fit in at the event. And I realized I gave more attention to my appearance when it came to parties, funerals and weddings than when I went to worship my Lord and Savior. Suddenly, my perspective changed.

The following is a guide I use for dressing for worship. I base it upon Christian values regarding modesty and the proper manner for women to conduct public worship as written in 1 Timothy 2:9:

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

I understand not everyone will agree with my guide and that many will respond with, “God doesn’t care what I look like, as long as I have a good heart.” While that’s partially true, I still believe that dressing your best is a sign of respect to you, your fellow parishioners and, most importantly, to God.

If you’re interested in a little guidance when dressing for worship, consider the following:

  1. As a Christian, you should always dress modestly and appropriately when it comes to worship. If you’re wearing a skirt or dress, add nylons. Spaghetti straps and sleeveless dresses should be covered with a cardigan or light jacket. You should avoid showing unnecessary skin–it causes others to be distracted from the purpose of worship.
  2. Wear your Sunday best. This means that you should dress up as best you can for the occasion. You don’t need to wear a gown, because that isn’t appropriate and will cause attention. One person’s “best” is different from another’s, according to their personal circumstances.
  3. Avoid distraction and attention when dressing for worship. Again, you’re in church for worship, so don’t dress in a manner that attracts attention or distracts others from focusing on their moment with God. Dress modestly. Parishioners should not be distracted from worshiping because they’re looking at what you’re wearing…or not wearing. High heels, shoes or jewelry that make excessively loud noises as you walk should also be avoided.

Here are a few of appropriate looks for church.

Images credit: jenclothing.com

Do you wear your “Sunday best” for worship?

Image: jenclothing.com


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  1. HeartsForGod

    Posted by HeartsForGod on April 1, 2017 at 16:17

    I have changed ripped jeans and a t-shirt to a beautiful princess-reminiscent dress, Thanks a lot!

  2. Grace Pierpont

    Posted by Grace Pierpont on August 7, 2013 at 09:43

    Now Here are some modest dresses! Especially the first two. I love them!

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by Crystal Fire on October 21, 2012 at 06:41

    Just saying, for the girls who like dressing up, think of how that makes you feel. Usually it makes you feel nice, good,and peaceful. These are all Godly things!

  4. Project Inspired

    Posted by XxskilletforeverxX on July 31, 2012 at 20:14

    my curch really doest care, as long as ur modest. we wear short sleved shirts and shorts and jeans, some times we dress all fancy shmancy, for me, my whole closet has seen my church lol, usally its jeans, a tank top and a flowy overshirt and boots. but this sunday im gonna wear a pretty dress, i wore a skirt once with heels, but i work with kids so that was a no lol

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by 333loves on July 29, 2012 at 00:59

    what happened to come as your are to worship???

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by prolife4life on May 18, 2012 at 22:51

    um i don’t see the need for dresses like you have shown i’m totally for modesty but knees are not anything bag i don’t will never wear a long dress except for my wedding and prom because i’m tiny and look horrible in them short dresses with shorts underneath are fine!!

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by dragongirl113 on May 17, 2012 at 12:59

    I grew up always dressing up for church when I lived in west Michigan. When I moved to Washington two years ago, I noticed that hardly anyone dressed up at the churches that I have gone to. For awhile I followed along, but I finally decided that I could wear dresses if I wanted to. I think dressing up for church is fun, and I am one of the only girls in my Youth group who does.

  8. faulty-but-real

    Posted by faulty-but-real on April 28, 2012 at 11:35

    i wear decent shirts,that have cute prints,plain,or appropriate sayings,and jeans that are not tattered and worn out or a long skirt,or a simple and plain,yet nice dress,and my sneakers or black flats,i try not to call atention to myself,and i ussualy volintier in my church’s pre-K,preschool/kindergarten,or nursery programs,so a t shirt,jeans,maybe a necklace from time to time,my “I <3 Ninjas" bracelete,a hat ocasionaly,,my "I <3 Music" button,and my black flats are a good thing to wear,because i look modest,and hopefully i'm setting a good example. i never wear v-necks to church without a tank top or long sleeved shirt under it! just my opinnioun on "Sundays best."

  9. jazminekvitko

    Posted by jazminekvitko on April 25, 2012 at 16:35

    The church I attend we always wear skirts. The only time we can wear pants/shorts is to work out. And yet girls still break the modesty rule. Its a shame.

  10. sisterwhocares

    Posted by sisterwhocares on April 9, 2012 at 20:34

    Great article! There is another point about dressing modestly I want to bring up to: whether in church or not, even if God looks at the heart, do you feel comfortable dressing like a harlot (old-fashioned term for prostitute)?

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by 101magster on April 9, 2012 at 04:17

    my church has a youth group that has a service in the mornings so I usually wear jeans and a modest but nice top. some people wear really nice things but some literally just wear jeans and a tshirt. someone even wore pj pants once.

  12. Paris

    Posted by Paris on April 7, 2012 at 20:46

    I love dressing up on sundays. A little makeup,jewerly and my high heels! By no means,am I allowed to wear pants to church.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by logan0617 on April 19, 2012 at 19:22

      What makes skirts so much more modest or nicer than pants????

  13. denimjellybean

    Posted by denimjellybean on April 7, 2012 at 20:02

    Is wearing corduroys and a nice top ok? Because I really don’t do dresses and skirts.

  14. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ginger_who_loves_Jesus on April 7, 2012 at 19:49

    I actually go to a church where you dont have to dress up. Just go in being clean and wearing clean clothes. It doesnt really matter if you go in jeans and a t-shirt or a dress. They still will like you.
    I go to a non-denominational church, and I think they want to bring in more people by not having them dress up. (I’m not saying that that’s bad, I’m just saying that some of the other churches may scare off people because they have to go dress up a lot). We accept everybody 🙂

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by logan0617 on April 19, 2012 at 19:21

      I agree so much! People feel so akward at the church I used to go to, because they almost tried forcing people to wear skirts. It was a Baptist church. I think that more people would start coming to church in a relaxed setting, and shouldnt tht be the main goal is getting people to know Christ?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Allison on April 9, 2012 at 09:33

      Same here! It really depends on your style. We are always told to dress modestly, but at the same time we don’t have to wear dresses. Some people CHOOSE to. But I really don’t like dresses or skirts so I dress in nice pants and a t-shirt. No one judges, do no one gets judged.

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by mariehope98 on April 7, 2012 at 01:50

    Thank you, this is very helpful!
    Have a blessed Easter xx

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by nomieatedurface on April 6, 2012 at 21:43

    I almost never get dressed up for church, mostly because I have to wear a uniform to school and I get really tired of it by the end of the week. And I feel like if I wore a dress like that to church every day I would be out of place with all the other people my age there…
    I like to think of church as a more relaxed place, and if I wear fancy clothes then sometimes it makes me feel sort of “stuffy.”

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by lotroxs on April 10, 2012 at 07:11

      So one of the reasons you don’t dress up is because you would feel out of place? So you’re saying you’d rather go with the flow of your peers, conforming to the ways of the world, than dress up in your best to glorify God? Dressing in your Sunday best doesn’t necessarily mean “fancy” clothing. There are plenty of comfortable, relaxed-looking skirts and dresses out there.

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by meeko228 on April 6, 2012 at 16:04

    I like this! I’ve always grown up dressing up for church. Like you said, I believe that you should always look your best for the Lord. The other day was our church’s Maunday Thursday service and my mom told me I didn’t have to dress up because not many people would be there. But I still wore a skirt and nice shirt because God was going to be there, anyways. 🙂 Thanks again!

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by Godiswonderfultome on April 6, 2012 at 07:07

    I sure do wear my best! Not to judge, but everyone should because they are going to praise God!!

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by calieiscalie on April 5, 2012 at 18:30

    I completly agree. As a Southern Baptist I was raised to belive we should dress our best when we go to church

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by Kate on April 5, 2012 at 07:31

    Excellent article! I am Catholic, and my church has guidelines for dressing: no shorts, midriffs, or anything sleeveless (without a sweater, of course)or sandals. I always wear a skirt or dress, and your examples are spot-on. My advice for girls who want to be comfortable and appropriately dressed-up: a nice tee shirt or button-down, a casual skirt, and ballet flats. All you need to do at home is slip into a pair of jeans!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by logan0617 on April 19, 2012 at 19:19

      i dont understand the rule on sandals….. How are feet inmodest?

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by ctayluvjesus on April 5, 2012 at 05:10

    I love this! yes, sometimes the girls in my middle school youth group wear jeans and a nice blouse, which is okay for the occasion/setting where we play games and run around…but yes, it would make me sad when one of my friends dressed like she was going clubbing! i talked to her about dressing better for church, and she was actually thankful i said that! Thanks project inspired!

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by misssproat on April 4, 2012 at 18:19

    I honestly never thought about that way. I’ll have to think about it.

  23. clairebear

    Posted by clairebear on April 4, 2012 at 14:13

    Our church is very laid back but I try to look decent. I don’t have very many dresses and my family doesn’t have very much money. What does bother me is when girls show up in short-shorts and clothing that shows too much. And then for church camp girls show up in those things even though our youth pastor told them not to but they do it anyway and nobody says anything.

  24. harleylynn

    Posted by harleylynn on April 4, 2012 at 10:10

    my church encourages us to wear what we are comfortable in because if we are comfortable we tend to listen more. i personally wear a t-shirt and shorts or capris and my black jacket with built in head phones. my sunday school teacher loves that we dont dress innapropriatly and we are still comfy and ready to learn the Word of God. I am a General Baptist.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by logan0617 on April 19, 2012 at 19:24

      I love this! The less focused you are on being uncomfortable or how you look, the more you can focus on what you should be and are at church for!

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by Samantha on April 3, 2012 at 17:44

    Since we live in Alaska we usually dress for warmth so I try to wear a nice shirt and nice pants but dresses and skirts make you really cold. But I do agree with you, people should try to at least look like they put thought in to what they wear to church, but I don’t think they should really go over the top like you said, show unnecessary skin.

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by ella.mckenzie.17 on April 3, 2012 at 17:04

    My Bible teacher once told me that you put a lot of thought in our outfits to see famous people, so why wouldn’t you dress up for someone much more important?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by elliejean on April 17, 2012 at 11:43

      Agreed :]

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by lotroxs on April 10, 2012 at 07:16

      Love this! I am all for what your teacher said. Church is not a casual place. We should praise God from our hearts and spirits, but I believe the way we dress is important and reflects our sincerity and love for Christ.

  27. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on April 3, 2012 at 17:03

    I almost forgot…
    thanks for giving us girls a great message! I love reading articles about clothing on this site! It’s the only site I look to when seeking articles about modest attire and everything fashion! Looking forward to more in the future!

  28. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on April 3, 2012 at 16:57

    This makes me think about the people at my own church. We have slacked off so much, that it is common to see almost everyone wearing jeans and a t-shirt… even the pastor! I have thought about this for some time, and I agree with you that it is not very respectable to dress this way. God instructs us to give Him our best! Now that doesn’t mean wearing flashy clothing and accessories to church as to please others or fit in, but rather to wear appropriate clothing that God would approve of and that would not be distracting or cause others to stumble. When it comes to dressing up, I’m between. I like it at certain times, while at other times, not so much. Even though I may not like to dress up all the time, I have recently been striving to dress up for church each Sunday. I must say that it is not as bad as I think it is, because I typically change right out of my outfit after church. Although I may be one of the few teenage girls who dresses up for church, and does so modestly, at least I know I am honoring God with the way I dress. Now, if I can only get some of the focus off of the way I look in the mirror and more on God…

  29. Aria23146

    Posted by Aria23146 on April 3, 2012 at 16:54

    I totally agree with dressing nicely and modestly for church. I remember seeing girls walking out of Sunday mass in camisoles and mini skirts-I couldn’t believe it! I think it’s really important to show respect not only in how you act but how you dress 🙂

  30. Project Inspired

    Posted by ApologizeLove on April 3, 2012 at 16:33

    This is good for when I actually attend church on Sundays, but my church has a Saturday night service which is more relaxed and contemporary.

  31. I am a Princess

    Posted by I am a Princess on April 3, 2012 at 15:55

    I’m Russian and many Russian churches I know including mine, we have to wear skirts to church for modesty. It is an old tradition for modesty, and we follow it even here in the USA. Some girls and women still find a way to break the modesty rule. Some wear really short skirts. Somethimes young women I see at church are so dressed up, make up, expensive clothes, and hairstyles that take a long time to do (hair curling, straightining, crimping, ect), walking around in high heels and showing off their purses. It gets so anoying! This isn’t a fashion show, it’s church!!! We can’t have brothers checking us out and getting sinful thoughts in their head because of us, especially at church.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by logan0617 on April 19, 2012 at 19:11

      The church I used to attend has the same thing about the skirts, but i dont understand what makes them any more modest than pants? To me skirts are more immodest.

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by haley_nicole_4_Christ on April 3, 2012 at 08:27

    This helped a ton! 😀 Thanks, PI! 😀

  33. love4494

    Posted by love4494 on April 3, 2012 at 04:55

    Yes I do, although I have to go shopping a lot for Sunday clothes because any other days of the week I don’t often dress up so I just have mostly dress stuff for Sunday, the only difference is that I don’t wear dresses all that often because I find them very uncomfortable so I wear nice shirts and dress pants or slacks or sometimes a skirt with leggings.