I’m one of those people who have done a 180 fashion-wise. When I was younger I never really gave any thought to how I dressed and to be honest I never understood why people even cared what they wore…it’s just clothes, right? Just pieces of material and fabric sewn together and thrown on us so that we’re not all running around in the nude? (Now I’m picturing everyone running around in the nude all day long and it’s traumatising me.)
As the years have passed my opinions have completely shifted and I’ve realised that how I dress really affects my mood and has a huge impact on my confidence and the way I carry myself in general. Basically I’ve realised that what I wear does matter, and I’m finally at a point in my life where I don’t think it makes me shallow or vein to admit all of that.
Hear me out.
Some days are easier than others but if I’m wearing an outfit I love, I seriously feel like I can conquer anything (okay well not exactly anything, but you get the drift). Sometimes all it takes is throwing on my favourite coat and it’s like my confidence instantly shoots up and I just feel…better.
I’m not saying that your confidence is or should be completely tied to what you wear because that’s going a little too far, but I think failing to recognise the potential that an outfit has to boost your spirits is just a missed opportunity. A nice shirt, your favourite bag, a new pair of sunglasses or your trusty denim jeans- it’s crazy how these things can perk you up and give your mood a little extra something something.
02. Cause and Effect.
On the other end of the spectrum with clothes being linked to confidence, whether I like it or not, how I dress also affects how I interact and socialise with others. I’ve seen it happen time and time again, if I’m wearing something sloppy or something that I don’t really feel comfortable in I barely want to talk to anyone and I just want to get through the day as quick as I can. To avoid that feeling I find it much more satisfying to string together an outfit that projects the image I want to give off, and go from there. So despite your mood or personal circumstances, dress for how you want to feel and dress for how you want to be seen or perceived. Which leads me to…
I know some people say that your outfit should reflect your mood but I don’t necessarily agree with that. Sometimes I’ll have a bad month or bad few months and ideally all I’ll want to do is walk around in size XL pyjamas all day (so comfy) but if I actually did that I highly doubt I’d feel any better about anything, I’d probably feel worse.
If I’m wearing sandals and a breezy summer outfit, I can’t help but feel more relaxed. If I’m wearing a structured jacket and heels, I automatically feel more powerful, confident and capable. I like to treat my clothes like my armour. A different outfit = a different suit of armour so I can change things up daily depending on how I feel, how I want to feel or what I’m doing that day. When I put on a different outfit I can feel like a completely different person (and not in a Jekyll & Hyde kind of way).
Story time: Back when I was at university I wore a lot of structured jackets and monochrome pieces (pretty much how I dress now) and I had multiple classmates tell me that they thought I was a really confident person who basically always had everything in life organised and sorted. Well yeah, I do like to keep organised but back then I was an emotional mess and so so far from confident! I found it bizarre that these people were saying I exuded confidence when in reality at that stage of my life I probably had some of the lowest self-esteem I’ve ever had.What all of that taught me is that even if you don’t think what you wear ‘says’ anything, it probably does.
I think one of the most interesting things you can do is to ask one or multiple people how they would perceive you if they were to see you for the first time. Just hear them out and you might be surprised by what they have to say, I know I always am.
We all know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover and that everyone has a story to them, but realistically we don’t all have the time to sit down and have an in-depth life conversation with everyone we pass by in a day so we tend to make our judgements quickly. So the next time you’re leaving the house, take an extra minute to consider what you’re wearing and if you’re feeling especially crappy that day, treat your clothes like your armour. Clothes give you that incredible opportunity to project any image you want- so we may as well all take advantage.