The next sentences I write are going to fit securely into the "old-fashioned" or "square" mould, but so be it. Some time back I was sitting with my wife next to a cosy fireplace in the dining room of the Tsitsikamma Lodge, when another couple, that were also visiting, joined us. While we were having the kind of introductory conversations that strangers tend to have, I couldn't help but be distracted by the lady's attire. To my mind, I was having a conversation with someone wearing only a pair of pantyhose and t-shirt, which made me distinctly uncomfortable. It was as if I had invaded the privacy of another woman's bedroom! When I talked about it to my wife after the couple had left, she told me that this was apparently the latest fashion, that it wasn't called pantyhose (or stockings) but "leggings" with a loose-fitting shirt. She had also noticed that especially younger girls were sporting this new fashion, and some with "barely-covering-the-essentials shirts" and "next-to-sheer leggings". One thing's was for sure, if either my wife or daughter arrived in their underwear to go out the house, I wasn't going to allow them. (And no, I am not a male chauvinist).
I am telling you this story, not to make an uninformed judgment, neither to start an anti-leggings petition or anti-fashion blog. Fashion has been with us for as long as man have sinned, and the cycle seems to be going full-circle with us all having started out running around naked in our gardens. Over the centuries fashion has evolved from fig leaves, to animal skin, through various permutations of trousers, dresses, shirts, shoes and, of course, the ever-present accessories.
In my lifetime, men's fashion have evolved from stovies (tight fitting trousers and t-shirts) to bell-bottoms, to normal fit, to the holy-look-bottom-peeking, to the loose-fit, to the extra loose-fit-please-show-me-the-top-of-your-satin-underwear, back to stovies. Along the same timeline shirts had become shorter, belly buttons were first exposed and then adorned with jewellery; a plumbers-cleavage is not extraordinary; and among the more daring we've seen the rich and famous parade in outfits that makes me blush.
The reason I am sharing this (and exposing my own subjectivity on the topic) is to expose the natural inclination of humanity's ability to create, evolve and adapt. The ability to see anything through from just an idea in our minds to standing with a completed product is a gift from our Creator. We can achieve and change anything we really want. Within this incredible gift, we will find ourselves coming face to face with certain parameters set in place by the same Creator who gave us free reign in living our lives. The way in which we plan, create, assemble and interact is totally dependent on us. Fashion trends is merely one expression of our creativity.
But fashion, like anything else we conceive and make a part of our everyday lives, is an external expression of an internal motivation. So, in a sense, the way we present ourselves to the world (our society) reflects what is happening on the inside of us. We are all able to differentiate between a confident go-getter and someone who is depressingly down-and-out. We don't unnecessarily cast a judgment, or judge a book by its cover, but little things do show.
Could it be that our fashion sense and fashion choice reflect a deeper state of our souls? And if it does, what is the message that we are sending out to those with whom we interact every day? What does that say for the role models who oversee shaping our ideas (in a sense the "fashionable" way of doing things) within our culture? Here's the clincher: are you a follower or trendsetter?
Could we perhaps apply our fashion sense to our spiritual fashion? "It was faith that immersed you into Jesus, the Anointed One, and now you are covered and clothed with his anointing" (Galatians 3:27)