Gowns cover bodies ‘better than dresses’

Pink seems to be an in-thing in the townships.

What do women wear when they have nothing to do for the whole day?

Nowadays gowns are the in-thing in the townships.

Apparently it is not appropriate to wear dresses while you are sitting at home with nothing to do.

Vukani went around to monitor this trend. The target time was just after noon and we were not disappointed.

When we had a chance, we asked questions as to why people wear gowns the whole day. We specifically asked women and the responses differed from person to person.

Most agreed it was technically incorrect to be wearing night gowns in the middle of the day while others felt it was actually cool to do so.

The gowns are worn unashamedly by women. As much as dresses are the preferred attire, it is a norm to be in gowns if you are not at work.

For those women who decide to wear their gowns in public, the choice of colour is significant. They believe it should be attractive.

They said should one decide to flaunt this style, it must still be immaculate.

Mfuleni resident Nokuphiwa Fakude confidently responded to Vukani’s curiosity.

She said this kind of a “fashion” does not show curves of the body to everyone and covers every part of the body.

“You are sitting at home, roaming around the yard perhaps go to shop with it, it means covering the body. It feels better than the normal dress and you feel free. It is not formal so you are at ease,” she said.

And the colour?

“It does not really matter, as long as your gown is clean. It should be attractive and give you power to feel yourself. Colour matters but it does not matter to some. I like the red one,” she added.

Driving around Nyanga to find others sporting this look was very easy.

There were many women in their gowns, some sitting along the streets. When approached about their attire, some giggled while some were happy to share their stories.

Lihle Mbewu asked: “Why would you keep yourself tight with formal dresses when you have something easy to wear? Most women are unemployed or are on a day off at their work, should they be in dresses? That is partly why we are in love with the gowns,” she said.

Isn’t a gown too warm to wear on hot days and what is your preferred colour, we asked. She giggled and said: “We couldn’t care less about hot or cold weather. The fact is, we have covered the body. The colour for me is white, purely white and clean. I would not publicly wear something dirty,” she said.

But Site B’s Lindo Phekula feels it is inappropriate to wear gowns for the whole day. She believes it is done by lazy people and those who have lost hope in life. “Women should be ashamed of that. It is disgusting. Maybe I am judgmental. My take is, people who wear gowns have no intention of working or looking for a job. Maybe some have given up on life. It is a disgrace for women to walk around with gowns. Laziness comes in there and some gowns are too dirty to be worn publicly,” she said.

But one shy Site C woman, who refused to give her name, said wearing a gown made her feel cool. She said she won’t put on a dress if she is not going anywhere. “The unemployment comes in here. One is sitting home, unemployed with nothing to do. This jacket comes to the rescue,” she joked.