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clothing and identity


Have you ever thought about the message your clothes send and what it says about you? What story are you telling with your style today?

I think this is an important question to ponder! In a world where we are constantly being encouraged to conform to what is deemed in Milan or New York, it is very hard to forge our own styles. The majority of us are influenced more by what celebrities wear than our own fashion sensibilities. We never stop to ask the question, does this style or image reflect my values. Rather, we find ourselves parading the latest trends. You see this often with teenagers, but unfortunately we all succumb to the pressure of being part of the in crowd, even when that trend contradicts our deeply held values.

Style is more than clothing

Style is more than the clothes we wear, it’s how we carry ourselves. Our style reveals what is distinct and unique about us. Style then is the outward expression of how we see ourselves. Our attire and the way we put ourselves together sometimes speaks louder than our words. As a pastor I have the great privilege of working with people and I am amazed at the stories people tell with the clothes they wear. What they wear and how they wear the clothes reveals so much about them. In a moment I can tell how they are feeling, which part of their body they like or dislike, how confident or comfortable they are and where they think they fit in to the world.

When I was 14 I dressed not to express who I was but to hide my skinny frame! My primary objective was to cover up what I deemed to be unattractive about me and to gain acceptance from my peers. How many of us do this? Wearing clothes to hide rather than to express who we are.


What we put on every morning does matter! Even if you are not fashion conscious, the choice of clothes you put on will influence people’s perception of you, and how you see yourself. We should never judge a book by it’s cover. However, the book cover does hold the pages together. Yes, we are more than covers but what covers us does say something and has value.

Conceal or reveal?

When we have a healthy self image we use clothes to reveal our inherent value. However, when we have a negative self image we use clothes to conceal. The outer garments we wear should never define us, but sadly this is all too common. Much of society is segregated by style and this has dire consequences. I believe we need to embrace the person despite the clothes and accessories they wear.

Yes, we can experience a temporary boost of self confidence by what we wear, but we have to recognize this is temporary and will not bring us lasting joy. Way too many of us hide behind our various styles instead of using clothes to express what is beautiful and unique about us.

If you want to improve your style and want to say something positive with the clothes you wear I encourage you to first start figuring out who you are, and you will naturally begin to wear clothes that reflect this new found identity.

We are not what we wear, but we have to recognize we can become what we wear. Putting on different types of clothes has the power to change our self perception and how others see us. This is why it’s important we pay attention to clothes we put on.


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