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My2CENTS: How Can Fashion be So Superstitious?

by Natasha Christopher

You would know the term “clothes before pose”. No, sorry, of course you don’t because I just made that up. However, in reality, clothes are what define us in people’s eyes, especially when it comes to first impressions. They play a major role in portraying one’s personality as well. Trendsetters and fashionistas are known to sometimes wear or even create the most outrageous outfits you wouldn’t dream of being caught in (have you seen models on fashion shows?). I mean, that’s why they’re called the trendsetters they set a trend, people follow. True to their style, these figures are often bold, full of character, and sassy in person too!


With the variety of characters in the fashion industry, it would be surprising if it’s all smooth-sailing, with no ounce of prejudice from anyone. After all, the industry does have a shared history as old as mankind; just as beer crafting midwives were believed to be evil witches in the 18th century, there are negative connotations that come with fashion too. You would scratch your head at some of these taboos and superstitious fashion beliefs!
No White

I’m sure this is a common taboo that most have heard. Not many people take heed on it despite the common knowledge, yet it still keeps lingering around town, even now. So how did this rule come about?

Back in 1800’s, the nobles felt it was necessary to wear clothes that define their status and upbringing, hence high class women were a lot of white which was a symbol of high status back then. Another theory states that since white gets stained easily, it was a general rule to avoid wearing white on a work day. So in order to pay homage to the hard labourer, the rule of not wearing white the day after Labour Day came about. There is no exact explanation on how it all started, but I believe none of us actually care about this superstition, apart from worrying about visible stains!
Something Blue

I have to admit, although it was in 2004 when the comedy television series, Friends last aired, I’m still a huge fan of the show. I remember a particular scene when Monica and Chandler decided to elope to Las Vegas; before they could become husband and wife, Monica insisted on having “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. Surprisingly, as comical as it sounds, these terms are being religiously followed by some future brides who believe the sacred passage would rhyme its way to a long-lasting union of happiness with their spouses. So, when the moment comes and you decide to tie the knot, remember the four “somethings”. Don’t say I never reminded you.



In this case, wearing yellow underwear on New Year’s Eve is not so dirty after all. According to the belief of the Latins, wearing a pair of yellow undies on 31 December would secure a year of financial security and happiness, whereas if you wear a red underwear, you’ll be thriving in passion and love for that whole 365 days. Oh! The little, tiny details we go through to lock a promising future ahead.  Which would you choose, money or love?



The current trend is to sport a geometrically shaven head with spiky hair, which many footballers and artistes pull off, and even women like Miley Cyrus and Pink! Or if you like Asian style, go for bob-cuts to appear cute and youthful! However in India, no matter what you plan to do with your hair, never have it cut on a Tuesday. Why? Though the reason behind this remains unclear, it is believed to have been a long-time tradition. Tuesday, in particular, is called Mangal Var, dedicated to worshipping the feminine principles Durga and Lakshmi, and long locks are a symbol of feminity, so… Anyway, it doesn’t hurt to wait until Wednesday comes about, should you get the sudden urge to chop off your hair!



Red, the colour that brings the meaning of blood and fire as well as love, passion, desire and romance. You can look at red however you want to, but none of them applies when it comes to the Chinese definition of red. As all Malaysians know, during Chinese New Year, the brighter and more vibrant the colour red you wear, the more “ong” or prosperity you will be receiving. On the other hand you are basically just asking for trouble if you start wearing red to a funeral. Most people will assume that you are happy that person is gone. Probably not the best kind of attention, isn’t it?


The many facets of the fashion industry are viewed differently around the world. The beliefs may differ, but if we take our time and try to understand the culture, respecting their thoughts and beliefs isn’t something tough to do. I don’t necessarily believe in superstitions because – to quote Stevie Wonder’s famous song ‘Superstitious’ – When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way. Of course, that is just my 2CENTS.

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