Whatever happened to wearing your Sunday’s best?

Fri, Oct 8, 2004

Whatever happened to Sunday clothes? Whatever happened to dresses and suits reserved exclusively for church, funerals and weddings? Clothes that didn’t do double duty for a cookout or a bowling tournament?

I wish I had a dollar for every Sunday in my youth when the first words out of my mama’s mouth as we walked in the door were, "Go take your church clothes off so you can help me in the kitchen with dinner." I didn’t wear my Sunday clothes to school and I didn’t wear my school clothes to church. I most certainly did not wear the jeans I wore to a Friday night football game or the sandals I flip flopped around in at the creek.

I was taught to save my best for the Lord’s house and to always enter it dressed with respect. I still do. I have never darkened the door of a church or a funeral home dressed in slacks. I always go attired in the best clothes I have. I have black dresses for summer funerals and suits for winter ones. I know that I am old-fashion but this is what feels right for me.

Today, Sunday mornings are no different than they were when my mama and daddy kept a stringent eye over what I wore. I still carefully select my outfit, press it, wash my hair, do my makeup, find a pair of pantyhose that is the right shade, match my high heels, purse and jewelry. Last thing before I leave, I tilt the cherry full length mirror in my bedroom and give the outfit one last going over to check for sagging hems, loose threads and the such.

Once, I was running late and didn’t do that since I had to pick up my parents who were going to church with me that day. My eagle-eyed mama, following me out the door and down the front steps, commented casually, "You have a run in your hose. All the way down the back." I had on navy, which really broadcast the problem. I dropped my parents off at church and headed to the drugstore where I convinced the clerk to open five minutes early so I could buy a pair of hose. I then changed in the restroom and headed back to church.

The divas and I were discussing this recently and we all agreed — We set high standards and have a certain protocol to which we cling tenaciously. We refuse to let it slip from our manicured grasp.

"Sometimes it’s just disgraceful," one commented.

"I was at a funeral the other day and a woman came in dressed in jeans and a T shirt advertising beer," another commented. "I almost joined the deceased right then and there."

Recently, I looked across a congregation and saw many lovely women dressed in gorgeous outfits that I could not imagine them wearing to the grocery store or a soccer game. I saw others who looked like they had just come from the ball field.

Sunday clothes, I thought to myself, where have they all gone? Then, it occurred to me that they have probably gone the way of Sunday fried chicken dinners in the family dining room, sipping lemonade on a front porch swing, cranking the ice cream maker by hand and taking the preacher and his family home for dinner.

Sad, isn’t it, how some things change?

Original Link: http://www.thebrunswicknews.com/front/281631368998474.php