they make specific outer-wear for a reason – so you won’t have to show up for church looking like you just came back from milking the cows…

… There is never an excuse, ever, for a lady to don the denim or plaid jumper.

Yes, I understand the functionality of the jumper; you can farm, garden, herd cattle, and chop wood simultaneously while nursing a set of twins in a sling. I’ve heard this is the jumper’s main appeal. It is sturdy, washable, inexpensive and stain resistant. But so is a burlap sack.

If you advocate a jumper for it’s functionality while doing chores and chasing children then why on earth would a women want to wear one to mass? That’s like a mechanic wearing grease covered overalls to church.

Strangely enough, it’s usually the most traditionally minded women wearing jumpers to mass, and to the Latin mass no less – the pinnacle of liturgical beauty. The same women who cluck in contempt of teenagers and young adults coming to mass in flip-flops and sloppy shorts have no issue showing up in a denim house dress. Doesn’t this strike you as odd?

We’ve heard the argument for dressing up to attend mass, that if you take the time and effort to dress up for a job interview you should spend more effort and time dressing up for church. So if your jumper functions as work attire it stands to reason that you should probably find something nicer and more attractive to slip into for mass. Yes?

The irony isn’t lost of Dorothy Cummings. She agrees, retire the jumper. I might add burn it and look upon it’s ashes no more.

Typically, the Latin mass attending men I notice at church look more like this…

and their female counterparts dress just as sharply…

and just so you can’t say “But look at her! She has no children! Of course she looks pristine!”

Oh, and you can farm, milk goats and chop wood all without the aid of the tragically frumpy jumper

Related Link: Looking Catholic by Simcha Fisher

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Ad Orientem

    Not that long ago I saw a lady at church dressed in a very sharp blouse and skirt, with a classy wide rimmed hat and … brace yourself…  white gloves!  If she had been ten years younger, or I ten years older, I think I would have dropped to one knee and proposed marriage on the spot.

  • Christie Martin

    I can not agree with you MORE! We wear work clothes to church only when the situation demands a choice between changing or not going. Those are rare. I will pose that homeschooling women started wearing these as a badge of honor. Consider yourself honored ladies. Now get dressed!

    • Christie Martin

       I mean that “get dressed” in the most enthusiastic get-your-girl-on kind of way and not the patriarchal-I-command-you-to submit-to-our-doom kind of way. Seriously.

  • Jeanne Jorgensen

    Did you ever read Simcha Fisher’s “Looking Catholic” …it’s all about the “painfully practical denim…”

    • Katrina Fernandez

      Simcha is so funny. Thank you for the link. 

  • Mark Abeln

    I read a book dating from about 200 or so years ago. An English traveller visited the French colonial town of Carondelet; he noted that the peasants were dressed in rags during the week. But on Sundays, they were as elegant and fashionable as Paris! Not only were they dressed well, they were exceptionally well-mannered and gallant. 

  • Jenne

    love that “git ur girl on”  I need to go shopping without feeling guilty – thanks for the pick up :)

  • Tina In Ashburn

    What else can you expect from a country descended from tenant farmers, and an educational system that eschews teaching culture, art and beauty? now really. you are simply expecting too much of us!
    The other problem is that decent clothing can’t be found in stores. Droopy-looking clothes are inelegant, but at least they cover ya, aren’t see-through, skimpy, cheesy, too short, tight.
    If I see ONE more old lady bared showing the “wings” on her upper arms, and the saggy neck skin, I’m going to throw a sackcloth over her.
    Crap. now, how to find some decent sackcloth?!!

  • Linda Hutchinson

    I am woefully guilty of wearing less than my best to mass, and have been a fan of denim pants, and skirts, and yes in the past even a few denim jumpers. I am working on my wardrobe even as this is the topic of the day, so soon my choices will be greatly expanded.

  • Lola

    How do you break it to those darling McEnany Sisters?   They have voices of angels and faded denium jumpers.   I like em. 

  • M Mewhinney-Angel

    I have to admit, I have a love for jumpers. Alas, they are out of fashion. 

  • flirtyintrovert

    Awesome old photos, Kat!

    At the risk of promoting myself…

  • Elizabeth Meyer

    What Latin mass are you attending that women aren’t wearing that hideous frock?  I swore off jumpers and aprons after the 3rd grade because my mom would force me to go to school wearing them a la Laura Ingalls. (It was the ’80′s after all) 

  • Io

    The reason why some women dress this way is because they’re told that they’ll be committing a sin if they don’t. It’s not just  a personal preference or bad taste. WHY they get told this is a whole other issue that’s worth examining.

  • Gunterd

    Well, Ronda Chervin wears her sturdy jumpers, and I would certainly hate to be the devil when she gets up in the morning.