Stuff Youth Ministers Like #33: Plaid Shirts

Ok. I admit it. I am probably the last person who should be writing anything about fashion of any sort.


In high school I wore button-down collared shirts with gym shorts. That’s not a joke. I actually woke up, put gym shorts on, looked in my closet, and thought, “You know what would go well with this black set of Nike basketball shorts? A green-striped button-down collared shirt.” Oh, and don’t worry, the moment was forever immortalized in our high school yearbook.

It’s amazing I found a woman willing to say, “I do.”

So when it came to looking fashionable as a youth minister, I had no hope. I had no desire to grow a goatee, wouldn’t let skinny jeans within a mile of my closet, and wouldn’t wear plaid if I were paid to play on the PGA Tour.

As a youth minister, this evidently put me in the minority. I even used to get stared at during training conference by groups of youth ministers who appeared to be thinking, “What’s wrong with you? You’re not one of us.”

Plaid is everywhere in youth ministry: youth groups, retreats, conferences. It’s almost as if youth ministers think, “I better go with the plaid shirt tonight. Don’t want my numbers to drop.”

Honestly, you can’t escape it. In fact, I’m pretty sure if there were ever a softball team made up of all youth ministers their uniforms would be…plaid. (Although I wonder how they’d do running the bases in sandals).

I don’t get it.

I don’t understand it.

But remember, I am fashionally-impaired.

Maybe it’s because when you’re working with teens, there’s a pressure to be cool.

Maybe it’s because plaid shirts are ridiculously comfortable.

I don’t know.

But I do know that if it makes you feel confident when you’re standing in front of a group of teens, it’s probably worth wearing. It’s just a good thing for me, I gave up on those gym shorts.

Question: What’s your favorite Youth Ministry outfit? (Share below.)

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