Can clothes decide the level of your modernity?

Let’s assume, you have a meeting tomorrow with someone important to your profession. You enter the cabin and are introduced to a lady dressed in a salwar kameez. You would subconsciously pass a judgement, wouldn’t you? You probably heard a lot about the lady’s work influence; she is a renowned name in the industry that you’re a part of. You probably had a certain image in your head of how she would look, taking from her hair to her dressing. And, you may not have expected someone with such recognition to be dressed in anything but a pant-suit.

Now obviously, fashion is another form of expression. What you wear shows your personality. And, we do so. We show our personalities with what and how we choose to wear. However, as much as our fashion sense displays some extent of our persona, it can also be entirely misleading.

A person with backward thinking is expected to be dressed traditionally and an educated businessman is thought to be well-suited up.

We are all guilty of determining a person’s modernity by their style of dressing, the brand and the fashion sense in general. What strikes us first about a person is their dressing. It’s the first element that registers in our brain first. Exactly why, if you had to refer to someone other than their name, you would do so by describing their clothes. That lady in the grey shirt or the guy in a yellow tee; that’s what you would call someone if not for their name. It is naturally a predominant element that builds your image in people’s mind.

Someone with well kempt dressing, with the right pairing and the right style is often presumed to be fashionable and in turn ‘modern.’ And, of course, someone dressed shabbily as the opposite. Now, these presumptions arise naturally in our head and these are amongst the first ones to pop up. So, it’s not exactly our misjudgement to associate fashion and modernity.

We usually perceive people’s mentality with their dressing patterns and habits because that’s what has been conventionally prevalent, that’s what we normally see. This somewhere has its roots in the colonial period when the British culture used to influence ours and where only a certain class could afford and adopt western and high-end clothing. That influence has obviously carried onto today to some extent and today, we subconsciously link ‘modernity’ with western fashion. Adopting that and its influence is a personal choice but as much as there is some correlation between a person’s fashion sense and thinking, it may not always be accurate.

Modernity isn’t adopting western clothing but that’s exactly how most of us still look at it. Your mind-set, your direction of thinking and your perspective may not very well be expressed with your choice of clothes today. So probably linking a person’s fashion sense and their mind to conjure up assumptions may not be such a good idea.

The level of your modernity is sometimes wrongly based on the brand of your clothing, on how bold your dressing is and if your personal style stands updated with the trending fashion trends. Without even realizing, you often label a person ‘modern’ because of their pant-suit, a short dress, crisp white shirt or a bikini, when a person’s modernity should be inferred from their thoughts, words and actions. Modernity definitely doesn’t lie in your closet or the language you speak. It’s denoted by how acceptable you are to changes in the society, new ideas and concepts and an open mind to people’s uniqueness and world’s diversity in general.

Someone with a reserved personality might have the most colourful wardrobe and someone wearing a saree may be the most open-minded person you meet. You see? Your clothes define your personality to some extent, they may exhibit your mood, your status and your preferences but they may not always be aptly expressive of your mind, personality and thinking.

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