Feel-Good Clothes

I keep a piece of sunshine in my understairs cupboard.

No – not a plane ticket to the Canary Isles (if only) but my Squall Jacket in bright, bright yellow.

Every time I open the cupboard door at 7.10am on these dark winter mornings, my spirits are lifted by the colour and I am just a little bit happier.

My yellow jacket - but no me in it, obviously
My yellow jacket – but not me in it – obviously

My daughter is a Summer: a very Classic Summer. She is comforted and sustained by the fact that her coat is elegantly cut, feels nice (there’s a touch of cashmere in the wool mix) and that the smoked grape colour is flattering to her soft skin tones and silver honey hair.

My dughter's coat - elegant and classic
My daughter’s coat – elegant and classic. That same woman is wearing this coat too! Who is she and why does she want to wear our clothes?

We don’t consciously think about our coats every morning as we embark on the half mile walk to the school bus stop. but for both of us, wearing clothes that we enjoy is a good start to the day, even if it is a subconscious emotion.

The way our clothes make us feel is worth thinking about. We tend to have a favourite outfit that we will choose to wear if, for instance, giving an important presentation, or facing a challenging meeting. If we are going to a social event where we have not met our fellow attendees before we will automatically choose clothes we feel most confident in. Our mood and confidence levels are affected by the garments we wear.

So I have an exercise for you. Take just ten minutes, open your wardrobe doors and review your clothes on an emotional level.

This only takes ten minutes because emotion is pretty instantaneous.  Touch each garment and register how you feel about it. Do you love it? Does it make you happy? Are you grateful for it because it serves you well? Do you have good memories of the time you last wore it?

Or do some of your clothes make you feel unhappy, inadequate, depressed?

A word of warning – especially in January and following on from my blog last week. If you experience negative feelings about any of your clothes simply because you don’t fit into them at the moment then put the size issue to one side for a moment and imagine you could fit into them. How would you feel in that case?

If you love these clothes and they would add to your happiness if they did fit, then just remove them temporarily from your wardrobe until they do. Inspiring you to lose unwanted weight is one thing, engendering guilty feelings because you still have that unwanted weight is quite another. There are enough messages out there trying to make us feel guilty about this that and the other without keeping them in our closets!

Hopefully, the vast majority of your clothes give you  warm fuzzy feelings of satisfaction and pride that you have chosen them so well. Any clothes not contributing to your emotional well-being have, I suggest, no place in your wardrobe but a recommended home in the bin or the charity bag.

Part two of this exercise is to spot recurring patterns in the clothes that do make you happy. Perhaps they are at the brightest end of your colour spectrum?Are they are the ones you splashed out on a bit more and their quality reflects that? Maybe they have pattern or texture or a bit of glitz and glamour?

Taking the time to analyse your “happy” clothes will inform and power your choices next time you’re clothes shopping. Gradually your wardrobe will not only suit you and reflect who you are, but will become a subtle yet powerful support to your mental and emotional well-being.

And we all want that, don’t we?

Please let me know how you get on with this express wardrobe review. I’d love to know what you found out and the conclusions you draw from it.

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