Allow me today to ramble upon a topic which I feel is either misunderstood or undeservedly maligned in today's society. This my friends, is the role of attire in promoting the respect and social position of the wearer.
In 2012, clothing is often considered to be an object of practicality and utilitarian importance, primarily. The suggestion that clothing should be rigid or represent a particular form would appear archaic to many. In fact, dressing for work has become considered an insurmountable chore and encumbrance by numerous contemporaries. The result has been the sloppiest and most ill-dressed generations the world has ever known.
While clothing that is comfortable is obviously a benefit from a practical perspective, it must be remembered that much of the clothing today goes beyond this and is designed as a form of rebellion against the most ancient traditions our culture has had and against the class system that has to some extent given our society meaning and place.
Why is a rebellion against the classes bad? The classes have enforced cultural norms and promoted social decency. Without classes (and perhaps religion), anything might be permissible. In fact, once there is no structure for society, we lose all rules and common values. In effect, we become meaningless as a people.
What good is a society that has no meaning, no traditions, and no respect? Would you be willing to defend such a society with your life if it were attacked? My view is that such a society is indefensible and the only people who would willingly die for it are guilty of stupidity and perhaps falling into the trap of the insipid propaganda enforced through military brainwashing.
This brings me to why we need to bring back clothing that has meaning. When our clothes help form our actions, they work together with the doctrines of a well-ordered society. A society with rules and customs, one where dressing up to show respect isn't a periodic fantasy, but rather a daily practice.
But it goes both ways... the clothes are only the outward portion. When our minds choose to embrace beauty, we wish to show it outwardly. We must not be tricked into believing that clothing is only external or that beliefs are only internal. We must create a gorgeous fusion of loveliness and glory that is reflected in everything.
The idea the the universe is chaotic and unpredictable is irrational. In fact, all of modern science and most of the western tradition fight against this. Order is present in every facet of nature. I believe that when our society embraces this, we will find our bearing again.
When we find respect, value, and navigate ourselves forward, we will have discovered a true society worth fighting for. A society where there are rules and obligations, but also where merit has value and recognition. Where inequality isn't a blind measure of fairness, but where actions are rewarded with social standing and respect, regardless of race and prejudice. (Please note that this does not suggest that I support the oppression of anyone in society or the undeserved rise of individuals who trespass on the good of their fellow man)
This my friends, is the new aristocracy of taste and merit. It is calling all of us to show respect to our fellow men and to claim the respect that we are all due by not being lazy in our choice of attire. It is choosing not what is easy, but that which is invariably deserving of honor and praise.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
(Philippians 4:8 ESV)