Dress in a Way Fitting for your City and Vocation

Dress in a Way Fitting for your City and Vocation

Return to our Way of Life

Our bodies are beautiful gifts from God. Celebrate and honor this gift each time you get dressed. You are expected to dress in a way that fits into the diverse tapestry of your city and is functional for your vocation. Beyond this, there is neither a uniform nor a habit for Urban Monastics.

Each one of us is a part of God’s creation. In the earliest pages of the Bible, we hear God call creation very good. Your body is good and beautiful. It gives you your breath, movement, and life. Each time you dress yourself, choose to let your goodness and beauty shine through. This is not an act of vanity. It demands that we see our bodies as they truly are today. It is a wondrous result of self acceptance and understanding. Our God sees and knows our every curve, dimple, fold, and mark. With gentleness, accept your body as one of the many gifts from God in your life. Let God replace any shame with love. Your body is not to be escaped from, but to be lived within. You dwell within your body as the Holy Spirit dwells within you. You are your body, just as Christ, in His resurrected glory, is not separated from His body. Celebrate the body you have. Let the way you dress reflect the body and beauty that you carry through creation.

The clothing we wear expresses both how we see ourselves and our values. As we get dressed, we choose what we wear. The way that we dress is how we meet and are seen by our neighbors. The vocations we have often place expectations and requirements on our dress. Discover ways of dressing that honor the vocation that allows you to earn your wages. The way we dress should grow out of our way of life.

We are invited elsewhere to simplicity, restrained consumption, to love our neighbors, and to love God. Let our simple living be evident in dressing simply. Let our restrained consumption be seen in the repetition of our garments. Let our love of neighbors cause us to dress with kindness. Let our love of God keep us from using our clothes to create our identity.

There is not a uniform or habit for Urban Monastics. Be intentional and thoughtful about the clothing you purchase and wear. May these suggestions invite you to reflect on how you dress.

  • As ambassadors of Christ, avoid clothing that promotes brands, organizations, ministries, or God Himself. Let how we live be the testament of Christ’s reign in our lives.
  • Choose clothing that treats the beauty of your body with kindness and grace.
  • Dress for your vocation in a way that won’t hinder your employment.
  • Take pride and look good in the way you dress
  • Don’t dress too loud for your city and context.
  • Dress in a way that allows you to be present with the people in your city.
  • Select clothing that is not too cheap nor too expensive.
  • Select clothing you can wear with regularity.
  • Select clothing whose style and quality will endure.
  • Your clothing will never make you responsible for another person’s behavior.
  • Avoid single and minimal use clothing. If you have a need, try to borrow or rent.
  • Take care of your clothing and keep it clean.

The Urban Monastic seal or branding should never be on non-liturgical clothing, accessories, or goods. When it is present, it should be simple and subtle.

Invitations to Engage

  • In what ways do your beliefs about God influence how you dress and present yourself to the world?
  • What do you love about the body given to you by our God?
  • What do you struggle to love about your body?
  • How does living a simple life impact how you choose to dress?
  • What does it look like for you to ‘dress with kindness’ for your neighbors?
  • How do you understand the connection between loving your body, and the way you are present in the world?
  • How might you simplify your approach to your dress and appearance?
  • Reflect on the ways you use your clothing to create an identity or to project an image of yourself.
  • What are other ethical issues around clothing you want to be intentional about?
  • Give God glory and praise for all that has gone into the clothes you’re wearing. From the rains upon the fields, to the hands, and to the body it rests upon.
  • What skills do you need to care well for the clothing you have?
  • Take time in your city to prayerfully appreciate and celebrate the diversity of people and clothing.
  • Meditate on the ways your clothing may help you embody the Fruit of the Spirit.

Meditations on this Rule