I’ve been getting a bit of hate for the way I dress. I’m a girl, and usually, I’m wearing a T-Shirt and flare jeans. But the reason why people are trying to get me to change is because my sister is the opposite— she spends a lot of time and effort into what she wears. I, on the other hand, don’t really care as long as it’s comfortable + it makes it easier for me not to worry about being a stumbling block for brothers in Christ. Would you say that there’s anything wrong with that or how I dress?
My first thought when I read “flare jeans” was of a pair of jeans that fires an emergency flare if you get lost in the wilderness, so I may not be the guy to go to for chic fashion advice. Of course, clothing choices isn’t really the core issue here.
It sucks being compared to someone else, especially a sibling. Enough of that happens in your own mind growing up with a sibling of the same sex, it’s definitely not cool for people to actively compare you two, particularly in an area as subjective as how you choose to dress. These people probably mean well, but it is not cool nonetheless.
Dressing appropriately is kind of a life skill of being an adult. You don’t want to wear jeans and flip flops to a job interview. You probably don’t want to rock running shorts and a t-shirt to Thanksgiving dinner with your significant other’s parents. That kind of appropriateness may be what people are trying to pressure you about, but there are much better ways to go about it.
Another thing these people might be hinting at is that dressing more like your sister will garner more male attention. That is nonsense. If a guy thinks you look cute in a dress, he will think you look good jeans and a t-shirt.
A quick note about “being a stumbling block”, I think that puts some unfair pressure on young women. It is definitely good to wear clothes that cover all your bits, and mini skirt/low cut blouse combo is probably not the best idea for church. On the other hand, you are not responsible for whether or not guys lust after you. Jesus says “don’t look at a woman with lust in your heart”, He did not add “unless she’s totally asking for it, bro.” It’s a nice thing to want to add to the temptation guys have to deal with, but you can take that thinking way too far into a weird place where women are responsible for men’s thoughts/actions.
The only real thing that the New Testament says about how to dress is 1 Timothy 2, were there are instructions to dress modestly. That talks about not defining yourself by the way you dress by showing off with expensive and fancy things. Clothing should be an expression of who you are, but not define you from the outside.
There is nothing wrong with dressing as casually as you can get away with. There is nothing wrong with wanting to dress up. It’s about whatever works for you. You don’t get your identity from your clothes, or from copying someone else. You get your unique identity from the way God made you. That is to be celebrated and embraced.
-Matt from The Bridge
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