But when the dresses become so short that if you as much as shrug you expose everything, then is it even fashion anymore?
I spoke to one woman, Dons*, about this and here was her feedback, “I love to club but my dresses never go up beyond around here (indicates by putting a hand on her leg). I think a lot of the girls who wear dresses that short are ho’s. No self-respecting woman will show everything like that.”
Left: Big Brother Africa's Meryl in her very-little-black-dress at the premiere of 'Lobola' in 2010. She drew lots of attention back then, but the dresses you will see at clubs have become even smaller now.
Another girl, Tanya, had a different point of view. “That’s the new trend these days. If the dress is even close to halfway down your thighs it’s a granny-dress.”
Asked how on earth one danced in a dress like that without showing everything to the world, the simple answer was, “Who’s trying to hide anything?”
And looking around the club that night I can understand what she meant. A lot of girls were not trying to hide anything. They were busting dance moves that saw them bend, go down, lean back and twist- all the time showing, in the flashing lights of the club, the colour of their tarang-tarangs.
The take from the men?
George, a regular bhawa-ranger (i.e. 'club-crawler' in English) said, “It’s fun for the guys to watch and yes, it does get their attention. A lot of girls who dress like that are trying to get guys to buy them drinks and sometimes take them home. What the girls don’t realise though is that for many men, a girl like that is not girlfriend or even wife material. She’s ok for a good time, but how do you marry a woman who has shown everything to so many men like that?”
Another man said he saw nothing wrong with it, “This is the in thing. All the girls are trying to do is follow the fashion trend. If a girl is wearing a longer dress it makes her feel outdated so she will comply with the trend.”
And where does one buy one of these super short dresses? Apparently you don’t buy one- you make it. Buy a little dress, cut it to size and you have your ultra-almost-not-there little dress.
*Names changed at the request of the interviewees.
- Big Ziso for Zimbo Jam