What can you do if you love fashion but lived in a situation where you are unable to express yourself the way you truly desire?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  queenofcheebah 2 weeks ago.

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    I have religious parents who place restrictions on what I can and cannot wear. I feel as if I have had to suppress my fashion sense so hard for so long that I now no longer know what I really like and would wear. All I know is that all my clothes, the ones that my parents approve of, bore me and make me feel like I’m not myself. I am not in a position to move out any time soon. Has anyone experienced this or have any advice?


    Thank you



    Well, I have no advice for what you can do for your clothes now, but you could always curate Pinterest boards to prepare yourself for when you actually can dress how you want.

    Pinterest may help also because you could find examples of subtler ways to express yourself, in ways your parents might not mind.



    I grew up with Pentacostal-like dress restrictions. The only thing I can tell you is to write out all the things in fashion you *do* like and then check off the ones you can incorporate within your restrictions and then do those until you live somewhere else.

    If your parents are Muslim and they want you to be a hijabi, there’s tons of hijabi fashion bloggers and instagrammers who do really neat stuff that you can look to for inspiration.



    Yes. For me the ugly truth is that I needed to quit–I did not find any joy in fiercely cultivating Pinterest boards or reading design/fashion material–it just made me sad that I couldn’t live this life. If the point of this is to express myself, doing so in secret was like singing on mute. I needed to distract myself and find a different outlet for my creative energy. Gardening and interior design/craftsy DIY projects filled that niche for me. So did writing.

    Sing out in whatever way you can, for as long as you’re in this situation. And plan for the move out, even if it seems impossible. Don’t just stagnate in the restrictions.



    On season 16 of Project Runway there was a modest fashion designer who made beautiful things – her name is Ayana Ife. She’s Muslim. I don’t know if she could provide any inspiration for you but I was impressed with the variety of looks she could do while still keeping things fully modest.

    Of course, I don’t know if that will be helpful, and I don’t know what fashion rules you have to follow, so I don’t really have any other specific advice.

    It can be really frustrating to have someone control aspects of your life.

    Sometimes it helps to redirect your feelings into hopes and plans for the future.



    What kinds of restrictions do you have? Do you have flexibility with color or cut or silhouette or texture? Or if you’re able, could you express yourself through makeup? If your parents are the type to veto anything that suggests any sort of personality, regardless of modesty or whatever, maybe you could invest in accessories and stash them in your locker or something?



    I’ve been in a similar situation. If the restriction your parents place on you is about modesty of cut/silhouette, the easiest thing to do would be to experiment with colors, textures, patterns, and accessories. If you do curate pinterest boards, maybe you could show outfits from there to your parents, and if they disapprove, you could say “Oh, I would never wear that, I just think it’s pretty.” And that way you can get a more firm idea of the boundaries your parents are willing to bend.






    As someone who grew up super conservative religious, I know it sucks, but it doesn’t last forever. You’ll be able to move out and be your own person in the future. Other than that, it’s just up to you to decide whether or not it’s worth it to keep your parents happy. Keep a pinterest board full of inspiration, window shop, etc, if it helps you feel better! In the meantime, find other distractions to keep you happy. You can find other ways besides clothing to be truly yourself.



    You could always wear what you want out of the house and then change when going home. 😉 Repercussions might depend on how old you are, tbh, and whether the consequences are going to be a lecture vs a Def Con situation.



    If your clothing can be an issue start with the baby steps. Look into the little things that can change an entire outfit.

    Like shoes, a scarf, jewelry, purses. maybe even makeup. There is nothing like a pop of color on your lips that can lift my mood or confidence. And depending on the shade have my husband refuse to kiss me, lol. I always keep different kinds of shoes in my car for an emergency situation which means if I want to run, or dress up an outfit that I wore flats before with heels or kitten heel sandals. changing your shoes can make a difference too.

    I grew up with strict parents so I understand, wore a uniform to school through 12th grade. But I noticed that even in high school people would express themselves differently despite wearing the samething. From rebelling and writing on shoes, colorful shoelaces, to different jewelry, makeup, hair. College was an odd time for me to navigate, less clothes and clueless and tight with my budget despite scholarships and a good family.



    Is there a way you could go into stores and try on clothes in a dressing room, to see how you like them? And then using pinterest to keep track of the things you’ve tried on and what you like/dislike. You may find that crop tops are a little cold, and low cut shirts take some constant tugging that you don’t like. But short shorts may be your ideal uniform, and you can build a style off of that kind of feedback.



    Unfortunately it appears theres not to much you can do right now. Maybe you can find small ways to express your style that might be more discrete like through jewelry or accessories? Start very small and subtle, then see where you can go from there.



    I used to volunteer at a Stonewall center decades ago and what a lot of trans teens did was just have their non-approved clothing with them or kept then at a friend’s house, and wore what their parents wanted them to and then simply changed as soon as they could in a restroom or whatever, then before going back just changed out. This works great up until you move out. Hope this helps have a nice day.



    Do you have a school or a workplace locker where you can stash clothing you like? Change in the restroom and change back when it’s time to go home.

    If it’s a money issue too, I would window shop online, pinterest, or like different designers on IG. You’ll see their clothing on your feed. Hopefully you are planning to make money to leave at some point.



    I would analyze your parents. While growing up, I see my parents as,
    * strict
    * controlling
    * conservative
    * narrow-minded
    * different fashion
    * thinks I am naive and immature

    but also understand that they are
    * experienced
    * wants to have a good relationship with their child
    * wants me to be happy
    * wants me to do well in life
    * wants to learn more about me
    * wants me to communicate and talk to them

    I would look at these desires and see how it can help me resolve the situation. I would find the right time to let my mom know what type of apparel I like and express what I want to wear. Sitting down and having a chat will show them maturity and they will finally have a chance to know what you want. My mom would initially say no, but she would try to make me happy by buying something that fits a gap between me and her. Over time, she just wants me to be happy and buys me whatever I want.

    I know our situation is different. But I would say the first step is to understand your relationship with them, and then see what you can do.



    focus on chow to make your very normal clothes into very fashion one. And I also believe collection is more important.

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