Just recently Pakistan witnessed it’s one of a kind, high profile and highly public wedding. Farhan Saeed and Urwa Hocane tied the knot amidst lot of gaiety, glitz, dances and sparkle. However, as their Nikkah held at the Badshahi Mosque gave many to-be-wed couples major goals, what left a bad taste in the mouth were many comments circulating around the social media on how Urwa’s dress was inappropriate for an event held inside a place of worship.
A few days later on Christmas, international media was abuzz with the new of American President-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump attending Church midnight services at an Episcopal church in Palm Beach, Florida. What surrounded this news was the controversy that Melania’s mini dress was pushing the boundaries of what suitable church attire is.
When fashion is increasingly about ‘expressing yourself’ ‘breaking social barriers and stereotypes’ what does dressing appropriately mean?
There’s a thin line between being appropriate and being fashionable and that balance is hard to find. Since both concepts are perspective working out that fine line can be very difficult. Most of the social meaning of our clothes is contextual. The appropriateness of the dress is often dictated by the situation and the event. Times change, values change, situations change. However each and every of them carries a decorum that evolves with time but is ever-present and the social demands that we follow it.
If we have no qualms about following a business dress code in the corporate sector, uniform in educational institutes, flashy costumes at themed parties then why are we inconsiderate about giving religious places the respect they deserve.
Places of worship, cultural buildings and heritage command respect, reverence and recognition. Such cultural values are much greater than our existence. Being fashionable and being appropriate merge at a path and that’s what we should search for.