“I complete relate,” I commented. “I’ve been about the same size since high school. It probably took me twenty years before I got rid of some of my favorite outfits from then, particularly since I made part of them. And I know there is at least one dress in there I’ve had for about 30 years! It still fits and I like it, so I haven’t been able to talk myself into getting rid of it yet!”
How we dress is a display of how we feel about ourselves and either projects confidence or low self-esteem. Our “dress” can either be a selling point for a job, or certain rejection of desired employment. It demonstrates our understanding of fashion and how we choose to view society and social change.
Our attire and accessories also demonstrates our social status, and often our connections with social groups. Racing fans are often seen wearing racing attire, as do football fans or fans of any other sport. Colleges and other organizations, like honor society or business logos, are worn on clothes; and passions about quilting, crafting or even reading can also be directly linked to certain clothes styles, as are clothes depicting our faith or specific religious traditions, the occult or Gothic tendencies.
If you see a lady in a wedding gown, you can immediately identify the occasion. Depending on the attire you generally know it’s prom time, or even time for a gathering at a church service. Now that said, it is interesting to note dress for church services, weddings, or even proms is changing. What used to be a formal occasion or even a “best dressed” occasion, is now becoming less and less formal, even to the point of wearing “everyday” clothes. While it isn’t the traditional dress, it’s become completely acceptable at many places. This is a key of social change, regarding clothes.
A business suit worn by a man or woman, also tends to be immediately identifiable. But sometimes the goal of what we choose to wear is to be as attractive and perhaps even as seductive, as possible. Here, however, “beauty” is in the eyes of the beholder and what is considered beautiful and attractive by one person, is offensive and not beautiful to another. Sometimes styles are completely contingent on geography due to weather and air temperature or if a person lives in the city or on a ranch!
Yet, it’s interesting to see styles once fashionable, then scorned as outdated, having a knack for making a re-entry into society many decades later, even if there is a hint of alteration. One of the latest fashion trends making a comeback is from the 1970’s. Flares, maxis, along with denim and suede fabrics with fringe and embroidery are again being considered acceptable attire.
My point is, fashion styles change. Our industrialized cultures dictate what is appropriate for the workplace. What a person wears to a mechanic’s garage is completely different from what a person wears to a business office. But even here, over the decades it is clear, styles are altered from generation to generation. What is completely acceptable in one time era would be thought lunacy in another!
As you look in your closet this week, can you see self-expression of who you are or would like to be, or do you follow the fashion trends? Could you wear something you've owned for 30 years? Would you feel comfortable attending a wedding, a ranch, business office, church or school with what is hanging in your closet? It is time for a change?