Are We Addressed The Way We Are Dressed?

My apologies for the long absence, the human in me needed it!

Dressing and self perception | with regards to my personal experience

Our clothing choices reflect how we feel about ourselves internally. What we wear reflects who we are and how we wish to present ourselves to the outside world. Clothes and self perception are known to be closely related.

2022 was a year filled with experiences, one of the experiences which stood out for me was pertaining appearance and the immediate conclusive perspective of the people around me. Back in the day, I tilted towards perfection. I always wanted to be perfect, and in my bid to do that, I was slow to realise that nothing was as it seemed. I tried to get some consolation from the beauty standards social media offered, especially when it pertained to accentuated shapes and nearly flawless skin.

Even though I had the most sensitive skin type in my friend group and had struggled with various forms of acne, nothing shouted "imperfection" to me like my own body. So I conscientiously covered it up.

Yet, at different stages of my life, I had to work on my confidence level, mainly because those insecurities were projected back to me by people on a daily basis. Trust me; when I say I had received advice and, may I add, unsolicited therapy sessions from almost everyone that thought I wasn't meeting up their grotesque beauty standards.

Well, what did I know? I actually needed solutions, so I followed some of those advice and my dears, DISASTER was almost my middle name for a while.

I soon discovered that I would dress to please others and my confidence would depend on the compliments I received.

I sincerely know this didn't happen to just me, so feel free to share your experiences in the comment section.

One thing significantly true for most of us is that when we walk into a room, we instantly assess the environment. It could be for many possible reasons but most of the time, we are attempting to determine right away which individuals we want to interact with, which ones we would look down on in an oftentimes demeaning way or better still, which ones we would rather just ignore completely. Most times, those decisions are aided by the way we are dressed!

As a result, we choose our clothing based on that influence just to blend in, stick out or leave a lasting impression. One of the other reason I think we have an excessive need to appease those around us—regardless of whether doing so makes us unhappy—is the labels we have given ourselves and attached significant meaning to.

It's easy to become distracted by the ceaseless flow of fashion and trends. It's easier to get swept up in the idea that we need to be someone else in order to fit in. Nevertheless, reality always kick in with the understanding of our unique nature. The only way to recognise ourselves is to be genuine – regardless of what others may tell us. A realisation I came to after several series of self evaluations.

Dressing and public perception: stereotypes and how it affects the dress sense of a society.

Common speculation has it that you can't judge a book by its cover. But what about people? Can you judge them by their outfits?

Apparently, you can. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, people tend to form judgments about others based on their clothing. These conclusions are so potent, they can have an impact on how we interact with other people.

In the study, researchers had participants judge the personalities of people based on their clothing. The participants were then asked to interact with those people. The results showed that the participants were more likely to interact positively with people who were dressed in what they deemed  as "positive" clothing.

This leaves me wondering: does our clothing really affect us? Well, hang in there, we will get to the roots of this eventually. 

Sartorial Discrimination

This is the act of evaluating someone based on their choice of clothing or manner of dressing. It may be observed in a variety of settings, including social and professional ones. It can cause people to feel excluded or scrutinised for their looks, which can harm their confidence and self-esteem.

As much as I want to believe that our clothing and appearance play a notable role in influencing our mood, the people around us play almost the same role as well.

To develop a more accepting culture where everyone feels welcomed regardless of how they want to dress, it is crucial to address this sort of prejudice, which is frequently ignored. Another way is to find like-minded people who appreciate your style. When you surround yourself with people who understand and accept you, it becomes easier to be yourself. 

Many people choose to follow the crowd when it comes to fashion because they don't want to stand out. What if you're the type of person who likes to dress differently? Are you doomed to a life of being stared at and ridiculed?

Not necessarily. While it's true that nonconformists often face challenges when it comes to fashion, there are ways to overcome them. One way is to embrace your uniqueness and use it to your advantage.

How to overcome the discrimination that comes with dressing

When you dress for success, you give off an air of confidence and competence. Unfortunately, the stigma that comes with dressing is paralysing and makes you feel uncomfortable.

Here are three easy ways to overcome this:

Be conscious of the stereotypes and biases that sometimes come with people's evaluation of the way we are dressed. I personally believe that when we understand a problem, the solution is just a step forward.

Disregard the views of other people and dress as you want to, in the sense that upholds decency and one worthy of emulation.
This short exercise would absolutely help: It requires a sizeable mirror and you. To do this, examine your clothing closely and be critical of it. Ask yourself questions like - "Will I Want to Associate With Someone Who Looks Like This?" or "Would my Essential Principles be Reflected by the Person in the Mirror?" these questions will help you figure out what you are missing out on when you dress.

Don't allow the critics get you down and be proud of how you look.

People may think you're conceited or out of touch with reality, but don't let this discourage you from dressing your best!

P.S: Next time someone gives you a funny look for dressing the way you do, STAND TALL AND DO YOU! You will definitely see how contagious your CONFIDENCE is.

Well, this is me formally wishing you a happy and prosperous new year. I'll leave you with this quote for the year.

"Being well dressed hasn't much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense." —Oscar de la Renta

 Fun Fact:

╥  A "moment" technically means 90 seconds.

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  1. I love the vulnerability of this content. It shows that her all go through things like this, and we are not alone. Thanks @glorychy