While fashion plays a significant role in our everyday lives, it can also be a powerful tool used to express oneself and personal opinions. Fashion has always caused a stir – from women’s liberation movements to political statements, it has been vital in putting forth new ideas across the globe. Whether it is the introduction of power dressing and the creation of the ’80s power suit that women started wearing as they first began entering the corporate workforce, or the multiplicity of trends we see today, one thing is clear – fashion has definitely been a symbol of revolution.
With social media taking over, most women now follow popular trends as seen on famous style icons. However, fashion is also about wearing pieces that not only make you look good, but also let you express your personal style. This Independence Day, we bring to you five women from various walks of life, who talk about how fashion has been liberating for them and how they express their opinion through their distinct style.
By not following set trends and building my own signature style over the years, fashion is liberating to me – even if that means throwing on comfy jeans and my favourite tee on a lazy day. I’ve always believed in going with my personal style and choosing pieces based on my body type, instead of following a specific look. I love a luxe maxi dress for an awards show as much as I love off-duty joggers and a tank top for weekends at home. To not conform to a set style at any given time or age makes fashion liberating for me.
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I love wearing pieces that are convenient, comfortable and interesting. I’m open to trying out new trends these days, but I stick to what makes me feel good. Happiness is all about wearing clothes that you love, and those that give you much needed comfort with the perfect hint of style. I love how people are experimenting with their personal style these days and the interesting trends that are going around. Linen and cotton fabrics are always my favourites—they work very well for the Indian climate and have started appearing in boutiques across the globe too. I recently spotted them in LA!
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To know the power and freedom possible within fashion, we need to only look at the opposite: the way in which women are told what to wear and what to not wear, and how even victims of violence are shamed on the basis of what they were wearing during the incident. So to take control over one’s wardrobe when the world and its uncle seek to police it is not superficial in the least, but courageous. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy the sari’s versatility: you could see me walk quickly past a group of chauvinists with my arms and shoulders fully wrapped by the pallu, when really there’s a strapless crop top under it and I’m going to rock that look once I get to my destination.
Personally, fashion has helped me express myself in various ways. You can dress like a tough biker chick or wear a cute vintage dress from the ’40s. It helps you weave a story without using any words. You’re your own artist and can dress the way you want people to perceive you.
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As a freelancer and a mother there are so many good days and bad days. But even on the most tired days I realise one thing – it is important to dress up, paint your nails, comb your hair and wear that new t-shirt, even if it’s just to pick up my daughter from school. As a mum you are always tired, but by not giving myself an excuse to dress in sweats all the time, I feel in control. Being well turned out is not vain, it is necessary. In fact, turning up while looking frumpy is lazy to me. Dressing up and looking my best says that I matter to myself, it teaches my daughter the importance of being neat and presentable at all times, it teaches me to wake up and seize the day. There are many who think fashion is outward but for me it’s a reflection in of how I feel and vice versa too. Dressing up gives me the energy to take my toddler down to play even in spite of a long day. It makes me feel alive when I put an outfit together. Being Punjabi, we have always dressed up even if it just means someone is coming home for dinner. Fashion therefore governs my state of mind in a way.
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