Be Labeled, Only By Yourself.
Fashion + Self-Love Party, Day 10.
Guest post by Gwendolyn from Reckless Resale.
We like labels.
Colorfully embroidered, and easy to read, descriptive labels.
Labels can identify:
- fiber content, and
- care instructions.
We’ve established, labels are important. A wise consumer will be more likely to purchase a product if familiar with a brand they recognize on the label. A brand valuably recognized for its quality.
We often label and define each other and ourselves by seemingly identifiable terms:
- or age.
And do these terms truly describe our environmental, social, intellectual, and sensual needs?
Self-Love is providing adequate care to maintain the quality of our content.
- Recognizing the manufacturer and origin will help us appreciate our own qualities.
- Recognizing your unique content will establish and protect your personal value.
Our Manufacturer and place of Origin are out of our control. And whether you believe you are
intelligently designed or purposely evolved, our physical and spiritual needs must be met. The nurture
we received at our origin has a strong influence on our mental and emotional needs.
Self-love gives us the knowledge and strength needed to value ourselves no matter our gender,
nationality, occupation, status, or age. When you recognize the beautiful, intellectual, loving, and artistic
person you were created to be, you are empowering yourself with what the Greeks called, Philautia.
Philautia is self-love in its healthiest form. It shares the philosophy of “self-compassion” which is the
deep understanding that only once you have the strength to love yourself and feel comfortable in your
own skin, will you be able to provide love to others. As Aristotle put it, “All friendly feelings for others
are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”
You cannot share what you do not have. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either.
The only way to truly be happy is to find that unconditional love for yourself. This self-love naturally
affords you with increased confidence, poise, and self-assurance.
Practicing self-love naturally assists you with defining your own personal style, labeled only by yourself.
Here are some simple steps to help you create that personal style:
Honestly identify your needs:
- Are there physical needs related to an illness or disability? Must you wear some sort of
protection (medical ID bands, braces, casts, bandages)? Is there a certain function for which you
need your clothing to perform, such as a top designed for nursing mothers? For the past year
I’ve been battling a skin disorder that leaves me marred and looking a little like a pox victim. It is
quite unattractive, but also makes those around me worry for my health. As it is only an external
irritant and I am otherwise healthy, I feel more comfortable covering it up. After experimenting
with sleeves of many different styles, fabrics, and layers, I’ve to learned to love wrapping my
arms in soft beautiful fabrics made of organic cotton or fine flax linen. Even in warm weather I
can wear ¾ sleeves or a light weight duster, I feel chic, and no one is the wiser.
- Are there convictions to meet personal standards in your attire? Moral guidelines based on
religious, environmental, or social standards? Such as covering your head, wearing knee-length
skirts, wearing sustainable fabrics, or purchasing cruelty free clothing? Having grown up as a
conservative Protestant, I understood the importance of adhering to standards. Yet, in the face
of oppression, I found creativity a resourceful tool. Don’t be afraid to experiment just as I
suggested for the person wanting to meet the physical needs of creating their style.
- Are you on a budget? Even if a designer label meets the highest standards in quality, be socially
and environmentally conscious, are you able to responsibly purchase it? The one piece you think
you most need could exhaust your entire budget, leaving you with fewer resources for realizing
your personal style. As a young mother turned theater director, I found myself clothing not only
two daughters, but typically a cast of about 30 kids per semester. The only way it was
accomplished is when we shopped exclusively at resale shops, consignment stores, and local
Attentively identify the items that make you look and feel amazing:
- What colors look best with your skin tone and hair color? An earthy pallet, warm jewel tones or
cool vibrant colors? Find that one color that looks best on you and experiment with all the hues
and complimentary colors like it. Get yourself a color wheel from a craft store and experiment
with its suggested color combinations. Commit yourself to that color! Don’t get tempted to wear
“all black” because it may make you look thinner. That is nonsense. What makes us look and feel
thinner is a great color that compliments our personal style. Find it.
- Which preferred silhouette looks best with your body type? A-line skirt, flare bottom pants, shift
style tunic? Here too is a great place to experiment. Try on different styles, take selfies in the
dressing room before purchase. Later, look back on those images. Which design best
compliments your figure? Seek those out wherever you shop.
- Which adjectives best describe your desired look? Sporty, chic, urban? Keep these in mind when
compiling an outfit. Once practiced, you will begin to collect the stable pieces you need to meet
those descriptors and finalizing your look.
Consistently apply self-love to complete your personal style:
- Be compassionate. When trying on clothes. It’s ok to laugh or giggle at yourself when an outfit does not work in the dressing room. It means it was not designed for you. Love the body you have and the person you are and want to be. When the right garment is found, you will be laughing with joy.
- Be creative. Experiment with new styles, fabrics, colors, and textures. Sketch out styles you might like to try or journal your feelings while on this journey. Pin or post ideas to a bulletin board near your closet or virtually on Pinterest. Keep these ideas handy. While shopping you can refer to them.
- Be confident. Trust your instincts and define your completed style with the type of adjectives you would like to hear others use to describe your style. Original, innovative, sensitive, and artistic are some descriptors I’d like others to see in my style. What about you?
When my active, intuitive, and ambitious daughter was in the 4th grade, she entered a music contest. After working to prepare her for the competition, her teacher confessed to having trouble relating to her.
“Well, you know, your daughter is gregarious.” He said.
Despite being a word nerd, I had not heard that word used in this context (about a child).
“I’m sorry, what do you mean by that?” I asked.
“You know, she’s very outspoken and likes to be the center of attention.” He said.
As a young mother, I was not sure what to do with that. But I recognized it as his label, not mine, not her fathers, and certainly not hers.
“Well, perhaps she was graced with those qualities for a reason?” I responded.
We never used that word again, nor allowed her teacher to use it.
Many years later, that same girl would take me to visit the ancient British monument at Stonehenge and encourage me to love myself through a particularly difficult time. She returned the self-love she was allowed to own as a child.
This article is dedicated to her and her loving husband on this, February 10, 2018, their 6th Wedding Anniversary. Without their love and dedication, I may have been lost after that visit to Stonehenge. But with her encouragement, I regained the ability to love myself again and found the confidence I needed to repair relationships, develop my own fashion business, and share my personal style with the world on my mission to wreck less, through a Reckless Resale.
Now, it’s your turn. What is your label going to say?
What would your label say?
Tell us in the comments!
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