Dressing Can Be Distressing
There is so much pressure to think about the way we dress, especially if we have friends with certain styles and views - so we're delighted to bring you this fun and engaging post from Lydia, on the woes and delights of our wardrobes! MP Team x
Each morning when my alarm goes off and I’ve dragged myself out of bed, I head straight to my wardrobe. When picking out an outfit I always ask 3 questions:
Is it practical? Is it comfortable? And does it fit my personality or how I want to be seen?
Sometimes a t-shirt and jeans is all I need - practical, comfy and no fuss. Other days I bring out the dress, kimono and crazy silver shoe combination - on those days I’m feeling groovy! (Or maybe like I’ve had a mid-life crisis early…)
Clothing can be a tricky one can’t it? So many ‘rules’, trends to keep track of, the balance of wanting to fit in but also stand out, balancing visual appearance with what’s going on inside…
Let's face it, dressing can be distressing! But does it have to be this way?
“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes” (Matthew 6:25)
When I read this I think “okay, great, Jesus is telling us to not care about what we wear” right?
Kind of. We are taught about our physical clothes throughout the Bible - not adorning ourselves on the outside but the inside, helping our brothers to steer clear of lust. So dressing ourselves becomes about what's pleasing to God, helpful to others and helpful to us.
But what does that look like? It seems like a lot of people to please! How can we find our own style when we’ve got to take into account all of them?
Try things that you’re drawn to, whether that's the texture, colour or shape.
Often comfort is key. I find if I'm not comfy, I struggle to be confident.
Always take lots of things into the changing room and see what works and what doesn’t, in this case there’s no harm in trying because money hasn't been spent on things you’re unsure about.
This is a good litmus test: if you turned up somewhere with people you'd never met, does what you're wearing reflect what you want them to think of you?
- Different styles suit different people so spend some time finding some that work for you.
Oh, modesty! It’s a difficult subject but one I feel needs to be addressed, or at least questioned. To start with: I don’t believe it’s your responsibility if someone looks at you lustfully. But, I would encourage us to be mindful of what struggles, particularly some of our guy friends, might be dealing with. Let’s be loving friends and help them out, trying not to dress in ways we know are deliberately distracting.
But also think about how you want people to view you. This may sound brash but you are so much more than a pair of boobs and a short skirt! What do you want people to think about you when they first meet you?
You were created with a beautiful face, amazing mind, skills, talents, and personality. Let these be what people remember, not how small your top was.
Sometimes it sucks; a pretty top that's just that bit too low cut, those shorts that are just a bit too short. But here’s a handy tip: many shops have ‘tall’ versions where they add a couple of inches on to the end of their clothes – AMAZING!
Fads and trends:
Trends come and go and it's so easy to be persuaded that we need a certain item to be in the ‘cool’ group. So when a trend comes in and the ‘cool’ girls are sporting it ask yourself “do I really like that or do I like the idea of the popularity it could bring?”.
Many times I've been caught off guard, bought something, got home and realised I actually don't like it. I've been swept up in to thinking it will get me into the ‘group’. I’ve learnt it's actually much more important that you like it. If it’s ‘on trend’, great! If not, so what, as long as you like it. The Bible says: “Do not conform to the patterns of this world”. I think we can apply this to the way we dress too.
Created by God:
Jesus says “do not worry…about what you wear” and we know that God sees us for who we are. So why should we care what He thinks if He looks past it anyway? The Bible says we should “honour God with (y)our bodies”, that we’re “created…in the image of God” and are “worth more than gold”.
So with that in mind, when we dress in the morning we should respect the body God has given us and dress to reflect our worth and identity in Him; in a way that doesn't distract or miscommunicate God living in us.
Lydia has just started sixth-form in Cambridge, studying Art, History of Art and Geography and is looking forward to how God is going to use her in this time. Lydia loves making brunch, pottery, crazy dancing in public, anything metallic and stationary!