“Why do women still have to wear dresses or skirts in all our meetings?” New Era, Nov. 2008, 23
Dressing appropriately is less about what our clothing looks like and more about what it means. While other clothing may still be perfectly modest, classy, or professional, women are counseled to wear dresses to promote a certain spirit of reverence. Dresses are generally reserved for special occasions. Modest, simple dresses show respect and invite the Spirit by how they affect our attitudes.
Similarly, men do not wear just a nice shirt and slacks to church. They wear dress shirts, ties, and dress pants. This is to show a spirit of reverence that is not communicated by more casual clothing. Missionaries and temple workers are also asked to follow certain dress standards to show respect for their callings and set a certain tone about their work.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson recently addressed this issue: “It is really not about us. Acting and dressing in a way to honor sacred events and places is about God” (“A Sense of the Sacred,” New Era, June 2006, 31).
As it says in For the Strength of Youth, dressing appropriately shows respect both for the Lord and for yourself, and “your dress before, during, and after church meetings should show respect for the Sabbath” (, 16, 32).
Wearing formal clothing on the Sabbath sets Sunday apart from the rest of the week in our minds and, thus, in our actions. The Lord has given us this counsel regarding our appearance to help us, and those around us, develop a sense of reverence and feel the Spirit.