The Origin of Dressing Up for Church

Dressing up for Church Dresses became a popular apply within the first half of the nineteenth century, first in England, then northern Europe and America, as a consequence of the industrial revolution and the emergence of the center class. While care was historically given to cleanliness and solemnity on Sabbath days, dressing up for worship resulted, not from a theological teaching, but from the affect of Victorian tradition on worshiping communities.

Opposite to popular opinion, medieval Christians had no widespread observe of dressing up for church because nice garments were only afforded by the wealthy. Previous to the industrial revolution, society was polarized into the “haves” (the landed aristocracy) and the “have-nots” (plebes, serfs, peasants), with a minimal merchant class in between. High-quality clothing was hand-made and much too expensive for frequent people who maintained their dwelling by means of subsistence farming.1 Common of us had just one or sets of garments, made of coarse, drab fabric. One set of garments was for working within the discipline, thus getting soiled and tattered; the opposite was for going into city, and subsequently was saved cleaner to avoid public revulsion.2 In different words, “dressing up” for anything was by no means an option for anybody however the wealthiest nobility. In truth, social codes enforced by fines mandated that this class distinction be honored by people of every rank.three Distinctions of dress have functioned to keep up social hierarchy for the reason that starting of civilization.

All of this changed with the invention of mass manufacturing and the development of urban society. James Hargreaves invented the “spinning jenny” in 1764. As this and related machines had been reproduced, finer and more colorful clothing, created with more versatile materials, made a variety of garments affordable for the masses.5 Industrialization and urbanization gave rise to the middle class socio-economic group, so that a new layer of society acquired an opportunity to emulate the envied aristocracy and distinguish themselves from the peasants.6 Frequent folks started “dressing up” to social events of every variety to demonstrate their newly improved social status.

Varied Christian teams of the 18th and nineteenth century resisted this cultural momentum among the many middle class for a similar reasons that most of the patristic writers did among the wealthy in the third and fourth centuries.7 Ornamental clothing and demonstrative accessories (jewelry, and many others) have been seen as worldly and prideful, interfering with a easy and austere mood of worship. Within the eighteenth century, John Wesley ceaselessly wrote and spoke out against effective adornment, saying that gold and costly attire have been sinful.8 “Let your dress be low cost, as well as plain,”9 Wesley taught, peddling what Leigh Eric Schmidt entitled a “gospel of plainness.”10 Wesley recommended11 that, not less than annually, Methodists read his thoughts on dress in which he spells out intimately what types and colours of materials are settle forable, as well as styles and sizes of hats, coats, sleeves, and hairstyles.12 In the early days of Methodist class meetings, people who showed up dressed in fine or expensive attire would be turned away, denied admittance.13 Grass-roots teams like the Methodists and Baptists led the best way in condemning elaborate clothing and hairstyles as a method of social professionaltest. Because fine clothing inevitably separates the rich from the poor, these groups called for an finish to such excesses to be able to promote a more egalitarian society.14 Preachers like Charles Finney and Peter Cartwright lauded plain dress and told dramatic tales of converted sinners who discarded their jewelry and ruffles instantly upon conviction during camp meetings