Generally there are three ways that all people dress; "up," "down" and "average." For the sake of this essay we are excluding job-related "work clothes" since those differ with every job; from Burger King, to the mechanic, to the business man. "Work clothes" are not clothes of choice but required clothing, therefore they are not related to your free will. You wear them because you have to not necessarily because you want to. This essay is an inquiry into how you choose to dress.
Also, since I am a man I will primarily be dealing with how men dress. I don't claim to understand women's fashion but I am sure there is a way this can be applied to women.
Average - There is the way you dress everyday. You can call it "casual," "everyday," or anything else you want. It is the way you dress because there is no pressing issue to force you to dress in some other fashion. Let's say this "average" dress is represented by casual dress slacks and a casual shirt. We are not talking about tank tops, cutoffs or blue jeans. And by no means are we talking about walking around like a mouth-breathing idiot with the top of your pretty underwear showing! (That is no "style" at all. That's just an idiot who is afraid the people around him won't know that he's an idiot!) I guess the female equivalent of this male stupidity are those trashy women who walk around in what looks like their slips. How many times have you seen such a brainless idiot and thought, "She forgot to finish dressing!"? (There is no pride in being an idiot.)
Your "Average Dress" should be appropriate for your everyday activities; going out to eat, going to the mall, going out to eat, running errands, going out to eat, going to the doctor, going out to...oh never mind.
Your "Average Dress" should not particularly draw attention to you either because of its glitz nor because of its grunge. It doesn't have to be expensive but shouldn't be junky. One of the unwanted results of the cries of those insecure people who are always whining, "We need to be more European" is that the casual dress of many Americans has become just barely one step above that of a homeless person.
When dressing your "Average Dress" you are dressing for no one, but your appearance should be neat and clean, not repulsive or disheveled.
Down - Where, in your "Average Dress" you are not dressing for any person or purpose, in dressing "Down" your clothing is picked for an intentional purpose, not necessarily a person. Basically you dress "Down" because you're about to do something that might ruin your everyday clothes. You might call these clothes your "work" clothes. You have to change the oil in the car, do some painting or repairs around the house, or some other dirty labor. Although you may run to the auto parts store or Home Depot in your "Down Dress" it isn't something you would normally wear to the restaurant for lunch. There is no shame when going out in public in your "Down Dress" because it is both vain and foolish to change clothes just to "run for parts" but you ought to be ashamed if you lack such self-respect that you don't care if you normally dress like a bum in public.
Up - Just as you dress "down" for a specific reason you also dress up for a specific reason. Everybody wants to look their best for someONE or someTHING. You "Dress Up" for weddings, funerals, graduations and various other occasions. If not an occasion then you "Dress Up" because you are going to meet some special person. If you just proudly said, "I don't dress up for anything or anyone!" you're either a liar or an idiot.
If you're a liar then you will "Dress Up" for someone even though you won't admit it. There is someone... SOMEONE who, if you thought you were going to meet them, you would not wear your everyday clothes to the meeting. There is SOMEONE that you would care enough about meeting as to influence the way you dress, I don't care what you say. Everyone has dressed for someone at sometime in their life. (If you never dressed "up" for a job interview, it may explain why you didn't get the job!)
If you're an idiot, there is nothing to say since you can't reason with an idiot, especially a proud idiot.
Today, due to a combination of several factors, many good, godly Christians dress either "average" of even "down" when they go to church. These factors are:
- The disintegration of the character of the American people due to the television induced stupor most Americans, including Christians, live in without even knowing it. Many Americans no longer care if they wear their best to church. Some even wax self-righteous about this lack of character with lame excuses like, "Church shouldn't be a style show." or "God looks at my heart not my clothes." (True, and you would throw up if you knew what He sees in your heart!)
- A younger generation who were not made to "Dress Up" for church in their youth because their parents were too intimidated by the above statements.
- One of the worst influences on God's people is the devil's contemporary church movement. Rick Warren has opened the door for coming to church looking as sorry as you possibly can and feeling self-righteous about it. In some of those "churches" the idiot pastors come in on skateboards looking like a dim-witted pizza delivery boy (no offence intended to non-dim-witted pizza delivery boys) and are haughtily proud of it. (Now THAT is dim-witted! The pizza delivery boy would probably make a better pastor.)
I don't believe that church should be a style show nor that you should dress to impress some human there. But, there is something wrong with your heart if the best clothes in your closet are reserved for some worldly activity rather than for GOD. You shouldn't wear your best clothes to church to impress some human but you should wear your best because God deserves your best. (You got His Best, didn't you?)
I have spoken with Christians who bemoaned that some people don't dress up for a funeral, yet they themselves won't dress up for God! Is your best reserved for some human function while anything will do for church? Men, if you won't wear a shirt and tie to church for God then don't you ever wear one for some less important function. Don't wear one to a wedding, funeral, your boss's birthday party or to meet the movie star you fantasy about. Ladies if you won't wear a nice dress to church for God then don't you ever wear one for some less important function. Don't dress up for a SINNER'S wedding if you won't dress for a SINLESS God!
No matter what you say, there has been a time when, just before walking out of your door you stopped, looked in a mirror and asked yourself, "Do I look good enough?" If you do that for some worldly function but not before you go to church, you have a spiritual problem. You shouldn't "Dress Up" for church, you should "Dress Up" for GOD! What other place do you go to on that is solely dedicated to God?
If you dress better for non-church functions than you do for church functions it is simply because you have lower esteem for God than for man. I don't care how you excuse it.