Our ancestry and heritage are vital to what makes each of us unique. Where we came from and the traditions of our people formed our identity and our upbringings, in many cases. Many people are quite loud and proud of their ancestry.
In a similar vein, our fashion choices and sense of style also make us all unique. Our style reflects influences from our surroundings starting at a young age, and often fashion displays the cultural heritage of a group of people. Even in modern times, you can find ways to show your background with your fashion choices. Here are just a few ways to wear your cultural pride on your sleeve.
1 – Accessories
Items such as bracelets, necklaces, rings, and other accessories are great ways to show off your pride. Jewelry isn’t the only option, however. Many cultures have different types of accessories.
For instance, at a Celtic & Irish Clothing Store, you can find many different Celtic accessories, including brooches and clan badges, with different meanings and historical relevance.
Jewelry is a simple but effective way to show how much your homeland means to you.
2 – Tattoos
This solution is more permanent, but a tattoo is part of your style in its way. As such, many people choose to have symbols or sayings with personal significance tattooed on their bodies.
Tattoos since ancient times have been a reflection of a culture’s belief systems. Many island cultures heavily value tattoos for various reasons, such as expressing social status or kinship and tribe. Every tattoo and marking is special and significant to the bearer.
Other people may choose a significant saying in the language of their ancestors. Whatever it is, it will be special to you and relate to your past.
3 – Specific Colors/Patterns
In most parts of the world, specific colors and color combinations hold special meaning. This color symbolism can be a subtler way of allowing ancestry to influence your fashion choices, but it doesn’t make it less meaningful.
For example, in many Asian countries, red is a color of good luck, while in Western countries, it can be symbolic of love. In other cultures, it could signify the opposite.
The critical point is what the symbolism means to you. Channel your ancestors in your colors, and you will feel much closer to your heritage.
4 – Traditional Garb
For formal events, it isn’t unheard of for people to fully embrace their heritage and wear traditional or ceremonial clothing. If the opportunity arises and you feel comfortable, don’t be afraid to do it.
Kimonos have gained popularity in modern-day times in Western countries, but traditional kimonos can be quite intricate and beautiful. In Japan, women will wear kimonos on special occasions, such as coming-of-age ceremonies when they turn 20.
Let your culture shine through in those big moments, and stay stylish yourself with pride in traditional garb.
5 – Conscientious Consumerism
Some clothing companies have close ties to specific cultures. Sometimes, their proceeds will directly benefit that group, or perhaps they are only looking to spread the influence.
UGG, for example, has close ties with Australians due to the need for surfers and others to have sheepskin boots to keep their feet warm.
On the other hand, some companies make moccasins or other tribal apparel, but they may have no idea of the meaning they hold for certain Native tribes. This ignorance can lead to cultural appropriation.
Try to do a little research and see if there are companies out there that you connect to, but make sure that their fashion choices do not disrespect other cultures.
Fashion is an integral part of the culture in many ways. It shapes the way others view a group of people, at least outwardly, and it can provide a lot of opportunities for you to display how much your heritage truly means to them. Embrace it, and see how you can shine!