In a wave of artistic creativity reminiscent of the Renaissance, faith-based clothing in the fashion world has surged in popularity. With a celebrity following, Instagram hashtags, and social media posts, some wonder whether clothing branded to communicate Christ might fade as most trends often do. For Ian and the team at CXXII, Christian streetwear represents more than just a trend. Their clothing marks a movement toward authentic spiritual self-expression.
Leading with Faith in Christian Apparel
God’s Word encourages Christians to transform to His image, which CXXII embraces as the whole point of their clothing line. Driven by the appeal in Romans 12:2 to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed,” the clothing offered by CXXII does more than mix faith and fashion, it puts faith first, fashion second.
Since the post–World War II neoevangelical movement, Christians have found many different streams of thought defining Christian culture versus the world. For decades, many pastors preached that Christians should dress a certain way, speak a certain way, and carry themselves a certain way. Such ideas supposedly found credibility in Romans 12:2, to not conform to the world. In practice, though, such teachings represented another type of conformity.
Whole groups have felt left out of Christian circles because their culture, experiences, and, worse yet, their clothing choices did not conform to a manmade culture within the church. However, Christian apparel brands, like CXXII, have recognized some people want to live out their nonconforming faith wearing street apparel that proclaims the Gospel.
Fashion may have trends, but faith is never an accessory in CXXII clothing. Intentional by design, CXXII uses verses from God’s Word to inspire a concept, which connects to an entire collection. Whether people want to fight the good fight or have a spirit of peace, CXXII has soul-inspiring apparel created with the streetwear fan in mind and faith front and center because putting God first never goes out of style.
Proudly Preaching Christ with Faith-Based Apparel
CXXII wants to encourage Christians to live out their faith. Whether by listing verses in last month’s blog on taming the tongue or creating Christian apparel people want to wear, CXXII understands that Christians, especially young Christians, want to live like Paul describes in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” They love Jesus and want to proudly communicate His love to others. Christians don’t want their own brand of streetwear to be cool Christians. They want Christian streetwear to spread God’s message in an authentic way.
Christians embrace this apparel because it:
- Represents who they are in Christ
- Represents who they are in the community
- Represents who they follow
Having the option to wear clothing that represents who they are in Christ gives them an opportunity to follow the command of Jesus to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” (Mark 16:15). Clothed in truth, faith-based apparel doesn’t bring God down to culture. Instead, this clothing puts feet to the Gospel, allowing God’s message to reach others.
Making Connections Through Christian Clothing
In 2 Timothy 4:2, the command is simple, “Preach the word!” Plenty of people want to follow this command, but don’t know how to begin. Clothing makes a great conversation starter. Seeing someone in a shirt representing a sports team or a favorite rock band usually garners a reaction. The same can be said of Christian streetwear.
Jesus is a people person. When He walked the earth, He was a master at starting conversations. Of course, it helped that He knew everything about the person He was speaking to. Although Christians don’t have that all-knowing power, wearing clothing that represents Christ with gritty graphics and bold fonts becomes a conversation starter. People who comment on a shirt leave the door open to starting a conversation about Who that clothing represents.
Jesus is personal—so is clothing. Putting the two together makes establishing a personal connection with others quite simple. Not only can Christians share their love for the look they’re wearing, but they can also share the love of God represented in their look. Christian streetwear clothes a movement of people wanting to reach others. Never has it been easier to share God’s love and His message.
How Faith-Based Apparel Keeps Christians Focused on God
Wearing clothing with a Bible verse on it represents more than just a trend. This clothing allows Christians to keep God front and center all day, reminding them of His truth.
Psalm 1:2 encourages Christians to think about God’s truth day and night. Wearing God’s truth becomes a constant reminder of His love and his purpose in their lives. In fact, the Bible tells Christians to put on the whole armor of God, which includes wearing the “belt of truth,” referring to the Scriptures (Ephesians 6:14). Christians can now literally wear God’s truth every day, keeping their minds focused on Him.
Fans often wear their favorite team’s gear when it’s game day. For Christians, every day is game day, and some days require a little extra coaching. Not until recently have Christians been able to carry God’s truth and encouragement in such a portable way. Memorizing Scripture works wonders, but wearing it gives an added sense of comfort and meaning and keeps truth visually close.
Encouraging Others with the Shirt on Your Back
The apostle Paul said, “For when I am weak, then am I strong,” (2 Corinthians 12:10), which sounds like a Christian paradox. However, Paul understood suffering, and he knew that Jesus understood suffering as well. Paul recognized that everyone who seeks and follows Christ comes to Him imperfect and with plenty of physical and mental baggage. Paul knew that strength and wholeness can be found in Christ, but that message has been lost throughout the decades in many churches.
So often people believe they can’t come to church or be around Christians until they get their lives straight. In many church cultures, people who suffer from mental illness or don’t wear khakis and collared shirts don’t see a welcome sign. They feel shut out and alone, but Christians from all walks of life today want to find and help people who are alone and suffering. Christians want people to know that coming to Christ means coming in the broken or suffering state they’re experiencing because strength and comfort can be found in Christ.
CXXII not only understands, but it also connects its clothing to the truth Paul preached: Come to Jesus when you’re weak to find comfort and peace. In the mental health collection, CXXII offers a selection of hoodies, shirts, and hats that communicate how “It’s okay to not be okay." Christian apparel doesn’t represent a trend to make people feel cool, it offers an outlet for encouragement simply by putting on a shirt.
Many different companies from different walks of life offer a variety of Christian apparel so that Christians can express their faith in ways unique to them. Not looking for a fashion trend, Christians wear faith-based clothing for Who it represents, enabling them to elevate God not themselves.
CXXII flips the script on fashion-forward trends by embracing faith-forward concepts and translates them into clothing.