In junior high school, I owned two pairs of pants. I owned a brown pair of corduroy and a green pair of denim pants. It was the 80s. Cut me some slack!
We didn’t have much money at the time. My parents recently divorced and my mom was struggling to get back on her feet. And extra money for clothes wasn’t available. But I didn’t really care. I rotated between those two pairs of pants each day and at the end of the week, they went in the wash. It certainly made getting dressed easy.
However, the boys in my science class did have a problem with it. They began teasing me about wearing the same pants over and over again. They would say, “Hey, what do you think she will wear tomorrow? The green pair or the brown pair?”
It went on for months until, one day, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I knew my mother didn’t have the money, but she took me shopping. And I learned a valuable lesson: jeans! I bought two pairs of jeans. No one would know if I wore the same pair the day before. I could even wear the same pair of jeans every day and no one would know.
That experience changed the way I thought about clothes. It changed the way I thought about me. I realized people paid more attention to my outer appearance than my inner person. But my inner person was what I valued most about myself. So I learned to hide in a world of neutral colors and blend into the background.
As an adult, I hoped things would be different. Wow! What world was I living in?
We were newly married and I had a new job at a boutique in West Bloomfield. It was chic and expensive and exclusive. At the interview, I asked about the dress code. They told me that business dress was best. Casual was fine, but they preferred the women to wear skirts and dresses. I had a little bit of money put aside, so I went and bought some new clothes for my new job.
Two weeks later, my boss called me in her office. She told me how she appreciated my business attire, but that I had “too much color in my wardrobe”. They preferred their employees to wear black, white, navy, and other neutral colors. I couldn’t believe I was being reprimanded for wearing yellow. I would later have another job reprimand me for wearing too much black. I will never understand fashion requirements!
This week we started our clothing fast journey. You can read about it here. We choose seven articles of clothing to wear for seven days. My morning meditations have stirred up so many feelings about clothes. If I could, I would wear black trash bags for the rest of my life. Okay, probably sweats pants. But you know what I mean!
I’m 48 years old and I still don’t understand fashion. Why does it matter so much to our world what I am wearing or not wearing? Why does it matter more because I am a woman? And why are my clothes still more important than the person I am on the inside?
Do you see me? The real me. Not my hair or my make-up or my clothes or my weight! Just me. Do you see how I love, when I cry, what I worry about? Do you know what gets me out of bed in the morning?
You don’t know me. But God does.
God knows when I sit and when I stand. He knows what breaks my heart and motivates me. He knows how much I love and care and how hard I try. He clothes me with honor and power from on high to be the person He created me to be. God sees the real me!
This morning I woke early. My pajamas for the week are gray yoga pants and a bright pink shirt. I got up, brushed my teeth, and went for a walk. I waved at people as they walked by even though I still had bed-head and greeted them with a smile. Maybe they wondered who this weird person was with the crazy hair and the bright pink shirt. Maybe they were so lost in their own world they didn’t give it much thought. I don’t know. And I didn’t care. Because I am more than my outer appearance. I am more than the clothes I wear.
Here’s to waking up from my recliner and realizing there is more to life than how I dress!