What Makes an Outfit?
What Makes an Outfit? It's Not the Clothing- It's the Woman. A Primer on Loving (All of) Your Body and Finding Joy in Celebrating Your Authentic Style
Self-love seems to be a buzzword right now and you can practice it in a number of ways. One of those ways is through finding your authentic style. For a long time, women have been programmed to dream of an idealized version of what it means to be beautiful. In fact, billions of dollars are spent by companies every year in an attempt to convince us that we need to look a certain way. Not only that we need to wear certain clothes, but that our bodies need to look a certain way. For years, the idea of loving your body has seemed like a rebellious act.
Loving Your Body Comes First
Before you start outfit planning and making shopping trips, you must first love your body. No matter what clothes you buy, you will never feel good in them if you don’t love your body. Once you can achieve this, the fashion fun can really begin.
Figure Out Your Story
The first thing you need to do to love your body is to realize what your story is. We’re talking about the story you’ve been telling yourself about your arms being too big, your thighs being too thick, or anything else that is “too” something. It doesn’t matter what you look like, we all have certain things that we get caught up in about ourselves. When you really dig deep, often you will begin to realize that these stories are not your own. Many women first hear these stories from a “well-meaning” family member or friend who thought they were helping by pointing these things out. Think about the parts of your body that you consider “problem areas.” Ask yourself where this specific thought pattern came from. If you really think about it and look into it, you might just find out that the thoughts aren’t actually your own.
Forget the Idea That Looking a Certain Way Will Make You Happy
One of the best things you can do on your journey to loving your body is ditching the idea that if you look a certain way, you will immediately be happier. There will always be something else that you think you need to work on before you’ll truly be happy. If you think you’ll reach a goal one day that will leave you satisfied, you will be chasing that goal forever.
Cleanse Your Social Media Feeds
How many super-skinny celebrities or Instagram models do you follow online? If scrolling through your social media feeds brings you down because you are comparing yourself to them, it’s time to cleanse your feed. You are in control of what images and messages you see every day. All it takes is a simple “Unfollow” to rid yourself of the constant reinforcements of unrealistic body standards. The people and accounts that you follow online should empower you. Make note of whose accounts leave you feeling worse than before you saw their posts? Those are not worth keeping on your feed.
Do Something That Makes Your Body Feel Good Every Day
Another great way to love your body is to make it a habit to do something good for it every day. What that looks like will vary for everyone and vary depending on the day. Maybe what you need is to set aside a few minutes to put on a face mask at night and do nothing but relax. Maybe it’s making sure you move your body with a walk, yoga, or another form of exercise. Or maybe it’s putting on a full face of makeup for no reason other than you enjoy it and it makes you feel good.
The practice of doing something that makes your body feel good actually trains your brain to associate your body with positive feelings. If you make it a habit to show your body love, it will start to feel natural over time.
Discovering and Celebrating Your Authentic Style
Now that you know how you can begin loving your body, how can you use that to discover and celebrate your own authentic style?
Your authentic style is within you. You will not be able to find it from anyone else or anywhere else. Inspiration might be found out there, but your true style is inside of you. Although easily said, a lot of us don’t take the time to truly check in on ourselves. Perhaps you find the best way to tune into yourself is with meditation, taking a walk, or doing something creative.
Then, you should ask yourself these questions the next time you are getting dressed:
- Do I feel energized?
- Do I feel comfortable?
- Am I at ease?
- Is my outfit functional?
Clothing is the Conduit
Clothes serve a function, but that also doesn’t mean they can’t be fun. To find the best balance and discover your authentic style, think of clothing as a tool or a conduit to express yourself. On the flip side, don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the act of getting dressed. Women often scare themselves off of trying fashionable clothing because they fear they will get it wrong or will be judged. Dressing in your authentic style should be a fun way to express yourself without worrying about what other people are thinking.
Don’t Buy for FOMO Reasons
When you understand your authentic style, you can stop purchasing items just because you feel like you might be missing out. Just because you see a ton of people wearing a certain piece of clothing on Instagram or you see it in every clothing store, doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. When you cut out these “FOMO” pieces of clothing, you will save yourself money on items that you never end up wearing. Instead, you can purchase only the most sustainable fashion articles.