A Feminist Rant on Fashion
Needless to say, women give a damn about fashion.
Among us are many who invest time and money into crafting an aesthetic, who love discovering versions of themselves within trends, and many who veer into a sartorial territory that’s entirely their own.
These are people who are sometimes considered a little vain, perhaps narcissistic, with flighty priorities.
They give a big whopping damn about fashion. This may be the understatement of the century, but I feel it’s important to reiterate as I’m here to defend our affinity to the seemingly trivial pursuit of crafting the perfect outfit.
If I were to do an episode of Drunk History, I would get hammered off pineapple cider and discuss the story of Amelia Bloomer, a women’s rights advocate who protested the patriarchy by donning pantaloons in 17th-century America. This was brave not because of their adult diaper aesthetic, but because they were reserved for men who somehow maintained a superiority complex while wearing powdered wigs. Then, I would shotgun cans of rose and regale viewers with the story of Mary Quant, a 60’s designer who legitimized the single girl aesthetic with a line of mini skirts.
The female appearance has been utilized as a feminist tool for centuries. Throughout a stifled existence, women have been silenced and ogled. We’ve been marginalized but physically glorified. As individuals with visual power and less perceived tangible power, pioneering early feminists discovered wearing their feelings on literal sleeves turned heads, reclaiming their own aesthetic while also getting shit done.
This evolutionary strategy continues to seep into our daily dressing decisions. Whether we’re torching our bras or opting for a brighter hue, these choices amplify the growing feminine voice. There’s an innate comfort in crafting an aesthetic not just for vanity’s sake, but to be seen and therefore heard, to be understated and ambiguous, or to be identified in any way you damn well choose. Regardless, it’s a level of control we deserve.
As I expand on this sentiment, I feel the warmth from opposing flames, shouting that we as women should not be defined by our appearances, and a verbal statement should speak volumes over any physical attribute. BUT, I can’t deny that a power blazer makes me want to vomit business jargon while an Orseund Iris top elicits a desire to pet bunnies in a field. My sartorial choices don’t define me, but they do describe me, and I enjoy the assistance of an outfit when it can amplify my personality du jour.
For this reason, I would like to raise a glass of sparkling rosé cider and toast the sartorial savants who find comfort, control, and self-affirmation in their style. I say never lessen your physical appearance to make room for intellectual flair — there’s space for every inch of your authentic self on your uniquely-adorned body.