7 AWESOME Reasons why I like to Dress up well!
Have you ever thought what goes on in your mind when you are deciding on what to wear? Do you dress up for the occasion or for your moods? Do you go with the first thing available on hand in your closet? Or you carefully spend time on planning the outfit and the related accessories? Do you like to go with the fashion trends or the comfort quotient?
For me personally all the above are essential & sometime one may contradict or complement the other. But for me dressing up is an integral part of my self-care routine and not vanity.
Whether I am working from home or office, weekday or a weekend, I like to be appropriately dressed all the time. Dressing up does not mean that I like to doll up all the time. To me, dress up means to be presentable and comfortable in what I am wearing. My style may be inspired by what I see around in current fashion trends, but it has elements that speak of my individuality & I like that.
You may feel what’s the need to dress up when I am a homemaker or working from home.
Why put in that extra effort in the morning when there are things to take care off, kids, to be sent to school and run errands in the morning. And anyway I am not going anywhere so what’s the big deal in dressing up? If you have an office to attend, then its all the above plus additional pressure of office work which puts dressing up last on the list.
If these are your excuses, I want you to sit back, grab a cup of coffee and read on.
As much as we may want to deny, this is a fact. The way we dress up makes our first impression on people who don’t know us. The moment someone sees us, our dressing sense, and the appearance catches the attention. People form opinions, right or wrong, is secondary. It’s always nice to approach someone who is pleasantly dressed. And in sync with the role, occasion or the purpose of the meeting. It immediately puts the other person at ease and is a starting point for conversations.
Improved Self-Esteem & Self-Confidence
The most apparent benefit of dressing up well is the confidence it gives you in your self. As mentioned before, dressing up does not mean I have my best dress on with full makeup. To me, dress up in the morning means, I am out of my pyjamas, and I am ready for the day ahead. Depending on whether I am at home, or going to work, I like to dress up appropriately. There are several studies which indicate that wrong clothes can negatively affect our self-confidence. Clothing impacts our performance at work and in life. If you feel this is my theory, read on.
According to the findings from a study published on the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, subjects who wore a lab coat which was associated with the doctor’s coat performed better than those who didn’t wear a lab coat and those who wore a lab coat described as a painter’s coat.
Researchers have called this phenomenon “enclothed cognition”, meaning that what you wear has a significant effect on your physical and psychological state. The clothes you put on can make or break your self-confidence level. Here is an interesting article published in the New York Times( Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat) which explains this study in detail.
Therefore dressing up well is a great self-esteem booster. If you look good, you feel good & if you feel good, you perform even better!
Colours are Mood Elevators
While we may not pay too much attention to this in our day-to-day life, but our mood does get influenced by the colour we wear. I love wearing bright colours like reds & yellows since they signify warmth & happiness. But there are some days I want to go with Blues and whites as they help me feel calm. Is this my imagination? Well, read on what the research is saying.
Looking at warm, bright colours, such as red or pink, releases dopamine — known as the “feel-good hormone” — which can improve our mood, heighten the attention span and even boost our sex drive. ‘Cool blues, on the other hand, have been linked to the release of oxytocin, making you feel calm. This is called Colour Psychology. Colours have an ability to impact our Moods, Feelings and Behaviours & here is a detailed study for those interested in knowing more ( Colour Psychology).
Let me share an interesting fact from the land I come from. In India, people celebrate the festival of Navratri and worship the nine divine form of Goddess Durga. It is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in almost every part of India in the latter half of the year. Since there are nine different avatars of Goddess Durga, each day is dedicated to one of her forms or avatar. Also, there is a distinct food and colour significance attached to each day of Navratri. And the devotees dress up in different colours specific to each Navratri day. Since the festival is celebrated for nine days, there are nine colours of Navratri with each colour holding its relevance for a particular day of Navratri. Isn’t this amazing?
So why not use this to our advantage. Depending upon your moods & feelings, pick up a colour to wear and feel the change. It works really well on Mondays ( trust me on that ). Even if you are a homemaker or working from home, I am sure your wardrobe has all these colours. If not, then here is a valid reason to shop which always works irrespective.
To dress up appropriately for an occasion or a role is a reflection of the respect & importance we attach to that role. Let me explain.
In the corporate world, it’s always a good practice to dress up formally for important business meetings. Turning up in ill-fitting clothes indicates a casual approach and may not go down well with the other members. While some offices have a casual dressing culture, they still have guidelines defining what casual dressing means.
I am from the old school of thought and believe that dressing as per your role in any organisation is also a fundamental job requisite. It does not mean I don’t have fun while dressing up for work, and I need to dress up in boring blacks, greys and white. You can always use a pop of bright colour in formal clothing as well. For my Indian friends, there is a formal line of Indian Clothing from “W – for Woman” or “FabIndia” which offer an amazing corporate range. They also ship outside India. For folks living outside India, there are many options available online and in-store for western formal clothing.
The same holds if you are going out for an occasion. Imagine walking into a formal party in your torn jeans. While this may be your most favourite outfit, but its definitely not right for the occasion. Similarly, being overdressed for a casual brunch may be uncomfortable or embarrassing for your host at times. We have to keep the event, the invitees, the venue and the season in mind while deciding how to dress up.
When you dress up well, you inspire people around you to match your penchant for dressing up. Soon you will see may be your daughter or family members taking that effort for themselves.
I have had people coming up to me at my workplace & sharing their lost passion for dressing up. Some mentioned that they had lost the charm of dressing up while shouldering the many responsibilities of managing home and work.
I just remind them that they have to love themselves & feel good about themselves first. An important Life Lesson (5 Essential Life Lessons you need to know) I learnt from my mom. My mom is a doctor by profession & has been practising till now at the age of 86 years. She finally took a break due to the pandemic risks for senior citizens. Right from my childhood, I have always seen her meticulously plan her attire for the next day. Including matching accessories. Pl note this was despite her hectic schedule. And this is her ritual even today. I guess that’s where my sister and I get this trait.
Therefore it’s not about the profession you are in or your age. Its all about making time for yourself, to look better, to feel better and thus making that effort to live better.
Declutter your Wardrobe
This is an obvious by-product of your passion for dressing up, isn’t it? Imagine trying to find the right attire in a mess of clothes? Well, teenagers still manage this ( ask my teen daughters) with of course multiple shoutouts to their moms. But I simply can’t.
I need to have my clothes neatly piled up or stacked as per casual/ocassion/ daily wears. De-cluttering not only helps me to do a quick assessment of my inventory ( which is never enough 🙂 ) but also helps me match things together to get a different look every time. And if you are fond of accessorising your look like I am, then organising your clothes helps you to make it easier. Planning your look does not take too much time if you have your clothes, jewellery & shoes organised. There are some fantastic Jewellery organisers available on Amazon Site (USA), Amazon site (Sg) and Amazon Site (India). IKEA has a fantastic range for wardrobe & shoe organisers. These are especially useful if you have limited wardrobe space in your room.
When you de-clutter your wardrobe, you will realise that there are so many outfits that you have not worn for a long time. And some not even once as they got pushed back as more clothes get added. You will want to dress up in them now, which will help you feel new altogether. Trust me, it works!!
Your Style Speaks About You
What you wear is an expression of who you are. So be true to yourself. You don’t have to run after fashion trends, but you cannot be living in the 19th century at the same time. Therefor a fair balance of modern contemporary clothing and comfort is what I go for. For me, Fashion is what gives me the confidence to carry myself in a roomful of people. Its also something I am comfortable in when I look in the mirror. So it’s all about me and not about the world outside.
I want to share a very interesting discussion I had with my younger teen ( all of 13 years). As I was writing this blog, I asked my two daughters what dress up means to them. My younger one had a point of view. She said that whatever I dress up in should not stereotype me in a category. For, e.g., if I dress up casually, or in tattered jeans, it does not mean that I care less for the world. It’s just my way of “Dressing Up”. “So don’t judge me without knowing me”. Wow!!
Therefore all my 7 points focus on the impact of dressing upon us. I do not recommend what you should dress up in. It is your choice, your style. But keep the above points in mind when you are deciding on what to wear the next time.
So Dress up, Life is too short to wear frumpy clothes !!
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