The way you dress tells us something.

by whiteoxeye

Church is no place for flip-flops or shorts – The Straits Times, Feb 6 2011

Being a Roman Catholic, I think that it is inappropriate to go to church in flip-flops, shorts, mini-skirts or spaghetti strap tops. The church is a religious ground, and a certain level of decorum must be observed. By going to church in such attire mentioned, it shows disrespect.

The article started off by saying that “Wearing one’s Sunday best used to be de rigueur for churchgoers.” Well, I couldn’t agree more with that statement. The African-American women will always have their Sunday hats when they go to church. The Mormons will always be seen in their shirts and pants, dresses or skirts.

The picture above is a depiction of churchgoers in the Victorian times, notice how the women are all clad in long-sleeved dresses.

The picture above is how Singaporeans dress for church, or school, or any occasion for that matter.

You may think that this can be explained by the crazy weather here in Singapore, that it is more comfortable to be wearing sleeveless tops, shorts and slippers. But ask yourselves, would you be dressed like that for a job interview on a warm and humid day? Would you be dressed like that when you are meeting your prospective business partners on a sunny day? Why is it then, acceptable to be dressed inappropriately for church?

Whether you like it or not, people judge you by how you look, that is the first impression that they get. By dressing inappropriately, you are sending off nonverbal cues, telling others that you have no respect, that you do not have any sense of decency and that you cannot dress right for the occasion.

This issue not only applies to churchgoers. In fact, of late, Singaporeans are all dressed in t-shirts, shorts and slippers for almost every occasion. I often see girls in school, whose shorts are so short, that they might as well have worn their undergarments out instead. I am not asking Singaporeans to dress formal for every single occasion, I’m just saying that there is a right attire for everything. Party clothes for a party, office wear for work, sports attire for sports, appropriate dressing for schools and churches. Is that too much to ask?

Such inappropriate dressing does not only reflect badly on yourself, but it also sends a negative message to tourists and other foreigners, and because first impressions are usually persistent, it will be too late to remove the stereotypes that are imposed on us Singaporeans.

I did a search on about Singaporean’s dressing, only to be surprised by how many results pertaining questions about why Singaporeans dress sloppily, questions asking if Singaporeans dress badly. And to my surprise, these questions are asked by Singaporeans ourselves! What then, would outsiders think of us? I would certainly not want foreigners to think of sloppy dressing when they think of Singaporeans!

Quoting a Stomper: “If they can take the trouble to get new outfits for a wedding or a party, why can’t they find the appropriate clothes to wear to go to school or attend church?”

What do you think? Schools and churches have to impose dress codes, are Singaporeans going a little too far? Do Singaporeans really dress sloppily? Is it acceptable to wear t-shirt, shorts and slippers to schools and churches? Are you one of such people?