Dealing with nitpickers and meddlers
  • Choir doesn't start until the 10th. I had to fill in for our new accompanist since she was out of town last weekend. At my old place we dressed "dressy casual" in the summers and it wasn't an issue. Last Sunday I wore a rather expensive pair of pleated denim slacks from Chico's (ladies who shop at Chico's you know their stuff ain't cheap-these are literally the most expensive pair of pants I own) and a nice blouse. Pastor told me today that someone asked him why I was wearing "jeans" and felt that paid staff shouldn't. Pastor doesn't care and didn't have a problem with what I wore. But people love to complain. I wouldn't wear those pants on a day I was directing the choir and in front of everyone, but when I'm tucked away in a corner I really don't see the problem. This is a very gossipy place and I guess I'll just have to get used to it. Pastor said just ignore most of it and come to him if someone is trying to cause trouble.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,332
    Your pastor ... should then not have relayed the complaint to you. If this happens again, a response could be "I am so relieved, then, that you didn't need to tell me that after all."
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    Pay no attention to it. I get the complaints that come from the bass who says we never practice hymn parts enough. Unfortunately, I have found that he remembers next to nothing from Wednesday rehearsal to Sunday. He is also 83, hard of hearing, and doesn't walk well either. I once asked him if his first childhood was as unhappy as his second appeared to be. LOL.
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,145
    You could always buy an identical pair and wear them with the price-tag on...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,166
    I wonder if the gossipy lady's "issue" is about seeing a woman wearing pants at all.
    Thanked by 1FidemInFidebus
  • Haha probably. She wouldn't want to see what I wear during practice. Ladies who play organ, Lularoe leggings are PERFECT for practicing LOL! Or yoga pants paired with random t shirts from like twenty years ago...
    The ironic part? This is probably the same person who threw a fit about my candidate for the accompanist position, but was able to overlook the several DOZEN visible tattoos and Sia-style hair that the other crazy candidate had?
  • KARU27
    Posts: 84
    Perhaps you need some (temporary) tattoos, then. Consider pairing them with a VEIL. See chaos ensue. (yes, I realize you're at a Protestant church).
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 236
    Perhaps the musicians should wear ROBES, then you can wear, or not wear, anything you like underneath them
  • Viola,

    Except that the situation is a Protestant church, would ladies and girls in ROBES make any sense?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 652
    It seems to me that protestants wear robes way more often than Catholics.

    I wouldn't complain to the pastor about something like jeans, but I don't exactly consider jeans/denim to be appropriate Sunday church attire, either...
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,435
    I'm with CCooze. In my case, OLD school--but I don't think neckties are required for men, nor FLOOR-length skirts for ladies.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    I don't have a problem with jeans if they are clean and neatly fitted. If they have holes, tears, rips, and are dirty, then no.
    Thanked by 1PaxMelodious
  • There is nothing, sui generis, wrong with wearing nicely pressed jeans to church (for those who would actually wear them), but I do think that (somehow) for women more than for men they are certainly 'dressing down'. Further, I should think that both men and women who are in formal liturgical or worshipful roles should dress better than jeans, especially if they are not 'vested'. It is incumbent upon all of us to set an example that liturgy or worship, Protestant or Catholic, is a function in honour of a certain Being which calls for appropriatly nice costume.

    There are three grades of attire: 1) Formal = white tie, tails, or tuxedo, 2) Informal = suit of two or three 'pieces', white shirt and tie, 3) Casual = no suit but nice clothes with or without blazer and tie, Then there is tacky, followed by thoughtlessly trashy. Of these, I should think that 'Informal' should be proper church costume, or at the very least, nothing less than very nice casual.
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 329
    The problem with denim or jeans is that they can only go so far in terms of dressiness. Chinos are more more versatile in going from casual to semi-dressy, which is why I stopped buying jeans.

    At least they're not polos which exist in the no man's land or uncanny valley of being simultaneously too casual and too formal (not to mention too ugly) to be good for anything.
  • The more I see the way American teen-age girls dress (IF you can call it being 'dressed'), not to mention their mothers too, the more I think that Muslim women set the right example. NO - I don't mean the burqa (heaven forbid!), but the decent head scarf and modest attire. I really respect them for this. There is a large Muslim community in Houston and the way their women dress puts a goodly number of 'Christian' women's shameful attire to the putrid shame it deserves.
    Thanked by 1Vilyanor
  • These denim slacks are definitely not a worn out pair of tight Levi's with rips and holes. They're also very dark colored and from a distance do not look like denim. I never wear tight or revealing clothing, either, and these are loosely fitted. Oh well. I agree with M. Jackson about the Muslim ladies. We have a growing Muslim population here and they're always dressed beautifully.
    Thanked by 2Vilyanor CHGiffen
  • It does raise the question, then, of why the pastor decided it was necessary to inform you that there had been a complaint if his thought was that you should just ignore it. I sense some passive-aggressive behavior here.
  • I'm assuming this is a Catholic Church, therefore one is in the House of God. It's not the price of our clothing that makes it suitable for Mass. One should always strive to wear their Sunday best on Sundays (which does NOT include jeans, generally speaking). For women this means a modest dress, skirt, or dress pants and a modest dressy top or blouse. That being said, the Church Clothes Police need to be told to pipe down and mind their own business.
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,491
    During football season at my previous parish, one could not count the number of sports jerseys on 7 hands.
  • @SponsaChristi: You assumed wrongly. I currently work for a United Methodist church. And since I'm still pretty annoyed with the situation, I'll state AGAIN that these were dark denim slacks, NOT jeans, and I was wearing a modest, dressy top with them, along with dressy shoes. YMMV. I fear at this point that further comments from the pastor or the congregation via the pastor about my clothes will not be met with any kind of grace or patience. I cannot afford new clothes right now and I have to make do with what I have, and that isn't much. I'm not happy about the situation but I have bills to pay and three children to dress. I'm last on the list of priorities, so when comments like this are thrown at me I do NOT take them well. At all.

    Thanked by 2Vilyanor CHGiffen
  • I wouldn't wear those pants on a day I was directing the choir and in front of everyone, but when I'm tucked away in a corner I really don't see the problem.

    Unfortunately, to a parishioner, you were visible and, in your own words, not wearing something you wear when in front of everybody.

    - - - - - - - -

    A church I know of is trying to figure out how to deal with a doctoral piano candidate who appeared for the organist job interview and for the first church service wearing cut-off short jeans and a t-shirt.
    - - - - - - - -

    Choir robes, especially in a Protestant church are almost a requirement.

    Solves a multitude of potential problems...leaving only flashy earrings to deal with.
    Thanked by 2FidemInFidebus Viola
  • ...a doctoral piano candidate....wearing cut-off...jeans and a t-shirt. (Whilst auditioning for an organist vacancy in a church!)

    The above is an oxymoronic jumble descriptive of too many of our blooming intellectual elites.

    No self respect.
    No respect for others.
    No respect for church.
    No respect for God.
    And shameless about all the above.

    Young men and women like this have no breeding, nor the slightest innate sense of decorum that comes from being reared in a shared culture.

    As my grandmother said many decades ago when I was about 12:
    'This is not the world I grew up in'.

    And it gets weirder every day.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    My grandmother was born in 1884, so she was definitely old school. As youngsters we were told that we were not to act like "long-necked heathens." Also, to not go out of the house looking like trash. My brother and I really didn't understand about the long-necked heathens until much later. When we were older we figured out that granny was talking about that African tribe where the women wear gold rings around their necks. Their necks appear longer, but they actually depress and deform their shoulders. So, we have tried to not act like the aforementioned heathens and while not overdressing in our hot summer climate, we dress decently. Good lessons, I think, which many younger folks wouldn't understand.

    A bit related, when I was teaching in a public school, we called a mother about her daughter who was wearing a high, bare midriff shirt. When the mother arrived at school, guess what the mother was wearing. High shirt with bare midriff, a navel ring, and a tattoo. Of course, no such outfit would be complete without accompanying flip-flops. It's hard to blame the kids when they grow up with bad examples.
  • Your grandmother, Charles was born around the time mine was. She (mine) was a wonderful lady whom I loved deeply. (I'm sure that yours was, too.)
    Thanked by 2CharlesW KARU27
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 3,746
    My (maternal) grandmother was also born in 1884. She passed away when I was only 8 years old, but I remember traveling to Ames, Iowa for Christmas with my grandparents there, every year, a family tradition until they passed away (both in 1948).
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 9,086
    1884 must have been a very special year which produced some great people.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 652
    Women never look as formally attired in any sort of slacks as they do in something like a plain-black skirt.
    Post-partum me, when push came to shove, might have begrudgingly still worn maternity dress pants, but denim of any sort, as someone commented above, can only be so dressy.

    Nobody wants to make you feel bad.
    It would be a good idea, though, to avoid wearing them again.
  • Women never look as formally attired in any sort of slacks as they do in something like a plain-black skirt.


    Utter nonsense. Skirts are for parties and lazing around. Suited and booted is the only way to go to look really formal.
  • Suited and booted is the only way to go to look really formal.

    if you're a man (and at a formal affair in Texas), yes. :-)
    I'm with CCooze.

    and the thought occurs that who knows, a guy might like to see someone out there who doesn't look like him.