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Fashioned by Faith

Fashioned by Faith

4.5 11
by Rachel Lee Carter

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Everyone knows that we live in a “skin-is-in” society, heavily driven by media and immodesty. So how does a young Christian woman reconcile a fashionable wardrobe with maintaining her integrity?

Written by international professional model Rachel Lee Carter, Fashioned by Faith offers a cutting-edge approach to the concept of beauty


Everyone knows that we live in a “skin-is-in” society, heavily driven by media and immodesty. So how does a young Christian woman reconcile a fashionable wardrobe with maintaining her integrity?

Written by international professional model Rachel Lee Carter, Fashioned by Faith offers a cutting-edge approach to the concept of beauty with a Biblical foundation that will attract moms and daughters alike. Readers will love hearing about Carter’s exciting story as she leads them on an engaging study that touches on a huge felt need for young women: real beauty has nothing to do with looks.

Offering three valuable perspectives—teen boys, a professional model, and God’s Word—Carter explains her standards of modesty in a way that will make readers acquire a specific understanding of the author’s wardrobe choices and the impact those choices can make on others. Readers will also learn to season their self-image with daily quiet time with God. A tour of Scripture will reveal the value of heart issues like modesty and why they’re important to God.

Never compromising her sense of style or her faith, every young lady can discover what it means to be Fashioned by Faith.  Moms and girls will love this book!

Product Details

Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
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3 MB
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt



Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Rachel Lee Carter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4003-1790-5

Chapter One

Fashioned by Freedom!


Age: 20

State: California

Interests: acting, painting, photography, travel, Spanish culture, art

Future ambition: actor

he says ...

I grew up with two older sisters. They've taught me a lot about women. One of the things I've learned is there is a quiet and beautiful dignity about a woman who dresses conservatively. Any man would be fortunate to have a wife like my sisters, but what makes them really special is that they have too much self-respect and confidence to wear clothes that reveal too much. I use the word confidence because I feel a girl who's covered in all the right places is a girl who lives with the freedom of not having to rely on attention for her sense of self-worth. A girl with confidence is much more attractive to me than a girl who feels she has to exploit her body to receive attention or, worse, love.

My sisters are not ashamed of their bodies, and they wear the most current and stylish clothes. Yet they understand great men appreciate modesty. It doesn't matter how many girlfriends a man has had in his past, when he decides to settle down, his ideal wife will be one who lives modestly. A man who says he doesn't care about modesty or how his girlfriend dresses is lying.

When I marry, I want to find a woman I alone can fully appreciate. I believe young women should learn to value a sense of mystery. The more a woman destroys the mystery for a man, the more he will only be interested in what's going on from the neck down. All men are guilty of it, including myself, unfortunately. When a girl can barely walk because of her tight-fitting or revealing clothes, a man will either pursue her solely out of lust or automatically dismiss her as someone he doesn't want to be with.

There's a saying that goes, "If you've got it, flaunt it." This is a lie. Instead, it should say, "If you've got it, protect it." Great women like my mother and sisters took this idea and lived their lives by it. This is the type of woman I'm interested in getting to know, because modesty and confidence in a woman is a very powerful and attractive combination.


she says ...

As a professional model of more than twenty years, I've been blessed to travel the world and work for some of the biggest names in the business. I've dined next to the king of Spain's mansion and sailed on the Aladdin, the king of Jordan's yacht. I've experienced temperatures from 114 degrees Fahrenheit to 44 below zero. I've eaten unique cuisine, from brains and ostrich to kangaroo and pigeon pie. I've had a fulfilling and interesting career. But possibly the most rewarding aspect of my job is that I get to model clothes.

I love to experience the shapes, the textures, and the fabrics of the latest trends. But one thing my twenty years did not prepare me for is designers in the fashion industry who repeatedly stretch the boundaries with immodest clothing. I've seen shorts and skirts get shorter and tighter, and tops get smaller. I've seen jeans purposefully designed to reveal a woman's undergarments, see-through blouses that expose her bra, and slogans on T-shirts that exploit the girls who wear them. It makes me wonder, where does it end? The sad part is that girls who follow fashion (like me) sometimes adopt these trends without realizing the impact it has on their self-esteem, their families, the opposite sex, and their testimonies.

This led me to ask myself a serious question: Can I—a clothes-horse—and other fashion-forward girls have the freedom to dress trendy and fashionably in accordance with today's styles and still maintain the virtue of modesty?

The answer to that question is a resounding, "Yes!" But I had to learn how. And that's the purpose of this book: to pass on my findings to you, my fashion disciple. But as we get started, there is another lingering question we must answer: what is modesty? One of the first things I did when I started this journey was discover what modesty means in some other cultures and to the generations that came right before us.

I'd like to describe the first area I looked at as cultural modesty. In many Middle Eastern countries, modest attire is a hooded wrap called a burqa that covers a woman from head to toe, revealing only her eyes. It is worn over her daily clothes and is removed when she returns to her home. In some parts of Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan, the women even cover their eyes with a mesh grille. Due to political instability in these areas, women must adhere to this dress as a matter of personal safety. That's not fashion freedom!

In Indian cultures, one of the most expressive pieces in a woman's wardrobe is the feminine and modest sari. It's changed some through the generations but remains a modest statement in Indian cultures. One of the earliest depictions of the sari dates back to about 100 BC. This style of body wrapping may have evolved from the ancient temple dancers who danced in similar garments that allowed them to move without restraint, yet still remain modest.

Years ago I was shooting for an English magazine in Marrakesh, Morocco. Hands down, this was one of my favorite jobs. Everywhere I turned there were vibrant colors, the scent of curry and other spices, snake charmers, and locals traveling by camel. We were there from the end of July to the beginning of August, and it averaged 112 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Most days I shot in the outskirts of the Sahara Desert or on the backs of beautiful white Arabian horses. Because of the intense heat, we took long breaks in the afternoon to go into Morocco's largest, traditional open-air market, or souk. I can't think of a better time to wear a tank top and shorts, but the women of our group were advised by our guide to follow certain wardrobe traditions. I had to hide my long blonde hair in a scarf, wear long linen pants, and completely cover my arms. It was so hot! But our guide insisted only prostitutes dress "immodestly." Rebelling against this cultural modesty could have literally endangered my life.

Second, there is historical modesty. Victorian attire came about during the reign of Queen Victoria of England. The dress varied quite a bit but with one common theme: the long, ankle-length skirt. After that, a woman's wardrobe always consisted of petticoats and bonnets, and until the beginning of the twentieth century, it was considered risqué to let your ankles show! Not much freedom there either!

In more recent generations, skirts became shorter, but conservative women would still wear knee-length to ankle-length skirts. Poodle skirts were knee- to mid-calf length and rounded out the decade of the 1950s. Modest trends like these lasted until the late 1960s when fashion was coupled with rebellion and the miniskirt was introduced. From there, the way women viewed fashion shifted; it became liberal. Suddenly there were bikinis, tight-fitting clothes, short shorts (appropriately called "hot pants"), and lots and lots of cleavage. It is no coincidence this rebellion also brought with it rampant drug use, promiscuous sex, and new sexually transmitted diseases. This is where our society's fashion made a spiraling downhill turn, and we're still suffering the consequences of it today.

Today's fashion has only gotten more revealing, which leads me to believe it's not so much our clothes (or lack thereof), but where our hearts are. What's going through the mind of a woman as she shops the latest trends? The answer, of course, depends on the heart of the woman. That is the starting point of this study ... the heart. We'll be taking the road less traveled to get to our heart issues, make camp there, and listen for God's still, small voice. There we'll find many truths. We'll find modesty is a virtue that ignites a woman's dignity and respect for herself. It takes more courage to dress modestly and know one's value and worth stems from her Creator than to follow the patterns of the world and its skin-baring trends.

I want to show we can have the freedom to dress without rules, maintain our love for shopping, not get discouraged while shopping, and satisfy our craving for style without sacrificing our integrity. When our hearts are akin to Christ's, we'll develop a pattern that surpasses every fashion!

But I, for one, know it's not always easy to go against the grain and set yourself apart from the crowd. Trust me, I've had to walk off sets that wanted me to promote less-than-modest wardrobes. As you read, I'll be sharing how those decisions cost me huge campaigns, regular clients, and future work. It didn't make me popular, and it frustrated my clients and my agent, but God has been faithful to protect my career and my reputation.

Fashion should be fun, spontaneous, and should enable women to express themselves. But a good model (or role model) does not have to sacrifice her purity, dignity, or worth on the altar of bad taste!

He says ...

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:1–2

So there it is: God's instruction for us to give our bodies to Him and for it to be "a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God." As we will learn in this study, God desperately cares about how we present ourselves. God's Word goes on to say we are not to "conform any longer to the pattern of this world." Or as the New Living Translation phrases it, we should not "copy the behavior and customs of this world." How's that for specific? We aren't supposed to be like, act like, or even dress like the world around us. Does that mean we're supposed to wear long, flowing robes or paper sacks? Of course not! But it doesn't take long to see what the world dresses like. We all know we live in a skin-is-in society, and we have heard the phrase "Sex sells." Those are the kinds of behaviors and customs the Bible is talking about.

This does not, however, mean we can't dress fashionably or follow the trends (thank goodness!). In fact, in Proverbs 31, we learn of a lady who wears fine linen and is dressed in purple. That was one of the most expensive and trendy garments of her day! She was definitely fashion forward! But I have no doubt she knew modesty was more significant than her beautiful threads. These are some of the issues we'll be discussing in this book. But for now, as I mentioned before, our part starts with a heart willing to obey.

Maybe you picked up this book to read on your own or are reading this with a study group. Hopefully you're truly interested in what the Bible says about modesty. Either way, God knew you were going to be here, and He has a message for you. God wants His best for our lives, and that includes how we represent Him and ourselves by the way we dress.

The purpose of obedience is not simply for us to follow certain rules ... that's called religion. The real purpose is to bring us into a better relationship with God ... that's freedom! Obeying God's Word doesn't bind us; it sets us free!

One important thing to remember is that the Bible was not written in English as we read it today. Using a concordance, which is an index that lists significant words, their meanings, and scriptural references, we can go back to the original text and learn what the Author intended to convey so the true meaning isn't lost in translation. Throughout this book, I will refer to the Greek or Hebrew meaning of words so that we can see what the Bible says in its original form. These words are the building blocks on which we'll make our fashion decisions.

The first word is legalism. Legalism is the emphasis on outward actions (not inner changes) and the belief that those actions produce rightness with God. What it produces instead is a feeling of self-righteousness where we glorify our own actions instead of glorifying God. It also produces a condemnation of others, believing our good deeds (instead of pure hearts) bring us into a closer relationship with God. It's important for us to understand this is a dangerous trap because it keeps us works-oriented. And like any trap, it binds us and keeps us from total freedom.

The second term is license. License is the belief that we as Christians can do anything we please without consequence because we're already forgiven. This is another dangerous snare because our actions influence others, either positively or negatively, and can lead others to Christ or away from Christ. Having a false sense of license can come with some heavy and burdensome consequences.

The third word is holiness. Holiness can seem like a scary word because it's the chief attribute that describes God. However, did you know He calls us to be holy (1 Peter 1:15–16)? The word in Greek is hagios (pronounced hag-ee-os). It comes from a similar word, hagnos (pronounced hag-nos), which means "clean," "innocent," "modest," and "pure." Thankfully you don't have to take my word for it. You can take God's Word for it. God desires for us to be holy and modest.

Of course we can't be holy on our own merit, but we can rely on Him to change our hearts. Now reread Romans 12:1–2. Understanding Scripture will help us know God the way He wants us to know Him. Will you join me in agreeing with God to have an open heart that listens and is willing to obey? I hope you will! I did, and it has changed the way I think, just as Romans 12:2 promises. And according to the end of the passage it's only then that we learn God's will for us. If I've learned one thing in life, it's that I want to know God's will for me!

So ... what do you say?

Let me just tell you how honored I am to have you join me on this adventure! If you're like me, you love God and you love clothes; how wonderful it is that we can join the two and together discover God's best for our lives! Please feel free to be honest about your thoughts on this subject. You will get a chance to journal those thoughts in this section and discuss with your group your ideas, fears, struggles, victories, and hesitations. Just be yourself, and trust that God is walking through this with us!

Love, Rachel

1. how does it make you feel when you see a man stare at an immodestly dressed woman? insecure? Jealous? Angry? Something else? explain:




2. When that happens do you wish it were you getting the attention?




3. We see guys gawking at immodesty all the time. What do you think is going on in their hearts? What do you think is going on in the females' hearts?




4. We've already started talking about modesty as an issue that begins in the heart. Read Proverbs 21:2 and Proverbs 27:19. Discuss with your group; then write what these verses mean to you.




5. Read 1 Corinthians 10:23. Freedom can be positive or negative. At the beginning of this chapter, Seth noted his sisters have the confidence and freedom to dress modestly. The bible is clear. Just because something is permissible does not mean it is beneficial or constructive. Freedom outside the boundaries of Scripture is license.

In your own words, what does license mean?



6. What are some things we can do as Christians that are permissible but not beneficial?



7. License isn't love for God, but a method of using God. This is a dangerous place to be in your spiritual walk. Why do you suppose that's true?



8. However, the same is true with legalism. Legalism is just a fancy word for trying so hard to please God that we start making up additional rules not found in Scripture. Can you imagine? Adding to God's Word? Why would this be a dangerous place to be?




This is why God wants us to live our lives according to His will without exploiting His Word or changing it to fit our lifestyle. Additionally, He doesn't want us to make a list of unscriptural standards we think God wants us to keep. There is no freedom in either of these choices.


Excerpted from FASHIONED by FAITH by RACHEL LEE CARTER Copyright © 2011 by Rachel Lee Carter. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Rachel Lee Carter is a professional international model of more than 20 years as well as a Bible Institute graduate. She is the President of Modeling Christ, a faith-based organization that teaches the importance of modesty in a skin-is-in society.

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Fashioned by Faith 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Teresa_Konopka More than 1 year ago
Written by an actual Christian model, this book is a must-have for women. Carter's modeling experience with her highlights and regrets are spilled onto the pages. While there is some fashion advice given, this is not a book on how to restructure your entire closet or what "looks" are modest. Rather, Carter gets at the issue of the heart. After all, fashion tips won't do a girl any good if, at the end of the day, she does not care about modesty. Bible verses and questions (with space provided to write) are included. At the end, there is even a 45-day Bible study. What's also great is that each chapter starts off with a photot of a teenage guy, a little bio, and what he thinks of modesty. Also included is a color collection of some of Carter's modeling. I'm glad I snagged this book from Thomas Nelson publishing!
The_Psychotic_Housewife More than 1 year ago
Fashioned By Faith was written by the author, an international model herself who had done campaigns for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren, to show that you can look fashionable in today's society without revealing a lot of skin. The book is directed to the teen and unmarried young women crowd (very early 20's). While it does have a lot of religious emphasis, and does contain a 45 day Bible study, alongside many Scripture backing up opinions and the book itself, I do think that even non-religious folks could benefit from reading through this book. Most of the fashion information included applies to us all - from everything to purchasing proper fitting undies that were bought this century (*cough*) to makeup application to proper fitting tops and bottoms. There are "He Says..." written by young men followed by the author's "She Says..." parts, and the author shares with us some of her "tear sheets" (Ah, you'll have to read the book to find out what they are if you don't already know!) and personal photographs in the center of the book, which will even give you some ideas of dressing more modestly. She also discusses self esteem and weight issues. You'll find out more about the difficulties of sticking to your guns, but the author proves it can be done - even in the cutthroat world of modeling. Please note that I received a copy of this book in exchange for my opinion on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Is it possible to both maintain modesty and fashionably dress? Rachel Lee Carter, a popular model, answers that seemingly small, yet worried about question. She includes: * he said: A section where God-fearing young men share there feelings on the importance of a young woman's modesty * she said: Rachel Carter shares her personal stories, along with tip on modesty * He said: scripture based proof of God's love for modesty, along with daily, applicable knowledge. * a 45 day devotional at the end of the book, which is great for book clubs, small groups, or solo-use :) * Many fill in the blank questions, which help store the newly gained knowlege. I loved this book. With applicable tips on everything from how to stay modest all the way to how to maintain your reputation, this book is a sure-winner. One of my favorite parts was to see how much us girls dressing modestly actually effects guys! It was great that Rachel acknowledged the importance to have a modest heart as well as a modest body. one of the most interesting things she said was that we need to be teachable. This was hard for me to grasp because I know that I can feel a bit wronged sometimes when people don't agree with something I am doing. I am going to definitely work on that! Overall, I think this is a superb book for both mothers and daughters and aunts and grandmas :) I truly hope you read it! Every woman/young woman NEEDS to read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be thoroughly engrossing, though I am older than the target audience. After all, we are all subject to the same messages from the media, fashion, and others. This book provides a thoughtful, faith-based message for girls and young women of all ages. Likely to appeal to tweens and teens are "real" young men giving their impressions and thoughts about modesty. Hearing a male perspective that reinforces the notion that modesty in women is appealing to men is perhaps one of the best parts of this book. I also enjoyed the author's perspective on modesty, as she has done modeling (many young girls' dreams!). She discusses times when she turned down lucrative jobs that would have forced her to reveal more of herself than she was comfortable with. There are also "real" photographs of the author in various modeling shoots, where she is beautiful and modestly dressed. These images are likely to reinforce her message. I cannot recommend this book highly enough to young women (perhaps age 8 and up, as young girls are increasingly subject to many of these influences) and their parents, teachers, youth leaders, etc. [Please note: I received this book at no cost through BookSneeze in exchange for my honest review.]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
@ whoever said she is a former model, SHE STILL DOES MODELING!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jokakin24 More than 1 year ago
"Fashioned by Faith" details Rachel's struggles, revelations and convictions regarding her modest clothing all while working in the fashion industry. Rachel brings her experience from the fashion world to offer creative and practical suggestions that combine modesty and a great look. Each chapter of this 203 page book includes direct quotes from young men and from Rachel, herself. It's important that women of all ages realize how important it is to honor God with all they do. Women should take special care to protect their bodies and men should take special care to respect women's bodies. Rachel shares many stories about how difficult it is to work in her industry while not being willing to bare her body. She encourages young woman to set boundaries and not cross them, no matter how much pressure. There are many discussion questions throughout the book and it would be a terrific tool for a small group or Sunday school class. I think this book is geared more toward younger woman but it is an important read for any woman, especially a mother of girls to read. Rachel encourages girls to involve their parents in their wardrobe decisions and I think that this is something that is seriously lacking in our society. Parents need to insert themselves in EVERY aspect of their children's lives, including the mundane, everyday choices like choosing and/or approving clothes. The last portion of this book is a 45-day Bible Study which could be an excellent tool for a group of girls or a mother/daughter devotional type project. I enjoyed this book and will definitely be using some of the ideas and tools that Rachel offers when my daughter is old enough. Side Note: This book also includes many beautiful color pictures from Rachel's modeling career. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
MichPell More than 1 year ago
Fashioned by Faith - Rachel Lee Carter This book, written buy a real life model, gives an inside look at the ups and downs of living as a professional model. Each chapter begins with a letter from a real guy. In each letter the guys confess how hard it is as christian young men trying to stay pure in a world filled with the "skin-is-in" mind frame. The guys inform the readers of how thankful they are when girls dress modestly. They admit that modesty is actually more attractive to them, because it shows that the girl has confidence and respect for herself. Rachel also provides the reader with practical ways to incorporate modesty into your wardrobe while still dressing stylishly. We all know that finding cute modest clothes can difficult but Rachel shows us the fun, easy was to do it! One of my favorite aspects of the book is how the author presents the Gospel story. She explains it in an interesting, easy to understand way for teen girls. There is also a 45-day bible study at the end of the book. The Bible study provides a way to dig deeper and find out more about what God says about modesty, and why it is so important to Him.
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Melysah More than 1 year ago
Fashioned by Faith By Rachel Lee Carter is a great book for teen girls. It's written by a former model and features opinions about modesty from teen boys. There's also a Bible study guide at the end of the book. Rachel Lee Carter teaches young (or even older) females how to dress modest, what guys think of modest girls and what God says about modesty in the Bible. Each chapter has a boy with his picture, age, interests, location, etc. There's an opinion piece from the boy on modesty means to him. Rachel Lee Carter then offers her advice on the subject. At the end of the chapter there are questions for the reader to answer. The book focuses on mending the heart, creating beauty from the inside out. It's not a "dress modest, because I said so" kind of tale. It works on building self esteem and other positive qualities that young girls need. I love the picture examples in the book. There are images of Rachel Lee Carter from past photo shoots. Girls can visually get ideas on what to wear and see that dressing modest doesn't mean being frumpy.