Do black women play it safe with Fashion?!

Wow! So I ran across this post on Madamenoire.com and found it eyebrow raising! Not from offense but from a moment of clarity of confusion lol and this is the exact wording:

If fashion is a form of self-expression then what does your attire say about your level of expression?

What do I mean? Allow me to explain.

As I recently browsed the premiere fashion magazines for the latest fall trends, I got excited about this seasons’ fashions. From polka dot prints and military inspired threads to utilitarian comfort, I loved it all! But I loved it  for someone other than me.

Considering myself slightly fashion-forward and a self-proclaimed fashionista, I immediately had to question my fashion insecurity and even asked a few other fashion lovers their opinions on the latest fall trends. Surprisingly, their answers were somewhat similar to mine and all carried the same theme “I like the styles, but it’s not really my style’. This only lead me to wonder, do some of us black women, play it too safe when it comes to fashion?

Fashion evolves. It’s fun and is one of the first things people notice when they see you. I don’t consider myself an uncreative bore. So why should my style suggest otherwise?

The truth is some of us like feathers, slightly uncoordinated color combinations, frilly skirts and all. But if your name isn’t Rihanna or you aren’t a child of Jada or Will Smith, chances are the freedom of fashion self-expression wasn’t embedded in your head.

As young girls, most of us weren’t like our non-black peers who seemed to have dressed themselves in grade school. Our clothes were color-coordinated, neat, and safe. Self-expression was limited to our coloring books and ‘play’ clothes.

It’s only natural that this mentality has transcended decades. As adults, some of us have adopted an eye for fashion but lack the boldness to try it. In some melting pot cities, like New York City, outward creativity is prevalent so more of us are less hesitant to try new trends. But in other cities, it’s that fear of standing out in the wrong way that limits us to mundane styles.

I know it can be argued that black women are trendsetters. Admittedly, the 80’s was full of us expressing ourselves through loud colors and unpredictable fashions. But somehow down the line, some of us opted for safe ensembles that don’t truly reflect our creativity, fashion eye or personality.

Maybe your style is a poster for self-expression and you’ll try almost anything once. Maybe you are a little more brave than the room full of women I see when I go out to a party or happy hour, who are rocking the same hairstyles, similar dresses, and if my memory serves me correctly, even the same facial expressions.

If that’s the case, you’re admirable.

But for some of us who hide behind safe trends, why are we afraid to branch out of the safe zone? Is it that we fear the  lack of acceptance among other women?  Or is this ‘subconsciously safe idea’l something that’s been embedded in our minds since we were young girls?

Personal style should reflect your likes and what works best for your body shape. It shouldn’t be based on what everyone else is wearing and declared the ‘norm’ for black women.

Recently, I’ve decided to buy (only when my funds permit) more of what I like and less of what I’m used to; and if you’re a fan of fashion, so should you.

Egotistic Egotism Response: I actually was a very fashion forward little black girl and I’m from the south. Fashion has no dynamic based on where you are from but can for sure be effected by your environment. To each is own in any genre wether music, fashion, etc and its up to you as an individual to explore outer limits and boundaries has nothing to do with race. Black Women however have a more curvy body type therefore sample sizes that may look great on other body types may not be as flattering which limits any woman of this shape to style.

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