Don’t give up fashion during Lent

Fashion is a religion. That’s a bold statement, right? Here’s why it is – it’s ritualistic and expresses values.

If you ask Google, religion is “a particular system of faith and worship.” Therefore, fashion could be a religion. Now before you stone me and/or call me blasphemous, let me explain my purpose for this analogy.

I try to make my ritual tasks relevant. Writing this fashion article could be considered a religion. I do it every week and profess what I believe in. I’m trying to make the way I get dressed every day have a little more meaning.

My two-bit and completely inadequate summarization of the practice of Lent is “making a sacrifice” or to give over something for betterment.

There are plenty of guilty fashion vices that I and many people practice. I am not saying that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our fashion sins. There wouldn’t be 2.1 billion followers of this religion if that were the case. However, in the quest for a more encompassing religious experience, there may be a way to bring Lent into your wardrobe.

Whether you recite Bible verses in your sleep, are seen in church as frequently as Halley’s comet or are delving into Scientology, challenging yourself and making a sacrifice for self-betterment are always good things, so keep reading.

I’ve outlined some guilty fashion pleasures. These are things we all know are not fashionable yet we do them anyway because it’s easy, comfy or quick. Let’s try to give up these comforts for 40 days and see how we fare.

The first things are hoodies. Nothing about a sweater that has a pouch like a kangaroo can make a fashion statement.

Yoga pants are a habit to break. You buy a pair for around the house and before you know it, you’re wearing them three or four times a week because the restriction of jeans is just too much.

Eventually you’re wearing yoga pants in replacement of black dress slacks. You wear them to work. You wear them to church. Stop yourself before this gets out of hand.

I personally fall victim to the alluring powers of jeans. I’ve probably gone two weeks straight with an uninterrupted jean-wearing cycle. They’re easy; they’re warm, but they’re also boring.

No variety of washes and styles can justify wearing jeans every day of the week as a fashion statement. Interrupt the cycle! Wear a skirt. Or if the prospect of having to put on tights is just too much – wear some khakis.

You’re allowed to look nice and not have an interview that day.

On the flip-side, a sacrifice doesn’t just mean giving something up. It can mean going outside your comfort zone and practicing new things. Below I’ve outlined some good things to challenge yourself to do.

Don’t neglect your hair. Show it some tender love and care by fancying it up every once in a while. Try to do something new with your hair every day. Braid it, curl it, straighten it or pin it up.

If you’re a person who tends not to wear makeup, paint your face and see who notices.

If you’re a person who wears makeup every day, take a day off. There’s value in natural beauty too and your pores will appreciate the vacation.

These small sacrifices can have you feeling uncomfortable, but it’s for the better. Karen Salmansohn, a self-help book author, says, “The bigger your challenges, the bigger your opportunity for growth.” Take this as an opportunity to break mundane routine and make something meaningful of it.



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