Don’t Just Say It, Wear It!

Don’t Just Say It, Wear It!

Weird as they are sometimes, outfits are more than just clothes. They are the brainchild of creative minds. They are voices. Put another way, clothes are a form of advocacy. This is why it is often said that: “You are what you wear.” What you wear in a way is a form of self-expression. Thus, those in the field of communication more than anyone else must be aware that what they wear is part of how they choose to speak to the world around them. Each time I want to step out of the house, I am always reminded of the phrase “Dress the way you want to be addressed.” I firmly believe that every communicator must be weary of the message which their dressing exudes; after all, a book is often judged by its cover. Thus, we must let our appearance match the content of our words.   

 I have on countless occasions bought products I never planned to buy on account of their attractive packaging. Thus, I can argue that how appropriately dressed you are may influence how well people react to the message which you are sharing with them.   

Whether it’s clothes made of condoms, chocolate, or garbage bags, advocacy through fashion has been and is still a sweeping craze across the globe. Clothes do have voices. Thus, wearing certain clothes can actually be a form of advocacy. Remember when the chain store Target launched a charitable t-shirt line in support of gay pride during the heated debate over the Obama administration’s support of marriage equality. Clearly, the store was trying to use clothes to advocate for the rights of the LGBT community. The clothes were mostly in rainbow colors and had the words: “TAKE PRIDE” and “WEAR IT WITH PRIDE”.

Gay Pride t-shirt
LGBT pride shirt
Garbage dress
Dress made from garbage

Using clothes for advocacy has been a longstanding trend, with examples of peace symbol covered clothes from the 1970s to some seemingly outrageous designs. If you have something to say don’t just say it by word of mouth…WEAR IT!! That way your message gets out before you say a word.

It only takes three seconds for you to make an impression and the first thing people see when they walk or look in your direction is your clothing. If the clothing makes a statement, people are bound to pay attention. Making a statement isn’t limited to wearing clothes of crazy colors; as the age-old adage goes, “to each his own”. so if you aren’t comfortable wearing ‘loud’ clothes, don’t. Make sure your clothes work for your interests.

Advocacy has evolved from merely storming streets with placards to literally wearing your statement or cause on your sleeve. So why not keep up with the times? Find a way to express yourself with clothes that are unique to you. Embrace the times but still find a way to stay true to what you believe in. Do more than talk about it. Wear it!

Aaron Mwewa

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