Apparent Apparel

Like many people, I’ve gone through a “clothes craze phase”. I visited a bunch of thrift stores and bought just about everything I thought looked good. As always when you become crazy with something, you notice other peoples’ paraphernalia as well, in this case, clothes.

One really weird thing I noticed is this: if a given person is not into fashion or the latest trends, he usually ends up dressing in clothes that reflect his personalities and interests. For example, I have some friends who love sports. They are definitely not into clothes. But they dress well, and they dress in clothes that present themselves to people as athletes. The jacket, the brand, the pants, shoes… all have something to do with SPORTS!

Another example is myself. Almost everyone who knows me well will tell you about my passion for writing, reading, and literature as a whole. I’m not exactly a fan of fashion… but I do like clothes that “look good”. Due to my pretty conservative background, I usually wear polos and shirts in classic colors and designs, mostly with jeans. But based on my attire, many people will ask me out of the blue if I’m a writer or am planning a career in that direction. Funny… because most of the time they don’t know a single thing about me. And I don’t consciously go out of my way to dress like a literature nerd.

My point in saying all this? Clothes reflect who you are, and as Christians, we must dress to represent ourselves well. Some may say that clothes do not make the man, and clothes do sometimes cover up who a person really is. However, people have a natural inclination to base their first impression mainly on the clothes that particular person is wearing. You may come up with all sorts of excuses and exceptions for your not-so-Christian attire, but in the end, you are misrepresenting yourself, the Christian community, and God. You can look good without dressing like the world dresses.

Also, the wrong clothing attracts the wrong crowd. You may be dressing to fit in with a certain group, impress a certain person, or whatever. But most times, you will end up with the wrong people; the people you should not be with.

I’m not saying this to condemn, but I know the impact clothing trends have on many young believers. I am writing this out of concern for my fellow believers, for why would a peer like me go all out for no apparent reason just to criticize how people dress? Clothing expresses a person’s individuality, but clothes also reflect their values – whether they know it or not.  Personally, in the past I have debated over some clothing styles, and my conservative side won over. But honestly, it isn’t a huge struggle and problem for me. However, I’ve personal experience with people I know who love the Lord and do their best to live out His plan in their lives… but if I was a stranger and just met them, I would not automatically think them Christian – just because their clothes don’t reflect the modesty and self-respect that Christians as children of the King should be shrouded in… around their entire being.

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