I think it’s safe to say that everyone has encountered an experience where they felt the need to defend the importance of something they loved. It’s a fact of life that we might all face, and it is necessary to both teach and learn about why people believe particular things are important to expand our naturally tunneled vision, ranging from your favorite TV show to an excellent and insightful book or a social cause. Assuming you came across this article because you agree or disagree with the topic of the title, I would like to give you some insight on the topic as to why fashion is more than clothes.
It can show support.
Behind every article of clothing is a story to be told. Whether you know it or not, every piece of clothing has a voice. In the last few years, a number of designers have created shirts with words supporting the feminist movement. Those t-shirts the designers create aren’t just to look cool on a model, but to make a statement of support for the cause. In wearing the shirt, it speaks to your own support of the cause.
Similarly, if you wear an Ivy Park hoodie, it is reasonable to assume that you support Beyonce. Clothing is used in many plain and abstract ways to support what a designer believes is important. Recently I cam across a video on YouTube by the account SHOWstudio (watch bellow). In this video, Lou Stoppard goes into detail about a poncho designed by Craig Green. Each of the elements of the poncho has a purpose and its contrast to pieces by many other designers. This one poncho shows a number of feelings and emotions of Green, giving depth to the piece that many may miss.
It can show sorrow and pain.
Clothing doesn’t just speak words of support, but also of sorrow. We don’t all coincidentally wear black to weddings. In the United States and many other places. it is a form of etiquette and respect for the dead, and wearing white would be a bold statement against the person who has passed away. Even if you have no care for fashion what so ever, it is still assumed that you will follow this rule to prevent embarrassment and disgrace. For that fact, in any time of sadness or lack of motivation, darker colors are often customary to show their feelings to those around you. On the contrary, bright colors often express happiness and content. It may be one of the most common ways people show expression in clothing, whether they recognize it or not.
It can show confidence and individuality.
There is a level of confidence necessary in order to wear something out of the norm. So easily do we receive backlash from the clothes we wear if they aren’t like everyone else’s. You run the risk of ridicule for being different. And that says something. That speaks to your confidence in being an individual. With 8 billion people in the world, it’s a daunting thing to attempt, but doing so speaks most loudly to me of one’s self awareness and little care for social norms.
It took a lot of confidence for women back in the 1800’s to wear pants. The hate from men and women alike was unimaginable today, but it too shows the confidence of the women who muscled through the ridicule for what they thought was right.
It can show respect and care.
There is a reason we fiddle with our look for several minutes before a first date or check our teeth in our spoon before a business lunch. It’s because we care. We make an effort to put our best selves forward for our loved ones and those who we respect because we want to show them that we care. A pristine outfit says you carefully selected the pieces of the look because the other person is important enough to them that they wanted to take time out of their day to look presentable. People notice those kinds of things instantly.
Clothing speaks loudly or quietly, whichever we desire. But we cannot ignore the fact that it does speak in many ways of who we are and what we think.