If Clothes Could Talk... What Would YOURS Say?
By Shari Braendel

As I wait in the carpool line to pick up my son from school I look around and watch. Not at the children as they exit the school, but at the women picking them up. There's one mom in sweats and a big t-shirt with the school name plastered across the front. There's a woman hurrying up the sidewalk with a low-cut top and a skirt so short I'm concerned for the Headmaster to see her because not only should she be embarrassed but I'm afraid he will be, too. Then there's the sweet new teacher the students seem to love, but her jeans are extremely tight and you can see her underwear lines. Oh wait, there's Sheila, wearing that denim jumper again. You know the one that hangs on her like a potato sack completely disguising the fact she has a shape? And there's Helen who always seems so sad.

If your clothes could talk, what would they be saying to others about the way you see yourself? Are they telling the world you think you're sexy? Or perhaps the message your clothes project is one of “I don't care about myself.” Maybe yours are saying, “Don't look at me.” Whether you want to believe it or not, what you put on your body each day speaks a thousand words to those around you. You may not think your wardrobe has anything to do with who you are, but that's where you're wrong.

When God first prompted me to speak to Christian women about fashion I was excited and nervous at the same time. I couldn't believe He wanted me to use my knowledge of the fashion and beauty industry to minister to women in the church. But in His ever so gentle way, He showed me that many women don't like the way they look so they try to cover it up by wearing clothes to mask who they really are.

When a woman doesn't feel confident about how she looks on the outside, her real beauty is disguised. We know that true beauty is an inside job, but when you feel the need to dress in a manner that doesn't adequately describe who you are on the inside, you send a mixed message.

The woman in the denim potato sack may be telling us she thinks everyone else in her family is more important, and “don't look at me.” Or perhaps she gained a few extra pounds over the last several years and doesn't know how to dress to hide her fluffy tummy. Helen's suit is plain, her hair long and pulled back in a pony tail and her appearance communicates to us she is depressed and tired. Even though she is a very feminine woman, she doesn't know how to dress to be feminine and compete in the workplace. And since she is trying to get that promotion, she wears plain suits because that's what she's always been told is the key to competing with the men at her job.

The young teacher might be trying too hard to be like one of the kids so she's dressing like them, but her appearance says “sexy.” Or she just may not realize that tight jeans are not appropriate for her new position and is still dressing like she did during her college days. The woman with the low-cut top and mini skirt is sending a message that says, “I am not confident turning 40, and I want to be young and in style.” She isn't dressing age-appropriate and it is shouts that message for all of us to see. Except on the inside she's insecure with who she is as a woman as she grows older.

God wired us to feel beautiful. The problem is, we have been deceived by the great deceiver himself into thinking we are not pretty enough, young enough, desirable enough or just enough. We have been so busy we have completely forgotten to take the time to even think about how to dress to reflect our inside beauty.

It's time to get real with your appearance. Inside and Out. It really is okay to look good, feel good and spend time on yourself. We are representing the God of the universe yet we look frumpy, tired and out of style. Come on, sistahs, look in the mirror, repeat these words, “I'm beautiful, I'm beautiful!” Then go to your closet and stand there. Consider what you are going to put on today. Don't just grab easy, comfy and quick. Take some time to consider what you feel good in. Put on a color that makes you sparkle. Go to your jewelry box and pull out an accessory you really love but haven't worn in awhile. Go shopping for a nice fitting pair of jeans and a trendy new top and buy a pair of cute flats. Step out of your comfort zone and give yourself permission to spend time on your outer appearance.

You are the daughter of the most high king ... it's time to dress like it!

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Blogger shhorne said...

I have always felt this a pastor's wife I had inquired in the beginning of my marriage. Always told us to remember who you representing when going out in the public"JESUS". This has always stuck with me, and I tried to raise my children in the same mind set at school, church,work, or hanging with friends.

Blogger Dobis said...

great article. Christian women should look good in their dressing but decent.

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Good stuff!!! Thank you so much for this article!!!

I used to dress in frumpy, shapeless and oversized clothes ....in an attempt to hide and not draw attention to myself, or in styles that were elegant but much older them my years ....in an attempt to strive for/attain to my hearts desire of being a full-time minister and Pastor's wife. I still strongly desire to be a full-time minister and a Pastor's wife, but I know that it will come in God's timing and in His Way. After years of having different members of my church family try tactfully, and then more pointedly, to help me see The Light and finally get it together, I am recently and finally beginning to walk this out in my life. It does feel good to be well attired and know that you are presenting an appearance that reflects positively on The King of kings! The Lord has also been convicting/impressing upon me to always remember that as His daughter, I should be well attired but always to do so with dignity and modesty, and not give in to the temptation to sacrifice such for fleshly sensuality and appeal. It is so easy to get caught up in the thrill of trying on those "oooh-this-is-so-cute/gotta have" outfits that makes one appear appealing. I was so convicted by a message clip I listened to on youtube by Paul Washer entitled "The Virtuous Woman" in which he recounts a conversation with his wife about the difference between true beauty and sensuality. He told of how they agreed that a woman could be really beautiful and all one would think was: "wow, there is a lady of true and elegant beauty" whereas another lady, sometimes not as naturally beautiful as the first type of lady, could walk into the church and the men would have to turn or drop their heads because of the sensuality dripping from her. He then went on to state that sensuality stems from a wicked heart. Beth Moore also has a teaching clip from her "Esther" series on the subject entitled "Mean Girls." The Full Truth is that sensuality has to do with one's carriage as much as with one's dress, because it is ultimately a matter (and revealer) of the heart. So The Lord began convicting me sorely to consider the root motive for my desire to "look cute" and to make sure that while my clothing choices should be nice, presentable and yes, even age-appropriately elegant, they should be devoid of the sensual appeal so prevalent in our culture and the popular clothing trends being followed. And more importantly, my heart, and our hearts as the royal daughters of A King ....THE King of kings, should be free from the same as well!!!

I did not intend to write the above, and am actually surprised as to how that all came pouring out; but it is too heartfelt to erase so I sincerely pray it blesses some and at least makes sense to others. What I was really trying/intending to say is that I was immensely blessed by this article because it encourages me to continue doing well in appearance and presentation because I represent Jesus and to not give in to feelings of guilt for enjoying the process and outcome of dressing and looking nice so much. It also encourages me to not heed the old, familiar lies that kept me dressing frumpy for so long and that would like to persuade and guilt-trip me back to that place. I pray that by the Grace of God and with The Holy Spirit's help I will successfully, God-Honoringly and continuously attire and carry myself in a manner that genuinely models and reflects a heart of true modesty, excellence, dignity and beauty of and In Christ Jesus!!!

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