How we feel inside is inextricably linked to how we look—to ourselves and others—on the outside. Some may say this is shallow, ego-based, and maybe they are right, but regardless, it’s a fact. When we feel good on the outside, we feel good on the inside too.
Fashion is about having fun; it’s about self-expression, at least it should be.
Our sartorial choices say something about us, about who we are—whether we like it or not, they tell our story. Talking without words, what we wear can whisper or shout, invite or repel, lift our spirits or bring us down. Yes, fashion really does have that power!
Sadly, most of us have forgotten how good it feels to get dressed up over the past two years. What to wear has been the least of our concerns when it’s felt like the world is ending. With nothing to look forward to, get excited about or dress up for we’ve forgotten that when we look good, we feel good.
The endless rotation of sweatpants, skanky sweaters and pyjamas (with the occasional zoom top interspersed—for decency—when the office calls) has reflected our collective mood. Sad, confused, alienated and alone—to name but a few of the sentiments to have taken hold of our psyche in the last 23 months. The outfits we’ve worn have been a reflection of how we’ve been feeling on the inside. We’ve dressed to depress!
It’s time for that to change!
It’s time to take back our power (dressing), to remind ourselves we don’t need something external to make an effort for. We need to dress up for ourselves, to feel inspired, to feel our best.
In her book Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this concept of dressing to inspire brilliantly when referring to her “elusive creativity”. She quotes Laurence Stern’s book, Tristram Shandy, in which the main character, when searching for inspiration, proceeds to dress up in his finest regalia and act “all princely” thus attracting inspiration and ideas to his side on account of his fabulous ensemble.
“I change my shirt, put on a better coat, send for my last wig, put my topaz ring upon my finger, and in a word, dress myself from one end to the other of me after my best fashion.”
Dress to impress has long been an expression used when it comes to dressing up—because it works. It really does.
I know there’s been at least one, if not many times in your life when you’ve put on your favourite, mood-boosting outfit and strolled out into the day (or night) feeling as if anything is possible, as though you can do anything, be anyone—when you’ve felt unstoppable!
And that’s what fashion is about—not a competition or a symbol of status, but a reflection of our best self, of who we are, who we want to be and what we want to express to the world.
It’s time for us to fall back in love with fashion, to embark on a deep and passionate love affair with our wardrobes, to seduce our senses with sequins, ruffles, pleats and flounces or whatever flight of fashion takes your fancy.
So throw out those skanky sweatpants, burn that raggedy old sweater and all of those pent up negative feelings with it. It’s time to dress up again, to raid our closets for those feel-good clothes, the fun outfits that boost our confidence and make us smile from the inside out.
It’s time to get happy again; it’s time to dress to inspire, or at the very least it’s time to be re-inspired by fashion.
I know I, for one, will be piling on the glitz this summer! So go on—pull out your platforms, throw on your mini dress and bring back your sparkle—literally and figuratively!!