Many people misconstrue fashion to be style. They are one and the same, some say, and as such tend to blame the high rate of indecent dressing on fashion as a whole. You probably must have seen someone dress indecently and heard a random person comment, “see what fashion has caused.” Is fashion really the cause of the high incidence of indecent dressing rampant today or style is? To answer this question, the two terms have to be juxtaposed.
Although this may sound trite, fashion and style are distinct entities that share a striking relationship. There is a difference between fashion and style that so many have failed to recognize. Style is a dimension of fashion. It goes beyond wearing trendy outfits the right way. It delves deeper into the clothes of the wearer, the choices, the preferences, likes, dispositions, and most importantly, individuality. Oscar de la Ranta says, “Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable; style is more about being yourself.” Style isn’t dependent on clothing. It can be associated with anything that makes you stylish which could be the way you speak, the way you write, your carriage or the way you pair your accessories.
On the other hand, fashion comprises every wardrobe staple in vogue. The clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc., that fashion designers dole out every season are what make up fashion and it is up to us as individuals to scan through the available plethora of fashion items and pick up what should constitute our style.
Blaming indecent dressing on fashion is like asking the creator why He created man simply because wickedness thrives more than good in today’s world. Fashion designers try to cater for the needs of a wide range of consumers. They don’t know your taste, neither do they know your preferences and as such, they give you a wide range of options, expecting that you choose from any and come up with your style. If an exposing dress is something you love wearing, would you blame it on fashion or your individuality (remember, individuality is a keyword when it comes to style)? If you find ripped jeans or an off-shoulder top indecent, do you blame it on the producers of the clothes or the wearer’s choice?
That brings us to another keyword – choice. The wearer must have seen many clothes while shopping but chose to go for that particular one because it suits her individuality, taste, preference and style. It may be indecent to onlookers but to her, simply because it’s her style, she doesn’t find it indecent. Although many may argue that if the fashion designers hadn’t produced such indecent wears, we wouldn’t have people wearing them. That’s a good argument but let’s take a look at it from another angle. Imagine all the clothes in the world were the same. Can that ever be possible when all the faces in the world are different? Just as no two minds are the same, no two persons can love the same style of dress all the time. This alone is the reason for the variety of clothing we have today. Most times, what births an invention is always a need. This statement lends credence to the fact that people actually desired and wanted such clothing before fashion designers gave it to them. Perhaps, a person must have sat and thought, “Why do we have to cover up from head to toe? Why can’t we just wear something that permits us to flaunt our skin a bit?” and boom! Those type of clothes were born.
When someone dresses indecently, it is not because they are fashionistas. It is not because they just want to follow trends. It is not because they lack home training. It is not because they lack self-control from the provocative designs fashion designers keep producing. It is because they CHOSE to. It is because they find themselves comfortable in such clothes. It is because such clothes make up their STYLE. This is not to justify indecent dressing, this is to remind us of the obvious: style is the reason for indecent dressing.
We all have our tastes and preferences and they are what builds up our style. Fashion designers create a variety of clothing but it is up to you to make your choice, create your style and leave your own fashion statement. While fashion is fleeting, style remains. While fashion comprises the clothes and accessories that are en vogue, style is the way and manner you choose to wear them. What fashion does is to refuel your style with novel trends and different options.
Dressing indecently does not make you a fashionista; it only shows us your style.