Juneteenth: History And Fashions
We’re celebrating Juneteenth and "Dolce libertà!" by discussing some of the history that explains why fashion is such a significant part of the holiday and how clothing became a important part of the emancipation movement!
Juneteenth is all about the freedom of expression, and one of the best ways you can express yourself is through your attire!
Check out our selection of designer suits today to find the perfect style to express yourself in!
And if you love the history of fashion, remember to check out our history of fashion guide!
The Creation of Identity
Many people don't realize the close association between clothing and Juneteenth, but a quick glance at history will show that the two have really always been connected.
This is because a person's attire, their identity, and their place in society are all closely related ideas. And this fact was especially true for former slaves during the post-emancipation era.
For example, did you know that one of the ways that Black people cast off their former identity as slaves was through their attire?
After their emancipation, many freedmen threw their old clothes into rivers or creeks as symbolic gestures against their former masters.
This “shedding” of clothing was an important part of the rebirth of Black society into the greater American culture. Their fashion statement became a significant part of American history!
To get a better idea of how freedmen felt about their attire, its important to remember that many slaveowners often forced their slaves to wear uncomfortable, ragged, and inferior clothing that didn't even offer full protection from the elements like the sun, wind, and rain.
So think of the relief they felt when those former slaves finally obtained the freedom to throw their old clothing away and wear something fresh and new.
Continuing this tradition, dress remains a big part of Juneteenth celebrations even up to the modern day.
Juneteenth and Color
Today, the fashions associated with Juneteenth are quite diverse, so deciding what to wear during a Juneteenth celebration can be tricky. Some of it actually depends on the type of event you are attending.
Some Juneteenth celebrators opt for patriotic red, white and blue colors to their outfits.
Others decide to don outfits of red, green, and black, which are the colors of the Pan-African movement which was made famous by Marcus Garvey in the 1920's.
These Pan-African inspired color designs are quite vibrant, so they work great with a more showy, flashy look.
Understanding some of the meanings that these colors symbolize is important to wearing them well.
Within the wider context of the Pan-African movement:
Black symbolizes the shared identity of Black people themselves.
Green symbolizes growth and the natural beauty of Africa.
Red symbolizes the blood shed by Africans in their fight for liberation.
Yellow is featured prominently in the flag of Ethiopia, which remained a wholly independent African state during the period of Western colonization.
White is another common color-theme during many Juneteenth celebrations, with guests sporting more straightforward styles, such as linen suits or white-cotton dresses.
If you do decide to wear a three-piece or a highly formal tux to an outdoor Juneteenth event, then make sure its made of a light, breathable fabric like linen, cotton, or silk.