Fashion: in the eyes of the beholder

Jen Jones, Communication Professor, is always dressed for success.
Jen Jones, Communication Professor, is always dressed for success.

“Fashion is a good way for someone to express themselves. You can tell a lot about a person by the way they dress, such as their personality, likes and dislikes”, said Tori Dibble, freshman at SHU.

Walking around Seton Hill’s super windy and chilly campus, you see a lot of students wearing pastels, neon, and dark colors. Many of the students dress in sweats and wear boots, rather than getting dressed up for classes.

Each student has their own unique style, even if they look simple and like they just jumped out of bed. They’ll add some type of twist to their outfit, which will make them stand out. “Now teens are dressing like their parents did in the 80’s, which is cool because you always have a twist you can put on it”, said Dibble.

“I think what we wear conveys something of who we are”, said Laura Patterson, a Humanities professor at SHU.

Some students tend to wear bright, pastel, and dark colors because it’s part of their fashion sense. They may also wear them because they find it cute because it goes with the season. Looking around campus and seeing so many colors can make someone smile because it’s so festive, but fashion can also cause oppression.

“Women don’t get that second glance because they aren’t that utopian woman,” said Dibble.

Freshman Karriin Thompson shows off some gold accessories.
Freshman Karriin Thompson shows off some gold accessories.

Women have felt judged and oppressed due to their outfits. “There’s more pressure on women to look nice and stay ahead of the fashions than it is on men”, said Carol Brode, an art professor at SHU.  As we all know women have a variety of outfits to choose from, and have an awesome color range of clothing. “I’m sometimes envious of women because of their clothing. They tend to have cooler outfits because they have a wide variety to choose from”, said David VonSchlichten, a humanities professor at SHU.

Not everyone knows that women are judged on a day-to-day basis because of how they choose to dress. “Society puts a burden on women which is unfair, and women should feel free to dress however they like”, said VonSchlichten. Men wear suits, white oxfords, and ties everyday, but if a woman was to wear a suit everyday but change the shirt she wears underneath it, she is judged automatically. No woman would want to be judged based on what she wears and how she wears it. Women don’t get dressed and head out to their jobs, mall and other places expecting to get judgmental and degrading looks.

The more confidence a woman has, the more she’ll feel comfortable wearing what she likes, and she won’t acknowledge the fact she’s being judged by others. Not all women have that high level of confidence, so they can be highly affected by what others think and say. If you like something and that makes you happy and comfortable, then by all means wear it. Embrace your true personality, forget what others think of it, and don’t get oppressed by opinions.“When people enjoy what they’re wearing, it seems to help them project confidence”, said Patterson.

David vonSchlichten always wears a colorful tie, fun socks and a smile.
David vonSchlichten always wears a colorful tie, fun socks and a smile.

“Fashion is an art that has cultural implications, which may be liberating or oppressive. Religious traditions involve fashion sense’s that are misunderstood, and Muslims constantly get questioned on whether the hijab is objectifying or not,” said Jen Jones, a communications professor at SHU.

“I never felt as though fashion was oppressive. It’s natural for men and women to want to look and feel good”, said Brode.

Every woman and man has a unique sense of fashion. Some like to express their fashion sense by showing off skin and others just follow along with the trends. “I enjoy fashion and looking at new trends. I was lucky enough to travel to Europe and see what they were wearing because it eventually filters down to what we’ll see in our stores,” said Brode. “I like to look nice, professional, put together and wearing eye catching colors because it helps build relationships. My overall desire is to look inviting in order to build better student, and faculty rapport”, said VonSchlichten.

Fashion can be a big inspiration as well, and it makes a difference in some people’s lives. “I get inspired by the hottest new trends that I see and my love for being a creative person”, said Ashley Myers, freshman at SHU.

Many people see fashion as a form of confidence and self-expression. Some women personally feel as though fashion tells who you are, and show’s off the real you. Fashion inspires everyone, but each person has a different type of inspiration, which makes his or her style of fashion unique.

“ I don’t know what inspires my fashion sense. I usually just look in magazines for the latest fashion and combine those ideas with my own”, said Sahara Duncan, freshman at SHU. “I got inspiration from my mother, and I enjoyed how different people looked on television. I also like expressing myself through fashion”, said Dibble.

Although fashion can be seen as a form of confidence and inspiration, it can also be a form of depression, especially for women. When girls are young they always say they want to be like a celebrity or some model from a magazine. They see the clothes she wears, and how looks and sometimes they even want to be that person when they grow up. Fashion can trigger depression because you can’t necessarily be that ideal person you wanted to be back then or now. “Girls should wear clothing that makes them feel good and not try to be like others. When they try to be like others it can cause them to become depressed because they’re trying to be something they’re not. You don’t have to dress like others or follow the status quo, just be yourself,” said Dibble, who feels strongly about women being seen as objects.

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