In last Friday's edition of Comment, Christina Crook wrote about personal style, both her own and the way she dresses her baby daughter:
For now, I choose not to dress Madeleine in Baby Gap, Please Mum or any of the other name-brand outfits hanging in her own closet, already half full. I'd rather she wear clothing that comes with a story, like the pink knit cardigan from the hospital auxiliary store that was made by hand by a local volunteer. In these small ways, Madeleine's clothing choices can become about relationships and about people, not simply about mass markets, labels or brands. Because after all, she is a child of God, uniquely made, and her story is just beginning. Her style should express it.
As I edited this article last week, I thought about how beautifully it stated the essence of what I believe a Christian attitude toward clothing ought to be. I'm privileged to have many friends and acquaintances who think about this very issue, something I hadn't experienced at all until a few years ago. My childhood was filled with hand-me-downs and cheaply-made Wal-Mart clothing, because we didn't have much money, but it was always quantity over quality at all times. It occurs to me that I reached my adult height around age 13 and would have benefitted from having fewer pieces that were well-made, rather than the many hundreds of cheaply-made pieces I must have owned since then.
On that note, a group of women across North America participated in the October Dress Project, which, of course, just ended. It was inspired by Tala Strauss's article that appeared in The Curator last year (full disclosure: I edit The Curator). The participants wore the same dress for a month, in an attempt to confront their own assumptions and feelings about clothing and simplicity. What an excellent way to challenge one's own creativity and learn more about how we present ourselves through dress!