How to Use Fashion for Self-Discovery:
Fashion is often treated as frivolous or superficial. However, our clothes can say a lot about who we are and what matters to us.
Fashion is not just about looking good; it’s also an expression of identity.
The way we dress sends a message to the world, and it can be a powerful tool for self-discovery. Dressing for ourselves can help us understand who we are and what we want from life.
Clothing is a powerful messenger—it lets the world get a glimpse of who you are and allows others to recognize your individuality.
But clothing won’t tell an accurate story unless it matches who you are on the inside!
Here’s how exploring your personal style can help you discover deeper things about yourself:
What You’ll Learn About Yourself by Exploring Your Personal Style:
1. You’ll Learn About What You Find Aesthetically Pleasing.
When you discover what kinds of clothes speak to you, you quickly learn what’s aesthetically pleasing to you.
What colors are you drawn to? What patterns or symbols speak the loudest? What silhouettes excite you? What’s aesthetic to you may be different than what is to your friends, family members, or other people around you. It’s important to figure this out…What is beautiful to YOU?
When you discover what you find most aesthetically pleasing, it can help you understand deeper things about yourself and what you value. But first, appreciate what is beautiful to you–Beauty is a worthy part of the experience of life, even if it is “only skin deep”.
2. You’ll Grow in Appreciation of Your Body.
When we dress to reflect who we are, we grow in appreciation of our bodies.
Today’s society is dominated by selfies, and filters, and images of people who look like they belong on magazine covers. It’s easy to fall prey to these images and judge ourselves based on them.
But as we become more aware of how clothes can work for us, we’ll see that we’re beautiful in our own way! What looks one way on one body looks different on another. Different is beautiful!
Forewarning: This is one of the hardest parts…We’re used to criticizing our bodies and NOT seeing our natural beauty. It’s almost second nature to look in the mirror and point out flaws… When we experiment with clothes, we’ll have to face our own judgment. There will be pieces that you hate on your body…but you’ll eventually find pieces that make you stop and smile at yourself. Pieces that complement your coloring, shape, and specific features that make your body yours. Everybody goes through this BECAUSE we are unique.
Dressing to suit your body type will help you see your unique beauty. You will discover that you have newfound confidence!
3. You’ll Get in Touch With Your Emotions.
What we feel like wearing is often a direct response to our emotional state. We gravitate towards certain things when we’re happy that are different from what we gravitate to when sad, angry, fearful, stressed, and so on. When you dress in a way that represents your deepest emotions, it’s a chance to get in touch with yourself.
Clothes make it easier to listen to ourselves…What do you feel like wearing, and why? What emotions do the colors spark? What does the silhouette do for you–Does it allow you to hide or to shine? Do the patterns or symbols remind you of anything that gives you an emotional response?
If you’re going through a tough time, honor how you’re feeling. Listen. Sometimes it’s good to wear those dark, baggy clothes and wallow in them for a moment of authenticity! The same goes for literally any emotion, “positive” or “negative”. You learn what makes you tick and even what will make you feel better.
4. You’ll Refine Your Understanding of Your Personality Traits.
The clothes you wear say a lot about who you are. Clothes that show off your creativity and uniqueness reflect your personality traits. By looking deeply at the pieces you gravitate towards, you’ll be able to recognize what these traits are so that you can showcase them even more strongly.
For example, if you’re drawn to bright colors and bold patterns, this may tell you that your personality is outgoing and social. If black and basics are more your thing, then maybe that indicates that you’re more reserved. If you wear a lot of rough, strong fabrics like leather, that might show that you are headstrong and tenacious. If you wear a lot of soft, flowy fabrics, you might have a gentle spirit.—whatever it means for you, there’s always a deeper meaning behind how we dress.
Get curious: What does your style say about your personality? Does this interpretation match who you really are?
5. You’ll Define Your Goals and Values.
How you dress can tell people what you think of yourself, your values, and your lifestyle. The clothes we pick say a lot about what matters to us and how we want to be seen in the world. Clothes can also tell us about our goals; they can give clues about what we hope to achieve in life.
For example, if you dress conservatively to project an image of professionalism, then you might be aiming for success at work. If you shop for slow-fashion pieces or thrift shop, instead of buying inexpensive fast-fashion, you probably value sustainability.
You can use what you learned about how your personality is expressed through your style to emphasize elements that relate to goals you wish to achieve. What traits are valuable to you and how can you express them from your wardrobe? It’s a very abstract exercise, but it will bring you a lot of motivation when you dress the part for the life you long to live.
6. You’ll Examine Your Place in the World.
When we dress, we’re not just choosing an outfit; we’re also exploring who we are and how we want to present ourselves to the world. Where do we fit into the bigger picture?
By dressing in a way that reflects your values, you’ll start examining your place in the world and how you want others to see you. You’ll notice what makes you different and what makes you similar to others. You’ll get hints about what your purpose could be. You’ll discover ways to connect.