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Importance of clothes and appearance in society

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

Many years ago, I was told by a late dear friend of mine that I have my own unique sense of style, but that it is always respectful. What she meant by that is I am not super trendy but I also do not show up to work in crop tops and daisy dukes. That attire is fine in certain situations, like on weekends at a cookout or the beach, but not appropriate in a professional context. As a general rule, I tend to be a bit more modest, and also pretty girly. I love skirts and dresses and jewelry and scarves and just having a good time with my clothes.

As we move into a new season, part of the fun, at least for me, is switching over the wardrobe to a new look. For me this means short sleeved shirts, flirty dresses with capri leggings, and lighter sweaters for work where the air conditioning tends to be a bit much at times. Bringing out the season’s weather appropriate clothes always feels like just having gone shopping to me. It is a refresh for the new time of year, but without spending any additional money.

The other thing that the summer weather can bring is trips to the beach and the pool, presenting a whole other need of wardrobe equipment. This means swimsuits. Now there are so many options ranging from bikinis to swim dresses, depending on how much skin you wish to show. I personally go for at least a one piece. I burn very easily and had a bikini in high school. One sunburned stomach while wearing a high SPF sunscreen was enough for me to learn my lesson.

One thing you have to be very careful about with bathing suits after swimming in salt or chlorinated water is that you hand wash and line dry them as soon as you return from swimming. This will allow the bathing suit to remain in good condition for a much longer period of time. I have tended to my bathing suit this way and it has lasted me for years. Always right into the sink with some mild soap after a trip to the beach.

Clothes are great fun. At least to me. And can be an affordable indulgence if purchased once in a while at thrift stores or the clearance rack at a TJMaxx or Target. My late mother trained me as a bargain shopper and I have gotten good at it. While I enjoy clothes and dressing for the day, appearances are not everything and we should not lose sight of the more important and less superficial things in existence.

I think we do place a bit too much importance on clothes and appearance sometimes in society. Yes, it is important to present well and professionally, particularly in a work setting, and to be neat and clean. But I also think of that passage in The Gospel of Matthew that admonishes us to consider the lilies who do not toil and spin yet they grow and even Solomon is not dressed as fine as they. It also says that if God so clothe the grass will he not also clothe us. I think what it is trying to remind us is that God does provide. It is also a reminder that material things are not the most important matters about which we should be worrying at all times. Realistically they are a concern. But there are more important matters than just our attire and the universe has made us beautiful even if we were to dress in rags.

by Julie Morse

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