You know that sage piece of career advice which says you should dress for the job you want, rather than the one you have?
Lately I’ve been trying my best to apply that philosophy to all parts of my wardrobe. Because why should work be the only time we dress the part? I’m a firm believer in the idea that when you look your best, you FEEL your best, and I’d like to apply that to ALL aspects of my life, rather than only to the things I need to “dress up” for. How? By dressing for the person I WANT to be, rather than the one I am now.
That doesn’t mean I’m particularly unhappy with who I am now, I hasten to add, but I think we probably all have a slightly better version of ourselves tucked away in our heads somewhere, don’t we? (Er, don’t we?) She’s the one who wears the clothes we only WISH we could wear: who always has a clever retort to every unkind remark she’s faced with, and who’s just that little bit more organised than we ever are. She’s us, basically – but better: and she’s the person we should be dressing for.
It’s important to note here that dressing for this imaginary self isn’t the same as dressing for an imaginary LIFE – I’ve already told you what I think of THAT. No, this other self of ours isn’t made of magic: she doesn’t take holidays we can’t afford, go to places we’d never visit, or life a lifestyle that’s too much different from ours: so that means you can’t dress her in eveningwear all the time if she (you) works on a farm, say, and you can’t buy her clothes that just aren’t suitable for her (your) lifestyle: sorry about that.
What you CAN do, however, is always keep this slightly-better version of yourself in the back of your mind when you’re going shopping, or get dressed every day. Would she wear this? Does that seem like something she’d try? Your slightly-better-self, for instance, probably wouldn’t wear something that’s falling apart, or throw on that top that doesn’t suit her, just because it’s the first thing that came to hand (If she would, of course, then your work is done: you don’t need this article…): so why should you?
Since I started applying this philosophy to my wardrobe, I’ve FINALLY upgraded my lounge/sleepwear collection (Goodbye ratty old dressing gown!) and invested in some new workout gear to replace the stretched-out leggings and over-washed sweatshirts that I always hoped no one would see me in, but kept on wearing anyway, because…. I have no idea why, actually. I’m not going to claim it’s changed my life – they’re just clothes, after all – but it does make me feel better about myself, and more excited to get dressed every morning, and there’s a lot to be said for that, don’t you think?