If we could step back in time, say the 1950s, we might not recognize our congregations of today. For example, on a typical Sunday morning, no well-bred Southern woman would think of going to church without a hat, white gloves, a lacy handkerchief tucked into a clutch-bag, high heels and sheer hose with a seam running down the back. For men: a dark suit, long sleeve (starched) white shirt, tie and a fedora.
One pastor friend remembers how the men of his church met and decided it would be appropriate to wear a short sleeve dress shirt with a tie for the evening service. The reason? The church was not air-conditioned.
Not only in church are our clothes becoming less formal, but in other aspects of life. Instead of dressing up to board a plane, we journey in comfortable clothes. In fact, gym clothes seem to be the trend for travel.