I see by your outfit that you’re a cowboy, too.
We see by our outfits that we are both cowboys.
If you get an outfit, you can be a cowboy, too.
(Smothers Brothers, Minute 1:18)
This week we found one of our long-time-gone iPods. Hooking it up to the car stereo, we were interested to hear what songs were on it. To our astonishment, it began to play "Streets of Laredo." Yes, we have that song in our iTunes Library at home, but who on earth put it on this iPod? Listening to the words, Rick and I had to chuckle. We were coming up on the "I see by your outfit that you are a cowboy..." part. As we expected, the rest of the phrase wasn't what we'd learned to sing.
I've had that song on my mind all week, still singing it the way I know, and have thought about the implication of the words as I've always sung them. These two cowboys met for the first time and could tell something about the other just by what they wore.
Rick and I joined a gym this month. As soon as we signed up, we went out and bought clothes to workout in. We bought outfits, thus proving our commitment to actually go to the gym. And anyone who sees us in them can assume that we are either on the way to (or coming home from) exercising.
For my birthday, Rick got me white scrubs. This is the outfit that I'll wear that will show that I'm ready to clean the temple.
I'm not suggesting that whatever we want to be, all we have to do is buy an outfit for it and then *BAM* we're that thing. But I do think that the things we wear show others what our commitments are. In the same way that the temple garment is an "outward expression of an inward commitment", I would say that everything we put on supports that same idea: the things we wear are a reflection of what's important to us and who we are as individuals.
While serving as Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, Sister Elaine S. Dalton told us:
...modesty encompasses much more than the outward appearance. It is a condition of the heart. It is an outward manifestation of an inner knowledge and commitment. It is an expression that we understand our identity as [children] of God. It is an expression that we know what He expects us to do. It is a declaration of our covenant keeping.
President Monson has said:
Servants of the Lord have always counseled us to dress appropriately to show respect for our Heavenly Father and for ourselves. The way you dress sends messages about yourself to others and often influences the way you and others act. Dress in such a way as to bring out the best in yourself and those around you.
When I meet someone, what will they be able to tell about me from what I'm wearing? About my character and what's important to me? Will they know that I love my Heavenly Father? Will they know that I know who I am as a person and am confident and comfortable with myself? Will they know that I respect myself and that I'm trying to be a good role model for my kids? I hope so. I think so.
Can you tell by my outfit?