by Vanamala Mayr-Reisch
Dressing well can unlock doors for you in both your personal and professional life. Fashion is a way to empower yourself and influence others. It is the art of expressing your sense of beauty through clothes.
Isn’t it amazing? How clothes change not only how we look but also how we feel. Fashion is an incredibly powerful tool either to fit in or stand out. Clothes can make you feel confident and comfortable, but they can also make you invisible.
Every morning, I stand in front of my wardrobe and ask myself, “What do I want to wear today?” I tune in and pick my outfit according to how I feel. For example, if I want to blend in and be ordinary, I chose plain colors and simple clothes. Often this is the same type of clothing I wear if I’m at home relaxing.
On the other hand, if I go to a party and want to stand out on the dancefloor, then I’ll pick a colorful piece or even an unusual shape or cut so people notice and check me out.
Of course, you may follow fashion as defined by the fashion industry, enticing you to follow the latest trend. Each season, you will see the same styles, cuts and shapes and colors in every department store or boutique. Wearing them might give you the feel-good effect of being part of a movement.
But is that what we really want, and if so, why?
Do you feel confident wearing these clothes or insecure? Does it make you feel uncomfortable or stressed? We often follow the trend to fit in and be part of the larger community, even if the shoes are killing your feet or the pants are pinching your body. Sometimes we hold our breath for hours to look beautiful.
What is interesting is that sometimes we ignore our truth to be accepted.
The first impression.
Many situations require wearing a special outfit—for example, a wedding, a job interview, or a first date. There is an excellent proverb in German, “Kleider machen Leute”, which means that what we wear influences how people see us and might give us unexpected chances in life.
For these special occasions, we often wear clothes we usually wouldn’t wear.
On the one hand, they might boost your confidence and help you to step into your power, but on the other hand, you might feel so out of your depth so that the opposite happens, and you feel insecure.
Do you recollect a situation when you went to an event, and had the wrong clothing? The moment you went through the door, you realized you were underdressed or overdressed and felt out of place.
Fashion and outfits have a very powerful influence on how we feel about ourselves, but it also changes how we see people around us. The first impression counts. It makes you choose to connect to people or not.
Of course, you could say this is a superficial point of view, and we shouldn’t judge people by their outer appearance. But be honest. I can see past how someone is dressed if I look with my heart, and thank goodness that is how I chose to go through life most of the time, but we all have this inbuilt conditioning to put people into boxes by the way they dress. It happens within milliseconds.
The good thing is you can use it to your advantage. If you want to be invisible and blend in, you can also achieve that. It gives you the power to get people’s attention or to stay anonymous. It allows you to be part of a group or to create your own aura and sacred space.
I see it as a game. I dress the way I feel every day, even if that means I wear the same clothes for a few days. My wardrobe is eclectic, with many dazzling, playful pieces, elegant attire or sporty outfits but also practical and ordinary.
What are your thoughts about fashion? What outfit makes you feel good?