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For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 4 Sep 1999

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Sunday casual? Folks are dressing down to go to church

Summarized by Eric Bunker

Sunday casual? Folks are dressing down to go to church
Twin Falls ID Times-News 15Aug99 C9
By B.J. Bryant: Times-News correspondent

BURLEY, IDAHO -- Even 50 years ago, the standard for dress for all churches in America was traditional formal business/social attire. But in this era of everyday casual, does anybody dress up for church anymore?

According to a survey by the Precept Group, Inc., a California firm that studies church demographics, about 30 percent of Americans prefer church services that are informal and contemporary, which "means wear anything that you want, we don't care." That is compared to 28.2 percent favoring informal business-traditional, which is nice clothes, but no need for a suit and tie for the men and women can wear pants. And lastly 21.5 percent who preferred the old-time standard formal-traditional.

In south central Idaho, congregations hold a wide variety of different views on what is appropriate attire.

The Catholic Church in that area prefers that its members wear the standard traditional business/or social informal attire with muted colors. It means conservative dresses with sleeves for women and both sexes are discouraged from wearing clothes that are bright, flashy and attract attention.

The Nazarenes in Rupert have a slightly more relaxed attitude. In their congregation, the minister is usually the only one that wears a tie. He noted that there is a difference between metropolitan churches and rural ones, that in metropolitan areas, more people dress up for work and Sunday is a day to be casual; in farm communities, Sunday becomes an opportunity to get out and dress up.

Mormons, too, are expected to wear our Sunday best. "People are encouraged to wear the best that they have," said Stake President M. Gene Hansen. "It's not casual or formal."


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