When Jayson and I are anywhere – a restaurant, a party, even a store – and a woman walks by, I’ve already checked her out from her hair to her shoes before Jayson can even turn his head. Maybe it’s scrutinizing the competition, maybe it’s every girl’s insecurity, maybe I’m judging, maybe I’m admiring. Regardless, I look. Everyone looks.
There is no denying that our appearance has an effect on others, whether positive or negative. We can say all we want that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we do. First impressions matter. How we dress is a reflection of who we are – how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us. It speaks to our identity, our personality, and our individuality.
While we shouldn’t get completely caught up in appearances, we can’t ignore them, either. Some people write off fashion and clothing as superficial and meaningless, but they convey a message about what we want others to see in us and how we want them to know we feel in that moment. At times our clothes convey confidence, while at other times they scream, “Leave me alone!”
Think about the first clothing ever made: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings” (Genesis 3:7). These first outfits by Adam and Eve conveyed their shame, guilt, and the realization of sin. The clothing we wear can transmit a powerful message.
As a Christian, I’ve become more thoughtful and intentional about how I dress and what messages I’m sending out by my appearance. To that end, I’ll be attending the first ever Christian Fashion Week this weekend. I’m curious to see how “Christian Fashion” will be defined, interpreted and presented by its founders and participating designers.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.