Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Psychology of Clothing

It all started when I picked up "Looking Terrific"  (see a couple of blogs back).  I started to think about the psychology of clothing in the backburners of my mind.  And then it started running...

Every day, when you get up and get dressed, you're saying something with your clothes.  If you *don't* get dressed - you're still saying something!  When I was a new mom, and wearing my old maternity shorts with DH's tshirts, I was saying, "because I don't look like I used to look, I'm not worth spending money on". 

I start with the extreme, because I want to make a point.  Also, nearly every reader of this blog has been there.  If you're reading *this* blog, you've gotten out of there.  Maybe not terribly far, but you've gotten out of there.

Then I started watching other women.  Something that's always struck me as unfair is women who are heavier than I am who carry themselves as if they're gorgeous.  (Yes, that's me being petty - honesty is useful for me, useful for you too, I hope).  After all, the biggest block to my feeling gorgeous is my weight.  So how come they get to look like they feel fabulous, when I don't?  Where is that swagger in their step coming from?

And -boom- there went the dots.  They connected.  They *feel* like they're worth it.  They *feel* attractive.   I don't!  So I wear nice things because I'm nice - but I don't wear fabulous things because I'm not fabulous.  I don't put that extra time into my appearance, because my goal is to "look nice".  "Look well-put together". "Wear the pretty skirt".  "Look pretty". 

You know how it is. Some days you wake up feeling girly, and there's no choice but to put on the fluffy petticoat.  Some days you feel efficient, and you find your hair braided back and your working clothes on.  Some days it's sexy - and you find yourself wearing clothing that's just a little tighter, just a little more revealing, than normal.

And however you dress, you respond to it.  When I put on the long full petticoat and my long full skirt, suddenly I'm swishing around the house.  My movement changes.  When it's the short petticoat and the short skirt, I bounce and twirl and twitter.  Boots and braid?  Moving with efficiency. 

Since I've brought this to my awareness, I can use this to my advantage.  What can I do with my appearance today that will give me a bit of a boost? 

If I were a woman who spent more time in the public meme, I'd think, "what can I say with my clothing that will convey the message I want to convey".  That's when we start talking about power colors, if you remember that from your youth.  (If your youth was in the 80s, you remember that!)  But it's not just color - it's line and fit.  It's also how well your clothes are matched, and if they're in good repair - and if you're wearing knits, if they're still bright and new looking. 

Intentionality.  Good grooming.  Thinking before you act - and realising that the act of dressing is an act of communication. 

Yep.  I have some things from this to take to heart and put to work... I hope you do too! 

Rome was not built in a day, but every day counts.   Get dressed!!!!!!!


  1. LOL, as I'm still in my pj's. Today I need to put a hurricane mess in our home back together. I think I'll go for the braided hair and gym shorts.

    1. I've not "dressed for the day" yet - I knew today was going to be getting up early, cleaning and then going to the beach/showering/getting dressed properly.

      But I've got a tshirt, skort, and tennis shoes on, with a scarf over my braided hair. Because it was get up early and clean the house day. Can't clean in my nightie!

      Hm. That may be a post in praise of nighties. I'll work on it.


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