Ok, that’s a little exaggeration, but let me explain.
I wear the same thing almost every day. The outfit is:
Plain white t-shirt
White high top chucks
(optional) Jacket of some sort.
Further proof. Photos from Guatemala to Scotland:
My drawers are full of about a dozen white shirts, black pants, and I currently have 5 pairs of white chucks, all in different states of disrepair (I want to take a picture of them arranged from darkest to lightest).
Anyway, there are a few things that have influenced this decision, and I admit it’s an underdeveloped line of reasoning which is why I’m typing it out now.
One was inspired by Mark Zuckerburg’s wardrobe of a single gray t-shirt. He says that his reason for only wearing one thing every day is to reduce the number of decisions he has to make every day. If he can eliminate more small decisions, like what to wear, each day, he can save that decision making energy for bigger decisions which affect millions of people.
By pre-deciding what I will wear every day, I can save both time and energy in thinking about how I present myself to the world. Not only do I save time in the morning when getting dressed, I save time and a lot of money shopping. No longer will I spend hours perusing the mall and sifting through the latest trends at H&M or Urban Outfitters (much less, dropping a rack on those new clothes), but I just whip over to the thrift store and grab a few $2 white tees.
Another part of this decision is a rage against a trend in Christianity, especially among ministers as highlighted in the dreadful PreachersNSneakers account. They flex their money and their up-to-the-second trend following from the pulpit where they should only be flexing their weaknesses so Jesus can shine through. Their wardrobes cost between 500 and 7,000 dollars, and mine will cost under $70, head to toe.
Think about how many outfits most people in the world own. When building arguments defending these ‘pastors,’ we often cite how they are connecting to the culture and relating to people and bla bla bla. This not only discards the fact that most Americans can’t afford Off White, but that most of the world couldn’t even afford Nike or other cheaper brands. Most people in the world are fortunate if they can afford multiple pairs of shoes, much less dozens of outfits in their walk-in closets.
I want my wardrobe choices to speak on behalf of the forgotten; the poor and the outcast. If I can dress simply, forgoing the hottest styles and expensive kicks, over time, this will (hopefully) speak louder than a $2k pair of Yeezies.
(I know that sounds like a humble brag, which it kind of is. But I’m just giving my reasons for this decision so…)
Really, ask yourself, why do you need SO many options for clothes? Is it so you can look better? Is it so you can ‘connect’ more to people in the world, or is that just what you tell yourself to justify it? These may be some questions to consider. This way of living is strictly American and knows very little of the lifestyle prescribed by Jesus.
There is no marriage between Him and the American Dream whatsoever.
Ok, I’m stepping off my soapbox.
Of course, there are times I have to dress differently. I own a suit and gym clothes and a few button ups for when I preach and lead services at the nursing home where I work. I have Crocs and running shoes and a brown leather pair for nice events.
I’m just trying to move in the direction of simplicity for a number of reasons. It has made my life easier and reduced the amount of things I require to exist.
I’m not saying everyone needs to do this, but perhaps give your clothing habits some examination! Are you more influenced by Instagram or by the Bible when thinking about your appearance? I’m not saying I want to look like a troll — I’m aware that my clothing choices are cool, but simple and relatively cheap — but I quickly weary of striving for extravagance.
Regardless of how we look on the outside, may we all be striving more to look like Jesus with our actions, words and lives.