What stories do you think your clothes tell?

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the dining room of the Beach Hotel on the morning of our last day in Durban that I finally realized what I’d been missing during the two weeks we traveled around South Africa.

SA Jazz singer, Lorraine Klaasen in traditional beaded collar

At a table close to ours, a group of nattily attired women in dresses made from African fabric, sat engaged in lively conversation. In this room of business people, young professionals and tourists, they were beautiful and regal and easy to spot.

Nowhere in our travels had we seen a display such as this. Most of the women we had seen had coats on, the others – hotel employees, etc., wore uniforms.

Years ago on my first trip to Africa, as I waited to change planes at the Leopold Senghor Airport in Dakar, I watched, mesmerized, the Senegalese women dressed in riots of colors and patterns – no two women looking alike.

That’s what I missed, I thought to myself.

To me, more than anything else, seeing women in traditional African dress is an unmistakable statement of cultural reference, connection and identity that always makes me feel proud of my African heritage. I didn’t realize how much until then.

What stories do you think your clothes tell?

6 comments on “What stories do you think your clothes tell?

  1. He’s 20 and thinks he’s one cool dude!

    I’m more of the, it’s the person, not the clothes that matter. I hasten to add I’m not a total scruff!

  2. Hahaha, at 20, he can afford to be a “cool dude.”
    I’m surprised that he’d think you’re a fashion victim. Clearly, you don’t agree.
    Twenty-somethings think they know everything about everything. With age does come a certain amount of wisdom about the world and people, right?

  3. With age does come a certain amount of wisdom…

    True, but sometimes we still get it wrong!

  4. Isn’t that the truth! Hopefully, with age, we learn not to beat ourselves up too much. Hahahahahaha!!!

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