Monday, March 8, 2010

What Not to Wear: When in Rome edition

Deciding what to wear to an evening wedding is challenging enough; imagine how daunting it is to choose proper attire for a papal audience.

Even the most seasoned president, prime minister and ambassador must struggle with deciphering proper protocol. But women, whether they are government leaders or the first lady, have to grapple with a lot more when they meet the pope.

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See has a Vatican protocol primer that walks people through what is considered the proper dress code.

For men: black or dark suit, aka business attire, with a dark tie.

For women: black skirt or dress that reaches at least the knees, black top with mid- to long-sleeves, no pants, simple jewelry, dark closed-toe shoes, and a black hat or veil is optional.

A museum employee told CNS that dressing decently is a common courtesy; one is after all a guest in "a place deserving respect" when visiting the museums or a pilgrim in a place of worship when visiting the basilica.

Clothes do indeed make the woman and the man, and they can also make or break a visit to the Vatican.

[full Catholic News Service article]
[image source]


Amy R said...

I for one, while not likely to visit the Pope anytime soon, have been looking (and looking) for an attractive black dress that would do double duty for Papal audiences and funerals. Do you have any links to share here?

Lucy said...

I have a black dress very similar to this one
that I wear to church most Sundays from fall to spring.

With a cami, this black dress could be really nice.

With a cardigan or jacket, this dress has a lot of potential.

Another nice pick from Ann Taylor

But this 1920s inspired dress from JCrew is definitely my favorite.

It's a difficult style to find, especially if you are a younger woman, because it's been difficult to find longer sleeved dresses for the last few seasons. But given the longer sleeves, it's likely to be on the clearance racks as spring comes through. The key is to find a dress that is both crisp and feminine. You might also find something cute and vintage at your local thrift store. It's definitely a garment worth having.

Amy R said...

I just got back to read your posts, and the first two are expired...but the others are great. Thanks for sharing!

I ended up going to thrift stores, and found some really good items:
a long charcoal cotton-knit sleeveless maxi-length shift with a matching shell button-up hoodie by Garnet Hill, which I wear with an extra-wide silver leather belt; and a long-sleeved black acrylic wool knit shift by Liz Claiborne.

I have worn the shift/hoodie ensemble a lot already, even though I've not had any funerals to attend.

I tried to find pictures to share here, but was not able to.