Fashion and expressing yourself

Fashion as a way of expression

Walking down the street and seeing someone who has put their outfit together in an individual way is endlessly refreshing: this doesn’t have to mean for example bright red hair and a ‘50s’ dress, but instead, they may be wearing two shirts, creating a double collar, because they want to, or wearing pink and red together despite it being described as a fashion ‘faux pas’ by a magazine.

This may at first glance seem trivial but it comes under the very important heading of what it means to express oneself. It can become difficult to do this with the obsession of trends and what is ‘last season’, or what is deemed appropriate for a woman to wear in varying situations.

I notice that my friends who practice Islam often wear more distinct clothing, for example bolder colours and multiple layers of fabric. This is perhaps because Muslims are encouraged to express themselves through personality and therefore clothing rather than sexuality, which is conversely dominant in western media. Style today is an issue intrinsically linked with gender equality. Women should be allowed to wear whatever they want and not dress for anyone but themselves, whether they want to wear a cut-out dress to go to the corner shop, or a baggy checked shirt to a nightclub.

The issue isn’t as prominent with boys but they should be able to wear hot pink nail varnish if they fancy it – some people do have the confidence to do this but were it deemed appropriate then there is no doubt that people would. Just watch the three year old boys choosing to wear the princess shoes from their sister’s dressing up box to the playground, before they have been too far exposed to gender stereotypes.