Does it matter how a woman dresses?

Miuccia Prada, the lead creative director of Italian handbag and fashion label Prada once said: “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick.”

With people arguing that a woman’s respect begins from the way she dresses and that those who dress less cannot be taken seriously, others argue that dressing should not be the measure for one’s suitability as wife material or not as argued by Lyness Tenasi.

“Dressing should not be a determinant of whether one is wife material or not. There are some women who dress like that who are kind, loving and capable of taking care of a home. Do not be deceived that if someone dresses in mini dresses or skirts is loose. Personally, I do not wear short things, but I cannot condemn anyone who dresses that way because what matters is what’s in one’s heart,” she said.

On her part, Keziah Mumba says: “I don’t believe in judging someone because of the way they are dressed; not that I dress in the manner described, but then what does it matter?” she wondered.

However, sociologist Martin Lefu argues that the way a woman dresses is really crucial.

“Dressing matters a lot in society because every society has its own acceptable dressing code or what it considers appropriate dressing,” he says.

In a previous interview, Aubrey Mwasinga, the founding pastor of Raised for a Purpose (RFP) Ministries pointed out that dressing in ‘appropriate clothes that are modest and respectable’ is important.

He noted that over the years, people, including believers, have differed on what is modest and respectable as there is no universal definition of that phrase.

Along the same vein, he argued that there is no universally acceptable definition of ‘short or tight clothing’ as the definition subjectively depends on the individual’s background, international exposure, parental orientation, religion and tribe, among other things.

“Someone who has been raised in the village for instance, will have reservations on short and other types of clothing that women in urban areas find normal to wear. So, I believe that if a woman feels from deep down her heart and after taking into consideration her society or occasion, it is fine to wear whatever,” he said.

All in all, Mwasinga cautions that there is a need to exercise a deep sense of caution in choosing clothes for public appearances.

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