The ranting of a fashion nut: Dare to be different

06 March 2015

I love men who are not afraid to stand out of the crowd through their fashion choices. Over the years, I have come to realise that an outfit is only as good looking as the confidence levels of the wearer.

The more confident they are, the more it looks good, and if they are not confident, faking it helps.

I recently had the pleasure of being the semi-uninvited guest at a birthday dinner last weekend. The host had requested that guests should wear either black or something made from African print fabric.

African print skater skirts and dashiki style shirts were the order of the night, as one would have expected.

However, there was a young man who caught my eye because he took his look to new heights; heights I never thought I would see on a Saturday night in Katutura.

He wore a crisp white shirt, a baseball cap turned backward, sneakers with white socks, and get this, an African print skirt.

That is not code for some new fashion trend. He wore an actual skirt, and he looked amazing in it.

Men wearing skirts is not a new thing. I have seen Oshiwambo men wear Odelela skirts during traditional ceremonies and some Kavango men wear reed skirts during their traditional dances, so it’s nothing new.

But it’s something that they reserve for special, traditional occasions. My brothers would think I was mad if I suggested they wear a skirt. They would put in a straightjacket, lock me in a padded room and throw away the key.

I imagine that if I were ever to meet Rod Stewart, I would react the same way I did when I saw the young man in the African print skirt.

I stared longingly at him, unable to contain my smile. I was star-struck, and he was my fashion champion for the evening.

I cannot remember the last time I saw a man take such a huge fashion gamble and pull it off. Men just do not have that kind of confidence anymore.

They would much rather play it safe and blend into the crowd as opposed to standing out, because I think they cannot handle the attention.

Maybe it is because I strongly believe I was born to rebel, and my mother can attest to that. I am the most hardheaded of her children, which is why I start doing summersaults on the inside when I see a fellow rebel.

I become overwhelmed with this feeling of peace, the way you feel when your mom cares for you when you’re sick or the way I feel when a nun trips and her skirt flies over head.

Some people might shake their heads in disbelief, while others might think this confirms that I am crazier than the mad-hatter, but there is nothing wrong with being a little different and dressing a little differently.

I am not saying that some 50-year-old with a pot belly should leave the comfort of his kinky bedroom in a wife-beater and a denim skirt, but if it’s sort-of gender neutral and aesthetically pleasing, then go for it.

Swim against the current today, because trying will not kill you unless you are an actual fish, in which case I think you could die.
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