Thoughtful Style: Love Cat Sweatshirt

I have great news to share! Last week, I was featured in Cup of Jo’s Week of Outfits series.

The feature was a longtime in the making. Associate editor, Jannelle Sanchez, and I spoke over the phone for nearly three hours (she’s a wonderful interviewer and conversation partner).

And local photographer, Julia Bri, came over to my church to take photos. I am grateful for the platform to share my thoughts on inclusive Christianity and how it intersects with sustainable fashion.

Leah sits on curb wearing sweatshirt with cats on it and gray pants - thoughtful style cat sweatshirt

Thoughtful Style: Love Cats Sweatshirt

I thought I would spend the next few weeks sharing closer looks at the five outfits I chose for the post.

Leah leans against a brick wall wearing sweatshirt and gray pants and holding purse

This is the perfect outfit for a mild weather day when I don’t need to wear my clergy collar (though I could easily wear a clergy shirt under the sweatshirt).

The mild season has passed already, but it’s often so cold inside the church that I need a sweater of some kind, which extends the sweatshirt’s usefulness.

Profile headshot of Leah wearing a sweatshirt with black cats on it - thoughtful style cat sweatshirt

I got this vintage, hand painted sweatshirt at local shop, Leopard Lounge. If you look closely, you can see that the cats’ tails spell out “LOVE.”

Leah sits on curb wearing sweatshirt with cats on it and gray pants - thoughtful style cat sweatshirt

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Outfit Details: Vintage Sweater, Leopard Lounge | Jeans (similar) | Vivaia Shoes | Baggu Bag | Studs Earrings

Because I wear a black clergy shirt with a white collar most days of the week, my accessories have skewed more into black and white patterns lately. They’re a way to add visual interest without raising any eyebrows.

overhead shot of checkered shoes and gray pants in grass

I had lost my way when it came to wearing “loud” prints and colors. When you’re trying to curate a limited, more sustainable wardrobe, it often makes more sense to buy basic prints and silhouettes.

But now that I’m in a historically male-dominated role wearing historically male clothing and vestments, I am finding it gratifying to reintegrate more creative and traditionally feminine colors, patterns, and silhouettes into my rotation.

It really drives home the point that fashion is a form of communication. I want to communicate that I am serious about my call as a representative/representation of the church while also celebrating my unique personhood.

In other words, my call is not to diminish my particularity, but to understand what it means that God calls each of us in our particularity.

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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