Listen, I’m going to come right out and say it. I think you should dress only for yourself. I think you shuold wear what makes you feel the best. I think what other people say or think about the way you dress is irrelevent. Easy for me to say, right?

When I was younger I loved those shows where they would talk about the best and worst dressed at awwards shows and red carpet events. I don;t watch those critique shows anymore. Know why? Because the talk was almost exclusively about women and sometimes it got a little mean. When those we=omen left their room in that gown that day I bet they felt awesome and beautiful. I bet they spent hours thinking about what dress to choose and what makeup to wear and what accessories would be best. Then they step out of the car and the photos start and the people on the sidelines begin their critique of a woman who is just like us. Just because she is famous doesn’t mean she doesn;t feel like crap when somebody tears apart how she looks.

Ok wait, I’m getting off track. Let me step down from my soap box.

Clothes are the way many of us express ourselves and they are also the way many people get their first impression of who we are. We can project a particular persona or feeling through the clothes we choose to wear each day. Other people can get subtel – or not so subtle – clues to the person we are trying to convey in just an instant.

I think there are three ways that many of us dress. The styles are different but our reasons for choosing what we wear I think fall into three categories so I thought I’d lay it out for you.

Clothes are an outward expression of an inward conviction.

Sometimes it’s easy to see that conviction in the clothing someone chooses like a headscarf on a Muslim woman, the turban on a Sikh man, the cross on a Christian. Sometimes the conviction is more difficult to spot such as all garments having sleeves or coming to the knee for modesty. Some people

Clothes are armor.

Our clothes can make us feel powerful and give the impression to others that we have authority. Consider the power suit. It isn’t deflecting any bullets but it might make someone feel intimidated and less likely to question your authority.

I was in high school in the early 80s. Those kids who dressed like punks at the time were definitely people I stayed away from. Even thugh now I’m sure they were perfectly nice people their appearance kept me away from them.

Clothes are a disguise

It’s impossible to really hide. We have to go out to do our errands or go to work or do all the things that are rquired of us. But we can try to blend into the background by wearing clothes that seem more conservative or by wearing neutral colors so as not to draw too much attention.

I have been the person who is not sure how to dress my body in a way that looks nice and so I opted for clothes which were too big because I was worried that my curves were too unattractive.

What are you going to do about it?

Often in our closets we have clothes that fit into several of these categories and we were them all depending on the event or occasion. But what is it that you really want to say to the world. Your clothes are the first thing that people will understand about you. Are there things that you are conveying that you don’t want to say? Have you changed but your closet is still full of the old you? Are you ready to live out loud but your dresser contains the quietest you? Are you still worried about what others will say or that you won’t fit?

I am not saying that everyone should change but I do think it’s important to reevaluate every now and then and see if you are still feeling confident and comfortable in your style or if it’s time to do a makeover. Are you still wearing those black pants and grey tops because it’s a habit or do you feel your best when you put them on? Are jeans and a tshirt and sneakers still your thing or do you think it might be time to spice it up a little?

Are you still wearing straight skirts because once your mom told you that a full skirt makes your hips look too big? Are you hiding your body under that oversized sweatshirt because you love it or because somone once remarked about the size of your chest and so you now are intent on hiding those beautiful curves? Are you wearing stretchy leggings because you love them or is it because it is hard to find something else to wear that fits that well curved booty?

I say, it’s time to reevaluate. It’s time to find the style that is right for you and makes you feel amazing when you get dressed in the morning. That’s why I have the uniform I have. It’s a fitted tshirt and a colorful skirt each and every day no matter what I’m doing or where I’m going.

What’s your uniform? And is it time to find a new one?

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