Today’s post was sent to us courtesy of Emileigh Morton.
If I had to try on one more stretchy, tight, had-to-be-layered-to-be-worn piece of clothing, I was going to scream.
It was a typical shopping day for me at the mall, and my frustration with the current clothing styles was mounting. I was about to explode and pondered the idea of standing on a checkout desk with a fist raised in the air and demanding a loose pencil skirt. Was it too much to ask for a dress that didn’t require constant vigilance to keep from flashing someone? Too much to want a shirt that didn’t have to be worn with a camisole and a sweater and a scarf to be appropriate? Too difficult to come up with a skirt that fit because it was my size, not because it could stretch to my size? Are there any cute shorts that one would not find in Daisy Duke’s closet?
This is the clothing battle of many Christian women today. I definitely want to honor God with what I wear. Despite the fact that we as Christians don’t like to “judge a book by its cover”, our appearance does matter to God to a degree. The Bible is full of God’s thoughts on appearance, both for men and women. Proverbs 11:22 says a woman who dresses without discretion is “like a gold ring in a pig’s snout” (aka, a giant waste of beauty), and in 1 Timothy 2 God urges us to dress decently and not to find the source of their attractiveness in outward fanciness. We are to be pure and to run from “even a hint of sexual immorality” or suggestiveness (Ephesians 5:3). We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 10 that though we have freedom in Christ, we are to be careful what we do so that we don’t cause anyone to be distracted from their relationship with God and stumble (And I would venture to say that this principle would apply to clothing choices for both genders).
Now I pondered all of this and took it into consideration when I went shopping, but I was faced with the dilemma. I knew I wanted to be modest, protect others around me from being distracted, and to honor God with my clothes……. but what is there to wear that does that? There are long denim skirts, and head coverings, and Amish dresses, but those just aren’t my style, nor do I personally feel that biblical principles require such fashions in the American context. What options are there?
Lots of Christian women have found their own solutions to this problem, and I found my personal solution in wearing vintage clothing. Think about it. Longer dresses and skirts, non-stretchy clothing (because many stretchy fabrics hadn’t even been invented yet), and an abundance of higher necklines and wider straps and sleeves. It works out pretty well on the modesty scale, and vintage is actually a pretty hot trend right now.
I decided to take the vintage leap!
Now I dress in vintage styles almost every day. It combines my love for the styles of yesteryear (I’m a big history nerd) with my personal standards of modesty. I can present myself in a classier, more sophisticated and unique way than what many mall trends offer nowadays. Of course, this isn’t a solution for everyone, but I think it’s one that is underutilized!
Since deciding to wear vintage, God has opened up a lot of doors and shown me opportunities to use that vintage love for Him. I’ve started a blog and Etsy shop to connect with other vintage lovers. It has opened up a whole new community of people to me, all people who wear vintage for their own personal reasons, Christians and non alike. I get to intersect lives with people from all over the world that I never would have met otherwise, just because we all like to wear old stuff.
Does God judge our value and worth based on our clothing? Of course not. But can we use our clothing as an opportunity to glorify God and present ourselves well to the world? Can it contribute to our “good reputation with outsiders” as potential leaders in our cultures? It sure can! It’s not about being legalistic, or trendy, or anti-mainstream. It’s about becoming the best we can be for God. So next time you go shopping, embrace your mission. Find the styles that will express to others the dignity, confidence, respect, and self-worth that Christ gives us, and rock it!
Emileigh Morton is a 21 year old vintage hat hunter/student working toward her International Studies degree while drinking gallons of tea to make it through college. She is an eclectic mix of vintage, diverse cultural experience, military love, and a passion to tangibly apply her faith.