“Are my clothes keeping me Fat?” she asked me.
I had only just met her, so I wasn’t sure how to answer the question. I actually knew the answer already, BUT didn’t know how she wanted me to communicate it to her. Direct, beat around the bush, sugar coat it?
So, I decided on all three communication approaches and answered with, “Possibly.”
What was supposed to be a meeting with an extraordinary female executive from a marketing agency we were considering hiring for our new clothing line turned into a heart to heart conversation between two women about the power of our clothes.
Here’s a peek into that conversation + my answer to, “Are my clothes keeping me fat?”
WHAT YOU WEAR CHANGES HOW YOU THINK…AND WHAT YOU DO
I first asked a few questions…
Do your clothes make you feel powerful?
Do your clothes make you feel beautiful? Even if you are trying to feel relaxed?
Do your clothes give you energy? Are you excited to wake up and put them on?
Do your clothes make you FEEL GOOD?
A thoughtful pause, followed by the answer NO.
“So how DO your clothes make you feel?” I finally asked.
“Well, I have to wear them so it is what it is. I may not LOVE them, but they serve their purpose. I don’t think that you need to buy a bunch of expensive clothes just to feel good. My body has changed over the years, so while they may not fit me perfectly, they are FINE.”
My heart dropped as she was speaking. For a few reasons…
The first reason being that I know this EXACT feeling. I’ve been there in certain points of my life – after gaining weight, after having the baby, after being burnt out of my corporate job.
The second reason is because now that I know the power of clothing, it’s sad and frustrating when I hear how women are not using it to their greatest benefit.
Just to be clear… This is not a conversation about going out and buying a bunch of new clothes. It’s not a conversation about having to have only expensive clothes OR fancy clothes. It’s a conversation about only wearing clothes that make you FEEL GOOD.
For me, that could be a stunning Maggie Semple dress. It could also be a coordinated workout outfit or even better, one of my favorite mantra tees if I am trying to relax. It’s not MORE or EXPENSIVE – it’s how you FEEL in the clothing and there’s a science behind it.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND CLOTHING – ENCLOTHED COGNITION
I’m about to get a little bit nerdy, but stay with me – I promise you’re worth it. Science says that the clothes we wear affect our behavior, attitude, personality, confidence, the way we interact with others and the way others interact with us. This has a scientific term and it’s called Enclothed Cognition. In short, Enclothed Cognition is the systematic influence that clothing has on our psychological process – and it’s HUGE!
Think of a time when you feel most confident? What are you wearing? Is it a power suit? A beautiful dress? A great pair of jeans and heels? Maybe it’s your workout clothes… I’m pretty sure, it’s not when you’re wearing an old shirt that you never really liked, that you bought because it was on sale, and that you are constantly pulling down to cover your muffin top (and I know this because I’ve been there!)
Clothing has the ability to make us feel empowered, beautiful, confident, relaxed, and even focused. In short, our clothing can make us FEEL GOOD and give us ENERGY. When you are in one of these powerful states, your behavior changes. You literally DO things differently. You make better choices.
- You are excited to go to the gym
- You choose to eat healthier
- You’re energized
- You see a greater value in yourself
- You act based on your priorities
- You align more with your purpose
And of course, the opposite is true. When you are in a disempowered state, you don’t make decisions that benefit you. When we feel disempowered, we are not running at our optimum level – physically, emotionally or spiritually.
The body that you currently have is the sum of your decisions and your life experiences. It’s composed of millions of decisions. What if you could optimize every single one of those decisions just by changing what you were wearing. Would your body look different? Would your body feel different? Would you value your body differently than you do right now?
For most of us, we’re in our clothes for close to 24 hours a day. We literally choose to envelop our bodies with fabric that has an impact on whether we FEEL GOOD or feel disempowered.
Clothing has the ability to make us feel empowered, beautiful, confident. If your clothes are doing anything less that that, they don’t have a place in your life.
So when she asked me – “Are my clothes keeping me fat?” You know what I said…
What’s your answer?
I completely agree with this concept. I work from home a lot and realized early on that I still need to get up and dress as though I’m going into an office. I’m more productive, I’m more confident, it gives me power when I need it. When I go out I need to equally empowered and my clothing choice helps with that as well.
It’s amazing how much “what we wear” affects how we feel. As someone who also works from home, I know the feeling! Institute a dress code for your home office 🙂