Why I’m Making an Investment in My Appearance: On Modesty and Minimalism
I’m ready to make an investment in my appearance.
Budget constraints, reduced time out of the house, the demands of little children, and outright laziness have all been convenient reasons to live the t-shirt and yoga pants life.
And while there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that, I can do better. I want to do better. I’m ready to do better. Here’s why.
Why I’m Making an Investment in My Appearance
True, timeless modesty lends itself to an element of care.
This modesty is more than just making sure everything is “covered,” although that is an important part of it. No, modesty is a deep, rich, God-honoring concept.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 says,
“I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” (NLT)
Here Paul exhorts Christian women to be modest, in three ways that I see. For one, don’t draw attention to yourself with flashy clothing or accessories. For two, do good. For three, choose decent and appropriate clothing…(Note: …probably not raggedy or sloppy clothing.)
Remember the woman Proverbs 31 woman?
“She is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.” Proverbs 31:22-23
She is dignified and beautiful, a source of purity and light in a dark world, as well as a source of honor to her husband.
So, that’s the ideal I’m thinking about. By presenting ourselves well (without seeking special attention), we are able to honor God (but oh how quickly this can go to our heads if we let it).
He is a God of order, beauty, self-discipline and dignity. We must deflect attention wholeheartedly to Him –not seeking in our appearance an erroneous source of worth, but instead to be our best selves for His glory.
And thus I find vision for investing a bit of time, money and effort into my appearance.
(Another note: This is not the only way of thinking about this topic. And please do not take this reasoning as justification for sin. If you place your worth in looks or possessions, there is a different direction you must run –straight to the cross where you lay down your false gods and take up your true identity as His daughter.)
When it comes to clothes shopping, I am a natural “bargain hunter.”
However, as much fun as it is to hit all those great sales, when it’s all said and done, I usually end up with items that are not ultimately what I would’ve chosen if I’d considered nicer options.
These things are good. They’re just not great. I have piles and piles of good-but-not-great. Much more than I need, in fact!
However, I’ve discovered a new way of thinking about clothes and shopping in general. I take it easier on the Clearance rack, and instead buy what I truly like–those items that suit me in every way and are versatile and made to last. I shop much less frequently, and know exactly what I’m looking for when I do rather than aimless browsing.
I also tend towards quality over price.
In this way, I theoretically craft a wardrobe with far few items that I enjoy more. The end result is a great look and clothes that will last (less in landfills). And I have fewer clothes to keep up with.
Because it’s better quality and less quantity.
I say this is “theoretical” because I’ve been pregnant of postpartum ever since embracing this way of thinking, so honing my wardrobe was mostly put on hold (although I’ve already been practicing this for shoes and accessories).
Well… I’m happy to say, I’m finally back to size! (Now if only I were back to “shape”…)
So it’s time to start putting feet to these ideals.
How I’m Making The Investment
1. “Looking Nice, Keeping it Classy” YouTube Series
Joy Forney, who is a beautiful, well-presented Christian blogger (Oh, and she lives in Uganda with her missionary husband and five youngsters), has recently launched a YouTube series called “Looking Nice, Keeping it Classy.”
I’m pumped. Here’s her intro video. Find her blog here.
I will be following along with this…
2. Stitch Fix
Many of you may have heard about Stitch Fix. It’s a site where you sign up, fill out a style profile, and then receive a box in the mail containing five clothing items, selected by a personal stylist. You try them on at home, think about them, and then return the ones you don’t want in a prepared package. They absorb the shipping costs.
You only pay for what you keep, although if you return everything, they will charge you a $20 styling fee.
Stitch Fix appeals to me for a number of reasons:
- I have three little kids. Shopping is hard, no matter which way you slice it.
- I’m not great at styling myself. I want to look good, but putting it all together is not my gift in life. It’s actually a point of undue stress.
- I’ve heard the quality of the items is high. While I sincerely want that, I don’t know if I could bring myself to shop $80 jeans when left to my own devices. I need a bit of a push to consider quality options.
- I met someone who loves it. That ultimately sold me.
- Through a referral credit system, there is opportunity to defray the cost.
- It’s relatively low risk. If it’s a total bomb, I’m only out $20, and I can return-ship it directly from home.
The style profile is detailed, which makes me hopeful for successful matches. I selected my favorite style from photos.
This was the style I prioritized most:
and this was second:
So, yes I’m making an investment in my appearance in this season. A few YouTube videos and a few articles of clothing may not seem like much to you, but this is a significant step forward for me.
I want to be my best self for God’s glory. It’s hard to know what that means for me, but I will keep pursuing and allowing Him to mold me, whatever that may mean.
I want to live and move in God’s grace and light in every way. I want to live diligently and with discipline and care. For me at this point in life, I think my self-presentation is a part of that equation, although small. **thinking of all the well-presented, godly, beautiful women in my life**