Fashion is more than just clothes – it’s more than covering your nakedness or keeping warm. Fashion is uncovering your authentic and confident self.
In this piece, we’ll explore how fashion can transform your self-esteem, personality, attitude, and behaviour, and how you can use it to influence others. We’ll round up with some tips to get you started on your fashion journey.
How Clothing Affects Your Confidence:
You’re probably already aware of the link between the clothes you wear and your level of confidence as you wear them. For instance, when you put on something nice, it makes you feel good about yourself, and that positive feeling naturally radiates outward. This in turn attracts compliments which further boosts your confidence and the cycle continues.
Even in professional settings, you may have noticed how your appearance subtly influences how you are perceived by colleagues, clients, or bosses. For example, as a lady, you may decide to wear a grey suit and a black bob wig to work just to exude competence and seriousness.
The relationship between clothing and confidence has been studied extensively by both researchers and fashion experts, and the findings support the notion that clothing can have a significant impact on your confidence.
For example, a study found that people who dressed more formally had higher levels of self-esteem and felt more authoritative. There is no surprise here.
Other studies found that people who wore a lab coat associated with a doctor’s coat felt more focused and attentive than those who did not wear it. Sure, I need my doctor to be focused on and attentive to me; and, I really won’t trust a doctor wearing a blazer for surgery.
All these suggest that clothing can influence not just our mindset and behaviour, but those of others as well.
“Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life.”– Bill Cunningham
How Clothing Affects Your Personality
I’ve struggled with insecurity about my appearance for years now. Back then in secondary school when we had to wear uniforms, I usually felt like a loser because, unlike the cool kids, my clothes weren’t shaped, neither were they always ironed; and I didn’t wear nice perfume or trendy shoes. This insecurity followed me till my university years.
I blamed it on not having money of my own, but the truth was that I really wasn’t paying attention to my looks. However, I’ve been doing some work on myself, and lately, I’ve been increasingly paying attention to how I look. Firstly I got myself some nice perfume. And, about two months ago I went cloth shopping and spent a lot of money (at least, based on what I earn).
I got four T-shirts, two pairs of jeans, and one long-sleeve shirt. After buying those cloths, I felt a sense of relief and joy. The experience made me understand why some people carry out stress shoping. I look forward to going for another shopping where I’ll get myself some accessories – like watches, and chains. Footwear, of course, those too are important, how could I forget?
Anyway, cloths are very important, and there are several ways they affect your personality and behaviour. Some of those ways include:
- By flattering your body shape: Clothing that fits well and accentuates your best features can make us feel more attractive and self-assured. As a lady going out for a first date, you may choose to wear something that highlights your best features, and even exposes some skin; just enough to signal you are interested, but not cheap.
- By enhancing your mood: The colors and fabrics of your clothes can have a significant impact on your mood. Bright colours and soft fabrics can make you feel happier and more relaxed, while dark colours and heavy fabrics can make you feel more serious and focused.
- By signalling your competence: Wearing clothes that are appropriate for a given situation can signal competence and professionalism. For example, dressing in formal attire for a job interview can make you feel less self-conscious and more prepared and confident.
- By expressing your identity and values: Clothing can help you signal your identity. It can indicate if you are straight, non-binary, African, American, and so on. And this can further help create a sense of oneness or community between you and the people who share similar identities. For example, wearing Ankara wears expresses African origin, and respect for culture, and can easily attract other Africans to you (especially if you are found wearing it on another continent).
- By blending you in: Whilst standing out is good, sometimes blending in can also be an advantage. For example, when going to a graduation ceremony or a choir performance, wearing the robe every other person is wearing will make you feel accepted, confident, and happy.
And so on.
“Clothing is a form of self-expression, there are hints about who you are in what you wear.”– Marc Jacobs
How to use clothes to enhance your look and attitude
Clothing can have a significant impact on your attitude and behaviour. I still remember how it felt wearing my Khaki uniform during my NYSC days (especially when we were still in camp with the soldiers). The attire was simple and practical. It consisted of a cap, a white crested vest, a long sleeve coat, a trouser, and huge jungle boots. The attire made us look and act agile and smart. We got up early (sometimes by 4 AM), and everything was strictly timed. There was no time for makeup, or wearing overly complicated attires. We knew on a subconscious level that we were there to “Serve the Father’s Land”. The affair made us look like paramilitary and nudged us to act accordingly.
That said, there are a lot of things you can do to enhance your look and attitude through clothing, and some of those include:
Dress for the occasion:
Choose appropriate clothing for different events. Dressing in a way that is respectful and appropriate for the occasion can help you project a positive image and make a good impression.
Experiment with different styles:
Trying out different styles can help you find clothing that suits your personality and makes you feel confident. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new styles that you might not have considered before.
Invest in quality clothing:
Investing in high-quality clothing can not only make you look good but can also improve your attitude and behavior. It’s like the Apple-Android debate; it is not enough to have something that is functional, sometimes you need to go overboard. When you wear clothing that fits well and is made of high-quality materials, you are more likely to feel confident and carry yourself in a dignified and assertive manner.
Accessories can be a great way to add personality and flair to your outfit. They can also help you feel more put-together and confident. Think of it like the icing on a cake. Depending on your style, a wristwatch, and necklace are good places to start.
Dress for yourself, not others:
Don’t worry too much about what others think of your clothing choices. Dress in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable. When you feel good about your appearance, it radiates outwards and gets people to fancy your unique style.
Also Read: Why Are Womens Cloths So Revealing?
“Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”– Coco Chanel
How to choose clothes that make you feel good
Choosing clothes that make you feel good is an important aspect of building your confidence and improving your self-image through dressing. Here are some tips on how to choose clothes that make you feel good:
Know your body shape:
Understanding your body type is essential for choosing clothes that fit well and flatter your figure. Take some time to learn about your body type and the types of clothing that are most flattering for your shape.
Choose colors that complement your skin tone:
Wearing colors that complement your skin tone can help you look and feel your best. Consider your skin tone when choosing clothing colors, and experiment with different shades to find what works best for you.
Consider the occasion:
The occasion should play a role in determining what you wear. For example, if you’re attending a formal event, you’ll want to dress more formally than if you’re running errands around town. Boyfriends jeans are a no-no for wedding parties, pretty much how wedding guest dresses won’t be appropriate for work.
Choose comfortable fabrics:
Comfortable fabrics can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day. Consider the weather and the activity you’ll be doing when choosing fabrics for your clothing. For example, cotton fabrics are suitable for summer, while wool fabrics are suitable for winter.
Focus on fit:
Well-fitting clothing can help you feel more confident and put-together. Take the time to try on clothing and make sure it fits properly before making a purchase.
Dress to express yourself:
Clothing is a form of self-expression, so don’t be afraid to choose clothing that reflects your personality and makes you feel good. Whether you prefer bold prints or classic styles, choose clothing that makes you happy and reflects who you are.
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”– Rachel Zoe
Conclusion: “Be Royal In Your Own Fashion“
The bottom line: Your choice of clothing affects your confidence. It can be the difference between getting turned down at an event and getting in. It can also be the difference between having a good time and feeling out of place or uncomfortable. Your clothing precedes your qualities, abilities, and personality, so pay extra attention to those.
When it comes to dressing, the key is balance – i.e. to not underdress or overdress. And, it takes some practice to get it right.
“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.”– Edith Head