Fashion as a Language

DISCLAIMER: This topic has the potential to be controversial, but this blog post is not an attempt by me to step on anyone’s toes. It is simply an expression of one interpretation of ‘Ms. Prada’s’ quote: it is MY personal view. You are not mandated to share my view, so read this post with an open mind and a light heart. I recognize that there are more important and burning issues happening in the world right now, but since this blog is about sewing then… I’m spilling the tea today on this quote:

 “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world…. Fashion is instant language.” 

Miuccia Prada

On a side note, just in case you don’t know, Miuccia Prada is an Italian fashion designer and the head of fashion powerhouse Prada. Her statement, in my view, provides good food for thought. Why? Because, as much as we like to pretend that image doesn’t matter, it does. You see, human beings are, by nature, very judgmental. Am I saying it’s right? HELL NO… but it is a fact! Check this: walk into a room filled with people. I can assure you, that even before you get an opportunity to open your mouth, you have already been judged based simply on your image. 

Just the other day, I went out and someone, who isn’t even a friend, asked me “why are you so dressed up?” I silently took offense to the question as IMO I wasn’t “dressed up” or “dressed down”… I was simply “dressed”. Now, I wouldn’t walk up to someone and ask “why are you so underdressed” – I’m sure if I did, heads would turn, and people would start calling me rude, fresh and downright outta order!

Since this is a confession, let me be honest: I truly feel like, as a society, we have gotten lazy, so far as appearances are concerned. We don’t seem to care what messages we are sending with our wardrobe choices and we have somehow confused the concept of being ‘comfortable’ with ‘not making an effort’. We are content with going anywhere, looking anyhow. Yet, the few who pay attention to their image are labelled snooty, superficial, materialistic, and a long list of other derogatory names. Before I continue, let me set the record straight: whether you wear Prada, or you wear sweats and a t-shirt, an ass is still an ass. If you have a shit personality, that won’t change based on your wardrobe, so that ain’t what this post is about. *exhale* There. I said it!

Now, I don’t expect that everyone can or will want to have an extensive wardrobe, neither am I suggesting that you must buy expensive items or wear name brand clothes in order to be considered ‘dressed’… but I do think generally, we can make a little bit of an effort with how we present ourselves. When I look at pictures of my grandmother going to the market, waaaaayyy back in the day, it amazes me just how ‘put together’ she looked…and as a seamstress with 8 mouths to feed, she was NOT a woman of means! But she did, and still does pay attention to her appearance.

Since starting my sewing journey, I think I have become even more convinced that fashion is, in fact, instant language. I get to make exactly what I want: the fabric choice and type, the pattern, the colours, the type of garment, its length, the buttons and zippers – I get to choose every little detail in my garment and I’m telling you that’s some powerful shit!

But what’s more important, is that I have become so much more in tune with my own body: I’ve figured out things about my body that I didn’t realise before; and I have finally accepted some body traits that I previously ignored. We ain’t made the same and in some way, or the other, each one of us is ‘flawed’; but we are made in the image of the Most High so I know we are beautiful! Embracing my flaws, and learning about my body means that I can now dress the body I HAVE (instead of trying to dress the body I want to, or think that I have). The result, is that I wear my clothes; they no longer wear me (if ya know what I mean). Whether I’m wearing jeans or a dress, I feel comfortable because my clothing fits ME. Even if you don’t sew, I definitely would encourage you to explore your body in its current state, whatever that may be. Learn what works for your body and EMBRACE it. When your body changes, then you can dress that one!

Looking back on my pre-sewing wardrobe, I think too many of my choices were dictated by ‘fast fashion’ i.e. the current trends, instead of what fit my body right. I can now proudly say, that not every ‘trend’ is right for me; and I’m cool with that. 

Remember, simple things can elevate your appearance: take time to iron a shirt that’s badly wrinkled, make sure your clothes are clean and your whites are white, slap a little polish on your shoes…you know, stuff like that! My grandma used to tell me “if you have one skirt and two blouse, keep dem clean, and pressed, and nobody will notice that you’re wearing the same outfit every other day.” 

By no means am I a fashion expert, just an ‘Island Girl’ spilling the tea on what I consider an interesting topic. Perhaps after reading this post you will decide to reevaluate your closet and what getting ‘dressed’ means to you; or maybe you won’t, and that’s ok. At the end of the day, clothes are simply pieces of fabric which have been manipulated in many different ways. Just remember, your outfit says something about you…you can paint a pretty picture or write an untold story in the mind of another just by what you are wearing!

At the end of the day ‘every man to their own order’. Just as we speak different languages, or even speak the same language with a different accent, so too our styles of dressing will, inevitably, differ…so buy or make what you like, and wear what makes you happy! 

So, tell meh, what does your wardrobe say about you?

Gotta luv ya and leave ya until next time,



8 thoughts on “Fashion as a Language

Add yours

  1. Fashion is most definitely instant language. Great read and food for thought. Share simliar sentimets as well. Looking forward for more


  2. Your clothing is a part of your personal brand. While you can change your outfit at any time, you can’t retract a first impression.


  3. Fashion is everything!!! For me personally it varies on whether I’m having a good day or a bad one. You can just look at some people and see based on what they’re wearing if they’re having a good day or not. Fashion is like… light. Travels to your eyes and blinds you before you take in the rest of the individual.


    1. This is a valid point!!! You can assess someone’s mood based on their dressing… especially if your accustomed to them dressing in a particular way!


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