Is Fashion Really A Form Of Self Expression?

Fashion is something that is integral to our daily lives; whether we recognise that or not. How we decide to dress ourselves is a reflection of our personal taste and influences, meaning it warrants a lot more credit then people give it. Many people (including myself) use fashion as a mechanism for expressing their individuality and for celebrating what makes them gloriously unique.

However, on the flip side of the coin, many people believe this idea of fashion to be too far fetched and sometimes the way people dress has nothing to do with their individuality but more with their personal comfort and their daily routine/occupation. You won't see an athlete sporting a bandage dress and heels on the training ground, or a teacher parading down the school corridor in joggers and a slouchy jumper, even if that's what they really want to be wearing in that moment. Practicality, people.

This week I've decided to let the floodgates down and address a perennial question that presses on my mind a lot, the question of whether fashion really is a form of self expression.

To begin, it's easy to understand why many perceive caring about fashion to be materialistic and superficial. After all, having the coolest clothes or the best fashion sense isn't one of human's basic necessities, it's a choice we actively make. With clothes becoming more and more expensive (big up Topshop and their INSANE prices), it's easy to judge those who choose to spend their money mainly on clothes, because it isn't necessary and sometimes, these people may be sacrificing other goods in order to have the latest clothes. However, these aforementioned spenders would argue that they have the right to unapologetically spend their income on whatever it is that they wish and that they shouldn't be made to feel bad for doing so. Moreover, some may feel as though spending money on the latest clothes isn't a form of self-expression but rather a mechanism to fit into society's "norms" or look how the media instructs us to look.

However, many would ascertain that making the active choice of deciding what to put on our backs is indeed as a form of self expression as our clothes are a reflection of our personalities, moods and experiences. Certain people love to wear vivid colours and loud patterns whilst other prefer to keep it subtle and understated, but the point is that we are all different and therefore our choices will be varied based on our beautifully unique traits. I love to be experimental with my fashion because I use my clothing choices to express my adventurous individuality and personal taste. It's something I relish in doing and i have a genuine passion for it, which encourages me to be as expressive and liberal as I desire.

Growing up in the digital age it may be becoming increasingly difficult to turn to fashion as a form of self expression because the clothes we have access to on the high street are pretty much identical to eachother and there isn't much variation. Depending on the season's latest trends, it won't be an uncommon sight to witness the same items being worn by countless people. Lets journey our minds back to the age of that "Geek" jumper (Ashamedly, I did own one of these) or even reflect on the countless bumbags, sliders and dungaree dresses we have been seeing recently. What I'm trying to allude to is the fact that nowadays, with the clothing on offer being so similar all the time, it's difficult to use fashion to stand out as individuals when the supply is just so limited. It's incredibly frustrating. I don't want to turn up to a party wearing a Topshop dress that 4 other girls in the room are wearing. It's happened to me. It's not fun. At all.

Historically, fashion has been a way of expressing taste, class and wealth. Although the idea of the latter two is extremely outdated and not something I believe that fashion should be concerned with, I do think it is still of paramount importance to use fashion as a form of self-expression in a world that is becoming more and more unoriginal. 

If you're someone that thinks fashion is merely for practicality and it has nothing to do with us as humans, that's cool. I'm not sat here on some pedestal (I'm actually in my bed...) preaching that one must express themselves through fashion, because to some people, that's not one of life's focuses. But I will say that those who want to express themselves through their clothing choices, go for it. Wear those bright yellow trousers if they make you feel like a ray of sunshine, or strut around in your tallest stilettos even if it's not deemed "suitable", because if it makes you feel good then it's worth your time.

As you may tell, to answer my own question,  I do personally believe that fashion really is a form of self expression.

What do you think?


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