How Fashion Meets Faith

By Shari Braendel

When I was a little girl, my favorite pastime was heading to the nearest big city to spend the day shopping with my family. My parents allowed my sister and me to purchase one special item that we’d spend hours looking for. As a born fashionista, this was a dream come true and my memories of those days are still very clear in my mind.

Fast forward to these many years later and my heart still seems to beat just a little bit faster when I walk into a store filled with the latest trends, baubles and footwear but it’s especially satisfying if I have a friend or client with me who will let me put her in a dressing room while I bring her styles that are just right for her.

When I became a follower of Christ, I wasn’t sure what to do with my passion for fashion. I read the scripture verses about inner beauty and wondered if my Fashion Merchandising degree could ever be used in ministry. I doubted it. Should I put away my fascination with the world of style and stuff it into a secret corner of my mind and forget about it? Certainly God had better things for me to do, right?

I was spending time in prayer one day when I heard Lord speak quietly to my heart and tell me to take my message of outer beauty to women inside church walls. What, Lord? But, God, it’s about inner beauty in the church so how can I possibly tell them about outer beauty?

As I continued to pray the prompting got stronger and stronger. I gathered a few trustworthy friends to pray and intercede on my behalf and for seven years we prayed. One day into the seventh year a friend asked me to come and speak at her church women’s conference to share what I felt the Lord was leading me to share. And the rest is history!

Since 2005 I have been given the privilege of speaking at Christian Women’s Conferences and Churches all across America helping women see themselves the way God does; reminding them that God did NOT make a mistake with their bodies, that each woman is unique and fabulous exactly as she is. Thin or fluffy (it’s not fat anymore!), tall or short, we are made in His image. 

I am so honored to have been invited to speak at the Pam Thum’s Born2Win Conference! My goal is to help each attendee see herself in a new way. I will be teaching wardrobe guidelines so each woman will learn the 3 Steps to dressing herself to gain confidence in her outer appearance. When a woman is self-assured in her appearance, she is then freed up to do what God has called her to do; which has stopped many of us from pursuing our dreams and passions. But don’t get me wrong, there’s a healthy dose of understanding how inner and outer beauty connect for Christian women and I can’t wait to share it with you!

Whether you love fashion, have little or no desire for it, or are just a little curious to how this plays out for Christian women, I know God has a message for you in it. Be prepared to see yourself in a whole new light! We are going to have FUN! – Shari Braendel