What Is the Apostolic Dress Code?

The Apostolic Church’s dress code requires all members of the church to dress modestly. Women are not permitted to wear pants, and skirts and dresses must have hemlines that fall below the knee. They may not cut their hair and refrain from wearing makeup and jewelry outside of wedding rings. A man’s hair must be kept short, and facial hair is prohibited. Full-length pants are required, and jewelry outside of watches and wedding bands is frowned upon.

Apostolic dress codes, which are typically found in the Apostolic wing of the Pentecostal church movement, are intended to promote modesty. The Apostolic interpretation of the Bible calls for modest dress to cover all areas of the body that are not essential to everyday functions in order to ward off lustful thoughts. Both male and female churchgoers are often asked to wear clothing that covers their elbows and ankles. Women are not allowed to wear anything that shows the contours of their body, including tight clothing, low necklines and sleeveless shirts.

Apostolic religions believe that this strict dress code helps maintain physical and emotional modesty. They are asked to extend the modesty of the dress code to their physical gestures, conduct, speech and body language. They are also asked to refrain from participating in activities considered lustful, such as dancing or swimming in mixed company.