It’s what’s on the inside that counts, right ladies? I would imagine we all heard this message growing up, and who would argue with it? After all, it seems obvious that our inner character and heart are of more worth than our external appearance.
But is what’s on the inside all that counts? What about the clothing we wear? Is it just superficial and consumeristic? I grew up loving fashion and I used to struggle with this question a lot. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve come to recognize that our attire is both important and worthwhile in our lives.
The truth is, we all have to wear clothes (duh), but for the most part we have a choice as to what clothes we wear — and this matters. We can choose to hide behind our insecurities or to highlight our favorite features. We can opt to put on something that makes us feel good or something that’s plain and practical.
Whether we consciously think about these choices or not, the looks we gravitate toward each morning are a direct result of how we see ourselves and what image we want to project to others. So, more than just a visible form of self-expression, our manner of dress is a material manifestation of our inner selves.
Without a word, it communicates who we are and what we value to the world around us. As author Virginia Woolf put it: “Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.”
So while our appearance might not be as important as our hearts, we should not neglect either. We work to cultivate a modest, loving, kind heart, and we should strive as well to reflect the same dignity and beauty in our appearance. Let us consider the motivations behind our sartorial decisions this week and aim to reflect our unique God-given character through them.
What do you think your style says about you? How can your appearance glorify God?