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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Hey Women, What About Your Flip Flops and Jean Skirts? » Hey Women, What About Your Flip Flops and Jean Skirts?

Hey Women, What About Your Flip Flops and Jean Skirts?

Don - February 22, 2006

Now that we’ve had our say on men and white shirts, what about the women?

Don’t you find it a bit disturbing to see some of the women of the ward dressed in Jean skirts and flip flops?  They justify it by saying "I’m not wearing pants!"  Come on flip flops.  What would the women say if men came in horache (sp) sandals?  And what about those wild blouses?

We question men who wear colored shirts and don’t say anything to or about these "sinful" women!

34 Comments »

  1. I would like to add to this list tee shirts with inappropriate words like “hottie”. Why do parents let their daughters wear that stuff to church?

    Comment by Ian Cook — February 22, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

  2. I have no problem with you wearing sandals. In fact, most people in Hawaii just laugh at all you mainlander members who stress about this stuff. I wear ‘flipflops’ to church and as a matter of fact they are some of my nicest shoes. (They cost like 40 bucks and are leather, but most hawaiin memebers do wear the rubba slippas and I dont see the big deal)

    Anyway Im assuming your being sarcastic in your post…

    Comment by Veritas — February 22, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  3. Veritas,

    He is and he isn’t. You’re right. I served in two polynesian wards on my mission and sandals and flip flops were the norm, along with brightly colored floral dresses that might be a bit much for a honkie ward on the mainland.

    It just goes to show that all depends on where you are. Culture determines what is “best dressed” for worshipping the Lord.

    I see the same thing with music in church. In an American ward, a guitar for a special musical number would most likely not be appropriate, but in Spain, good luck tearing it away from their fingers!

    Comment by Bret — February 22, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  4. I’d hate to tread on anyone’s cherished flip-flops, but in the last General Conference Elder Holland did say, “Our clothing or footwear need never be expensive, indeed should not be expensive, but neither should it appear that we are on our way to the beach.”

    I suppose that’s up for interpretation, but it seems to me that flip-flops are pretty hard to get around.

    Comment by Eric Russell — February 22, 2006 @ 4:16 pm

  5. A young teenage female member in my ward once wore a tight tee shirt to church with the word “jugs” across the chest.

    Then some time later she wore another that said “handle with care”.

    Probably not appropriate.

    Comment by Dinga — February 22, 2006 @ 5:03 pm

  6. I think the expensive ($40 and up) flip flops were probably not what Elder Holland was referring to. The cheap ones that I might actually wear to a beach are another story. (I don’t wear either to church, but I have no problem with women wearing the former.)

    Dinga, have you considered that a young teen might not realize what that meant? I remember having a t-shirt that said “all this and brains too” across the front when I was about 13. I honestly had no idea that it was referring to my breasts. Call me naieve, but I’ve seen the same thing happen to several young teens at church functions since then. The adults flipped out at them and they didn’t know why. I feel bad for them- they are being branded as the type of person who would wear “naughty shirts” to mutual, when they were in reality they are polar opposite of that.

    Comment by Ariel — February 22, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

  7. I personally think my wife looks great in a jean skirt (clean, nice, not trashed) — and I’m quite glad there’s no norm against them. Also, they’re great for dealing with children.

    Comment by Kaimi — February 22, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  8. I used to wear Birkenstocks to church regularly, justifying it with a WWJD mentality. Nobody ever gave me any gruff about it.

    Comment by a random John — February 22, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

  9. People wear jean skirts? I thought that was simply part of the nightmare I call serving my mission in Utah.

    Comment by Kim Siever — February 22, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  10. Sooo…in order for flip flops to be acceptable they have to be expensive? But, doesnt that contradict the quote from Elder Holland? I think Elder H was making a point about how we should dress as nice as possible, but I firmly believe that was a culture/generational-centric comment…sort of like 75 year old women think I need to wear panty hose to be dressed nice. Ha. Never happening. Ever.

    Remember when some girl wore sandals to the white house and everyone flipped out about it? I still dont get that one either. In reality some of my only shoes are flip flops. I have tons of pairs in every style you can imagine and that is literally what I wear with everything. The flip flops I wear to the beach are not the same as the ones I wear to chruch. I do not understand how I could be dressed in my Sunday best and somebody coudl take exception to it because they have a different taste in footwear.

    Im sorry but I just think that being so focused on what we wear to church serves only to seperate – it certainly wont lead us to the unity of Zion which we should be striving for in our wards. Now, if white shirts help us to reverence the sacrament ordinance in wards in our culture, fine. But really if our hearts and minds were in the right place we would never even notice what people wore to church. Man looks on appearance, the Lord looks on the heart. :)

    (BTW – I have had anyone say anythign to me about my footwear and had never heard any opposition to the jean skirts/flip flop thing until this post – I never took the beach comment in GC to mean “flip flops”…I took it to mean what I wear to the beach!!!)

    Comment by Veritas — February 22, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  11. I have to agree that white shirts on men look best, and I personally wouldn’t choose jean skirts and flip-flops for church, but I find it interesting that we’re starting to mandate precisely what we can or can’t wear to church. Will there be a “uniform” for women now? What will it include? Floral prints? 1-inch heel closed-toe pumps with pantyhose? Will stripes, checkers, fishnet stockings and suede boots be off-limits? :) For me, aside from the obvious Sacrament fashion blunders (“jugs”), the line between appropriate and not is almost imperceptible. Seems to me people should just hush and stop judging each other’s clothing. What kind of Pharisees have we become?

    Comment by Natalie — February 23, 2006 @ 10:39 am

  12. I wasn’t trying to say that it’s the price that matters, but there are “very fancy” flip flops, and “very causal” flip flops, and I think the former are perfectly acceptable.

    Comment by Ariel — February 23, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  13. I wasn’t trying to say that it’s the price that matters, but there are “very fancy” flip flops, and “very causal” flip flops, and I think the former are perfectly acceptable.

    Comment by Ariel — February 23, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  14. Veritas, normal people wear flip-flops or similarly casual sandals to the beach.

    Natalie, that’s a slippery slope that doesn’t follow. Church leaders have long dictated how we ought to dress for sacrament meeting, and never has it led to thoughts of a uniform nor has it been pharisaical. Even still, if Elder Holland is a Pharisee, then I would be proud to be one too.

    Comment by Eric Russell — February 23, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  15. Eric, you said “Elder Holland is a Pharisee.” (giggle)

    My post was mostly tongue-in-cheek (particularly the part about the uniform). But the word “Pharisee” fits – some members use their own personal yardsticks to measure the worthiness of other members, including the yardstick of clothing. Absolutely the leaders should have something to say about how we dress – they’re the LEADERS. Those of us who are not leaders should really put a sock in it, so to speak.

    Comment by Natalie — February 23, 2006 @ 7:02 pm

  16. i think we all need to be a little more careful about judging people. first off, though there is an unwritten standard for what to wear to church, doesn’t mean that is what matters. what matters is that which is in one’s heart. if we are holding people to unwritten standards, then we risk becoming like the pharisees during the time of Christ.

    Comment by cari — February 23, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  17. For what it’s worth, Sister Bednar in a campus fireside (before they left the school) came down hard on girls who wore jeans skirts to church, saying it’s no different than jeans but a seam up the middle.

    I think I big part of the problem is that we so often (often subconsciencesly) are pushing on the boundaries. The prophets give us a standard and we look for every possible way around it, or we push whatever we think the line is and tell others to stop judging us; sometimes even if there is one actually making any judgment calls.

    That’s not directed at anyone in particular or to the group here in general. I do it as much as anyone!

    Comment by Bret — February 23, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  18. Bret, do you wonder, when you hear those things, how much of the speaker’s remarks are colored by his/her opinion, and how much is actual doctrine?

    I am SO not a boundary-pusher, but this whole thing reminds me of when no one would drink Coke.

    Comment by Natalie — February 24, 2006 @ 1:45 am

  19. I honestly don’t notice what anyone wears, unless it’s a particularly stunning outfit, in which case I’m overcome with jealousy. And I’m not making that up. Women watch other women, and if one of us comes in looking totally hot, we will analyze our own outfit and compare.

    I did notice one time this guy with long hair and no shoes and old clothes came in and sat by me in church and stood up in the middle of the stake presidency’s talk to ask for peace and love and we shouldn’t kill animals at all, forget Sunday (the speaker was saying men should come in from the hunt to go to church). Nobody hit him or made him sit down or anything, we just heard him out and the meeting went on and he thanked us for listening.

    And everybody asked afterward, “Anne, who was your boyfriend?” That’s a true story.

    I so don’t have time to care what anybody wears. Although Bill is always on the scouts to wear their uniforms to meetings. He’s sort of a Nazi about it.

    Comment by annegb — February 24, 2006 @ 7:51 am

  20. Bret – Jeans skirts and flip-flops, from the example, are not things anyone wears to push boundries. Not remotely, actually. Its just clothes. Its like the brethren speaking out against Dockers.

    Comment by Veritas — February 24, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  21. Natalie,

    Yes, of course I do. I especially struggled with this with my mission president who (as I look in retrospect) so often spoke with more emotion then with the authority of the spirit. Once in a stake conference he told the congregation that we were the GREATEST missionaries to serve in their stake.
    So yeah, it’s a balancing act like so many other things in life.

    Comment by Bret — February 24, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  22. Ariel,

    If a young woman is wearing an inappropriate shirt that says something they don’t understand, then, don’t you think that thier parents would be kind enough to point it out to them?

    I this happens, I would hope that church leaders would not make a big deal out of it and maybe discuss the matter in private. Putting someone in the hot spot is definitely not Christlike.

    Comment by Ian Cook — February 24, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  23. Ian, in my case, my mom thought it was cute and assumed I understood what it meant, and my dad never noticed.

    Comment by Ariel — February 24, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

  24. (A surprisingly large percentage of LDS moms think that less-than-modest clothing is okay- “show it off while you can” type thinking. This also applies to messages on t-shirts.)

    Comment by Ariel — February 24, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

  25. I am torn:

    I do think that we should not get caught up about what OTHER people wear and just be glad they are at Church.

    BUT I also think that what we wear to Church is a reflection of how we think about and value Church, religion, etc. When someone who is in a position to know better shows up dressed casually, or just different enough from Saturday to get by (jean skirt, t-shirt, inappropriate footwear, etc.), I think it shows that they don’t take Church too seriously–it is not important enough to them to dress in their best.

    This is, I know, very cultural. The girls who grew up in my (many-generations LDS) family, for example, even as independent adults, cannot wear denim to church, go without a slip, have bear legs,…the list of hang-ups my mom drilled into us is long. Therefore, when I see women in denim skirts I a–wish I were dressed more comfortably and b–am shocked that they would be dressed like that FOR CHURCH!

    ps–investigators and converts are a different story–just glad to have them there.

    Comment by ESO — February 24, 2006 @ 8:21 pm

  26. I think Natalie raises an important, even crucial point. It is not a commandment from God.

    Hello. I don’t God cares. I’m saying it nicely but I’m torqued. Those denim skirts are cute. And I’m technically old.
    Same with flipflops. They get pretty pricey these days.

    A lot of reverence comes from maturity, I just don’t want to wear what I did when I was young. So many young people are run off from the church by these negative attitudes. My first husband was sent home from a church dance because of a tie and he never went back.

    That is just damn dang wrong.

    When Bill was in the young mens, I remembered that and I bought a whole bunch of ties from DI and made him take them every time and give them to the boys and I told him to be nice about it, too. And he was.

    You know, I think I would leave the church a whole lot faster if somebody complained about my clothes than if they argued against polygamy or the first vision.

    Now that just put me in a bad mood. Dang. Where is the love?

    Comment by annegb — February 24, 2006 @ 8:28 pm

  27. ESO: “The girls who grew up in my (many-generations LDS) family, for example, even as independent adults, cannot wear denim to church, go without a slip, have bare legs,…the list of hang-ups my mom drilled into us is long.”

    I’m the same way. In my ward, you can tell at a glance a woman’s age just by what she wears (or doesn’t wear) on her legs. I personally prefer nylons or tights. Why women want to head off to church in the dead of winter in a cotton skirt, flip-flops and nothing on their legs is beyond me. But I look at it more as an age/fashion/comfort thing than a commitment to the gospel.

    Comment by Natalie — February 25, 2006 @ 12:40 am

  28. Ariel,

    I see your point. The attitude you are talking about is unfortunate really. I think I will definitely notice if my kids are wearing inappropriate clothing to church.

    Comment by Ian Cook — February 25, 2006 @ 4:11 am

  29. Huaraches are great.

    Comment by Justin H — February 27, 2006 @ 1:01 am

  30. Mormons cant inturpret and justify anything and everything to make it tailored fit just for them.

    Nuff said.

    Comment by Bryce — February 28, 2006 @ 8:55 am

  31. Bryce,
    Trigh spel-chequing beefour yu poste. Pleeze.

    Comment by Rusty — February 28, 2006 @ 12:23 pm

  32. Russ, at 4 am when I posted…no.

    Comment by Bryce — March 3, 2006 @ 1:10 am

  33. Oh, and if someone needs to run spell check etc its Dad in his OPs…

    Comment by Bryce — March 3, 2006 @ 1:11 am

  34. What is wrong with you people? What happened to just being happy that people are at church? I am young women’s president in an inner city branch. Not one of my girls has a father in the home. Not one of my girls has an active parent – if they are lucky they have at least one parent who hasn’t abandoned them, but most live with their grandparents. In fact, most of my girls worry about things like heat and food, not flip flops and jean skirts. When I pick up a girl for church and she comes out in a sweat suit b/c that is all she has do you think I think twice about taking her to church? Especially b/c if she is not at church she will probably be hanging out with her car jacking friends. Give me a break. When we see a woman in jeans at our branch we think “Wow who is that? How cool – someone new at church. Maybe she will come next week. Maybe she has a family.” Not “someone should take her aside and tell her how distracting she is being to the spirit.” Should we show converts and investigators more understanding and love than we show active members who come every week – and fulfill callings, and try their best? This is so Utah. So many blessings and so many faithfull trying to do good – that you have to dig to a whole new level to put others down & make yourself feel the most righteous of all. If you care what people wear to church you are missing the basic doctrines of the gospel. Love your brother as you love yourself. Judge not least ye be judged.

    Comment by Anonymous — March 13, 2006 @ 11:42 am

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