I felt like a queen as I slid into my duster style sweater, soft purple yarn twined with silver…it has lots of ruffles and feels like a royal robe to me.
During breakfast with friends later that day, the sweater got comments—“You remind of a woman who used to be a fashion model.” “You could be the artist formerly known as Prince.”
Clothing choices say a lot about us.
We’ll opt for comfortable sweats some days, we’ll pinch our toes into heels for a night at the theater, we’ll vow to never wear a certain item because we feel ethically opposed to it…you know what I mean!
I’m acutely aware of my clothing when I’m nervous. I wrap myself in a conservative, mainstream style when I’m in the presence of those I want to impress and I opt for more romantic, artistic, and casual wear when I’m relaxed.
Am I a chameleon? The easy answer is yes. When I’m intent on being accepted, I’ll tone my expression of myself via clothing in a direction to make me most likable. And on the days I don’t care, I wear that purple duster sweater robe.
This is what I don’t want: to dress to fit the expectations of others, to hide myself, to pretend I’m something I’m not.
This is what I want: to be real. I want it so badly because it’s so hard to do.
Do your fashion choices follow your mood? When do you feel at your most authentic?
This Post Has 11 Comments
MaryKatherine Givler (@mkgivler)12 Nov 2012
My clothing choices are dependent on how I feel physically. I love putting together a cute outfit when I feel healthy and well-rested. But if I’m tired, sick, or feeling icky, I fall back on a pair of jeans and a sweater, or if I’m working that day, a pair of wide-leg slacks and a cardigan.
Elise12 Nov 2012
Isn’t it amazing how our moods change our clothes, rather than the weather? It’s so entangled in our emotional/health/outlook. You’re absolutely right. I wonder if our clothing is like a mood ring…another analogy!
M Fuller13 Nov 2012
I agree! On the flip side: I’m amazed by how after a week of living in sweats and not feeling great, if I take more time to put together an outfit that I think is fun and cute, my mood brightens! Moods pick our clothing and clothing can pick our moods, too! 🙂 And I think you have a lovely style: even when you are “blending” it still says “Elise.” 🙂
Elise13 Nov 2012
Thank you, dear! It’s assuring to know that I don’t completely mask myself when I try to fit in. I like your point that the mood picks the clothing and the clothing affects the mood. It’s cyclical and intertwined. Almost sounds like the clothing is *part* of us. Now that’s a thought!
Sayre13 Nov 2012
This is actually somewhat hard for me to respond to. I am also very aware of what others are wearing and what I wear, but it is in some respects hard to know what exactly to do. I try to always wear things that I like and that are comfortable, but I don’t tend towards your artsy style. I like things that are solid, plain, colorful. I also have a certain dislike of collars.
During the warmer months, I wore polos. I was never really into them, and I don’t really think I am now. I wore them because I needed something for work that would also leave me somewhat cooler. I’m also a guy. I find that our options tend to be rather limited be work and simply by what is in the world. I try to give myself a variety of colors, from blue to purple to teal. I’m trying to work warmer colors in still, and I have a secret desire for something in orange. There isn’t much else I can wear though. It’s polos or button-ups.
Now that it has grown colder, it’s acceptable to wear t-shirts with sweaters. I am relishing this change, as these are things I actually like wearing quite a bit. I’ve taken the chance to have more colors in both, to really have fun with what I can do. I’m still stuck with sweaters, t-shirts, and button-ups though. If there are other exciting options, I’m not really sure what they are. I have blue and red and grey slacks, and again I try to find more colors that work, but there isn’t much else I can do.
When I’m at home, or on weekends, I throw on a pair of jeans and enjoy wearing gaming t-shirts perhaps, but I still wear the same sweaters I love. My wardrobe is tailored at this point to try and mesh what I am required to wear with what I want to wear. Men’s clothing isn’t quite as crazy as women’s clothing, so my options are already fairly limited I feel. It does mean that these choices aren’t quite as difficult when they come up though, since my wardrobe tends to be functionally the same for all occasions.
When I feel like a mood boost, I do throw on my favorite purple t with my grey half-button sweater.
A little windy and off-point, but hopefully it makes sense ^^0
Elise13 Nov 2012
Can I just say that I love your mood-boost t-shirt is purple? You’re right, dressing for guys is a little less complicated, usually, than for the ladies, but I think there’s still things that hold universally. Such as your relaxing on the weekends with your gaming t-shirts. Most of us have a “relaxed mode” of dressing. I wonder…is our relaxed mode always closer to our true selves?
Sayre13 Nov 2012
I think what you *choose* to wear because *you* *want* to, without any other constraints, is definitely closer to who you view yourself to be; who you “are”. If we didn’t have the concepts of what to wear and where to wear what, I think that we would only be wearing the things we desired to wear, and that would much more closely align with our own desires.
I think that how we try to present ourselves while being chameleonic is also somewhat indicative of ourselves though. We aren’t conforming entirely: we are dressing for the occasion. You can say that it’s you in a specific situation. I still try to ignore collars at work. It’s a small thing, and I am still taking on facets of work culture, but I’m doing so in my own way as much as possible. I am still being me.
Relaxing may just be the truest form of you, the form that doesn’t care what others see or think right then. Every other you is a part of you that maybe wouldn’t come out otherwise, and dressing up can be fun, non? Relaxation may be the core of the gem, but the different sides can reflect many different things, I think.
and purple will always be my mood booster! Sovereign thoughts for when I’m the one that matters ~_^
Laura14 Nov 2012
I finally found your blog. Ok, found time to read it is probably more true. Thanks for the great post. Sometimes feeling good about myself means making more fashionable choices…sometimes it just means liking myself in whatever I happen to throw on. Who says paisley and polka dots don’t go together? Ok, my mom does. And, my best friend. But your post also got me thinking of how it works the other way around. If I feel good about myself and then put on jeans that don’t fit, then all of a sudden I am less happy to be me. Long live yoga pants!
Elise14 Nov 2012
I’m so glad you’ve found this blog and brought your humor to it. Long live yoga pants indeed! Putting on a less-than-nice outfit can really affect our mood too. Amazing, isn’t it? But I love that you’re brave enough to dare other fashion things than most. It takes courage!
Erika16 Nov 2012
Clothing is so tricky. We try to fit into “whats pretty” (media, magazines) and sometimes that goes against what we find is beautiful on ourselves.
I find I feel the most beautiful when I AM expressing my mood through fabric. Whether I am bright and happy ( light colors, loose top, flowing fabrics) or I am sultry and moody ( dark or harsh colors, long sleeve tight black dress). I tend to not follow this though, I feel sometimes I am displaying emotions I don’t want seen.
Elise16 Nov 2012
Thanks for sharing this, Erika. I agree that what culture says is “pretty” is often not something I’d feel good wearing. I think it’s interesting that you find yourself sometimes dressing to emotions that you’d rather not show publicly, yet you literally “wear your heart on your sleeve.” That’s a very interesting idea.