March 31, 2013

A Re-Worn Easter Dress


For Easter this year, I didn't buy or receive a brand new Easter dress to wear on Easter Sunday. Instead, I searched through my closet on the morning of Easter to pull out a dress - because it was finally warm enough to wear a dress! Honestly, it was a toasty 43 degrees as I walked to church this morning. :) I donned a dress that I really love and have worn a couple of times (to a friend's wedding and my college graduation). 

 
Easter 2013 // via Rachel 

Why do we have to have an Easter Dress, Homecoming Dress(es), Graduation Dress(es), Prom Dress(es), Dress for a Friend’s Wedding(X each wedding), etc, etc, etc?? What is with the ethos of one-wear and done? Some of these dresses might get another wear or two throughout the years, but they’re likely to get replaced by other newer dresses more in line with the fast flow of fashion. 

As I was sitting in church today, re-wearing my blue/green watercolor dress with periwinkle sweater, I was thinking about THE EVENT – the ultimate one and done dress – The Wedding Dress. I thought, what if I just wore a white dress that I already had and really liked? Or if I bought it second hand? Many women do this and there are plenty of sites that can connect people to second hand wedding dresses. (Goodwill is a good economical place to start!) Why not just get a really nice dress - that you're going to wear over and over again? This and other non-traditional themes are common at Off Beat Bride. (Disclaimer: I'm not doing any planning, just referencing.) Below the bride is wearing a purple wedding dress that she can get more use out of beyond her wedding day! How smart!

Screen Cap // Off Beat Bride

What happened to the days of having a one set of work clothes and one set of "nice" clothes? It's so much more sustainable and environmentally friendly, with less chances for capitalist consumption. There's something endearing and inspiring about faith movements with simple dress that don't "conform to the patterns of this world." (Romans 12:2) Modest, plain dress used to be a virtue of being a member of the Church of the Brethren. At one time, dress ties weren't allowed and neither were buttons, because they were too fancy and worldly. By succumbing to the whims of fast fashion, I have become worldly and forgotten the simple values of Jesus, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?" (Matthew 6:25)

Traditional Brethren Dress // bwcob.org

I am so much more than the clothes that I wear. Quaker Jane has a great collection and range of modest, simple dress options. She includes many different faith backgrounds and the many different ways that women express their faith through plain or simple dress. 

There should be no shame in wearing an outfit into the ground! Kristy Powell, at One Dress Protest, wore ONE DRESS for 365 DAYS in protest. In Kristy’s words, “One Dress Protest is meant to be both a statement and an action to express my disapproval of and objection to the ways that fashion undervalues, denigrates, objectifies and oftentimes insults women. One Dress Protest is, at its heart, a conscious attempt to stand up, openly question and explore some of the ways this happens in my own life.”


My first thought when checking out her blog was, “People must have thought she was crazy…or gross…or crazy gross for wearing ONE DRESS all year!” But…if that’s really all the worst that could come out of it…then what’s the big deal? There is so much to gain and explore in the ways of truly practicing sustainability. As I was reading her blog, I just kept nodding and internally screaming, “Yes! Yes!” This really spoke to me…
“Since January I feel like I’ve taken huge steps to liberate myself from the constrictive prison of self-abnegating ideas of beauty, such as the belief that I need to look a particular way or keep up with the latest fashions to feel as I have worth in society. I’ve confronted the prison of my identity as a woman, and how it is a blatant fallacy to believe that my womanhood can somehow be affirmed by the status symbols of the clothes I wear. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve woken up to the prison of environmental unconsciousness, where in my striving to be beautiful through the clothes I used to adorn my body I really just became comatose to the environmental impacts of my fashion consumption.
OneDressProtest.com, August 24, 2011
 …and you know what…she’s a Christian and this protest is intertwined with her Christian values. She wore that little black dress on Easter Sunday. The same dress she had been wearing for the previous four months. What a beautiful obvious reminder that God doesn't require new, clean clothes of us, regardless of what society may tell you (or your church culture for that matter!).

I've got some serious thinking to do about my wardrobe and it's environmental impact. How I manifest my relationship with God says a lot more about me than what's hanging on my back...

//The idea of being Pecuilar has been bouncing around in my head for several weeks now. It's something I want to explore more intentionally. The Church of the Brethren used to be known as "Peculiar People" and I just LOVE that. I want to further live into the peculiar, beautiful, intentional life that God is calling me into.// 

Before I can throw anything else into this post, 
Katie 

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