What should you wear to meet the pope?

What should you wear to meet the pope? March 27, 2014

CNS sent out the picture below this morning.  It’s unusual, I thought, to see a woman (in this case, Susan Rice) meeting the pope while she’s wearing both pants and a veil.

I posted it on Facebook and it got a lot of comment—many wondering why it was such a big deal for a woman at the Vatican to be wearing pants.

Anyway, that prompted a reader to send me the following:  the guidelines by the State Department on dressing for the Vatican:

“Wear conservative dress for Vatican ceremonies: dark suits for men, long sleeved, high-neck dresses or suits for women. It is customary – although not obligatory – for women to wear mantillas to private papal audiences. For diplomats attending certain papal ceremonies dress is white tie and tails and a black (not white) vest for men, and long sleeved, high neck, floor-length black dress with mantilla for women. Dress for Embassy and Vatican related events, and even at Embassy Vatican itself, is more conservative and formal than at many other posts.”

So now you know.


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