How We Dress Can Reaffirm the ‘Truth of Our Unrepeatable Identity’

By Katya Fitzpatrick

At first glance, the book Theology of Style: Expressing The Unique and Unrepeatable You by Lillian Fallon appears to be a style guide on how to dress. But very quickly the reader discovers this 126-page book is bursting with "Theology of the Body" lessons and thought-provoking ideas.

"It's not a book on why you should be dressing stylishly," said Fallon. "It's really to unpack the source of our identity, the source of our existence, and how we can remember that in our everyday lives and live it out in something seemingly simple like in the way we dress."

The Catholic writer has always had a passion for fashion and even worked as a style editor in New York, but Fallon is now on a new mission: to "help women understand their true identity, made in the image of God."

"At the core of so many of our culture's problems is a lack of understanding of our worth, of our inherent worth. It impacts all our relationships and the decisions that we make," she said.

It was in 2015, while attending Ave Maria University in Florida, where Fallon was taking a “Theology of the Body” class, based on Pope St. John Paul II's Wednesday audience speeches, that she first had the idea to write her book, merging her love for style with her devotion to the faith.

"With the ‘Theology of the Body’ informing my understanding of the body-soul unity of the person, the significance of personal style became undeniable," she said.

You can find Theology of Style: Expressing The Unique and Unrepeatable You at Ascension Press.

"It all made sense now, both faith and style. In fact, style only made sense through the lens of faith."

In the book, Fallon does eventually discuss "how to develop your own personal style" and how to have fun while doing it. But she does so only after she has explained "the theory behind why style is important, to validate it as an expression of self and the theological implications of that."

And for those parents with teenagers who are wearing the latest fashion trends that leave little to the imagination, Fallon tactfully tackles the delicate topic of modesty.

The Church teaches that modesty is necessary for Catholics and an integral part of the virtue of temperance. As the Catechism puts it, “Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love,” and “Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.” (CCC 2521-2524)

While the book is a great addition to anyone's library, Fallon hopes to appeal to the younger generation.

"I would love for teenagers to be able to read it so that they learn about their identity and how they were made unrepeatable, one of a kind, and desired for eternity."

Fallon is also a digital media specialist in the Diocese of Allentown Office of Communications. You can also find Lillian on Ascension Presents on Youtube.


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