I dress the way I do because it makes me happy. Some days are “dressier” than others.
On Facebook and Instagram, most of the positive feedback comes from the “dressier” outfit posts, the outfits that people say they “like but would never wear.” My question is: Why not? People like to see others dressed up, but don’t want to do the same themselves? What’s that all about? Is it:
Fear of Standing Out or “Who Does She Think She Is?”
Unless you are naked, or wearing a meat dress, (Thank you, Lady Gaga.), most people do not notice what you are wearing unless it is dramatically inappropriate for the circumstances: think tuxedo on the soccer pitch, gym gear at a wedding, or cleavage in the office. The average person is far more concerned about what is going on in their own heads, hearts, and phones, than they are about what others are wearing. Some women (and men) feel that if they stand out, others will comment, and those comments make them uncomfortable. Outfit comments are often variations on the What-Are-You-Dressed-Up-For? theme. My favorite response is to smile mysteriously and leave them guessing, or simply reply “This just felt right today, thanks!” It’s really not their business, is it? If you ignore them, others will stop asking.
I Don’t Feel Good about Myself
A more common outfit comment is the compliment. Maybe it’s as simple as “Love your shoes!” Or “You look great today!” These are easy to handle. There is one correct way to answer: “Thank you!” You don’t need to apologize, or “What! This old thing…” A simple thank you is the perfect answer. If receiving a genuine compliment makes you uncomfortable, practice just saying “Thank you!” It can be a challenge, but refusing a compliment is insulting to the giver. Sarcastic or backhanded compliments are not your problem, they are the givers’, and nothing you do will fix that. They will simply find another way to pick on you, so don’t apologize for looking good. A simple thank you to these will usually defuse and confuse the insincere compliment-giver.
If you are waiting to feel better about yourself before you dress better, take note! It works both ways. More than one study shows that paying attention to your appearance, and putting a little effort into dressing makes you feel better about yourself. Not only do we dress better when we feel better, we can make ourselves feel better by dressing better. Simply trying new things challenges us and also improves our mood and attitude. I’m not suggesting a ballgown on Monday morning for work, but something as simple as wearing two necklaces instead of your usual one can be a positive stimulation. Keep changing things up, and trying new combinations. It’s good for you!
I Don’t Feel Beautiful
What is your definition of beautiful? Most women I work with and talk to don’t define beauty by what someone looks like on the outside. Usually their answers regarding beauty reflect a person’s character, personality, and being true to oneself. Why then do we judge our own beauty by the exterior standards that the media bombards us with daily, rather than by the same definition we apply to others? This is craziness! I hear women obsess about their perceived flaws every day, whilst overlooking their own outer and inner beauty. Let it shine out! You are beautiful!
Thank you for allowing me to sort that out. You are beautiful, you should feel good (at a minimum!) about yourself, and to blue blazes with standing out being wrong! You were created in the image and likeness of God. Rock that!
(Climbing down off soapbox now.)