Remember the stain-glass illustration from When Clothing Sends a Message ? God loves variety, beauty and personality. It is a gift He’s bestowed that it may be used to shine forth Himself in all the diverse and beautiful ways they were meant for. I don’t want to go into too much detail about this, because I find it is really easy to get caught up with the style/fashion side of things when it should ultimately be about Christ.
Even so, God didn’t make a cookie cutter form of a woman. He didn’t ask that we all wrap ourselves in long black robes that safely covered our feminine and individual identity. What about the other extreme though…?
” Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22)
“The Hebrew word here for “discretion” actually literally means “Taste: that is, (figuratively) perception; by implication intelligence; transitively a mandate: – advice, behaviour, decree, discretion, judgement, reason, taste, understanding.”
Excerpted from the Botkin sister’s book: Reclaiming Beauty Study Guide
Within that discretion the culture, connotation, personality, body shape etc. can all be defining factors in what our wardrobe style will be. Family too is a defining factor. My personal style does include a lot of dresses, my body shape would lend for those to be a more fit and flare style, or the vintage fitted waist with a full skirt look. Thankfully I really do love this style! It’s feminine and I think beautiful. Here are a few points I think are important to defining this aspect of dress.
- An important question in determining your style and taste is Why do I like it?
Does it add dignity? Maybe you love the ultra feminine? Or is it what one might call cute? Is it school-girl cute? Maybe does that mean… immature looking? This is an important part of finding out what best suits. Using discernment and giving reason to your likes and dislikes allows for intelligent & purposeful dress vs. emotional. You see, the princess ballgown might appeal and in emotion I might choose it, but in a intelligent decision I’d go with a far more flexible/ practical dress that suits my situation better.
2. Does it suit the occasion? The occasion will most often reflect your lifestyle which also reflects my family’s lifestyle like I mentioned earlier. Do I have the clothing fitted for living on a ranch? I might go for those tough and versatile cowgirl boots vs. the black leather heeled boots. They are far more suited to a city girl’s environment; I am a country girl… and that just doesn’t reflect rightly. Besides, their connotation isn’t what I want. So, yes, I left them on the shelf 😉
3. If you as a woman represent Christ and Biblical Femininity; what does that look like? We are all examples, so keep in mind, what is it about femininity that you believe? Are you cooperating with the design God used in creating you? Remember that He did create each one of us differently, and yet we are not men – we do have a specific gift of womanhood and that is going to be portrayed in how we act, look etc.
” What is a fine person or a beauteous face,
Unless deportment give them decent grace,
…Awkward, embarrassed, stiff, without skill
Of moving gracefully or standing still?”
– Charles Churchill –
Well, there’s a few thoughts on personal style; this is something that has to be developed and may take a while. Sometimes accessories/ and additional pieces like jewelry can say a lot more about a person than the specific dress, so using those can be so helpful too. I love thinking of what message our dress gives to the culture around us, that each one of us changing and purposely living/ dressing can be a little change that will affect the big picture. And just because I love quotes, I’ll throw in another 😉
” When a culture of true ladies arises… a culture of true masculine gentlemen are sure to follow.”
Let’s be those ladies who are willing to rise up and show the culture what it really means to be a woman! There is no true woman outside of God’s design. May our clothing be an outward visible effect of an inward change. 😀