Folks can now advertise their commitment to abstinence thanks to a clothing line that's getting more attention.
Los Angeles-based Wait Wear sells t-shirts and, most interestingly, underwear with various messages promoting abstinence until marriage.
One set of briefs reads "No Vows No Sex," while a bikini brief has "Traffic Control: Wait for Marriage" emblazoned on the crotch. One of the girl's t-shirts says, "Notice: No Trespassing on This Property. My Father Is Watching."
After Wait Wear's creator, Yvette Thomas, displayed her wares at a Las Vegas intimate apparel trade show in February, the line has been grabbing some press.
"Wait Wear is a clothing line designed to bring about awareness of abstinence until marriage and celebrating virginity," the Wait Wear Web site says. "Whether you are a teen, young adult, single parent or born again virgin; Wait Wear will help serve as a reminder to the commitment you have made to remain celibate until marriage."
Thomas began the Wait Wear line in 2002 and originally focused on Internet sales and youth conferences, Associated Press reported. Thomas told Fox News that Wait Wear did about $4,000 of business last year, but that she plans to do upwards of $2 million in 2005 as the line hits more retail stores.
Fox News described the 39-year-old Thomas as "a practicing evangelical Christian and never-married mother of three."
While some find it odd to put an abstinence message on underwear, Thomas told Fox News that the underlying message, so to speak, is more of a reminder to the wearer—not necessarily something to be seen by others (in contrast to the t-shirts).
The clothing line has its detractors. One is Michael Wood, vice president of Teenage Research Unlimited.
"Today's teens aren't looking for their clothing to be a billboard for what they believe in," Wood told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Graphic T-shirts are still very popular, but the most-popular ones seem to be humorous."
Another skeptic is author and Christian Lauren F. Winner. Winner told Fox News that while she appreciated the attention being paid to messages our clothing sends, she questioned whether Wait Wear "cedes too much to a culture that wants to turn our very clothes and bodies into billboards and ads."
Wait Wear has dovetailed with the True Love Waits campaign begun in 1993. That initiative, sponsored by LifeWay Christian Resources, asks teenagers and college students to commit to abstinence until married.
The TLW Web site offers links to companies making TLW products that include rings, pendants, watches and t-shirts that simply have a True Love Waits logo.
The t-shirts, the site says, are "great ways to communicate your commitment to purity."
Cliff Vaughn is culture editor for EthicsDaily.com.