What You Wear and Who You Are

The day I first noticed my expanding pregnant belly, I knew my life with my clothes would change.  All of the sudden I was given a new figure, a new shape, and with it a whole new set of rules on what I was going to wear.  In this time of transition I was able to reflect on what I thought about what I should wear, and what opinions existed outside of myself that I both agreed and disagreed with.  This honest discussion allowed me to critically view my own rules of outfitting that I had created by insecurity, societal messages, and the advice of well-meaning friends and family.  I had made decisions in my mind of what I bought, wore, and thought based on all these subconscious experiences.

Whether or not we acknowledge it, we make mental notes, or rules for ourselves on what we can or can't wear and why.  These rules affect how we shop, what we choose to wear, and how we perceive clothing in general.

I could never wear skinny jeans
No white after Labor Day
Stay away from horizontal stripes, or any stripes for that matter!
Tops with a pattern are too busy for my frame
Stick with black, it is the most flattering
Flats are the best shoes, most practical/comfortable for a mom with kids
Workout clothes are appropriate all day long

It may appear obvious and somewhat laughable what rules are "right" and which are "wrong", but in truth it does vary for everyone, and we have all "broken" one at some point.
Some rules can be helpful, allowing a framework of what works well for our body types, or what standard we set for quality, fit, etc. But the issue comes when we are limiting ourselves, or perhaps feeding into our own negative self-image.

First truth of self-image: You are always harder on yourself than others are on you.  What may seem glaring and embarrassing to you may be trivial or hardly noticeable to others.  Allow yourself freedom to explore new things, open your mind to creativity, and give yourself permission to make mistakes, learn, and try again.

Once we reflect on these issues, two big questions remain:
  1. Which of your rules are untrue or not helpful?
  2. What new rules do you want to follow?
It begins today.  Think for yourself of who you want to be, how you would like to be perceived, and what it all means to you, and don't be afraid to change the rules.

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