Friday, 11 October 2013

Dressed to Impress

Who do we, women, really Dress for?
Elsa Schiaparelli, the late Italian fashion designer, famously claimed that, ‘women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women.’ There is a sense of truth in it, as fashion can indeed be competitive.
Our clothes are a costume that portrays a persona we wish to impose on the world, they can serve many functions.  They can persuade, connote, insinuate, seduce or even lie. A pretty summer dress can have a Lolita’s cunning and a pair of glasses can hint at a serious intellect we might not possess. These are but a few that point to the negative half-truths that throw the positive allure of fashion off course.
You see, there’s a sense of creativity in dressing up that must first and foremost satisfy the wearer.  A short, tight skirt may well get a guys heart racing but if it’s at odds with your sense of self, chances are you won’t wear it – or if you do, you won’t wear it well. For instance, someone like local designer, Chakirra Claasen, who usually wears black, will without a doubt feel out of place in spring’s eye popping colours and someone who characteristically wears colour, like myself, will feel like a forced Goth member in head-to-toe black.
We can ultimately only dress to please ourselves, and when we get it right – oh boy, when we get it right, we experience an almost supernatural sense of personal empowerment, the kind that allows us to conquer the world, in the right pair of shoes of course.
How we dress is very much linked to how we see ourselves and subconsciously, also, how we want other people to see us. And what we choose to wear is what we want to tell the world. Therefore fashion has become another way for us to communicate. We can’t help it really, in fact, we go to great lengths to make sure the people in our lives and those we encounter, especially those who dislike us, take notice. I personally can’t deny the thrill I get when others murmur in appreciation or even the curb side flattery from construction workers.
Now, saying we dress for ourselves when we’re wearing killer heels instead of comfy pumps may echo contradiction. But who doesn’t enjoy the rush of being a few inches slimmer and several centimetres taller when stepping out on the town? Do we do it for someone else? No, we do it because it makes us feel good; because our mirror image winks with approval and our hips sway with happiness. And if men look twice and women take mental notes, well, so much the better...