A whole lot of clothes
The Guy in the Suit
When I studied at college I had a friend who turned up in a suit most days, whilst everyone else would be in their average, everyday attire. When asked why he wore the suit he simply said “because it looks nice and smart”. His peers regarded this as quite odd. It is only now that I ask myself why we thought this was so strange. It is only now that I realise we can learn a lot from the guy in the suit and he probably had it right.
It came to my attention not so long ago that sometimes I would wake up on a morning and stay in my pyjamas all day. This often happens when I am fed up, only encouraging and prolonging my state of hopelessness. I noticed that once I made the effort to change out of my pyjamas and put on my favourite dress and my cherished gold caftan, I suddenly felt uplifted and it changed my outlook. I made a promise to myself that I would consciously decide to put on clothes on a morning that empower me, rather than stay in my pyjamas, or choose an outfit that I don’t actually feel great in.
I then realised that I was frequently wearing clothes on a daily basis that I didn’t feel expressed who I truly am. In actuality I really enjoy wearing dresses yet I always assumed it would be inappropriate to wear them if, for instance, I was simply visiting a friend at her house. So I asked myself… “Who says dresses should only be worn at an important event or in the summer?” I further explored my relationship with clothes and observed that sometimes I look at the inside of my wardrobe and stare aimlessly as if searching for Narnia; my mornings can be hindered with the struggle to decide on what to wear; I can find myself feeling uncomfortable with the clothes I’m in, either practically speaking or just not really liking the style. I thought “It would be great to easily choose and wear any outfit, in any given setting, that expresses who I truly am without having the fear of being judged by other people”. Something needed to change.
This lead to contemplations and questionings such as: why do we wear certain clothes and why do we judge people on what they wear? The summary of my pondering is a term I like to call clothes therapy; understanding that being aware of how making simple changes to how we think about clothes and what we wear, can help us a great deal.
The Naked Truth
The basic function of wearing clothes is to cover up our bodies. On a more non-practical and spiritual level we wear clothes to express our individualism; to say to people “this is who I am”, without even opening our mouths. Having the ability to decide what clothes we wear holds the potential for us to unleash the artist within us, the canvas being our bodies. We want our artwork to be appreciated and acknowledged by others. Well why wouldn’t we? It is a reflection of us.
When we are not in touch with ourselves and are living externally (by this I mean living for other people and societal expectations) it is reflected in everything we do- what we think, what we say and you guessed it- what we wear.
If we accept that what we wear is a representation of ourselves, then it would be reasonable to assume that other people will judge our image. Imagine, just by someone looking at our clothes they gain insight into that which we are! The primary principle regarding clothes therapy is related to judgement, or more relevantly the removal of it. Once we detach from inhibited ways of living and accept everyone as extensions of source energy we can come to appreciate our own and other people’s ways of being. After all, appreciation is essential to the art of healing.
If someone wears high heels because it reinforces their preconceived sense of femininity or because they feel empowered when appearing taller; this is good because it is beneficial to that person. But if someone wears them merely for the fact that it’s considered sexy when, honestly, they’d much rather be kicking back in a pair of trainers- it becomes a problem because it is detrimental and unfair to suppress our true identity. Another example of this sort of suppression could be the fact that men tend to wear dull colours. Is this because it would be easier to wear black than be subject to judgement related to wearing brighter colours? Or is it because they are attracted to the healing qualities associated with the colour black (motivation, youth, head strength). I offer these examples purely to supply food for thought.
Furthermore, colour plays a huge role in the clothes we wear. Colour is a fraction of a spectrum of light and we know that light is energy. It is obvious then that colours hold vibrations, just like anything. We can utilise the properties of colours to compliment our well-being. We are drawn towards colours that we need. So if we have a deficiency in self confidence we might decide to wear yellow which compliments the solar plexus chakra that deals with self esteem; (I will write more on chakras and colours in the near future). Once we are aware of this it will become second nature for us to consciously notice which colours we are choosing to wear. Look at what colours you are wearing right now and think about how it suggests the way you were feeling when you got dressed today.
Once the issue of judgement has been addressed we can begin to acknowledge the correlation between the clothes we wear and our mood. If we’re going somewhere extra special or are excited about a certain event we tend to dress nicely for it and look our best- hence our apparel reflects our mood and vice versa. This poses the question… why shouldn’t everywhere we go and all of our clothes be extra special? If we are feeling down and out one week we might rarely change out of our pyjamas, which only keeps us stuck in a bad place. This is not to say that wearing pyjamas is a bad thing, however. Everyone needs relaxation time and for a lot of people wearing pajamas feels comforting and is the best way to do this. But It’s no surprise then that by simply changing what we wear we can boost our energy levels, thus increasing positivity and therefore healing.
Clothes Therapy in Action
1.Figure out what kind of clothes resonate best with you.
I love loosely fitted clothes as I feel free and relaxed in them. I also love dresses because I feel they encapsulate my preconceived recognition of my own femininity.
2.Get rid of any clothes that don’t fit the criteria of your preferred clothing type.
I regularly clear out my wardrobe and it feels so refreshing because I only ever own outfits that I love which also helps me in choosing what to wear, especially as I can be quite indecisive!
3.Try to have a range of colours in your wardrobe.
I often find myself wearing light/pastel colours, but having a range of colours in my wardrobe means that I can wear whatever colour I am in need of that day.
4. Have one item of clothing that symbolises comfort for you and, when worn, instantly embodies your true self.
Mine is a beautifully laced gold caftan and when I put it on I always feel 10 times happier and lighter.
5. Own a pair of red underwear to keep you grounded.
Red stimulates the root chakra (located at the base of the spine), which increases our connection with the Earth and the 3rd dimensional reality.
6. Take time out to really dress up.
Going to a fancy dress party or making something out of old material helps us to let loose, have fun and be creative.
7. Complement people on an item of their clothing and accept complements graciously.
I try to do this at least once a day. By doing this we are saying that we appreciate other people’s self-expression and accept both their style and creativity, which will most likely be reciprocated.
8. If you wouldn’t wear it right now- give it away.
Giving clothes away to people less fortunate than our selves is also a great benefit in itself and having a clear out is always helpful!