The Art of Dress: Dressing Creatively

YOU ARE AN ARTIST. 

Every day you pick up your paint brush and create through the world around you. You decorate your home with minute attention to detail. You cook your favorite meals (or throw together a pb&j for the kiddos). You take a picture and share an Instagram post. You write papers, create spreadsheets, make a cup of coffee, and dream dreams. Life is art. And it is beautiful!

When you create, you reflect your Creator. He is the Inventor of creativity, and the Author of all ideas. He thought up the rainbow, flowers, clouds, and sunsets. Clothing is another reflection of the creativity of God, and it was redeemed at the cross. We can use the way we dress to honor Him and point others to Christ in beautiful ways. As women, we have been created with a unique longing for beauty. David said in Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.” When we gaze upon the ravishing beauty of the Lord, we reflect Him in our actions, attitudes, and outward appearance. God is beauty, and He has created beauty for His glory. Life is a canvas to be painted on.

Without knowing it, the decisions you make, the dreams you dream, and the steps you take are all brushstrokes on a canvas. God is painting a beautiful image of His glory all around. His grace is the brush, the blood of Jesus Christ is the eraser that washes away our sins, and the gospel is the canvas we now live our lives on. We can reflect our identity in Christ and His creativity through what we wear. As Christian women, we should walk in confidence in who God created us to be with our heads held high and eyes stayed on the cross. Remembering that our beauty doesn’t come from outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3-4), we can dress in a way that worships our Creator instead of worshipping the created. Today, we will talk through some creative ways to dress with what you have and enjoy the beauty God has created for us to reflect! 

brushstrokes

Every piece of clothing and accessory you put on is a brushstroke. Your entire outfit should make up one work of art. Each element should flow beautifully and purposefully to the next. One of the best ways to spruce up an outfit is through wearing creative accessories:

  • Pops of color - Add color through a necklace, earrings, bracelet, or colorful pair of shoes. I love companies like Noonday Fashion, Fashion and Compassion, FashionABLE, and Market Colors because their accessories are made ethically by women across the world. These women are given a fresh start and chance to live a life of freedom through their work. There are gospel-focused companies like this all over that you can support through purchasing their accessories and make a difference with your money! (Find more great companies to purchase from here.)
  • Style with a scarf - Scarves are one of the easiest, most accessible ways to add style to an outfit. Summer scarves or shawls are lightweight and a great way to make a daytime outfit become a nighttime outfit.  
  • Roll your sleeves - Rolling your sleeves is one of the easiest ways to change a shirt/jacket and make it more up-to-date! I almost never wear a sleeve completely straight. I always either cuff the sleeve or roll it once or twice to add some style. A trick I once learned at a boutique I worked at is to use a size 33 rubber band inside of the sleeve to make it stay up on your arm instead of falling out. This is an easy way to change your outfit and update a blouse! Simply cuff the sleeves to change the look and add a bracelet to your wrist.
  • Tie your shirt or tuck it in - If you have a button up shirt, one way  to change the look of it is to take the two pieces in the front and tie them in a knot at your waist. You can wear it with high wasted jeans or with wide-leg pants for a new style! You can also tuck it in - either fully or partially in the front. 
  • Wear jewelry or accessories that starts a conversation - This could include a scarf you got on a mission trip, a necklace that was made by a women freed from trafficking, or a pair of shoes ethically made in another country. Our clothing can be a beautiful avenue to share the gospel! I love the mission of Dear Mushka. Katie Lewis, the founder and creator of Dear Mushka, makes jewelry that provides women with opportunities to share the gospel. You can find her collection here! Wearing purposeful pieces of clothing that start a conversation is a great way to share your story and the ultimate Story of Jesus Christ. 
  • Add a hat - Hats are another easy way to update an outfit and add some style! This could be a cute baseball hat with meaning, a sun hat, or a floppy hat. Find at least one hat for this season that is a neutral color that you can throw on with a sundress or even with a t-shirt to change the look up a bit (and, bonus points...you won't even have to wash your hair that day;).

colors

  • No color is off limits. Most women tell me there are certain colors they absolutely cannot wear. The thing to remember is that the color closest to your face is the most important. For example, if you have a grey shirt that makes you look washed out, wear a turquoise necklace or scarf that gives you color! You can wear more colors than you think, just pay the most attention to the one closest to your face and how it highlights your features!
  • Pick a color palette for your wardrobe each season. This color palette is what you will use when you go shopping to coordinate the articles of clothing that you purchase. This will enable to you to have a wardrobe that is fluid and not pieced together. You want your clothing to be able to be mixed together. You will ultimately purchase less disjointed pieces by having a color palette and have a more unified look. If you don't know what colors to purchase, check out the Pantone Colors of each season by googling "Pantone Fashion Colors _______" (i.e. Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018) You will get an inside look at what colors will be in the stores and what colors you are drawn to the most!
  • Gold/Silver test. If you are wondering which color scheme you should gravitate towards, do the gold and silver test. Go to a store with good lighting and hold up a gold shirt and a silver shirt to your face. Whichever color brings you the most color to your cheeks and skin coloring is the scheme you should stick with when shopping! Wearing the right colors will brighten up your face and highlight the natural coloring you were created with!
  • Black and brown are a-okay! You can wear black and brown together. The key is contrast. Wear a chestnut brown with black to add contrast and rich color!

things to remember:

  • You should feel confident in what you wear. Your security is in Christ, not your outward appearance. Wear clothing that you can mother, serve, work, and live comfortably and confidently in. Don't try to fit into a style or trend that doesn't fit your personality and who God created you to be. Wear what represents your passions, interested, and personality.
  • Less is more. I promise. I used to be a closet hoarder. I bought cheap items that fell apart or I only half-way liked. What I ended up having was a full closet and an overwhelmed heart each day that I went to get dressed! Over the past two years I have continually gutted my wardrobe down to only the pieces I love and feel comfortable in. Think about this - you only wear one outfit a day (maybe two if you exercise or go to work). And you only live this day once! Why not wear something you love that day? Life is too short to wear clothing you don't like and have a closet filled to the brim with things you don't need. Less is more, but the less you have will actually more because it is more of items that you love!
  • Everything should point to your smile. No part of your outfit should distract from your face. Your smile that radiates the love of Jesus should be the focal point of your outfit!
  • Don't be afraid to try something new! If you see a style that you love but keep telling yourself that you couldn't wear it, I dare you to try it. In trying something new you can glorify God in walking in freedom from insecurity AND encourage your sisters in Christ to do the same!
  • Don't fill your closet with trends. Every season there will be multiple trends that fill fast fashion stores. My encouragement to you is not to fill your closet with these pieces. If there is a trend, invest in one good piece that you and wear that season, knowing that the next year you won't be wearing it again. Stick to items of clothing that are unique to your style, but can also be worn year after year. This will help you spend less and only purchase clothing that will last. 
  • Your attitude, posture, and countenance are a part of your outfit. This one often gets overlooked! How you stand, how you feel, and how you respond to others are a part of dress. I am tall and used to struggle with this one. I wanted to slouch my shoulders so I felt shorter (as if that really helped!). Once I started standing confidently in the height God made me to be, my height became less the focal point and instead it was something I embraced as who I am. It is God's thumbprint on my life! Stand tall in God's grace and smile at the future (Proverbs 31:25).

Let's reflect our Creator's creativity through the way we dress! Are you ready? Let's start painting and creating on this canvas God has given us!

dressing for His glory,

Gretchen