by Dina Sleiman
With Christmas shopping just around the corner, let’s talk about Christian fashion trends. Look back just fifty years and the Christian church attire was pretty standard. Long dresses with heels and hose for women. Suits, preferably three piece, and ties for men. But we’ve come a long way baby. It’s not that young people today desire to be sloppy or lazy about church. It’s just that they desire authenticity in their Christianity. They don’t want to feel like they’re putting on a costume for church when they dress differently 6 ½ days of the week. In fact, even the concept of “dressing up” has changed with this generation. Business casual of nice jeans and collared shirts has replaced the suit and tie. Women often wear jeans with blouses and fancy shoes to “dress up.”
First of all, contemporary Christian fashion seeks to be a light in a dark world. The clothing features Christian messages, scriptures, and scripture references. This is a great way to reach out to non-Christian friends. Whether you choose a t-shirt with a bold message, a dress shirt with subtle Christian symbolism, or jeans with a scripture reference on the waistband, you will be making a statement about what you feel is important in life. Their store brand, “NOTW,” stands for “Not of this world,” and proclaims that there is something more important than what we can perceive with our five senses. This sort of message is important to our culture seeking supernatural experiences and spiritual realities.
In their stores, C28 goes even farther in ministering to the world. They reach out to teens and young adults in malls across the nation through Christian music, prayer, and in store evangelism. Over 16,000 people have come to faith in Jesus in C28 stores, and a portion of all their proceeds go to ministry.
I've noticed that women of my mother's generation often consider skirts modest because they hide the leg line. However, my generation and my daughter's generation feel more modest in pants because the legs are covered and the fabric won't blow in the wind. In my personal opinion, modest clothing should not be skin tight, reveal cleavage of the northern or southern variety, or expose areas that are best kept private. As you can see in this tank top, C28 offers clothing that covers all the important areas while not drawing undue attention.
But that’s still hard to define and depends on culture and setting. If a girl wore a tankini to the beach, she would look modest in that context. But, if she wore the same tankini to the mall, church, or the office, she would be perceived as immodest, even downright scandalous. I encourage my children to take an additional step towards modesty for church, not because I want them to be phony, but because I want them to be extra careful not to distract anyone from God.
Finally, as I mentioned in the beginning, contemporary Christian fashion is authentic, just as contemporary Christians are. Don’t be surprised if you walk into C28 and have a body-pierced or tattooed sales clerk come and tell you about Jesus and offer to pray for you. The clothing at C28 is culturally relevant so that others will find Christians approachable, and so that young people can feel comfortable and real. This store carries clothing that is geared toward a number of youth subcultures including skater/surfer, hip hop, and preppy.
The mission statement of C28 is: TO GLORIFY GOD BY SHARING THE LIFE CHANGING GOSPEL MESSAGE OF GRACE, TRUTH AND LOVE FOUND ONLY IN JESUS CHRIST THROUGH PRAYER, EVENGELISM AND GOD'S WRITTEN WORD ON APPAREL.
What a great idea. All that we say and do should glorify God, including our clothing. And the great news is that this does not have to mean dressing in outdated fashions, covering to our wrists and ankles, or “dressing up” in skirts and suits.
Let’s stop dividing the secular and sacred. Life should be worship and worship should be life. Instead of putting on a costume to visit God once a week, how about we invite him into every single second of our lives!
There's still plenty of time to order your Christmas presents from C28 this year. Check their clearance page for great deals. If the clothing seems a little expensive, just remember in addition to being clothing, it is also an investment into minsitry and evangelism. Could there be a more worthy cause? And visit your local Christian bookstore or shop online for great Kerusso t-shirts as well.
How do you think Christians should dress? How do you define modesty? Have you seen any great Christian t-shirts that tickled or blessed you? What's your current favorite outfit?