Former Victoria’s Secret model Kylie Bisutti has shifted her interest in fashion, recently designing and launching a Christian-clothing company, God Inspired Fashion. The items range from skinny jeans to dresses, modest tanks for summer to a blazer for winter. “God-inspired clothing,” says Bisutti, “is making it easier for Christians to share their faith and God’s love. And that’s really what the world needs right now.”
I once worked at a coffeehouse with a woman who was not a Christian. One afternoon during our shift together, a group of men came in, all wearing polos with their Christian organization embroidered on. We were in the middle of a rush, and I said to her: Don’t worry; I know a few of these guys—they’re Christians and will be patient. As we worked to get their drinks made, one of these gentlemen came over and asked why it was taking so long. My heart sank. There was no getting around it. While proudly wearing their polos, showing off their association, their impatient and unkind behavior toward my coworker damaged any Christian witness they had with her.
In much the same way that overtly branded clothes (Victoria’s Secret lounge pants, for example) puts you in a certain category, wearing a Bible verse on your T-shirt brands you, as well. While claiming to make it easier to share our faith, what can’t be overlooked is the reality that our behavior, more than our clothes, is a greater witness of our faith. Wearing a “Christian” article of clothing does not guarantee we will conduct ourselves as Christians.
Choosing to “brand” ourselves tells those around us what we care about, how we want to be seen, and who we want to be. But in addition to what my clothes are saying, I want my whole being to reflect what I care about and who I want to be, not just my clothes. Christian clothing is a nice idea, but if it’s really going to make it “easier for Christians to share their faith and God’s love,” I will need to make sure my countenance and words line up to the message my clothes display. Rather than my shirt telling my neighbor that the Lord is my strength, I want the words I speak to them and the life I live to display that reality.