By Emily Fromant, Co-Editor in Chief
The Croft Magazine// Fashion through time has long been a form of self-expression. Pieces of clothing are tied to our sense of self. Whether it’s an art form, or a specific piece attached to fond memories – Emily Fromant reflects on how fashion has always been more than just clothing.
Nowhere does this become more obvious than The Party.
A staple in university culture, parties are not just a gathering of friends. From dress codes, to themes, and a desire to look your best, the party requires its very own dress code. The ambiguous phrase, ‘dressing up’, presents limitless opportunities, but sometimes only to a degree. Parties also come with the prospect of being observed. There will be photos, and new encounters, so whilst you can wear whatever you want, you also want to create a good first impression. Here, fashion becomes more than what you like to wear, it’s also what others like you to wear as well.
When I was 16, I attended my very first ‘party’. I was excited, nervous, and unsure really of what to expect. I had been to birthday parties, or the classic drinking in the local park, but the name ‘party’ felt so much more serious. When discussing the upcoming party with my friends, one thing was clear: what were we going to wear?
This may seem like I’m making fun of my sixteen-year-old self, but I’m not. The pressure of what to wear to a party was huge. I remember some of my friends would refuse to wear the same outfit twice, buying new outfits for each occasion. We could look upon this teenage story dramatically and roll our eyes, but my sixteen-year-old self was experiencing the true pressure of the party. Of being seen and judged by those around you.
Whilst fashion is a form of self-expression, it can also be a source of judgment. So many of us feel uncomfortable wearing certain clothes due to fear of being ‘judged’. Take our dear old ‘skinny jeans’ for example, now a source of disgust in the fashion world. Our sense of self-expression surrounding fashion has created a false sense of individuality. In a world filled with trends and ‘basic’ fashion, people are constantly striving to be authentic and individual, and judging those who are not.
The truth is: No fashion is truly individual. We are influenced by those who inspire us, even people we see in the street. And that is a beautiful thing. Whilst we shouldn’t be fearful of standing out at the party, we also shouldn’t be afraid of being a part of a trend. Whilst fashion in recent years has been celebrated as a form of art, allowing those to feel more comfortable in experimenting with fashion, we’ve also become ‘afraid’ of being basic. Fashion is just fashion, whilst important, it should never shape how we perceive someone. Perception should always be shaped on actions rather than aesthetics.
Featured Image: Coby Travis Lazaroo
Has university party culture influenced your approach to fashion?