What Do Your Clothes Say About You? 

January 28, 2015

I recently went shopping with a couple of the ladies who work at my husband’s office. They wanted to help me find a black dress for an office dinner. They asked me, “What is your style?” I had no idea. I have since tried to answer that question.

Why do you wear what you wear? Is it to be in style? Attract attention? What motivates you to choose a certain dress?

I Timothy 2:9-10 tells how women should dress: “Women are to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls, or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” 

Your dress should show Who you worship.

Do you dress to draw attention to yourself? Do you dress to find a man? What kind of man would you attract? Do you seek to please God?

How a person dresses reflects their values, their priorities, and their life.

During the time of the writing of I Timothy 2:9-10, dress showed a person's status: the more exotic, gaudy, and extravagant, the richer they were. Paul is telling us, don’t mimic that.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? And that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:19-20

Dress with the intent to worship, not be worshipped. Does your dress call everyone to look at you, or can they see God?

Your dress should lead to good works.

Good works for you: A certain way of dress can cause certain actions. When I was a teacher, I dreaded Casual Day at school. Why? The students’ actions mirrored what they wore and they were unruly and harder to manage.

If you work at home and stay dressed in your pajamas, your comfort shows in your accomplishments and in your attitude. The way you dress affects the way you act.

Does your dress help you do good works?

Good works for others: We don’t live by ourselves. Our dress can cause our Christian brothers to sin. How? Men are motivated by sight. That is why advertising for a car includes a pretty girl.

Men are one step (at least) ahead of what they see. Matthew 5:28 helps me see this: “But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Because I am raising boys, I look at the world as a mother bear protecting her cubs. My boys are responsible for their own sin, but I minimize exposure to what may make them sin.

I have stopped driving down Shaw Avenue around the airport. The billboards portray scantily dressed girls in provocative poses. I’m not enticed, but I want to protect my boys from temptation.

When I take them swimming at Hume Lake, we leave early and swim in the early morning arctic lake. When the sun gets hot and others begin to arrive, we leave. I guard their minds by avoiding places where women do not dress for good works.

Do you encourage others to good works by how you dress?

Good works for your husband: Another aspect of this good works is using your dress to respect your husband. You’ve given yourself to him. That includes how you dress. Respect him enough to give him all of you and don’t share your body with another.

I have a black dress that I wear only for my husband—because it pleases him. Those times are not for me to be modest. Pleasing him gives me pleasure, and God is pleased too. Save this type of apparel for your husband alone.

Your dress can be stylish.

Paul (back in the verses at the top of the article) describes braided hair, gold, pearls and costly garments, not because those things are evil, but because during that time, the Roman elite were flaunting their jewels and clothes as a status symbol. Others emulated them to be thought equal to their status. Have things changed since the Roman times?

Seek God for what He would approve. That’s how you live modestly in a world interested in showing it all. You can dress modestly yet still be stylish.

Style comes down to preferences, and leaves room for individuality and personality. I feel more comfortable in dresses. (I went to schools requiring them, but when temperatures were 0◦F and wind chill was -20◦F, pants were permitted as a safety issue.) I wear pants to the barn—it’s an issue of practicality. (I don’t try to be stylish at the barn.)

By the way, the ladies who took me shopping helped me find a nice black dress that was modest and stylish (thank you very much). My husband and I enjoyed the office dinner. But afterward, we both enjoyed the other black dress much more.

What does your dress tell about you? I want to point others to God, not distract them from hearing His voice. What about you?

Displaying all 2 comments

Very well done Sonya and so needed. You not only preach but practice in your own life.

I agree with you so much. Especially since reading "Created to be His Help Meet," I've realized much more what we women do to men, and how in spite of what the world says, women do have a responsibility to dress modestly.

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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