05/13/2005: From the "What Not To Wear" Files...
Shirt messaging takes on a religious tone by Clayton Collins (Christrian Science Monitor):
”If you think Jesus is in you, you might want him on you. And if wearing one of those WWJD - "What would Jesus do?" - bracelets popularized in the 1990s seems too quietly introspective, then you just might want to go bold.
That's the hope of T-shirt makers and retailers pushing edgier - some say offensive - slogans such as "My God can kick your God's butt."
Observers call the shirts part of a move to tap into youth culture and ride what many see as a society increasingly warm to Christian conservatism.
In chasing brand-aware youths, some shirt makers simply bend popular slogans - Abreadcrumb & Fish, G.A.P (for God Answers Prayers), Got Jesus?
Others take a more graphic approach.
"Even before there was a movie called 'The Passion (of the Christ),' we had a category called The Passion," said Lorri Carter, product-development director at Kerusso, a maker of religious apparel whose online ads include the tagline: "You have the faith. Get the gear."
One Kerusso shirt inscribed with "Rebel with a cause" depicts Jesus on the cross. "That graphic nature is just to show you how profound (Jesus') gift was," she said.
Apparel comprises only about 2 percent of store-based Christian retail's $4 billion in annual sales, said Nancy Guthrie, a spokeswoman for CBA International, the industry's trade association. But that doesn't include direct online sales from shirt-printers of all sizes - or sales at festivals and concerts.
Some youths - like some celebrities - might wear Christian garb just to be ironic. "It's not for us to judge the wearers' hearts," said Randy Johnson, general manager of Living Epistles, a major Christian apparel manufacturer, "whether it's mocking or heartfelt belief."
Sorry, Jesus, but these kinds of things will NOT be part of my Spring wardrobe. (Summer, Fall or Winter either!!)
Karen on 05.13.05 @ 06:51 AM CST