Monday, 26 November 2012

Dressing for happiness

Has it occurred to you that how you dress is a reflection of your state of mind and could affect the quality of life you lead? Often people diminish fashion to fads, trends and brands. But what you wear is a form of self expression, an indicator of how you see yourself.

I read an article yesterday, titled fashion advice from the shrinks sofa in the uk newspaper The Independent and want to share what style psychologist Kate Nightingale had to say. "The way you dress will say something about you. About your job, your personal life, what kind of partner you will be. The first impression only lasts 3 seconds" she talks about asking clients about their goals and inspirations and how they feel in their clothes. What a breath of fresh air! I'm tired of people buying clothes because it's "on trend" or because a bunch of celebrities are all sporting the same fashion item. What happened to being an individual and asking yourself a simple question: does this make me feel comfortable? By comfortable I don't mean PJs or trainers, I mean does this outfit reflect who I am or what I want to be? Have you wondered why professionals and businessman call what they wear "power suits"? It's because that's what the suit gives them, power, a competitive edge. On the other end of the spectrum, have you ever worn something that was a bit too revealing and felt uncomfortable the whole night because you felt like a hooker? I have, and it wasn't just that I felt uneasy with my wardrobe choice, the sleezy attention I got from men made it so much worse.

There are days when I struggle with finding the right outfit, it's the days when for whatever reason, I'm suffering a bout of self doubt. Women have their hangups and I have my fair share of them. But on my good days, I know exactly what to wear, because I just wear what feels natural to me at that point in time. I may be feeling sensual and sexy, so I wear a skin tight bandage dress with killer heels and red lipstick. I could be feeling relaxed and opt for jeans and a tshirt instead. On the other hand, if you're having a bad day, or going through a period of low self esteem, changing how you dress could help you feel more positive and empowered. Ditch the baggy track suit (never a good look unless you're actually exercising or at home, alone, and hungover) and put on something that cheers you up, whether it's a bright coloured cardigan or tailored skirt. Because while the baggy clothes keep you feeling unattractive, down and depressed, the "fashionable" clothes will uplift you and brighten up your day. I personally believe in the power of lingerie. I love that underneath a modest and feminine outfit, I could be wearing a naughty set of lingerie, a secret I keep to myself all day till its time to take it off. I never wear underwear that I wouldn't want my boyfriend to see me in because why would I ever want to feel like a frumpy old maid?

I believe that a woman is most beautiful when she carries herself with confidence, and that means she's comfortable in her own skin, which includes the way she looks, dresses and who she is. We are all beautiful in our way, so celebrate what makes you different and stop striving for that cookie cutter "fashion" look.


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