Formal Attire in Church

In October’s issue of New Era, the question is asked: “Some youth wear their formal outfits to church on the Sunday after a school’s formal dance. Is this OK for Sunday dress?”

As a fairly new Mormon convert, I had found the wearing your prom dress to church ritual fairly odd. Perhaps this stems from my grandmother. As a child, teenagers attending our Baptist church also wore their prom dances to church the following day. My grandmother shook her head in disapproval. “Prom dresses belong at the prom!” she’d say. “Not church.” It is no surprise I had already adapted the same opinion and found myself distracted whenever I’d see a teenager in their prom attire at church. I found the ritual mildly  inappropriate.

As a convert, I’m not fully engaged in the traditions of the church that are not doctrine so I figured this was one of those subjects it was best to keep to myself.

Elder Dallin H. Oakes of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is quoted as saying: “There should be nothing about [your] personal appearance or actions that would call special attention to [you] or distract anyone present from full attention to the worship and covenant making that are the purpose of this sacred service.” (“Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 20)

You can read the entire section on formal attire in church here.

What are your thoughts regarding wearing formal attire from school dances to Sunday Services?