The Expository Files


Appropriate Dress: Hmmm...

It is more than just my opinion that how we dress is part of the total communication to people about who we are. Even higher, I have no doubt that God is not indifferent to the matter of dress. My conclusions about this are based on Prov. 7:10; Matt. 22:11; 1 Tim. 2:8-10; Jno. 21:7.

Part of this is, we generally dress according to the occasion or task. If I'm working in the yard, painting the house, washing the car or cleaning out the garage, I wear clothing that is cheap, loose and sloppy. When hiking in the mountains I have suitable footwear, cool clothing that is loose and I have no interests in out-dressing other hikers. When working around the house or hiking I generally wear a hat (most of my hats are imprinted with some sort of logo or message).

I've never worn my hiking boots to a funeral. I leave my hats at home when I go to a wedding. And I never wear jeans in the pulpit. It is commonly understood - though there are popular trends to the contrary - that clothing should be appropriate for the situation.

I recently spent some time with a retired educator. His career was in teaching on the high school level, and later, administration. He told me that a few years before his retirement, there was a popular trend to dress down, de-emphasize clothing and go so casual, anybody could wear almost anything. Responding to this, a Dress Up Day was instituted. One day a week, everyone was asked to wear their very best. The boys wore suits and ties; the girls wore nice dresses and dress shoes. Objective statistical studies showed an interesting thing. On those Dress Up Days, disciplinary problems were minimal, performance was higher, and the teachers reported greater attentiveness. Hmmmm.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Final Page
From Expository Files 15.6;  Junel 2008