Jeans or a Suit? 4 Things a Man Should Wear to Mass

The Author

Husband to Cristina, Catholic artist and designer. Serve as High School catechist and retreat coordinator. Committed to promoting the beauty of Truth through education and art. @soulpainter Visit my site President, Co-Founder ACNM
Photo Credit: St Martin Cleveland

Photo Credit: St Martin Cleveland

Going to Mass requires some effort. You have to schedule it in your calendar, make sure that nothing else will prevent you from going, and even do a little prep for the readings (insert plug) by listening to the Sunday Says Podcast. With our our busy lives today, that can be a really big feat in itself. Am I saying that we really have to worry what we wear on top of that? Yes, but it’s not too complicated once you get used to it.

Women tend to be more likely to get excited about clothes than men, but that doesn’t mean that we get a free pass to not try. Church is often a place where we are tempted to do the least about possible, but God deserves a higher place than all other elements in our life.

There are places and situations when we men already have to consider what we are going to wear, and to to not try would reflect poorly on us.

4 Times we already dress up

  • Interviews and important meetings

  • Work (depending on the role)

  • Funerals

  • Weddings

4 Reasons to dress up for Mass

  1. God deserves our best and our first

  2. A well dressed single man impresses the ladies

  3. Married men will impress your wife and make her proud to be with you

  4. It reminds you that what you are doing is important

Vatican Dress Code

What is considered dressing up?

For a few generations, our society has developed an obsession

with being casual, so our expectations of what we consider dressing up have been redefined. There are no hard rules that clearly define expectations of your Sunday Mass attire, but I do have some suggestions that might help in your decisions finding your “Sunday Best.”

4 Things a Man Should Wear to Mass

  1. Photo Credit: Daniel Peach

    Shoes (or boots) – This may seem like a given, but it helps guide other decisions. It’s usually hot here in Texas, so it can be tempting to wear flip flops to Mass. Wearing shoes also makes it hard to put on shorts.

  2. Sleeves – Not all shirts have sleeves, and it can be tempting to wear sleeveless when we get over 100 degrees. Keep it classy.

  3. Belt – This is more about function. Belts keep your pants from falling and help keep everything put together.

  4. Collar – This can be a stumbling block for many. T-shirts are great, but they have their place. Collars are great on button downs, short sleeve, long sleeves, and polos.

Keep It Classy

Pro Tips


Credit: Stay Classic Blog

Ties and suit jackets sometimes come off as stuffy, but they look nice and are equal to what we are would wear for important situations. If you have it, Jesus is worth it.

Jeans come in all levels. There’s the jeans for working in the yard, and then there are nice jeans. If it’s all you have, then wear jeans. If it’s a choice, choose the one that has the ability to be dressed up.

Hair should be in it’s place. Combs do great and product can do wonders if needed. Facial hair can look really nice or make you look homeless, depending on how you trim. Women are always ready to provide feedback if needed.

Photo by GinnySkal (Flickr)

Photo by GinnySkal (Flickr)

Consider the ladies. If you go with a lady, try to match the level of your wife or girlfriend, but it never hurts to encourage raising the bar by example. Men should take the leadership in leading to Jesus, but vocalizing your desire for a higher standard should be treated with sensitivity. I recommend this post for the ladies: Prada for God? 5 Things Every Woman Should Wear at Mass.

Closing Note

All are welcome in the house of the Lord, so it’s always important not to jump to judgements upon other people’s clothing. Sometimes what people have on is all they have. Yes, there are many time it’s not, but judgements and accusations don’t quickly convince people. The best way to have an impact at your local parish is by your example. It’s one of the best and most effective ways to live our God-given, masculine spirituality.

Catholic Gentleman

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  • Lindsay

    Great post, Cris! Single ladies do love a well-dressed single man—I know I do!

    I had my conversion to dressing up for Mass when I realized that I was dressing up for work but intentionally dressing down for Mass. It wasn’t right that I gave the best to my boss but not to the King of Heaven.

  • Pingback: Helping Men Dress for Mass |

  • Ken B

    Good post. Timely too with warmer weather. I am an IT guy so it’s not often I dress up for anything. I wear jeans, sweats, etc for work (I work at home full time) and I only own 2 suits, but my shirts are always professionally laundered and pressed. For Mass, I am a dark jeans with a blazer and button down shirt kinda guy. My wife actually digs the look on me which is saying a lot. Occasionally, I will wear a suit and tie to Mass as I will this week and next.

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