Lecture Discusses the Evolution of Catholic Clothing
November 10, 2010
Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History at Marist College Dr. Sara Dwyer-McNulty discussed "Outfitting the Mystical Body of Christ, 1940s-1960s: Catholics Conforming via Clothing?" on November 9th in the Janet M. Daley Library Lecture Hall.
With the help of a slide show presentation of pictures during this time, Dwyer-McNulty began her lecture with a discussion of Catholic schoolgirl uniforms and their socioeconomic symbolism decades ago. "For girls who wore uniforms, it showed that they were the middle class," she said. "It was not [just] a materialized object."
She also emphasized the changes that occurred in the clothing attire of members of the Church. Unlike previous years, priests could be seen wearing jeans and t-shirts when not performing daily Mass. Nuns too started to appear more lenient in their attire. "At first, you would see sisters wearing a religious habit," said Dwyer-McNulty. "Now, they wear regular clothes."
Dwyer-McNulty has a forthcoming book entitled, Common Threads: Catholics and Their Clothing, 1880 to the Present.