Dress for Confidence

Smartly dressed woman

There are a whole lot of things that affect our perception of and attitude toward ourselves, from the company we keep, to our demeanor, personality, and temperament, to really just about every facet of our life.

One thing that can have a surprisingly substantial effect on our confidence and self-esteem (they are different things, though closely related) is actually the clothes you wear. See, clothing is more than just something we drape ourselves into cover certain body parts because of the artificially created concept of modesty (though it is that, too), it’s also a form of expression, and how we express ourselves to others through clothing can affect our perceptions of ourselves just as much as it affects others’ perceptions of us.

If this idea intrigues you, and you’re ready to boost your own confidence by revamping your wardrobe, keep reading, and get ready to feel fabulous.

Dress Appropriately
And by “appropriately” we mean appropriately for the setting and/or occasion. A lot of this is common sense: you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt to most weddings, an elegant gown to the office, or a business suit to a casual get-together, right? Right. But it’s more than that; consider where you’re going to be and what, exactly, you’re dressing for. At the office, you’re dressing to exude professional competence and responsibility, which can be achieved through structured, clean garments with straight lines and stiff fabrics. For a casual party or get together, you’re dressing in whatever way makes you feel most comfortable and relaxed is generally the best bet.

Forget Traditional Gender Norms
Really, please throw them out the window right now. Once you’re done figuring out how to manifest and throw a metaphorical concept out the window (which, really, would be quite an impressive feat, bending the laws of physics like that), try to take it to heart that you should be able to wear what you want, and that doesn’t have to be defined by traditionally divisive gender norms.

If you’re a woman wanting to try a more “masculine” style, go for it! If you’re a man and want to embrace a “feminine” aesthetic, do it! If you’re a person of any gender who wants to mix and match to create an androgynous look (for whatever reason, whether it be related to gender or simply a, go right ahead, you have every right to.

If You Don’t Love it, Don’t Wear it!
Regardless of the setting or purpose, you should never have to wear anything you hate. While there are certain rules and guidelines for certain settings, especially formal and business settings, there is still room to work within them. If you have to wear a suit for work, for instance, shop around until you find a suit you actually want to wear, and consider different options like pantsuits vs. skirt suits. If you’re going to a wedding or formal dance, keep your personal style in mind while you search for a dress or outfit, and accessorize as you wish to really personalize things. Whatever the setting, even when limited, you generally have some options; always chose the ones that make you happiest, while still fitting the occasion.

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