Women ( and men) in my country dress differently than I do. SENEGAL is a country where being casual is misunderstood. People like to dress up, men and women. Even if they wear jeans, they will wear it in such a way it does not feel dressed down at all. Girls would add nice blouses and sometimes blazers and spruce things up with sandals and a matching tote bag. Men would wear loafers and a shirt with also a blazer. As for traditional wear, the fancier the better. They also like to follow trends and color coordinate. It is not unusual to see someone wearing one color from head to toe. They spend huge amount of money to be trendy because we live in a country where only people who dress up are respected. If you do not, people either do not acknowledge you (try shopping in a fancy place wearing tattered clothes, no one will pay you no mind) or they put you down.
Scarf - old HM
Jacket -super old Ross
Denim shirt - random shop in India
Pants - Big Bazaar, India
Shoes - TRF then diy
As for me, I always dressed differently. I always had my own style even if it made my mother cringe. From the moment I was born, she would dress me preferably in floral print dresses with ruffles or pastel suits. I liked them, the girlier the better. But when I started getting curves, I became so self conscious I started hiding my body in baggy jeans and my father's polo shirts. My mother was mortified. And she tried everything she could to make me stop. I rediscovered my feminity when I discovered boys. The way they looked at me when I was wearing skirts and dresses made me guidy. So for all of my teenage years, I was a tomboy who liked to dress feminine from time to time (like for parties). Things started to get complicated when I went abroad to Japan. For the 1st time in my life I had the financial power to buy my own clothes. And I took advantage of it. Half of my clothes were casual with jeans and tops. The other half was over the top sexy things for clubbing. I still had a small percentage of decent clothes reserved for formal events. For the first time also my body was no longer an issue. I did not hide it as much as before. I was proud of it, and flaunted it. I loved my legs, my flat stomach and small chest. I was feeling myself. Only when I started gaining weight did I return to covering my body. And that stayed with me till today.
What I also discovered in Japan was the free style of the young crowd. Some Japanese can be fearless when it comes to fashion. They would try anything and everything. They were not afraid of colors as well. It is there that I learned that my bag did not need to match my shoes. But experimenting in Japan screw me up so good, my Fashion sense is not appreciated back home.
For one thing, when I chose clothes in the morning, I put into account three factors: where am I going? What is the weather like? And it is comfortable. Say, I am off running errands in the city, which means walking a lot and riding the bus. For that I will certainly wear a pair of jeans or fitted pants, a tunic and some flats. There is no way I will wear a dress and heels. And if it is cold, I am grabbing my denim jacket or a cardigan. I will dress accordingly when I go out to visit friends, for dinner or even for a formal event. I would put out preferably in a dressy pants and top or a maxi dress and blazer. I will also wear make up But that is about it. I like my style clean, simple, modest and comfortable. I rarely wear high heels (even if I loooovvvve them) and do not even get me started on daily make up. I have two hair styles that I change every 3 months. I do not dress sexy at all. My bag will probably not match my shoes and I like color blocking instead of color coordinating. I am not judging anyone who is flashy, and sexy and well put togeter . My best friend is flashy, and wears lots of make up. You can count on her to dress up even for running errands and I love that about her but that ain't me.
People here keep on telling me that eventually I will give in and start dressing like them particularly when I start working. I would not have any other choice. I will be forced to do so when I see everyone around me doing the same thing. I am not sure of that. I know my style, I know what I like and more importantly I know what I am comfortable wearing. I may be influenced but at the end of the day, I wear what I like whether it makes my mother cringe or not.
After all, I am grown woman !