The Catalyst Conference was great last week. Folks like Steven Furtick, Matt Chandler and Dave Ramsey blew me away with their passion for God. In the next few months I hope to share some things I learned, but there was one item I saw at Catalyst that could not wait. A warning so dire, that I had to write about it immediately. A trend with momentum that could hold serious fashion consequences for the church.
I am of course talking about the “embellished blazer.”
I know what you’re thinking, “So what? Everything is embellished these days. T-shirts and sneakers and jeans have all been given extra details, stitching and piping that climb about in creative designs.”
And you’re right. For the last few years I have sat silent as we have all been awash in a veritable sea of accoutrements. (Yeah I said it, a sea of accoutrements.) I didn’t say anything because I like graphic t’s and a little flair on a jean as much as anybody else. I shrugged it off like a pair of Z-Cavaricci’s from my childhood. It’s a passing fad I thought. Buckle is the new Chess King. And then I saw the blazers (coats) people were rocking at Catalyst.
They were cool. They had hoods attached to them and designs in places you normally wouldn’t expect a design. I probably would wear them. But then I started noticing that some of them had crosses on them and Christian symbols. They were subtle, but they were there, sewn on the back, climbing a sleeve here or there. And suddenly I saw what was going to happen:
If we’re not careful, we’re going to embellish our way into looking like four star generals from the army of Christiania.
No one ever thinks they’ll end up there. Even Michael Jackson didn’t say to himself one morning, “I think I’ll dress like I’m a military member from the land of make believe and wear some gold plated shin guards while I’m at it.” It just sort of happens and here’s the thought process that you might go through while shopping:
“Ugh, this blazer is so plain and dull. This is my dad’s blazer. Why am I even using that word? This is my dad’s coat. Ohh, what do we have here, a little design that covers one of the pockets and half the collar. Very cool, what is that, some sort of amoeba swallowing the city of Cleveland? What does that mean? Wait, what’s this coat have on it? Some sort of Celtic cross on the back? Whoa and three crosses on the sleeves. Nice, and look, four little Jesus fish on each shoulder. Interesting.”
Sounds crazy right? It’s not. You go to find a cool coat and walk out singing, “I’m in the Lord’s _____.” See, 87% of you knew exactly how to finish that sentence.
It’s already started.