It may be that you are a loss about what to wear. You buy clothes for different reasons but nothing every seems to feel right. Does the following statement describe you?:
I buy clothes hoping that they will “do” and that I can scrape by unnoticed. I also buy clothes to cover up although my friends tell me that if I wore more fitted clothed I would look and feel better.
I avoid buying clothes because it’s just another decision that I feel I can’t make.
Why do we buy the wrong clothes?
Here are three common reasons why:
- Low or lack of Self esteem
- Identity Crisis
- Fear of Change
Let’s look at each one in turn:
1. Self Esteem
If you are unconfident, you are more likely to choose clothes which will cover you up and make you look like you’re not there. In reality you will be noticed and sometimes negatively, “If only she’d dress a bit better, she could look so good”. This can reinforce the negative perception you already have of yourself. The situation can also play out in a different way which is that you’re unconfident and wear ultra fashionable clothes hoping to fit in. Because the clothes aren’t part of your identity you are not comfortable in them, and from the point it is hard for your self esteem to rise.
2. Identity Crisis
The second reason you may be wearing clothes that do not flatter you or suit you and that look like you can’t be bothered with anything could be that you are having an identity crisis. If you’re stuck in a rut, your clothes will reflect that. If your life has changed for example, you’ve changed jobs, moved house, had a change in lifestyle circumstances then your self identity may be challenged. You may no longer think you know who you are.
3. Fear of Change
A loose top and slouchy jeans may have looked fashionable when you were at university so many years ago, but that style looks dated and you look frumpy. What was once cute and fresh looking now just looks old and tired. But you haven’t kept up with style changes and adapted to changing fashions over the years so you are stuck in a time warp. We don’t have to slavishly follow fashion to keep up to date, but even classic designs such as a navy blazer or a shift dress change shape and proportion, quite subtly, over time
How, then can we stop these three factors in their tracks, and rebuild your self esteem so you are in the right frame of mind to find clothes you like?
Here are 4 ways:
- Firstly, start to have an opinion
- Avoid negative self talk
- Focus on positives
- Practice self care
1 Have an opinion
One of the things which disappears when we have low self-esteem is a feeling that our opinions matter. But our opinions should matter to ourselves. We should feel confident to make decisions and to be responsible for those decisions. This applies generally in life, but also in our personal style and what we wear. What you wear should matter to you. For two reasons. The first is that how you feel on the inside is so often mirrored on the outside. So if you feel low your clothes will often reflect that. But secondly what we wear is reflected back to ourselves as how we feel. Essentially if you dress well you will feel better because the very act of wearing clothes that you like reflects back to your inner self which responds by feeling better.
2. Avoid negative self talk
What we say to ourselves may or may not be true but the chances are we will believe it. So if you say to yourself, “You don’t look as good as everyone else”, you will probably believe this statement unless you realise that you can change your story. Because that’s all it is, a story. So you can say to yourself, “I look as good as every other person, I have great clothes and I enjoy wearing them” and that can become as true to you as “I don’t look as good as everyone else”.
3. Focus on Positives
This goes hand in hand with the avoiding self talk section above. Bu it goes one step further. What you need to do is list out 5 of your positive attributes. Undoubtedly you have more than 5, but let’s start there. It can be anything. It could be that you have good skin, a great sense of humour, are neat and tidy, have a great work ethic, have a loving family life, have one person in your life who is really your best friend and soul sister. 5. list them out. Keep that list and read it every day for a month. Read it and know that you have value. Even on the worst days you can read the list and it will be true. Even better, if you can add to that list then you will be focussing on positives on a regular basis. Keep a separate list of them on your hone, or buy a notebook especially for this list
A Challenge for you
So here’s a challenge you can do to help you keep a right mindset and buy the best clothes for you:
Take a pile of magazines and pieces of plain white A3 paper and make different mood boards of whatever you would like, but definitely clothes that you like. You could also make a hairstyles you like moodboard, or if you have an upcoming event make a moodboard for what you will wear for that. I would definitely suggest you make Pinterest boards and pin clothes and style images that you like. Some of my boards can be found HERE. The purpose of the challenge is to get you back into the groove of having an opinion, of knowing what you do and don’t like. It also reteaches you to be assertive, and being assertive is recommended as a way of boosting self esteem.
All these criteria will help put you in the right frame of mind to go shopping and find clothes that you really love and really want to wear. I really don’t recommend that you ever shop for clothes when you have a negative mindset or low self esteem. Getting dressed is essentially about self love and if you aren’t in a positive relationship with yourself it makes it harder to buy clothes that you love and keep a healthy self esteem.
Did you enjoy his post? Please feel free to share it and get the message out that a well order wardrobe is something we can all enjoy, and the benefits of being in control of this fundamentla part of our lives.
This is the last in the Insta Wardrobe Fundamentals series. If you are looking for another easy challenge or want to read more and haven’t read through all of them, why not check them out. The first one is here, all about how to make a quick start on your wardrobe if it’s a total mess. The second, teaching you how to be organised and put outfits together is here. The third post in the series, showing you how to boost your self esteem and look your best every day, is here , and the fourth, which covers how to work out what your personal style is and talks you through a mini guided visualisation, is here.
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