Many a time, I hear people say stuff like, “Fashion isn’t important. Who e epp? Fashion is not my problem.” And I am forced to wonder why they can’t see reasons why fashion is important. In the course of my wondering, I often ask myself this question: “Does fashion matter?”
Well, I got the answer to that question and that basically is the crux of this writing.
No, fashion doesn’t matter.
Yes, you read right.
Fashion doesn’t matter and that’s because fashion in that context refers to latest items/trends in the fashion industry. It refers to the latest styles of everything in fashion. Those things don’t matter. I mean the latest trends don’t matter. What actually matters is your personal style because while fashion is fleeting, your style is a part of your existence; so long as you breathe, it breathes.
However, if fashion refers to your personal appearance or grooming, contrary to popular opinion, it does matter. And before proving to you that fashion, that is your personal appearance matters, let’s address some of the fashion-is-not-important myths. Mind you, throughout this article, I’ll be using the words fashion, personal appearance and grooming interchangeably because they go hand-in-hand.
Myths About Fashion
To begin with, you probably must have said or heard one of these myths with or without knowing. And the funny thing is that if you’re as stubborn as a mule, you’ll still say it after reading. Regardless, it won’t stop me from preaching this gospel to you. So, read on.
1. Fashion Isn’t Important. It’s All Vanity
Personally, I think those who are of the opinion that appearance/fashion isn’t important have a poor mentality. Before you put on your defense mechanism, shall I expatiate?
Hold on a second.
If you actually did put on your defense mechanism, that means you also are of the opinion that fashion isn’t important. Well, as they say, we are all entitled to our opinions. You’re free to hold on to your entitlement. But shall you take a break from it by letting go of your predispositions and reading this piece with an open mind?
As I noted earlier, anyone who thinks fashion isn’t important has a poor mentality. Because, trust me, when the money is there and it’s there in abundance, you’d want to pamper your body with good clothes, hair care and skincare products.
Conversely, while many argue that this is all vanity upon vanity which is true, think about it. Would you just die like that without allowing your body enjoy the good things of the world before returning to the belly of the earth?
2. Does Fashion Matter? Good Food is Everything Abeg
Oh yeah! That’s true. Food is life. Food is a basic necessity of man next to clothing and shelter. Clothing and shelter….that sums it.
If looking good wasn’t important, God would have left Adam and Eve to keep walking in the garden of Eden naked after they ate that particular fruit. But He didn’t. Instead, God clothed them before evicting them from the garden. How wonderful!
If food was everything, then clothing wouldn’t be among the basic necessities of man. This itself is one of the reasons why fashion is important. You know right?
3. My Appearance Doesn’t Matter. It’s My Inner Content That Does
That’s true. It’s what you have inside of you that matters, I agree. But do me a favour: when you want to go for a job interview, shun your best clothes and wear rags. Don’t comb your hair. Don’t even bathe. Just go like that and prove to the HR team that you have good content to offer; good content in a dirty jar.
We both know they’ll have a very haphazard impression of you. I mean, if you can’t maintain your personal hygiene and looks, is it their company you’ll be able to maintain?
Fashion is important. You know. I know. So, work on balancing the two. I mean, while you work on growing and developing yourself skill-wise, you should also pay attention to how you look and balance the two. Even if you’re a preacher man, you still have to look good to earn and command respect. This is because, sometimes, in fact, most of the time, the medium is the message. Ask Marshal McLuhan. He knows better.
4. Fashion is for Women. Men Don’t Need Fashion
You see I first laughed because it’s funny.
Since when did fashion become gender-biased? Please tell me so I can call on feminist coven to handle the issue.
Fashion isn’t a thing for a particular gender. If you say it is, why then are we taught personal hygiene from childhood? You think fashion is all about clothes, shoes and accessories alone? I thought I already debunked that in the earlier paragraphs of this article. Please stop thinking that because the fashion we’re referring to here is everything about looking good from your clothes to your hair, skin and personal hygiene in general.
I agree, women are more obsessed about fashion than men but saying fashion isn’t for men sounds totally uncool. I’ll tell you why.
For example, in the history of fashion, men have been doing wonders. In fact, the first fashion designer ever was a man by name Charles Frederick Worth. Do your research and you’d see that men ruled this game before women started sauntering in. Although many of their clients were mostly women, this doesn’t mean men weren’t queuing up to be styled too.
Therefore, fashion is genderless. Grooming is genderless. Looking good is for no particular gender. If you think fashion is for men, then I must confess that you are quite antiquated with your thoughts. That’s an archaic mentality, drop it.
How can you see Atafo’s menswear and say fashion is for women alone?
How can you look at Ebuka’s pictures and still believe fashion isn’t for men. O wrong nau.
Indeed, fashion is for everyone and the word ‘everyone’ doesn’t spell a particular gender. So, you know what I mean.
5. Many Rich Men Don’t Care About Their Looks
Many rich men don’t care about their looks…. Are you a “many rich men'”? Can’t you live by your own standards?
Notwithstanding, you should understand that there is a difference between personal style and pocket style.
Let me explain.
Personal style is simply the way you express yourself through your choice of clothing, accessories, hairstyle, and the way you combine an outfit together. It is how you choose to look as an individual.
On the other hand, pocket style, which is my coinage, is how you dress according to the amount of money in your bank account. You know, sometimes, we want to wear stuff but we can’t simply because we can’t afford them. Yes, that’s what I mean.
The fact that your role model dresses simple doesn’t mean they don’t care about their personal appearance. In fact, their simplicity in appearance is their personal style. Their simplicity in style doesn’t mean they don’t like to look good. It just means they don’t like to put that extra effort to stand out with their looks. And this is because they love to appear simple and not showy with their dressing. Moreover, if they actually didn’t care about how they looked, they would be dressed in rags in spite of their wealth.
In addition, many of these wealthy peeps you and I look up to have celebrity stylists who gussy them up before they make any public appearance. Yes, your president, for instance, has a wardrobe consultant. If fashion wasn’t important, stylists would have been absolutely needless.
Reasons Why Fashion is Important
If appearance doesn’t matter, branding experts wouldn’t hit so much on packaging. You know, you can actually be going through hell but look like you’re in heaven because of how you package yourself.
Fashion is that packaging. Appearance is packaging.
You don’t necessarily need to wear the best or latest designs and trends in fashion to look good. You can even rock hand-me-downs and look much better than those who don designers. Just put an effort into being the better you and watch how everything balances well whether your bank account is in support or not.
If appearance doesn’t matter, why then do you admire someone at first glance. Their intelligence maybe? Okay. Imagine they were dressed shabbily, you wouldn’t even pay attention to them in the first place, would you?
Notwithstanding, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a case of judging a book by its cover. It’s simply a case of dressing according to how you want to be addressed.
Hence, how do you want people to address you? Dress it. Look it. Be it.
The importance of fashion and personal grooming cannot be overemphasized. Some of these reasons why fashion is important I have already discussed above. I’ll just go ahead to summarise.
- It helps you earn and command respect effortlessly. Dress like a boss and watch people call you a boss.
- It helps to boost your self-confidence. When you look good, you love yourself more which in turn makes you more self-confident.
- It endears you to people. Take Ebuka, for instance, his dress sense has won him more fans than ever.
- If you love attention, your personal appearance can help you get it without even trying.
- It helps you make a good first impression. And you know, first impression sometimes is the last impression. With fashion, you can achieve a good one.
- It is a means of self-expression. That is, you can say who you are and what you believe in without actually saying anything.
- It helps to preserve our culture and history. For instance, see how Agbada, Dashiki and the likes have now become an international and genderless attire? Thanks to fashion
Now you know why fashion is important. While you adjust, remember, too much of everything only becomes an obsession. And as such, you should balance your personal appearance with your career and personal development so everything can gel perfectly.
Also, never forget to own your personal style and live by it regardless of how others see it.