My experience has often been that pastors get more dressed up than myself for events. I’m sure it’s because they are respected authority figures, and I normally see them at church doing churchy things. You’d expect a pastor who was telling you to repeat a vow after him to at least be wearing khakis under the robe. Sometimes, it’s nice when a pastor dresses down, however, especially when he’s the only other one besides you.
My daughter and I attended the Daddy-Daughter Dance at her school recently. She hates wearing dresses, but she made an exception because she figured her friends would wear their sunday best. I detest getting dressed up myself, so I left the tie off my neck, and the sports coat stayed at home. For some time, I was the only dad in the room without a monkey suit, and then, to my surprise, a pastor came in wearing only a dessy black shirt. It made me feel as if I was still allowed to be there, and I thank him for that.
Yes, I have a suit coat (two, in fact) that I picked up a few years back at Goodwill. In fact, based on what I found inside a pocket, one of them probably belonged to a pastor. And I have a tie, still tied the way my dad did it for me back when I interviewed for my first teaching job over a decade ago. That’s what I’ll wear to the next fancy occasion that warrants a suit, like another job interview or wedding.
I did not want to wear my suit to the dance, though, and I figured I’d be right at home with the other dads. I was wrong, however. The other dads seemed perfectly happy to wear their ties. And it’s not like they made fun of me for being too dressed down. But it’s still difficult to feel out of place, which is why the pastor’s decision to go sans cravat was much appreciated.
For those of you wondering, yes, people wear suits and ties to these events. For those of you wondering if I plan on doing so next year, I'm not sure. My daughter was not all that impressed with the format, including the final slow dance, so the jury's still out a bit.