The Ten Commandments of Masonic Dress

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by jonesvilletexas, Jul 7, 2009.

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  1. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    These commandments of Dress were issued in a UGLE lodge in England in the middle of the 1980's, what do you think about this?

    Masonic Commandments According to St Georges Lodge By becoming a Freemason, you have left behind the heresy of antinomianism. You now know that we all need a few rules by which to lead our lives. Masons are made for order, not chaos but an order of the proper sort.Paradoxically, we do not want to be suppressed, yet we also know instinctively that anarchy would probably be the worst suppression of all. Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets on which were written The Ten Commandments. In St. George’s Lodge we are rather more modest, so to those new members who have asked for some guidance about the proper way in which a Freemason can maintain a decent appearance in a world which can be depressingly indifferent to standards of the sartorial sort. We therefore humbly offer our own version of The Ten Commandments.

    ( I ) THOU SHALT WEAR TAILORED This is the first and Great Commandment. Whether it is for his suits, his shirts or his shoes, a Freemason’s first priority should be to wear bespoke. There are no short cuts in the world of true bespoke. Bespoke can therefore never be cheap. It is realised, of course, that the vagaries of life mean that some who would very much like to obey this commandment are prevented from doing so by financial constraints. They are urged to remember that one good bespoke lodge suit (or one pair of bespoke shoes) is worth a whole wardrobe (or boot room) of inferior items. Dark lounge is the appropriate dress for members up to Provincial rank. Dark morning dress with a black short jacket, black waistcoat and stripes is worn by members of Provincial Grand rank and above.

    ( II ) THOU SHALT WALK ONLY ON LEATHER Sneakers are for casual wear: they are not fit for lodge. Nor do we countenance those shoes which, at an indifferent glance, look passable – but which have soles made from synthetic material. Freemasons should wear leather shoes, preferably the Gibson, with leather soles. Brogues are meant for country day-wear and similarly, patent leather shoes are intended for formal wear. Footwear, including stockings, should be black. If you have trouble keeping your stockings up, consider the use of suspenders.

    ( III ) THOU SHALT WEAR A COLLAR AND TIE To dress without effort is to dress without respect for one’s fellow man. To wear a collar with a tie means that decisions have been made and time has been spent in making one’s appearance smart, for example choosing the correct knot to complement the style of collar. Even a plain black tie has many variations in cut and weight of material. Such discipline is a habit that promotes social grace.

    ( IV ) THOU SHALT HAVE SMART HAIR Americans call the parting in the hair ‘the part’. Frenchmen call it ‘la raie’. Italians call it ‘la riga’. The widespread disappearance of the parting has gone almost unremarked. It should have been the cause of outrage and protest. Why has it gone? Is it the laziness of barbers? A parting requires work to maintain, for it is the making of order where there is inclined to be indiscipline. Its presence now denotes a person who cares about tradition and about propriety. However, no matter how you style your hair, it should always be well groomed.

    ( V ) THOU SHALT WEAR CUFF-LINKS A buttoned cuff on a gentleman’s shirt is a miserable, squalid thing, suggestive of the ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude. Cuff-links can be valuable or relatively cheap, but they are essential if a Mason is to be smartly dressed. It is not essential to have a double cuff but when buying a shirt, you should check for button holes for cuff-links.

    ( VI ) THOU SHALT WEAR BRACES Trousers can only be kept at the correct height by braces. Nothing is more dispiriting than the sight of trousers sagging at the waist and horribly crumpled at the shoe.

    ( VII ) THOU SHALT NOT WEAR UNPOLISHED SHOES Unpolished shoes are a disgrace to GAOTU and to man. The polishing of shoes can be positively therapeutic. Requiring concentration and a modest expenditure of energy, but no thought, it enables the mind to rest and find comfort. And the result is truly satisfying. Scuffed, badly-maintained shoes denote laziness and unreliability in the wearer. Always take the time to remove laces. Be sure to polish into the welt and also under the instep between sole and heel.

    ( VIII ) THOU SHALT NOT WEAR UNFASTENED CUFF BUTTONS Every gentleman should have working cuff buttons on his jacket. But to leave any of them un-buttoned – one supposes, to impress the observer with the quality and/or expense of the garment being worn – is unconscionably vulgar. It is sartorial boasting and must not be done.

    ( IX ) THOU SHALT NOT BE LATE No attribute has done more to exhibit bad manners than lateness. The Freemason always takes time to make time to be on time.

    ( X ) THOU SHALT NOT CHEW MINTS I am very sorry indeed that this unpleasant subject has to be mentioned. But the chewing of extra-strong mints has become an epidemic which is disfiguring freemasonry everywhere. It makes its practitioners appear moronic and it even results in the defilement of our temple by litter-louts. A freemason who is worthy of the name does not chew mints.
     
  2. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    I could go along with most of those.
     
  3. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    rather pretentious, and if were in place I fear we would have a lot fewer masons than we already have...
     
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  4. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm down with all of those! Well..okay, the mints I might have to sneak in. I know this has been beaten to death, but I would love to sit in a Lodge that has a specific dress code. I remember going through the Scottish Rite in Austin and how impressed I was with their attire. For me, it brings Masonry to another level when I see Brothers dressed for the occasion.
     
  5. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    Not to stir up an argument, but over seas they have more Masons and the above is their dress code... Makes me think, maybe the attire does reflect the man? :)
     
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Ive never heard they have more masons overseas than in the US... interesting.
    I thought Id read there were aprox 3 million Masons in the US and only a total of 5 million in the world.

    Most lodges in the NE US have stronger dress codes also. The lasts stats I recall seeing PA, OH and TX were the top 3 states for number of Masons in the US... Im not sure there is a direct correlation to dress code and number of members. There might be a correlation however to dress and visibility. Interesting idea. I say MEMBERS for a reason, see the RANTS thread.

    All that said, Im conflicted on the issue. I like seeing the officers in coat and tie, esp at degrees. I think all degree team members should dress up. I really wouldnt mind seeing costumes for the degrees similar to the SR degrees but that runs into money and, well again, see the RANTS thread. I cringe every time I see someone walk into the lodge room wearing shorts, flip flops, t-shirts or cut off sleeves!

    If it came down to a young man with a family joining masonry and wearing jeans or not joining because he cant afford a suit (GAOTU knows Ive been there!) Id rather have him join and be in jeans. I cant imagine ever going into the Scottish Rite for a meeting WITHOUT having on a coat and tie!
     
  7. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    I didn't explain myself very well... More Masons overseas wear formal attire. VBG
    And they act and carry themselves differently; more respect for the offices, etc. It may also be more indicative of what they bring to the craft, if you get the impromptu... (not sarcastically meant either)! Just some observations.
     
  8. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    when at lodge for floor school,ill show up in shorts and a t-shirt. for stated meetings i always wear a suit and tie. and for degrees me tom and rhit wear all black.
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    In our country Lodges around here the dress code is normally a collared shirt & jeans or slacks. Coat & tie would be nice but I think it's more important that Brethren attend & are comfortable. In the city, where more men wear coats & ties to work, it's different.
     
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  10. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

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    A dress code is just one of many ways we so respect for others and ourselves. However, I don't think a dress code should be mandatory and certainly not elevated to the point of having Ten Commandants. It is the internal and not the external qualifications that make a man a mason. Dressing nice for lodge is admirable. Going in debt for a $5000.00 + tux in my opinion is a little much for a couple reasons. One, I can't afford a tailor made anything to wear and two, every brother I attend lodge with knows I can't afford it. I can only be who I am. And that is good enough.
     
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  11. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i wore sneakers to lodge tonight, btw. INTERNAL, FYI.

    :)
     
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  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The proper dress for Masonic functions, varies all over the place. In rural Kentucky, masons often wear the same clothes they wear at work. Men often wear bib overalls. In Paris, France- Masons are required to wear coat and tie. Black suit preferred, Tuxedo is OK.

    In the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, I wore blue jeans and khaki shirt, and desert boots. In Iraq, the Masons here wear Desert Camouflage. In Moscow, Russia, I wore a coat and tie.

    I feel that the worth and value of a man, is more imporant than outer garments, or the shine on his shoes. It is the same great fraternity, regardless of dress codes.
     
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  13. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I thought it was the internal and not the external. I guess the point could be made that the external, reflects the internal. But I don't think we want to go there. Having this as a rule is overboard and exclusive. Come on! Tailored suits, bespoke, etc.? But maybe this particular lodge is something like a "tuxedo lodge" and these rules only apply to attendance at that lodge.

    With that said, I like to apply my dad's rule about what you wear to church. Wear the best you have out of respect for God, the instution and the brethren.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
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  14. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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    Please do not show up at our lodge floor school in shorts. It will be mentioned and only the first time is a free pass. Ditto on flip flops. We would also prefer collared shirts, but wont make an issue of it. This applies to both Panther City 1183 and Cooke-Peavy 1162.

    Our (1183) officer attire is Gray Slacks, Black shoes, white shirt, red tie (currently the GM tie) and navy blazer for all stated meetings. A dark suit can be substituted for the Sport Coat and Slacks.

    Our (1162) summer officer dress is dark shoes, slacks (can be gray) and polo shirt (at a minimum). Regular dress will be dark suit or similar to 1183 - no word on the tie yet.

    Many in 1183 would prefer formal including gloves, but that is a hard sell a) in Fort Worth Texas and b) in all but the coldest months.
     
  15. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    We did that for a while.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We don't care how you dress for practice. T-shirts, shorts, flip flops, or barefoot are fine. For meetings we prefer collared shirts & jeans as a minimum, but sometimes Brethren have to come straight from the ranch or work, and that's OK- it's more important to us that they're @ Lodge than how they're dressed. We do appreciate that they scrape the manure from their boots before entering, though. ;)
     
  17. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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  18. JBD

    JBD Premium Member

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  19. WestTexasMason

    WestTexasMason Premium Member

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    "It is the internal and not the external qualifications that make a man a mason"
    I know in my parts of the world if you say "Church Clothes" which is West Texan for "Dress Clothes" more men will show up in jeans and boots than suits. I have recently joined the SR and have been to 2 meetings, some brothers are wearing coats and ties, while others are in collared shirts and jeans, who tells you what to wear? And if it is seasonal when does the coat season begin?
     
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  20. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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