Clothes, Fashion and Practicality: Where do YARs draw their lines?

Out of all the issues we discuss on YAR, what we wear is probably one of the least important. But we all make choices daily about clothing, so it’s not something to just ignore, either.

How does what you wear communicate something about you to other people? Do you use your clothing as a medium consciously?

Are you more interested in the production of said clothing than what the style, cut, and extras have to say about you? (Sweat shop labor concerns and the like)

How do you keep clothing from being more important an issue than it ought to be? I know a woman who wears plain, roomy dresses she makes herself not because she’s trying to look Amish (not that there are any Amish people in her town in England, anyway), but because it helps her focus on important things and not her body shape and size. Those of you who have worked in medical settings where scrub uniforms are required may know the feeling of liberation by not having to think about what you’re going to wear to work that day.

Is there clothing you just won’t wear? Why or why not?

Comments (6)

  1. JUnrau

    My clothing choices tend to the practical and comfortable, so pants with lots of pockets, Tshirt, and layers of hoodies and fleeces to get me through 8 months of the frickin’ year (I am so not built to live in Canada). I do consciously wear certain things. I’m not a fan of being a billboard so I either wear plain organic cotton things or shirts made by artists I respect.

    A lot of the comics I read are online for free so to make a living at their art they merchandise. Since they’re clever graphically minded people they make good shirts. I do think about the sweatshopishness of things, but since so many of them have migrated to American Apparel shirts I don’t worry too much. I just want the people who make the things I find beautiful to keep on being able to do that.

    I used to do a lot more thrift store buying, but I tend to wear things to death anyway, so investing in pants without holes in them to begin with is a good idea. I’m also lucky enough to have both a grandma and a roommate who sew, so patched up worn-to-death stuff is also common.

    But that’s here where the living is easy. One of the problems I had when I was in China was the lack of clothes I felt comfortable wearing (literally comfortable since XLs sleeves were an inch or two short of my wrists). I didn’t feel like myself wearing the button up shirts I had to wear as a teacher, but I hadn’t brought much else along. Finally (11 months into my term) I found a black Tshirt that fit the way I like clothes to fit. But it was a Converse shirt, big logo across the front. I hemmed and hawed for days but eventually the amount it made me feel like myself was worth their questionable business practices. And I could wear it inside out.

    Reply
  2. Erica Lee

    There are some clothes that I don’t wear, because they are too small for me and I don’t feel like being made fun of. I wear certain clothes to try to impress these boys at my school. But that doesn’t seem to help.
    I feel like there is no ending to being my size and wieght. There are clothes that I really like and want, but just can’t seem to fit them.

    Reply
  3. christine

    Hey Erica Lee,
    I was reading your comment and I wanted you to feel comforted. I want you to realize that those boys are not worth trying to impress if they are not going to appreciate you for who you are. You should be looking for the clothes that you really like and feel comfortable in. Just remember that God made you who you are and He loves you just the way you are right now. The right boy will come along one day and you will know that he is perfect because of the way he treats you. Don’t waste your time trying to impress inconsiderate boys that you will always have to work for thier attention.

    Reply
  4. Jen

    I’m not sure where I fit in the spectrum of the website being a new (baby)Christian, but I’ve recently converted my dress too…to dresses!! I used to try to hide my body (not well)behind big Lane Bryant clothing (usually some huge shirt and “career” pants),and just recently discovered Katie’s Mercantile, a Mennonite women/girl’s site on the web where I can find great simple and handmade in USA!! dresses, skirts, blouses and jumpers for a lower price than you could find anywhere…I’ve found that ironically, since I started dressing plain but feminine, both men and women in my urban (Cincinnati) job appreciate the effort!

    Reply
  5. Tim Baer

    I wear whatever doesn’t smell funny and costs less than $5 from Sears.

    Reply
  6. SteveK

    I typically wear what has been given to me by the folks on the street. A couple folks look for t-shirts for me. So I have one that says “So many books, so little time.” I also have two beat up leather coats that look cool on the street and keep the wind and rain out. And I wear a hat almost all the time to keep the rain and sun off of my face. The important thing for me, though, is not to spend money on clothes, if I can help it. If I do, then I go to a thrift store. I can pick up a pair of jeans for a few bucks.

    Reply

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