Photo Credit: Jacob Nizierski, Unsplash.com

I’m sitting in my therapist’s office (yes, I’m a coach with a therapist, because a wise person once said, “You can only take your clients as far as you’ve come.”) and I find myself talking about clothing.

The conversation began with me remarking how pleasantly comfortable my therapist looked that day in her outfita seemingly simple statement on the surface, like commenting on the beautifully sunny day. But I know myselfthere’s a purpose for everything that comes out of my mouth, and most often it’s metaphorical, even if its meaning is yet to be decoded.

Before I could even question my choice of words, the floodgates were opened, and I deftly shifted to describing my courtroom fashion metamorphosis during my previous career from the “expected” suit and blouse to my personal comfort of simple skirts and slacks topped with light cotton sweaters and colorful tops. What was important about this seemingly mundane transition?

Confidence. I didn’t feel confident testifying in front of a jury in a constrictive suit and buttoned-down in a blouse. I knew my stuffthat wasn’t the issuebut I felt scratchy and uncomfortable and . . . well . . . like a fraud. A suit was incongruous with who I was and I felt like a liar. Because of confidence, or rather, lack thereof. Which led me back to today and my current fashion statement that has morphed and emerged over the last year and a half.

Fashion Statement.

It’s a dialogue we’re constantly engaged in, but it seems we often don’t stop to listen to what we’re saying. I can already hear some of you grumbling, “Who cares about fashion? Fashion’s an industry whose sole purpose is to make us feel ugly or outdated so we’ll spend more money to remain trendy, to fit in.” Or, “I don’t have time to think about fashion. It’s not important to me.”

I challenge you to look in a mirror and see the image reflecting back at you as a stranger. How would you describe the stranger in the mirror? From their appearance, what personality characteristics do you imagine they possess? Would they be someone you’d like to get to know better or not?

Now, let’s try this game again, except you’re looking at yourself in the mirror. How well does your reflection tell the story of you, the story you want people to know about you?

And here lies the importance of fashion. Fashion isn’t about following the trends or trying to fit in. The Truth about fashion is that it simply provides the opportunity for you to find your trend, to fit in with yourself, and to express your style, your values, your personality.

Our fashion’s another line in the story behind our story, or our subliminal messaging to otherswhat we’re feeling, how we truly see ourselves, the characteristics we choose to shareand it encompasses more than just our clothes. It’s the jewelry that blings us up, the shoes adorning our feet, the watch on our wrist, the hairstyle we sport, and even the glasses that frame our face.

Up until about eight months ago, I dragged around long, incredibly thick, golden locks. And ‘dragged around’ is no accident in typingit was heavy, an anchor I hadn’t realized before I was slogging through the mud.

It was hot and always in my face and, well, just not me. At my next hair appointment, I told my hair stylist, “It’s got to go! Let’s cut it all off!” Being the conscientious and amazing stylist she is, she talked me into taking off some, not all. It was better, but still not me. Six weeks later, “We’re cutting it all off!” What we created was a fun, sassy, flirty, chin-length reverse bob with layered, flowing sides longer than my springy curls in the back. Bangs framed the front of my face with mischievousness. It was perfect. It was perfectly me. This current hairstyle heralds qualities true to me, qualities I want to share with others. It’s not trendy or the style made fashionable by some celebrity of the week. It’s my style, and that’s why it feels so darn good!

What do you wear, clothes or hair or shoes or socks or accessories, that make you feel good, that make you smile at yourself in the mirror? What clothes are most often in the wash? What do you gravitate to when you shop? What do these things represent for you? What’s important for you to feel when you get dressed in the morning? What specific items or styles or particular colors achieve that feeling?

As for me, my currently evolved business style’s a simple knee skirt paired with a colorful, often child-like T-shirt and bare feeta perfect cocktail of convention and whimsy that unequivocally expresses the duality of my nature.

What’s your Statement?

 Photo Credit: Jacob Nizierski, Unsplash.com