Dress Attire Revisited

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    This is just my personal opinion, but how did we get so sloppy in attire? I don't want to hear excuses that it's the internal and not the external as I believe it is equally important to show respect to the Craft by dressing to the T. I don't mean to disrespect anyone, as I'm guilty of slacking in the coat and tie department. Coat and tie, white gloves...man I love that stuff. It just seems we're slacking. Grand Lodge was the first time I've seen a Mason in a Tux..lol. Am I wrong here?

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  2. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    Looks great, I think we should dress for lodge.
     
  3. jwardl

    jwardl Guest

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    I can understand your opinions, brothers, and can't say you're wrong. I can say that if tuxes or even coats/ties were required at all times, I wouldn't have joined.

    Yes, it certainly looks impressive, and is a way to show one's respect for the craft. Formal wear is hot in the Texas summer, however, and for those of us who don't dress for work, an extra expense and time-consuming step before coming in.

    The biggest consideration, however, is that some of us just don't care for suits -- and most brothers who are, shall we say, horizontally challenged, are rarely comfortable dressed so.

    Some of us choose jobs that don't require formal wear for the same reasons ;)
     
  4. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    The real world is most of the lodges in our area just have enough to open..?
     
  5. webstermason

    webstermason Registered User

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    I'm not sure about the tuxes, but some respect should be shown in lodge, as in church. When the WM has to make the comment about proper shoes and no t-shirts, something is slipping
     
  6. ncm_pkt

    ncm_pkt Registered User

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    It would be beneficial though. I would hope that Lodges are air conditioned so it wouldn't be too hot. Everyone would be uniform with at least a shirt and tie. It is also respectful, like in church, or in a meeting or at work. A gentleman should always have at least one suit in his wardrobe so he may wear it to weddings, church, funerals, job interviews, and social events. It isn't a waste of money, it's an investment. Good suits can easily be purchased at a local thrift store if the price is of concern. It would also gove the younger Mason's the opportunity to learn how to tie a tie. I think it should be at least HIGHLY RECOMMENDED or strongtly encouraged.:sc:
     
  7. MGM357

    MGM357 Registered User

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    I visited the York Rite festival earlier this month at Holland Lodge. I noticed a young canidate wearing shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes. I felt someone should have said something, I guess trying to get them in and out was more important.

    I hate to say it, it's todays society. Not only do you see it in the lodge room, it's everywhere. I feel that you should at least wear what you would wear to a Wednesday service at church. The bottom line is that every Brother needs to make an effort.
     
  8. Hippie19950

    Hippie19950 Premium Member

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    I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I work in a rather dirty environment these days. It's tough enough to get home, try to get "freshened up" a bit, and get something clean on before I drive BACK in to town for the meeting. I have approximately an hour to do this in, and 20 minutes of this is driving. I have served wearing a uniform of some sort to make me look uniform for most of my adult life. I no longer want to be uniform... I am in a rural area, where a lot of the Brethren have livestock to tend to, and they don't always have as much time as I do to get ready. Perhaps if we all worked and lived in a more Metro setting, it would be easier. We intend absolutely NO disrespect for the Craft, one another, or the Lodge itself, but when you've been wrangling cattle, baling, and putting away hay, or just plain castrating hogs, it's not real easy to be proper in a short time. As for me, I may still have fresh auto paint in my hair, on my hands, or even be greasy depending on what I was doing that day in the shop (working for one of the larger body shops in this area) Many of us get a chance to put on a nice shirt, and clean jeans or slacks to get to Church on Sunday morning. I have not yet heard anyone fuss about any of us in our dress there, and this is NOT a Cowboy Church, just plain old Southern Baptist. Now, my ex-wife would love to spend time with you folks, as she was always trendy, and dressed to a T, but you may have noticed the ex part, we just were not compatible.... If I am visiting your Lodge, and it is formal attire, I will try my very best to be dressed as such, but if you look down on my appearance, because my jacket may not be as nice as many, or the tie is not suitable, I should have stayed at home. Thanks to Uncle Sam, and my Dad, I can tie a tie. I can tie it on you, better than I can on myself. That's from the short time I spent working at a funeral home... All in all, I just think we should be sensible about the dress, and make the best we can. I do agree that shorts, and make believe medical scrubs or BDU's are not really attire for the meetings unless you are a medical person, or military. Now, for a question, but not intended to make anyone anymore unhappy with me than you may already be. If you had the DDGM or other Official attending, and someone did show up in less than desirable attire, how would you approach them, and what would you do?
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I would welcome him as I would any other Brother, & thank him for caring to attend.

    I am in total agreement with your post above. Many times I have not had time to go home & clean up before Lodge. I don't like it when that happens, but I feel being at Lodge is preferable to staying home, and I have NEVER been called down in my primary (country) Lodges due to my dress. I do belong to one "tuxedo" Lodge, but do not attend unless I can dress according to their expectations, so I generally get there once or twice a year. I also belong to a Lodge which is run by a PGM, and the stated dress code is "business casual". It has been my experience that Lodges cannot be judged by the appearance of the members, but by their attitude. YMMV.
     
  10. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I think this begins with the officers. Dress should not be required but if the officers take the inititive to raise the bar others will follow suit (no pun). Don't make it manditory I don't think and welcome everyone with open arms however I felt the same way on this issue as I hated and did not want to wear a tie. I was however in good council that showed me you can really take something to the next level just by improving your image. People tend to take someone that is nicely dressed a little more seriously. I hated it and now I own 3 suits I wear mainly for Lodge functions. I love dressing up for the occasions.

    (Funny story - Tom told me of a time he visited a rural lodge and he wore a suit, needless to say they thought he was from Grand Lodge.)
     
  11. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Lol, that was wild.
     
  12. MGM357

    MGM357 Registered User

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    I hope I wasn't coming off disrespectful. I totally respect the working man and going straight to lodge after work. Luckily for me I've had time in the past to go home and change.

    I hope I never go to lodge and see what I seen at this past festival.There are no excuses for wearing shorts to any lodge for any meeting. Especially when you are one of the canidates. What really bothered me, was no one said anything. The brother taking his petition and money didn't have a problem with it. If I'm out of line, please someone get me back in line.
     
  13. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Well Bro. Miley, no need to apologize for your post. I see what you are thinking and have truly though very hard about this. Look at it from a Masonic point of view. That candidate is very rough ashlar and we are to help mold him in to the more perfect ashlar. At this time you have to ask, what image does your lodge project. Is it a lodge where the image is suits at all meetings? Does your degree team wear nice dress? I think this is why it is important to project "pride" in Masonry. I say not to worry about the new brother with the shorts but only work on what you can change and that is your image and possibly the lodge's image. Once that happens, you may be asked as I was, why you wear a suit or dress nice. That is your oppurtunity to put it in prospective. I always try to remember that I have chosen a path to travel and soon he may see what I have been helped to see. Until then don't be discouraged by it. Welcome the fact that a new member may be active and use that to better the Lodge and the Craft.

    That is my take, take it for what its worth which by todays market is not much.
     
  14. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    My initiation into the Scottish Rite.

    Our lodge is casual dress, jeans/slacks and polo/button up is sufficient. I filled out my application for the Scottish Rite turned it in and this summer I attended. I had asked a couple brethren the dress attire and was told casual. When I attended the Scottish Rite I was in Jeans and a Polo. Most were in Slacks, long sleeve, tie, and coat, I was embarrassed that I had shown up in Jeans and Polo. I thought what I was wearing was appropriate and did not realize that it was not. Not a single person commented on it though!

    I can assure you the next time I attend the Scottish Rite, I will not be in Jeans and a polo. Maybe it is just me but if a brother shows up and is not in the proper attire they will know it and you probably will not have to say anything. Now if it becomes a habit then possibly a word to the brother is advised.

    I personally think that the suits look good but I would not want to make it mandatory at our lodge because most our members either work and/or live in the Austin area. From the point you get off work, drive home in traffic get changed you are hard pressed to make it to lodge on time. While dressing in a suit may not take that much more time it does take more preparation and a brother who may not have had time to prepare would be inclined not to come instead of coming.
     
  15. tomasball

    tomasball Premium Member

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    Ties are a lot of trouble, and I only wear them when I want to show respect. Why would I wear one to lodge?
     
  16. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    I don't see it as disrespectful to come to lodge

    If someone gets offended by the way I'm dressed in lodge, that's their problem, I guess.

    I just don't see it the same way as blake, I suppose.

    I like the way St. Alban's handles it. All of the members show up in tuxes, but if a mason walks in that just got off work as a mechanic and he's wearing greasy, nasty overalls, he's welcome to come to every meeting.

    I joined the lodge and there were no bylaws regarding dress, so I fully expect it to stay that way. If you'd like a lodge that people have to wear tuxes, you can write it into a new lodge's bylaws.

    In my opinion, there are much bigger concerns than what someone looks like.
     
  17. ncm_pkt

    ncm_pkt Registered User

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    I wouldn't make it a requirement either...but I would still recommended it or encourage it. A week after I was initiated i showed up in shorts because of the 100* weather outside and I was asked to show up in pants from then on.
    The better dressed you are, the more of a halo-effect everyone will have on you, they'll either look up to you, think you're either smart, or there's something good about you...and that's great for building rapport with people. That's one of those things to take into the real world, not just the lodge. It can be learned in the lodge and then taken into the real world... Which is why you should always look your best. It'll make a good man better..because when you look good you'll feel good, and that will help put you in a better state of mind.
    Now...I say it shouldn't be a requirement because of those who do have hardly any time to shower and show up spiffy. Even in church, simply showing up makes other people happy to see you, and they down frown on you if you show up looking like you just woke up from last nights party
     
  18. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    im all for suit and tie,as the line officers along with our sec. all wear suits for meetings,and we go all black for degrees. makes a better impresion on candidates and visitors. slacks and a nice 3 button shirt should be the very minimum.
     
  19. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    why not respect the lodge?
     
  20. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    This is kind of what I am talking about. I think it should be up to the individual. I will be wearing a suit but if a man shows up I don't think anyone should say anything to him. His journey in life may not be the same as ours and who am I to say what is better or worse. I know it makes me feel good to weara suit and a sense of pride however that may not be the same for someone else in the Lodge.
     

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