Our Top Ten Fashion Influencers in the Bible

Fashion and the Bible! Who were the first fashion influencers?? We’ve compiled a top ten list of men and women in the Bible who ‘wore it best’. Were they trendsetters in their day? We don’t know for sure but this was a list we just had to do! The Bible is teeming with charismatic characters who would be viewed as style and fashion icons had they lived in our day! From queens and governor’s wives to kings and judges, they provide fascinating examples of faith, fearlessness and ingenuity.

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Miriam: Exodus 15:20

Miriam the prophetess led the women in dancing and the playing of tambourines after the Israelites exodus from Egypt. She knew how to get the party started.

Miriams Tanz, Bulgarischen Tomić Psalter, 1360/63, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Deborah: Judges 4-5

Deborah, the Prophetess and Judge, boldly went with Barak into battle. Just check out this fearsome image of her. #ThisGirlCan

Deborah, Otto Semler, Source: Flickr/pcstratman

Queen of Sheba: 1 Kings 10:1-13

The Queen of Sheba was not disappointed when she visited Solomon in Jerusalem. We’re sure she was looking her best on her visit too. We love the bling.

Solomon And The Queen Of Sheba, Giovanni Demin, c. 1800s, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Pontius Pilate’s wife: Matthew 27:15-26

Although we do not know much about her, as the governor’s wife, we can guess she wore fine Roman clothes. More importantly, she is seen to be a sensitive and devout woman who urges her husband to have nothing to do with that righteous man (Jesus) and it’s not surprising that legends say she became a Christian. #BringTheTogaBack

Le Rêve de la femme de Pilate, Alphonse François, c. 1879, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lydia of Thyatira: Acts 16:11-15 Acts 16:40 Philippians 1:1-10

As a businesswoman, Lydia sold purple dye and became very successful – owning her own spacious home with servants. As a convert to Christ, under the teaching of Paul, she continued to work diligently and gave to the new community of Christians through her hospitality and finances. Purple was definitely her colour.

Lidia, Russian icon, Source: Wikimedia Commons

Joseph: Genesis 37

Joseph’s attire is legendary, both for its fine colours and the mutiny it triggers in his brothers. It’s usually sisters who fight over clothes.

Jacob blesses Joseph illustration by Owen Jones, 1869, Source: Wikimedia Commons

King Solomon: 2 Chronicles 9:13-29

King Solomon’s wealth was much renowned and this verse refers to all the Kings of the age seeking his presence to hear his wisdom. He would have received gifts of silver, gold and fine garments so he was probably the ‘best dressed’ in all our list. However, keep in mind Jesus’ levelling words in Matthew 6:28-30.

King Solomon, Simeon Solomon, 1874, Source: WikiArt

John the Baptist: Matthew 3

Epitomising shabby chic, John the Baptist’s clothing, made of camel’s hair, was more than just a fashion statement but a prophetic witness to the sinfulness of Israel.

St. John the Baptist, Titian, c.1542, Source: WikiArt

Cornelius the Centurion: Acts 10

Rocking an uber-masculine look in military attire Cornelius the Centurion’s fashion sense is only bested by his faithfulness in following Christ.

Vision of Cornelius the Centurion, Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, 1664, Source: Wikimedia Commons

King David: 1 Samuel 16:1-13

Here’s a good time to remember that ‘the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” The Lord speaks these words to Samuel before he is directed to anoint David, the youngest and ‘ruddy’ son who had been keeping the sheep. We can guess he wasn’t dressed in his best!

Are you a  Catholic teachers? Do you need inspiration to prepare Key Stage 3 Religious Education (RE) resources? Are you a parish catechist? Do you need a fresh perspective to help you share the Bible with young people? Our Top Ten Fashion Influencers in the Bible is a fun and creative way to engage young minds.

Using this list creatively will enrich your conversations and bridge the gap between biblical times and the lives of young people today.

David with the Head of Goliath, Domenico Fetti, c. 1620s, Source: Wikimedia Commons