It’s hard to put into words that wonderful moment when you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction and happiness as your often-criticized twin stares back at you. We so frequently use the mirror as a weapon of mass destruction to point out the thighs we don’t like, the forehead that bangs can’t cover, or the circles under our eyes, that when one of those days comes along when an outfit makes us feel like the fairest of them all, it’s kind of magical.
Those little sayings, “It fits like a glove,” or “That color brings out your eyes,” hardly encapsulate the overwhelming ensemble empowerment we’ve all experienced from time to time. Whether it’s a dress that looks even better on your body than it did on the hanger, a well-loved t-shirt that hangs off your shoulders just the right way, or that one pair of jeans that makes you feel like an extra in a Beyoncé music video, feeling sexy, confident, and fearless in what you wear is the best part about getting dressed. If you ask me, that mood — like your boring, little routine has been elevated to an editorial spread in a magazine — is the true appeal of fashion. Whether you’re meeting friends for brunch or commuting to the office, here are a few side effects of ensemble empowerment:
1. Your Flaws Turn To Flawless
A lot of us spend so much time shopping for things we “can” wear. But “can” in this particular connotation, doesn't necessarily mean what buttons successfully flatter our bodies; it’s more about what we allow ourselves to wear based on our perceived flaws. A truly great outfit pushes those boundaries and fabulously forces you to leave your style comfort zone. Special clothes — regardless of why they they’re special — have a way of making you feel unique from head to toe.
2. Anything Is Possible
If liquid courage is a thing, leather jacket courage is definitely a thing, too. I can personally vouch for little black dress courage and cute shoe courage. It might seem shallow to think something that hangs in your closet has a way of extracting bravery from your soul, but that’s how fashion can make everyday life a masquerade party. You might ordinarily be soft spoken or shy, but with the right pair of jeans? You can Sasha Fierce your way into your own alter ego. When you’re confident in what you’re wearing, you learn things about yourself that you never knew, and you remind yourself that you possess so many more qualities than you realize. There’s nothing superficial about remembering that there’s more to you than meets the eye.
3. You Have Extra Oomph
When you feel confident in your clothes, you get an automatic, extra amount of oomph. We’re talking Level 10 Oomph. Whether it’s kicking ass at an interview or flirting with a cute stranger at a party, what you’re wearing can be that little reminder that whatever it is, you’ve totally got this. The right outfit is powerful enough to make you feel intimidating, strong, and even fearless. Own the oomph.
4. You Become Optimistic
Wearing clothes that don’t make you feel good may not seem like a big deal. We say things like, “I can make this work,” or “I’m not that uncomfortable,” and we unleash ourselves into the world, spending the entire day adjusting, tugging, and pulling our way into a bad mood. We might blame our bad vibes on work or missing our second cup of coffee, but the negative effects of wearing clothes you don’t really like can pollute your entire outlook; the same is true when you wear clothes that you love, except the view isn’t nearly as grim. An outfit that makes you feel great has a way of making everything seem possible. You can carpe the diem. You can accomplish that thing you’ve been putting off. You can do all of it. Drape yourself in opportunity, not oppression.
5. You Have More Adventures
When you feel great in an outfit, you want to be seen. Whether it’s a simple trip to a sandwich shop or an impromptu road trip, ensemble empowerment leads you to places you’ve never been on adventures you didn’t anticipate. More importantly, it can be the spark that ignites change in your life. In short, clothes can bring out both your eyes and your inner compass.
6. You Treat Yo Self
Feeling fancy, comfortable, or confident in an outfit has
this way of reminding you what you want and what you deserve. We spend so much
of our time thinking of other people that too often we don’t make self-care a
priority. Luxuriating in a great outfit hardly feels important in the scope of
the universe, but neglect yourself too many of those small moments, and it will
amount to something big — a missing piece from your life. Let your
clothes be that reminder that you’re special and you deserve good things.
The most important thing about ensemble empowerment is that there aren’t any qualifiers. Everyone deserves to have all the confidence, oomph, and adventures that come from feeling great in clothes. It doesn’t belong to a certain size, body type, age, race, religion, or anything else. Sometimes we act as though there’s a finite reserve of happiness or confidence out there in the universe, and in order to preserve the limited supply we have, we’re obligated to exclude people and make certain groups feel like they don’t deserve to feel as self-assured in what they wear as someone else does. That’s not how it works. The joy of fashion should be universal, and the world would probably be a lot more stylish and a lot less malicious if we championed each other’s (and our own) confidence.
Images: Fotolia; Giphy