Sunday, October 21, 2012

Faith and Fashion: a clandestine merger of self-expression

Hello all and for any new visitors welcome to Metro Method. In today's post we'll take a closer look at the transition from traditional spiritual wear to modern spiritual wear, and how you can make modern spiritual wear work for you.

First, a brief history discussion. Since their inception, religion and spirituality have universally institutionalized symbolism as a staple of worship. Some of the earliest evidence of symbolic behavior is associated with Middle Stone Age sites in Africa dating least 100,000 years ago, whereby people would use dyes to paint their bodies and living space with symbols representing transcendental icons. Moreover, as far back as 25,000 BCE, archaeologists have unearthed graves that have contained primitive ritualistic trinkets, including periwinkle shell necklaces, mammoth bone beads, and fox-tooth pendants, believed to be associated with pagan burial rituals.  
Symbols like these have been used to by cultures help define the undefinable ideas that are intrinsic to faith, the most commonly thought of in the United States being the cross. However, in today’s modern age, you’re just as likely as to see a conservative faithful wearing a small pendant, as you are a rapper dangling a cross-shaped edifice down past their crotch (a style that was made popular around the 1980s).   
Notwithstanding whether one group is holier than the other, the question then is, how has religious symbolism evolved into as much of a fashion statement as a faith statement? Without intending to sound cavalier, I submit that faith is as much about self-expression as fashion and can (and is) unanimously represented through our public persona. Simply put, when you feel strongly about two elements of self-representation, it’s likely that the two will bleed into each other and influence your decision making (you don’t see a whole bunch of nuns running around in hot pants…thank god).
So fine, that said you may be thinking ‘even if I’m willing to accept this premise about faith and fashion, I’m fairly conservative and I just wear a cross around my neck and I’m comfortable with that. Is that not fashionable or something?’
The answer: no, that’s just fine! If you feel comfortable having a small cross tucked under your dress shirt and suit, that’s no problem. But if your objective is to show off your faith, you’ll probably want to find a middle ground between bling-bling and illuminati.
To this effect, here are some cool, slightly edgy, ideas for showing off your beliefs.

1. Men’s bracelet bands. Very practical and trendy idea that’s flexible with many forms of self-expression. Men have been making use of bracelet bands to make a statement for a while now, the most memorable of which is probably Lance Armstrong’s yellow band, started in 2004. From a spirituality perspective this is easily adapted. A simple leather men’s bracelet like that below can be a great outlet for expressing ones faith. Buddha beads like those in the first image are another great option to capture general spirituality.

2. Belts. Not one commonly thought of, but believe it or not there are a lot of belt buckles that with a pair of jeans can look very well put together. Be careful here though, there’s a fine line between being obnoxious with a belt-buckle (which can be a huge fashion failure) and being edgy and Avant-garde.

^ NO


3. Necklaces. Yes necklaces as I said are fine. However, where you want to show them off, being slightly less conservative in this regard can go a long way in the fashion world. A typical cross and chain for example can come off as too expected. I recommend again raw leather necklaces in black for the greatest matching flexibility. Mix and match pendants and charms as you see fit, though I would recommend a smaller pendant, large pendants on men can again seem obnoxious (and too much like big blinging).
These are just some general tips and ideas, note that there are many other examples and ideas that are equally stylish that have not been listed in this post.
That’ll do it for me for this month’s post! Again, thanks to my supporters and your kind e-mails encouraging me to keep posting!

This is Cade signing out,

No comments:

Post a Comment