Dress the way you want to be addressed is one common saying that we have all heard at one time or the other of our lives but sadly many of us do not take it serious. We all love to look fashionable especially those who love to push the boundaries as it is these set of people that end up making fashion statements and becoming trendsetters. However, these same set of people can also end up making blunders and making a public spectacle of themselves. Fashion has been defined in so many ways that it would be inappropriate to say there is only one correct definition of fashion, so for me I have come to the conclusion that fashion is simply a person’s personal style not minding whether the next person likes it or not as long you are comfortable in what you are in or the lack of it thereof (we all know less clothing is being used these days anyways).
However as much as we may love to push limits and boundaries, there are generally acceptable ways of dressing in the society and though there may not be a written law about it, it is an unspoken agreement that the people live by. The fashion of the people of Nigeria has evolved over time with a gradual change from native attires to a growing love f,or the western way of dressing which has now become the ‘in thing’. From the western culture, we imbibed new attires and even designed our own native fabrics and patterns into styles and designs that are foreign to us. For the men for instance we have come to embrace suits and ties, shirts and trousers, jeans and polo while the women’s undying love for skirts and blouse, gowns and mini-skirts, is not something we need to mention. In the midst of all this, there have been some unacceptable fashion statements that have not gone down well with our people such as sagging, and too much skin exposure. It brings me to an incident that happened recently. We all know how students of University of Lagos (UNILAG) especially the girls love to be fashionable and are considered to be trendsetters. It was a normal day and I had hurried off to my favourite class of all time, Practical Criticism back in my 200 level days. I always enjoyed the class and hated to be late. The class was going on smoothly when a course mate sauntered in majestically in an extremely short Ankara gown with an open backside feature and a single hand design. Ample cleavage was what greeted the ogling eyes of all and sundry and it was clear she was enjoying the attention. Maybe for a second, she believed she was on the red carpet and we were her paparazzi.
The lecturer looked at her from head to toe and called her back as she made to sit down. He accessed her from head to toe again and shook his head, then came the fire. He asked her if she could dress like this at home and she answered in the affirmative. He concluded by saying that she must have irresponsible parents if she could dress that way at home. He then proceeded to send her out his class after taking down her name and matriculation number with the threat of disciplinary action from the department’s authority for indecent dressing. To say she was embarrassed was an understatement, her two minute of fame had come to a shameful end.
I am no saint but I guess the point of all my senseless ramblings is the need to point out how important it is to dress the way we want to be addressed. Perhaps if she had rocked the same outfit to a club or a red carpet event, she would have gotten the praises she so badly wanted about her good looks but for a classroom setting, she had chosen the wrong place.
The poor girl was followed by the snickering laughter of the people in class and as she left, she reminded me of a dog scurrying away with its tail between its legs. In choosing your outfit, know your environment and the kind of occasion you are going for, it is always key in order to avoid any sort of embarrassment. Showing skin or sagging may seem to be the in thing but remember if you are not comfortable, you shouldn’t try it. Your fashion statement talks about you and you talk about your fashion statement.
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