We present ourselves to the world in many different guises without even thinking about it. Most want others to see them in a way where they will be accepted if not admired often by creating an image they believe will impress others. Then there are those who expect to be judged and rejected and they will want to show and express themselves in a way that challenges
the perceptions, values and standards of society. One way or another
our appearance is a reflection of our perception of ourselves. Fashionable clothes are a wonderful way to show off the best of our looks, enhance our appearance and give expression to how we feel. It is a form of creative expression for the designer and for the wearer alike. The colors and styles may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the diversity only shows the unique nature of each individual. Fashion trends supposedly reflect the taste of
the population but more than often their promotion shapes the desire of their followers. The personal nature of the designer gives character to their creations and attracts a following of people of similar mind attracted to that style. For example: A designer whose greatest personal need is to be noticed is more likely to create clothes that grab attention through their shock
value than a designer who is by nature conservative. You could say that the style of their designs reflects the style of their minds. Those who wear their clothes will be the similar in that it is unlikely that a conservative person will wear outrageous, attention seeking designs.
The human mind will use any opportunity it can to take advantage of a physical opportunity. We use fashion as a form of personal expression in three distinct ways: We can show our insecurity and lack of self esteem
by dressing in fashion that makes us look as grey as we feel and believe
we are. Our clothes tell the world that we should be ignored, that we have nothing to offer and we do not matter. Our belief in an inferior, worthless
and unwanted self is so strong we cannot see ourselves in a different way. We show through our clothes that we lack the inspiration to rise above our perceived limitations. Essentially we are stuck in the fear-based idea of who we are and are unlikely to want to listen to alternatives or solutions because of the inner-emotional confrontation that would cause. When we are insecure and lack confidence in our presence with others, we can also use fashion to prop up our personality by wearing clothes that exude confidence in areas were we feel lack. We may, for example, show more skin than we normally would to prove we are sexually confident or wear an unusual and confronting design to attract attention or something that is both. In this case fashion
has become a strategic tool of our mind, a means to overcome fears we
hold about ourselves. We have a need to prove to others that we are not the fearful and insecure people we believe we are. We think that if can convince them that we are confident and in control then maybe we are not as bad
as we feel we are. Our clothes serve the purpose of hiding our insecurities and are instruments to elicit responses from others we believe we otherwise would not get. If we get them to admire us, want us or be impressed by us we believe we have proof of how special we are. We use an illusion to create an illusion for ourselves. The third group is not as common. They can choose to follow fashion when it suits them but more than often do not. They are usually not entranced by one designer, but choose their particular style from
a variety of them. The actual design, its quality and style are more important than the name on the label. They develop an individual style of clothes that suits their moods and personality and fit into a variety of occasions. They are always sensitive to the occasion and choose what to wear accordingly. They dress for themselves and do generally not care of what others think of what they wear. Physically, emotionally and sexually confident of their presence they do not need to use their clothes to convince or impress others. Clothes are there for utilitarian purposes, to enhance their appearance, to give expression for how they feel or just to have fun with.
When you are dressing to impress or to attract, you are actually dressing with fear. You expect your clothes to make a difference for you that you believe you cannot create without them. You expect your appearance to influence the perception that others have of you hence the fear should
you choose the ‘wrong clothes’ and fail. Surprisingly you are likely to be successful with all of the people that are similar to you and those in our first category. But not with all of group 3, they are likely to see your insecurities in spite of your clothes and posturing. In the end you can only hide your negative self from those who share your issues no matter how you try and certainly not from yourself.
So next time you buy some new clothes and dress up for an event, ask yourself: “Am I dressing for my self or for others and do a have alternative motives”. The answers could reveal something that may well be worth exploring and dealing with.
For more information on this subject, read: The Truth of Love and Fear.