In praise of the white shirt

November 10, 2010    By: Matt W. @ 11:04 am   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices

1. White shirts are cheaper than colored shirts, and thus more universally accessible

2. White shirts are easier to clean and maintain than colored shirts (just use bleach), so last longer and are therefore cheaper. They don’t fade. (They do become threadbare, but this is different)

3. White shirts go with any tie/suit/pants/shoes/belt.

4. A clean white shirt of any type (T-shirts in the Philippines) still can have a formal look to it in the right context.

5. Gandalf was more awesome when he wore white.

6. James Dean wore a white shirt.

7. Han Solo is more awesome than Luke Skywalker and he wore white shirts.

In all seriousness, if you are trying to be pseudo-rebellious by wearing a colored shirt to church, but are still wearing a tie, you are a schmuck. I’m not saying you can’t wear a colored shirt, as I don’t really care what color your shirt is, but if you think there is some sort of anti-establishment message there, you’ve got addled brains or are 12 (Is there a difference?) Did I really say “In all seriousness”?

That is all.

83 Comments »

  1. I’ve printed this and pasted it in my scriptures.

    (I added a humorous little clip-art to it though: one of those stick figure guys wearing a tie. I hope you don’t mind.)

    Comment by BrianJ — November 10, 2010 @ 11:29 am

  2. Guys in my rural Idaho ward wear colored shirts, Wranglers, cowboy boots– alongside the classic Mormon white shirt. Nobody cares either way.

    But I like my husband in a nice white shirt and tie– it’s umm. . . lets say– attractive to me.

    Comment by C Jones — November 10, 2010 @ 11:47 am

  3. I wear a colored shirt occasionally just to show solidarity with the others in the ward who wear a colored shirt (especially some young men); and because my wife things I look attractive when I do so. I did take a lot of crap for it last time from the HP Group Leader since I’m the YM President and should be setting a good example. I am sending a message when I wear a colored shirt, I just haven’t decided what that message really is.

    Comment by Kent (MC) — November 10, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  4. My church attire is a white t-shirt with an armani suit and dress shoes with no socks. You got a problem with that, punk?

    Comment by Don Johnson — November 10, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  5. What if you just like how colored shirts look? It doesn’t have to be a statement. I am currently sporting a white shirt on Sundays but I may abandon the tradition of my fathers and switch to a colored shirt one day. The juxtaposition of a dark colored shirt against my pale, pale face kind of seems cool.

    Comment by JohnE — November 10, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  6. The strong social pressure to wear white shirts is only conservativism. Strong social pressure to wear sneakers is what cults do.

    Comment by Paul — November 10, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  7. wait, no socks? gross.

    Comment by JohnE — November 10, 2010 @ 12:38 pm

  8. I prefer light blue shirts. My wife says it brings out the color of my eyes and reacts similarly to how C Jones reacts to white shirts. Also, after a little too much bleach you can see garments through white shirts. I prefer not to show my underwear in public.

    Comment by jjohnsen — November 10, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  9. ‘In all seriousness’ I argue that this post is just as childish as the people you are singling out for attempting some sort of rebellion. Who cares? People are always trying to find something to help them if they struggle with church for whatever reason. They don’t need a ‘schmuck’ to complain about how rebellion shouldn’t be presented in clothing.
    As far as legitimacy in rebellion goes, there is some. If I don’t want to be asked to help pass or bless the sacrament, for example, I will wear a colored shirt. If someone has held the priesthood but is currently restricted in some way yet nobody but the bishop or a select few knows, a colored shirt may help at least a little. I’m not arguing for a solution to one’s problems, just reasons one may wear certain attire because of some form of rebellion.
    I just don’t see why people have to b!t@h and moan about certain things, it is more childish than what they are complaining about.

    Comment by dallske — November 10, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  10. dallske- most ironic comment ever.

    Don Johnson- Oddly, you are already in my ward. Or someone who dresses just like you is. I don’t have a problem with that.

    Everyone else- thanks.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 10, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  11. When I wear colored shirts its because I am out of white ones since I have not been to the dry cleaners yet. No message intended. I look esp dashing in a light lavender shirt, matching tie and dark gray suit. I top off the outfit with some burgundy Mezlan or Allen Edmonds dress shoes and matching tie. Can I get some love from Silus Grok please on this outfit?

    Comment by bbell — November 10, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

  12. I own three white shirts, one black shirt, and one royal blue shirt. I used to have a maroon one, but it somehow, and inexplicably, got bleach all over (despite being nowhere near the bleach at any given point). Two of my white shirts are worn with my amazingly cool vests that I have, and I rotate all of my shirts.

    Why do I wear different shirts? Because I can and because I don’t particularly care for monotony. That is all. No anti-establishment rebellion here!

    If I don’t want to be asked to help pass or bless the sacrament, for example, I will wear a colored shirt. If someone has held the priesthood but is currently restricted in some way yet nobody but the bishop or a select few knows, a colored shirt may help at least a little.

    Except, of course, for the glaringly obvious point that there is no reason you cannot bless or pass the sacrament if you are wearing a non-white shirt…

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 10, 2010 @ 2:03 pm

  13. Hey, you just called my husband a schmuck!!! Rude!:) I say the near-requirement for men to wear the corporate uniform to church is a bit silly. I’m pretty sure, Christ could care less about what is worn to church – even to pass the sacrament! Seems to me that in all the scriptures, the only mention of clothing is the condemnation of placing any importance or value on clothing – or how wrong it is to judge others by their lack of “acceptable” dress. Not wearing a white shirt or a “flaxen chord” doesn’t have to mean a man is trying to making a statement, but I like to think that some of those rebels are in fact trying to say, “I’m ok with not holding to some of the foolish traditions of my fathers, and consciously have decided to not care about dressing to impress others or blindly conforming to some weird standard!”

    Comment by calimom — November 10, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  14. I haven’t worn a white shirt to church since I returned from my mission in 1994. After two years of wearing the same things every day, I got tired of white shirts. It also helps me feel more individual, tie or not (although my ties are often pretty unorthodox. Does that count?)

    Comment by Cody — November 10, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  15. I wear a colored shirt because it’s so much easier, and less itchy, than a beard.

    Comment by Seldom — November 10, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  16. It’s high time someone scraped together some white shirt lovin’ — that’s what I call rebellion in these here parts. Way to go, Matt!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — November 10, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  17. I am open to any defense of the white shirt which does not compare the white shirt to temple clothes.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 10, 2010 @ 4:26 pm

  18. “In all seriousness,” this is how fanatic pseudo-phariseeism gets promoted in Church.

    I’d love to be a schmuck to any Mormon Pharisee bullying others with good ol’ “you’ve got addled brains or are 12.”

    Hmmm… where are those JCPenney coupons? I need some saturated color shirts!

    Comment by Manuel — November 10, 2010 @ 6:05 pm

  19. Manuel, thanks for the perfect example of what I am talking about. When I said I didn’t care what color your shirt was, I meant that. Try reading more closely.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 10, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

  20. Or did you mean that pseudo-phariseeism at church is promoted by appeals to Han Solo. In that case, boy is my face red!

    Comment by Matt W. — November 10, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

  21. 13.Hey, you just called my husband a schmuck!!! Rude!:)

    Calling someone a schmuck is not only rude, it’s also vulgar. But I guess if one is ignorant enough about it, it won’t bother them too much…

    Comment by psychochemiker — November 10, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

  22. Vulgar? Sheesh.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 10, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  23. Alright, so about being glaringly obvious…
    Where are you from?
    I have lived in 9 different states where the ‘custom’ is to try and get the young men to wear white shirts if they are going to pass the sacrament. It is standard, and less distracting. Nothing against anything colored, it is just something they try and do to invite as much spirit as they can, being awkward teens who aren’t always the ideal for the job.

    Comment by dallske — November 11, 2010 @ 12:15 am

  24. Nice post. Unfortunately, not a single one of those reasons is used as a justification for the “white shirt rule”. Instead, the following are routinely invoked as the reasons for the rule:

    1. White shirts symbolize purity (Elder Holland) so it’s a nice gesture for people who are theoretically able to perform ordinances at beck and call.

    2. It is a “uniform” for priesthood holders symbolizing as it does purity for those performing ordinances (Elder Oaks) [yes, very redundant with (1) but there you have it]

    3. It is clean cut business/professional attire fit for IBM executives so hippies and counter Vietnam War protesters would never allow themselves to be seen in them [Ernest Wilkinson/Elder Oaks?]

    4. Somehow there is mystical power in it that goes hand in hand with exercising the priesthood, as if God cares what one is wearing [it makes reason stare to think that he does] (most local leaders who are in the habit of enforcing this “rule”)

    And the post is a little dismissive of the concerns that the insistence on white shirts and other outward appearances (e.g. no beards) can raise:

    - it is basically equivalent to phariseeism in its focus on outward appearances that have no actual basis in eternal doctrines of the Gospel;
    - it provides church members with extra but non-substantive reasons to unjustly judge their fellow Latter-day Saints;
    - it becomes a litmus test for orthodoxy rather than one’s sincere testimony;
    - “The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism…. [T]he haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances.” – Hugh Nibley (quoted today in a comment at http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2010/11/10/the-strange-connection-between-white-shirts-and-lds-priesthood-power/)

    Comment by john f. — November 11, 2010 @ 5:29 am

  25. John f., please provide any example from the last ten years where you were accosted for not wearing a white shirt at church. I have been a member for 12 years, and no one cares, in my experience. Granted, I live in the ultra conservative state of Texas, so lots of people here wear guayaberas (sp?) to church.

    In any case, it just seems petty to me to do anything to my physical appearance in rebellion to someone’s opinion. When I wear colored shirts to church, I do it because I want to look good (impossible as that is), not because I am trying to fight the system.

    Comment by Matt W. — November 11, 2010 @ 7:21 am

  26. It’s pretty regular in my ward and stake for local leaders to insist that people wear white shirts to pass the sacrament or if they are elders or high priests.

    As another example, there is this blog post I just saw today which I linked in my comment:

    http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2010/11/10/the-strange-connection-between-white-shirts-and-lds-priesthood-power/

    From that post:

    “I became my ward’s high priest group leader last Sunday. After I was ordained, I started to give a lesson on John the Baptist. The same church leader who ordained me interrupted to tell me that from now on, he wanted to see me wearing white shirts.”

    In other words, a local leader found it acceptable to interrupt a man while teaching a lesson in order to tell him in front of all participants that he would be expected to wear a white shirt from now on. Reading further in the post, it becomes clear that this man actually usually does wear white shirts but had lost a lot of weight recently and his white shirt no longer fit.

    As to me, I wear a white shirt every Sunday. I am resigned to the fact that in our Church there is a prevailing attitude that you have to dress like a 1950s-era IBM executive if you are properly holding the priesthood.

    Comment by john f. — November 11, 2010 @ 7:29 am

  27. I think it is important to also wear sandals. Of course it is not rebellious. Wearing a light blue shirt and crocs to a conservative church is far from radical. It is more a silent dissent against the implication that bourgeois style has anything to do with righteousness…let alone whether we feel the spirit.

    That said, I have mostly lived in rural areas of the west as an adult. Cowboys and farmers are more relaxed about this stuff.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 7:49 am

  28. Re:25

    I do it because I want to look good (impossible as that is), not because I am trying to fight the system.

    Good for you. Then let other wear color shirts for whatever reason they like and stop calling them schmucks.

    Some of us do try to fight the pharisee system of hypocrite Mormons who seem to have hijacked the leadership of the Church enforcing silly man made rules and have polluted true Christian elements with worldly nonsense.

    Comment by Manuel — November 11, 2010 @ 9:31 am

  29. In solidarity with C. Jones–
    White Shirts: The Best Look in the World

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — November 11, 2010 @ 9:33 am

  30. “Some of us do try to fight the pharisee system of hypocrite Mormons who seem to have hijacked the leadership of the Church enforcing silly man made rules..”

    Ummmmm. Chill.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 9:47 am

  31. Manuel (#28),

    Lighten up Francis.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 9:54 am

  32. Don Johnson (#4),

    Awesome.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 10:00 am

  33. Sorry… this subject is bothersome to me because I haven’t been able to forgive and forget several instances when members and leaders of the Church alike were rude to a few of my investigators who felt hurt during my mission for not “complying” with all this dress code stupidity. It seems we should be more lighthearted about it, but the lightheartedness does ignore and dismiss the reality of the consequences of this type of comments.

    So, I say the same to those who think not complying with silly cultural rules makes someone a “schmuck” the same thing: Chill.

    Comment by Manuel — November 11, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  34. One is not a “schmuck” for wearing a non-white shirt, according to Matt’s criterion. Read it again:

    In all seriousness, if you are trying to be pseudo-rebellious by wearing a colored shirt to church, but are still wearing a tie, you are a schmuck.

    One is a schmuck for claiming to be rebelling against the 1950s business executive uniform by wearing a shirt that is not white, but still conforming to the expectation to wear a tie.

    If you are going to rebel, go all out. Conforming to the business executive uniform of the first decade of the 21st century instead of the uniform from 60 years earlier is still conforming.

    And even though there are jerks in the church who feel that the white shirt is a must, I wear my white shirts because they are cheaper than the coloured ones, and I can wear more ties with them than I can with my blue or black one.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 11, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  35. Manuel,

    Alex is right. Not only do you need to lighten up, you also need to read more closely.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  36. Do people really find schmuck to be offensive?

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 12:25 pm

  37. I had heard that you wear white in administering the sacrament because you are performing an ordinance. White is worn during the ordinances of baptism and temple (I know, I know, I read the earlier comment)and it reflects respect and sacredness of the ordinance. That seems to make sense to me, but I certainly wouldn’t force that standard on others that didn’t feel that way.

    Comment by Sally — November 11, 2010 @ 12:48 pm

  38. Sadly, it appears so Chris. We’ve dealt with such nonsense here before though. See this post.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  39. John F.: “religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism….”

    Is this really the spirit that you feel when you listen to the Brethren speak in General Conference?

    Comment by Hal — November 11, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  40. Geoff, I do not think these people know many Jews. I am glad I was raised in Maryland.

    Hal, I do not think he was referring to General Conference so much as those at all levels that focus on the trivial.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 1:42 pm

  41. I for one did not feel Manuel needs to ‘chill’. If you felt he needed to chill just because of feelings toward the dress code in general then this blog isn’t the place for good expression anymore. It’s not like he was berating anyone or being vulgar. If we don’t have our blogs to express how we feel about our church experiences, then what next?
    Whether you feel you have to go ‘all the way’ or not, it doesn’t matter. Judging someone for feeling they can express their rebellion one step at a time instead of by your standards is just as silly as judging someone for not wearing a white shirt.

    Comment by dallske — November 11, 2010 @ 2:46 pm

  42. “Manuel, thanks for the perfect example of what I am talking about. When I said I didn’t care what color your shirt was, I meant that. Try reading more closely.”

    Dude. Really? Try *writing* more carefully. Or at least put on a little bit of game acknowledgement about the potential problems with the tone of your piece.

    Or did you really not realize that it was possible that a paen to the glory of the already widely accepted white shirt combined with only marginally qualified accusations of schmuck-hood might overshadow a small half-sentence disclaimer in your last paragraph?
    .

    Comment by W — November 11, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

  43. Sheesh. Lots of huffiness around here considering this is a post that extols the virtues of looking more like Han Solo.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

  44. Oh, shush. I actually agree with Manuel on the issue. I just do not see why the rage. I have judged you to be anal retentive.

    (NCT Team: You know you love me.)

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  45. #44 was for #41. You all are too fast for me.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

  46. The OP has a number of misinformed statements:

    #1. White shirts are not less expensive thant colored shirts. Head down to BR, EB, JosB, BB, or Dillards and you’ll see. You obviously have your wife do all your clothes shopping.

    #2. There is NOTHING easier to keep clean than a dark copper dress shirt. In fact, barring an accident a user is likely to get at least two uses out of a colored shirt while if one even thinks about dirt while wearing a white shirt then a trip to the cleaners is in order. And BTW, bleach destroys clothes.

    #3. White shirts do not go with ties with white stripes nor do white shirts look good with brown/tan-shaded suits.

    #4. I don’t even know what this means. Right “contexts”?

    #5. Gandalf was cooler when he wore a hat… dressed in grey.

    #6. James Dean lived in black and white…duh.

    #7. But he was not as cool as Chewbacca… and he ran around ?naked????

    Comment by PaulM — November 11, 2010 @ 4:28 pm

  47. PaulM – How on earth do white shirts not look good with brown or tan? The white/tan combination is a classic combo that has been around for probably longer than pants!

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 11, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

  48. James Dean movies were in color.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 11, 2010 @ 6:28 pm

  49. I’ll begin w/ an action that is forbidden in the bloggernacle – quoting scripture: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Prov. 9:1)
    Do we reject wisdom if we believe what clothing we wear to church is inconsequential – “after all, God looks upon people’s hearts, not their clothing, right?”
    Don’t the arguments we’ve read in this post about what we wear communicate what we think of ourselves and what we think of the societal expectations of the church we attend? The things we do in private do not affect society the same as the things we do in public. Fewer and fewer people realize how much what we wear, and what we do, affects both us and the people around us.
    The presence of others puts a different meaning on our behaviors. How often have we read on the bloggernacle about the kissing that we observe in sacrament meeting?
    If we dress for church no differently than we dress for anything else, (or if we look at the purpose of clothing as simply providing comfort to the wearer) aren’t we saying that church has no more significance than any other time we wear the same clothing? Do we de-sanctify our house of worship or honor the sabbath by our dress?
    Two frequent objections are given: hypocrisy and the insignificance of the matter. One may order foolishly in the cafeteria line but is that sufficient justification to not dine at all? The intent behind the two mites given was not unnoticed.
    Is it wisdom to dismiss the request of our leaders to show respect by our Church dress when they are the chosen servants of Him who made the first clothing?
    (FWIW: I don’t think it’s such a big deal, and therefore, I wear a white shirt on Sundays.)

    Comment by mondo cool — November 11, 2010 @ 7:08 pm

  50. Geoff #38, I totally forgot about that thread, good times.

    I wear a white shirt because I don’t like the way colored shirts look. If I liked colored shirts I can only assume I would wear them. I am cool with people wearing whatever they want, but Blake, if you’re reading, you know I love you, but rethink your bright purple shirt.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 11, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  51. I know Jacob. That post eventually led back to this thread where I called Tom Kimball of Signature Books a peevish jerkwad.

    Good times.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 11, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

  52. Hal, that was a quote from Hugh Nibley. You need to ask him that question.

    Comment by john f. — November 12, 2010 @ 3:41 am

  53. please provide any example from the last ten years where you were accosted for not wearing a white shirt at church.

    The bishop prevented me from passing the sacrament with a colored shirt in a student ward in 2004. So I moved to a ward where the bishop himself wears colored shirts. All is now well.

    To the OP: Please note that white also shows ring around the collar more starkly than any color, though it does do a better job of hiding dandruff if you go without a jacket.

    Comment by Peter LLC — November 12, 2010 @ 4:42 am

  54. If we dress for church no differently than we dress for anything else [...] aren’t we saying that church has no more significance than any other time we wear the same clothing?

    Not necessarily. For example, you would look silly showing up at church dressed for a white tie event when the church dress code calls only for informal wear, i.e., Western business attire, at its height of “formality.”

    Comment by Peter LLC — November 12, 2010 @ 5:08 am

  55. And, as to 54, what if you are an IBM executive and wear a white shirt and dark business suit to work every day? Does that mean you need to wear jeans and a golf shirt to church on Sunday?

    Comment by john f. — November 12, 2010 @ 5:54 am

  56. Or, to be more consistent, if you wear a business suit and white shirt/tie to work every day, I guess to be more “formal” (which is one argument in favor of wearing a business suit to church, although it is still unclear why going to church necessitates being formal as opposed to being informal or friendly), you would need to bring it up a notch and dress in white tie.

    Comment by john f. — November 12, 2010 @ 5:57 am

  57. John f., one flawed argument for formality is that it engenders reverence. Yet, in my visits to other religious denominations (such as Hindu Temples or Catholic Churches) formal dress was not required and the level of reverence and respect was equal to if not exceeding LDS reverence. My feeling therefore is that Mormons have learned over time that dress determines reverence and we can unlearn it as well. Focussing upon time and space as sacred, as opposed to clothing, would help us make that shift.

    Comment by Aaron R. — November 12, 2010 @ 6:44 am

  58. #54, 55, & 56. Good points. But, I interpreted the OP to refer to dress as a statement. I think there is no formalized dress code other than wearing one’s best that is appropriate for the situation. I will happily concede that it is not just one’s attire that determines the significance one places on our worship service. After all, Moroni jumped on the “fine apparel” crowd as well. IBM Executive wear rises to our standard expectation. Shorts & a T-shirt do not; i.e., if we dress merely for comfort & convenience. For too many, whatever is uncomfortable is out: dress, standards, practices, doctrine……..

    Comment by mondo cool — November 12, 2010 @ 7:07 am

  59. Jacob J #50,

    Haha nice! I’ve seen him wear before and nake reference to wearing it in one of his lectures.

    (I’m hoping that these types of jabs will bait him into coming out of retirement)

    Comment by Riley — November 12, 2010 @ 7:50 am

  60. As for this issue, I’m not only bipolar, but hypocritical.

    I will wear my french blue and gray striped shirts all the time. Then ill get on a kick of wearing only my white shirt because I feel a sense of symbolism and ritual. But then ill see someone wearing a black shirt with some purple tie or a hot pink shirt. They are sinners, pure and simple (especially if its a crimson shirt – think scriptural reference to the Utes).

    Comment by Riley — November 12, 2010 @ 7:58 am

  61. what if you [...] wear a white shirt and dark business suit to work every day?

    Since my workplace calls for suit and tie, I actually do have a different outfit for church to avoid, partly at least, the unpleasant associations with my workday getup.

    Comment by Peter LLC — November 12, 2010 @ 9:33 am

  62. exactly.

    Comment by john f. — November 12, 2010 @ 10:38 am

  63. The only people who care about this are “Utah Mormons” (which also includes Mesa, AZ). Do you really think 99% of the church’s population even has a button up shirt and trousers? God doesn’t care. We shouldn’t care. If they show up to church and are worthy to practice the priesthood, then awesome! I have no problems with boys passing the sacrament in colored shirts. Anyone else who does needs to seriously contemplate why they are ascribing to the Pharisees beliefs and not Gods.

    Comment by O — November 12, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  64. Aaron (57) – It should be noted that “Sunday best” is hardly a Mormon concept and, further, wearing casual clothes to services in the non-Mormon community is an extremely recent trend. Even as recently as a decade ago, I can recall being told in school to wear “Sunday best” for band concerts (we didn’t have uniforms to wear at the time), and everyone, even if the Jewish kid in my class, knew what this meant.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 13, 2010 @ 6:38 am

  65. @BBELL … lots of love, man! I’ve got a custom pair of AE winging their way to me as we speak. And speaking of custom, have you seen this pair of Aldens?

    http://www.leathersoulhawaii.com/2010/10/27/alden-shoes-the-kudu-ultimate-indy-lsw/

    Sorry guys, BBELL got me thinking about shoes.

    :)

    Comment by Silus Grok — November 13, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

  66. 1. I believe in appropriate attire, but where in the scriptures does it say one must wear a white shirt?

    1. If a white shirt is so important in church, why do people show up in the temple for weddings wearing golf shirts and khaki pants?

    Comment by mac — November 14, 2010 @ 4:23 am

  67. Sigh

    Comment by Geoff J — November 14, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  68. So, I was just browsing through the new handbook, and realised I had a perfect opportunity to see what they had to say about the white shirts. Here we go:

    Ties and white shirts are recommended because they add to the dignity of the ordinance. However, they should not be required as a mandatory prerequisite for a priesthood holder to participate. 20.4.1

    “Recommended… [but] not mandatory…”

    * happy dance *

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 14, 2010 @ 9:09 pm

  69. A young man spoke in our ward yesterday wearing only a shirt, with a tie loosened and his shirt sleeves rolled up. Oh yeah, it was a white shirt, but c’mon, even a colored shirt under a sport or suit coat would have been much more appropriate.

    Comment by Aaron — November 15, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  70. Silus,

    I like those shoes. I am trying to convince my wife that I need a pair of Aldens real cordovan shoes. I think my shoe world would be complete with a pair of these bad boys on my shoe rack.

    AE’s are the best. I got my love for AE’s because I sold them for about three years both before my mission and while an undergrad. Another really good brand if you can find them is Cable and Company

    Comment by bbell — November 15, 2010 @ 9:07 am

  71. I’m a convert of 30 years but have served about 25 years in some form of priesthood leadership capacity. I’ve worn colored shirts to church sparingly. Why? Because I was taught that white shirt and tie is the uniform of the priesthood, and therefore, when I’m serving in a PH LDSP capacity or performing or participating in an ordinance, I try to follow the recommended dress code. Same with the issue over facial hair. How many GA’s do you see running around with facial hair and colored shirts? None. Now, not all us are going to ever be a GA, but I figure if those guys can tolerate it, then so can I. I have plenty of time to wear something other than a white shirt when I’m not serving in a PH LDSP capacity. Maybe I’ll have my dream calling of serving in the nursery, then I’ll be able to loosen up a little. Thanks for the lighter look at this issue.

    Comment by Bishup — November 16, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  72. Bishup: please note in the above quote from the new handbook that there is no uniform for administering an ordinance. So the teaching that a white shirt and tie is the uniform for the Priesthood is patently false. The section I quote goes on to say that “nor should it be required that all be alike in dress and appearance.” Requiring that all be alike in dress and appearance is the definition of uniform.

    However, I’ll still gladly wear my white shirts three times out of five.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 16, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

  73. As a full-time missionary I definitely enjoy the simplicity of a white shirt and black slacks. Whites in one bin, blacks in the other. Laundry’s done, so more time for study.

    Comment by Elder Moxley — November 17, 2010 @ 9:32 am

  74. A previous employer required a blue dress shirt, so that’s what I’d wear to church and then head directly to work on Sunday. A member of the high council who was really obese cornered me at church and said I should wear a white shirt to set a better example for the young men. I told him I would if he could lose a hundred pounds and prove he was finally living the Word of Wisdom. He didn’t see that one coming. Shut him right up.

    Comment by MR — November 17, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

  75. Did that really happen MR? It sounds apocryphal to me.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 21, 2010 @ 7:24 pm

  76. I doubt MR is that clever. Either way, I am not sure if he should brag about being a prick.

    I wore a white shirt today.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 21, 2010 @ 7:41 pm

  77. Well prickness is a relative thing I suppose Chris. The overzealous guy getting in his grill about the shirt could fit that description as well couldn’t he?

    Comment by Geoff J — November 21, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

  78. Telling someone who is overweight that their weight problem is a result of failing to live the Word of Wisdom is being about as big a prick as one can. I know lots of people who are extremely healthy eaters, who live the Word of Wisdom, and are still overweight. Diabetes, genetics, and medicinal side effects are all possible sources, among many other reasons.

    Comment by Alex T. Valencic — November 22, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  79. Geoff #77,

    Well, I am the bloggernacle expert on prickness. Oh, and I am 360 pounds. Responding to the jerk by being a jerk, only proves that both should read the scriptures more rather than the CHI.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 22, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  80. I agree Chris. I guess I just wanted to point out that it was not just the responder who was a jerk in that story. I’d say it is a case of offsetting personal fouls.

    Comment by Geoff J — November 22, 2010 @ 7:58 pm

  81. I understand.

    Comment by Chris H. — November 22, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  82. The social norms surrounding the calling of others to repentance is fascinating. People generally have the good sense not to call someone out for being overweight because it is both rude and mean. Why people feel comfortable pulling someone aside to comment on their shirt color or their beard is beyond me.

    Comment by Jacob J — November 24, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  83. I wear colored shirts, no ties, and in the winter I wear a beard.

    I’m sticking it to the man!!! (in the most passive aggressive way possible)

    Comment by B.Russ — December 7, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

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