Are you looking for fashion inspiration? Look no further, connecting to your Latina roots can be a great source of inspiration for your style. The media is constantly influencing how girls dress, encouraging crazy, extreme, and sometimes even unthinkable fashion choices, like Lady Gaga and her popular “meat” attire or Katy Perry with her fun and spunky clothes and hair. Not only do we feel the pressure to look and dress like celebrities, but sometimes many of our friends influence the way we dress too. But what else could influence the way we dress? Could it be our boyfriend’s, what mood we’re in, a special occasion, where we live, or possibly even our culture?
In the Hispanic community, culture largely influences how we dress and express our style. While the media still influences how almost all of us dress, we as Latinas experience the beauty of hispanic flare and fashion as it represents hispanic culture. According to the Label Networks’ Hispanic Youth Culture Study 07’, “The brand name is not as influential in terms of buying a specific brand among Hispanic youth culture such as style, comfort, and fit.” Hispanic cultures focus on what is real, beautiful, comfortable, and fun which encourages us to dress in real and beautiful ways.
Victoria Lopez, age 16, is one of many young Latina girls whose style is influenced by her culture. She describes her look as “urban comfort” saying,“it’s cute, affordable, and I can last all day in it. It has a lot of colors, for a stand out look which is greatly influenced by my hispanic culture. My culture also gives me an opportunity to see what not to wear, and what colors don’t complement each other.”
When asked if brand is important to creating personal style, Victoria said, “My clothing doesn’t have a big label. It’s not like ‘Gucci’ or ‘Fendi.’ I usually shop at Forever 21 and it all depends on what I like and it varies from time to time. I love to buy clothes that are reusable in new and different ways.” Girls don’t have to be wearing the most expensive clothes to feel and look beautiful. Often times, the used clothing offers girls the opportunity to create apparel that truly represents themselves.
Gabriela Sepulveda, age 17, also believes that her hispanic culture influences her look, but in a slightly different way. “I must admit that my hispanic culture does affect the way I dress. Particularly in the length of my shorts, skirts, and dresses. I can’t bring myself to use anything too short or revealing, because of the way I was raised,” said Sepulveda. Culture influences more than just the style and look of clothing, but encourages girls to respect themselves by wearing appropriate clothing that is not degrading.
Like Victoria, Gabriela does not rely on brand to create her look. “My style depends on what I like. If I like it and it’s comfortable then I will most likely buy it. I don’t own anything that has a brand name cause then I would be like everyone else,” said Gabriela.
Hispanic culture not only influences Latina style and fashion, but allows us to really express how we feel without feeling pressured to dress certain ways. And while sometimes it may be fun to dress like celebrities, we don’t need to spend a lot of money to buy clothes that we absolutely love. It is easy to buy affordable clothes that can both show our personal likes as well as show off a side of your hispanic culture. Leave the expensive meat to Lady Gaga.
The way we dress shows the world a part of who we are. By representing our hispanic culture, the world sees beautiful and real girls who are great role models for any young girl who is looking for someone to look up to.