Any relationship between politics and fashion?

by Sunday News Online | Sunday, Dec 6, 2015 | 1874 views


Peter Matika
FOR a politician to strive to be the best or to convince or prompt first-time voters to take them as leaders they ought to wear a suit.

It is said fashion and politics have a long and multi-dimensional relationship, fashion’s political voice taking on a wide variety of guises inside and outside of the pillars of state. The communicative power of fashion’s artistic practices can bring challenges to a political status quo.

If dressed correctly a politician can champion identity and solidarity within an existing culture or society in delightful ways.

Fashion’s business practices also have complex links to political ambitions, offering a channel for economic and societal ambitions of a state to be realised in a noticeable form.

As individuals and within communities, we articulate our voices through what we wear.

A politician dressed correctly that is in a suit, can be a voice for a change.

Fashion and politics may be strange bedfellows, but they definitely go together. Fashion normally dwells around celebrities, models and perhaps a few fashion moguls. It’s amazing how different the exact same dress can look depending on which star is wearing it.

I hardly speak about politics and perhaps I should . . . well not national politics but fashion and politicians.

Anyway, what if our political decisions were based on which candidate dressed the best? I guess politics would be a funfare or circus indeed. With the exception of some politicians’ sartorial decisions, which frequently leave us scratching our heads, most of the time, politicians’ outfits are a collection of huge yawns! And don’t let me get started on their hairstyles . . .

Do you ever ask yourself why they dress the way they do? Okay let me try and answer that question.

Politics is a professional industry and needs a very formal and aggressive approach. Politicians need or rather have to dress in an outfit that commands respect. They can’t dress in casual skimpy outfits, as that would undoubtedly make them look like a couple of goons from a shebeen.

Yes, of course their way of dressing isn’t all that intriguing because they are under a fashion oath — which commands respect.

It’s a must for politicians to be strapped up in suits because it gives them a sense of authority and an image of leadership!

Who really would want to be led by someone dressed in jeans?

Believe me no one and I mean no one would take him or her seriously.

Now to the issue of party campaigns, t-shirts, caps and sarongs (intsaro), this is campaign fashion. But should it remain as campaign fashion worn during elections or can it be worn even after that time?

Have you ever really asked yourself what people do with the campaign regalia after the elections? I wonder, I know a lot of people that use them as pyjamas.

But is that what the politicians intended, for people to use the campaign items as pyjamas? I’m sure they are best to answer that. It is interesting how politics has evolved; there was a time when people from different political parties would be involved in skirmishes, all because of party regalia. Maybe that is fashion politics indeed.


Hi Mr Matika, I enjoy reading your articles . . . I’m from Shurugwi. Keep up the good work. — 0771467053.

What was the mission for Jesus? The cross set you free. Be proud, without the death of Christ, we are nothing so we wear it. — 0713052523.

Hi, I love your column — it rocks. — 0715307289.

Man, I read your article on anointed jewellery, man you nailed it to the depth and I just want to say thank you for enlightening those of us who are blinded to see the greater light about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks man. — 0782059079.

I loved your article in the paper. Well said Peter. We should learn to respect God by the way we dress. Dress down does not mean skimpy and baggy jeans but it simply means casual. I hope people take your advice. Thank you for such an eye-opening article, God bless you. — 0777235757.

About dress codes in church. Firstly, a church is a place for worship for Christians, it is also a sacred holy place therefore people should wear decent clothing. That is why some Christian denominations like apostolic sects wear similar garments.

The point being that all be equal and humble at church. Those denominations that are not wary of dress codes maybe are at a certain level of belief, we may say so. But some religions say a believer is always right. I personally don’t think they are always right in every aspect. Belief also plays a pivotal role in dress code in church. Some denominations are not strict on dress code just like the way they are not serious about emphasising on faith. To some people a church is a place where they spend their spare time and see their loved ones; therefore that’s why people tend to dress funny. Sometimes they are not reprimanded for such dressing. Some are those who practice religious formalism ie going to church just for the sake of it. In most cases these people dress the way they like because they won’t be worried about what they will be doing. Decent dress codes are necessary for church because the church is a holy place. Furthermore decent dressing should go beyond church. — Lifa Mdlongwa.

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