You can feel that, if you want to change your style, one of the best ways to do it is through borrowing from other cultures. But of course, we live in an age where cultural appropriation has become an incredibly negative aspect of life. Someone who likes to dress in a kimono at bedtime should not necessarily worry about another race, but there’s a lot of things to consider when it comes to dressing yourself in ideas and clothing of other cultures. So let’s show you some of the ways to incorporate other cultures into your life without being to the detriment of that culture.
Acknowledge the Origins
When you are incorporating different cultures into your fashion, it’s about paying homage, rather than stealing it. One of the best things you can do is to not put a western spin on something like an aboriginal design. Many people choose to wear aboriginal clothing because of the patterns and colours. When you browse online for inspiration, you shouldn’t think about using items as accessories, because this could be the very definition of cultural appropriation.
Avoiding Artefacts as Accessories
Something that many fashion shows have been guilty of in the past, adding some sense of sexiness to a style by incorporating something like an Indian headdress is incredibly insensitive. When you start wearing accessories to complement your style, it can be downright rude to the culture. This is especially true if the accessory has ceremonial or spiritual significance.
Engaging Beyond an Aesthetic Level
We may love aspects of black culture, but it’s important that in the modern world that we engage with the culture beyond what it looks like. It’s so easy to take the good parts of black culture and paper over the chequered history, especially when it comes to slavery. And this means that if we want to engage with the culture, we have to understand it on a deeper level and learn about what affects black culture. We can’t cherry-pick some cultural elements, whether this is a design or a dance move. We have to recognise that when we are incorporating fashion choices into our lives, that we have an ingrained understanding of where it comes from.
Understand That Culture Is Progressive
It’s so easy for people to get offended by our choice of clothing, and it’s not fair for people to be frozen in time. It’s important to remember that cultural appropriation is something that people will be offended by, but it can also reinvigorate and redistribute an idea that had faded into obscurity. Blue jeans, such a very common fashion choice, come from the US, but the inventor came from Bavaria. It is important to recognise that cultural appropriation has a place, but a lot of cultures can be stuck in the past. It is so crucial that we tread carefully, but we must honour the origins. Of course, there are things that are absolutely not okay, such as dressing in blackface, but when it comes to fashion, if we really want to incorporate other cultures’ styles into our own, we’ve got to learn to share its visions and values.