A photo capturing a group of people dressed in modest attire, adorned with traditional garments, as they gather outside a serene church, reminiscent of biblical times.

How To Dress For Church According To The Bible

Going to church is an important part of the Christian faith. As believers gather together to worship God, it’s important that we honor Him with everything, including how we dress. The bible provides some guidance on how to dress modestly and appropriately for church services.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The bible encourages modesty and decency when attending church. Both men and women should dress in nice, conservative clothing that covers the body appropriately and avoids flashy accessories or styles meant to draw attention.

In this comprehensive article, we will dive into bible verses about clothing for church and provide tips on how both men and women can dress in a God-honoring way for worship services.

Bible Verses About Dressing Modestly

When attending church services, Christians are called to dress in a modest, respectable manner. Here are some key Bible verses that give guidance on how to dress for church according to biblical principles:

1 Timothy 2:9-10

In the same way, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

This passage encourages women to dress modestly and not draw attention to themselves with expensive clothing or accessories. The focus should be on having a gentle and quiet spirit.

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

Similarly, Peter instructs women to avoid showy outward displays and focus on cultivating inner beauty, which is precious to God.

Proverbs 31:22

She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

This description of the virtuous woman notes her wearing fine, quality clothing. However, the emphasis is on her godly character and industriousness, not her attire.

Deuteronomy 22:5

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.

This verse forbids cross-dressing. God made men and women distinctly and clothing is meant to reflect those gender distinctions, not blur the lines between them.

Finding the right balance of looking our best while maintaining a humble spirit is key. Seeking wisdom from godly mentors can help each of us apply these principles in our specific life situations. Most importantly, we know that God looks at the heart above all else.

Guidelines for Women’s Church Attire

Opt for modest dresses or skirts

When selecting a dress or skirt for church, it’s wise to choose options that fall below the knee. Midi, maxi, and pencil skirts that hit mid-calf or longer are great choices. Dresses with a similar modest length also work well.

Stick to solid colors or subtle patterns rather than loud prints or short hemlines that could be distracting. Fabrics like cotton, linen, and jersey tend to drape nicely and look classy.

Wear tops that cover the shoulders

Choose blouses, dress shirts, or knit tops that completely cover your shoulders and chest area. Tops with cap sleeves, short sleeves, or long sleeves are recommended over strapless, spaghetti strap, or halter designs that show too much bare skin.

Opt for a high neckline or layer a camisole under a top with a V-neck. Close-fitted styles work, but avoid anything too tight or low-cut.

Avoid low-cut necklines

Deep V-necks, plunging necklines, and tops that reveal cleavage should be avoided for church attire. Any top that draws excessive attention to your chest is probably not the best choice. Look for tops with high crew necks, mock necks, jewel necks, or boat necks instead.

You can also layer a camisole or tank top underneath a top with a lower neckline for more coverage.

Skip short skirts and shorts

When attending church services, it’s best to avoid shorts, short skirts, or mini dresses that end above the knee. Aim for skirts that are midi-length or maxi-length instead, hitting below the knee or longer. Loose-fitting dress shorts that end just above the knee may be acceptable in some more casual churches, but short-shorts and mini skirts are too revealing for a house of worship.

Limit flashy jewelry and accessories

You can absolutely wear jewelry and accessories to church, but be mindful not to overdo it. Giant hoop earrings, noisy bangle bracelets, and statement necklaces with big pendants can be distracting. Opt for dainty earrings, simple rings, and delicate necklaces instead.

And skip the sunglasses unless you need them for medical reasons. The goal is to avoid loud accessories that draw eyes away from the sermon.

Guidelines for Men’s Church Attire

Wear dress pants and a collared shirt

Men should aim to wear formal attire when attending church services, as a sign of respect. This includes wearing dress pants or slacks paired with a collared button-down shirt or polo shirt. Dark or neutral colored pants and shirts are recommended over casual bright colors or patterns that could be distracting.

For shoes, choose dress shoes, loafers, or nice boots rather than athletic sneakers or sandals (source). Faith leaders suggest dressing up more rather than dressing down for church.

Opt for suits or sport coats

While not always required, wearing a full suit and tie demonstrates the utmost honor and reverence in God’s house of worship. This could include a 2 or 3 piece suit in dark, muted colors. Similarly, pairing dress pants with a blazer or sport coat elevates an outfit.

As John Piper stated regarding wearing a suit to church: “Wearing dignified clothing at a special event is a way of not only honoring others but honoring God as one who called us to live carefully for Christ.”

Avoid casual t-shirts and shorts

It’s best to avoid casual shirts without collars, such as graphic tees, tank tops, sweatshirts, flannel shirts, etc (source). The same goes for casual shorts like cargo, athletic, denim shorts, which are not considered formal attire.

While God sees one’s heart over outward appearance, the way believers present themselves physically does play a role in showing value and respect when worshipping or attending other church functions together as a community.

Limit distracting jewelry or accessories

When it comes to accessories, adopt the mindset of avoiding anything that could draw excessive attention away from the teachings or activities during the service. For example, men should limit wearing conspicuously large jewelry pieces like multiple chains or rings.

Also, forego flashy watches, belts, ties, or other loud patterns/colors. The focus should remain on building fellowship with other believers rather than one’s external adornments (reference). According to a 2022 survey by the Faith Communities Institute, 87% of church leaders recommended limiting distracting accessories for men.

Dressing Reverently For Church Services

Focus on cleanliness and neatness

When getting ready for church, focus first on cleanliness and neatness. As gatherings of God’s people, church services call for our best presentation of self. Arrive with freshly laundered clothes, bathed skin, and well-groomed hair (gotquestions.org).

These small acts honor both God and our community.

Dress your best within your means

The Bible advises us to dress our best for church within our individual means (James 2:1-9). While expensive clothing is not necessary, wear what is fine and dignified to you. The priority is honoring God through an attitude of excellence and respect, not material cost.

Prioritize modesty and humility

Scripture encourages modesty and humility in our church dress (1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 3:3-4). Choosing loose-fitting, non-revealing garments and minimal jewelry keeps the focus on worship. Both men and women should check that their outfit’s cut, fit, and style reflects a humble heart.

Dress appropriately for your church culture

There is room within Biblical principles for cultural and denominational preferences. Be aware of unwritten dress codes within your congregation. For example, head coverings for women or suits for men. With love, embrace guidelines that fit the local context (Romans 14:13-19).

Aim to draw focus to God rather than yourself

Most importantly, ensure your clothing choices point others toward Christ instead of distracting them. Steer clear of flashy colors, overt branding, provocative styles, or loud prints if they seem incongruent with your church’s culture.

There is thoughtful freedom in dressing for worship, and thoughtful consideration for fellow believers (biblestudytools.com).


The bible provides wisdom on how to dress appropriately for church services. While God looks at the heart rather than outward appearance, it is still important that we honor Him with how we present ourselves when gathering for worship.

Both men and women should aim for conservative, modest attire that covers the body and avoids flashy accessorizing when attending church. Most importantly, our outfits should help keep the focus on God rather than ourselves.

When in doubt, always err on the side of modesty and simplicity when getting ready for church.

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