Dressing Proudly

iris apfel quote

Some circles are vicious, but some are tender. Ever think about that? Ever realize that you can get caught in a feedback loop of positivity and remain wrapped in its tendrils indefinitely? Let me tell you about one of my favorites, one that I’ve had years of personal experience with, and one that I love.

When I dress well – in a way that expresses my creativity, in clothes that make me feel strong and beautiful – I feel proud. Holistically proud of myself from the inside on outward.

Dressing in a way that makes me feel pride naturally boosts my body image. Feeling proud of how I look seeps into my consciousness, and makes me feel more serene in my physical form, more accepting and loving toward my body.

When my body image is thriving, my overall self-confidence soars. When I feel great about my body, all of the nattering worries about weight and shape and measuring up slowly begin to fall away and I can focus on being creative, innovative, helpful, supportive, enthusiastic, efficient, and wise. It never ceases to amaze me how feeling secure in my body can lead to feeling confident in my intellect and accomplishments.

Feeling confident in myself then boosts my pride yet again. I am able to look at what I’ve done and feel satisfied and fulfilled, energized, and excited to share my experiences with others.

Feeling pride in myself prompts a desire to express that pride. And for me, the quickest way to show the observing world how much I value myself is to dress in a way that expresses my creativity, in clothes that make me feel strong and beautiful. And we’re back where we started.

It’s not foolproof. It won’t work for everyone, and it doesn’t work for me every day. Sometimes our bodies, minds, and lives create other priorities for dressing that supersede dressing proudly. But the more days I dress to express personal pride, the more pride I feel. And there’s nothing vicious about that circle.

P.S. Since my argument hinges on a common phrase, some background.

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  • Yes, it seems to work that way, doesn’t it? Your post is Recommended Reading for all my friends today. The loop works in both directions, so it’s important to tell ourselves positive, powerful thoughts!

  • So beautifully worded, and your argument is bang on. I think it’s a very important point in a persons journey to being comfortable with their body when they realize that just as they have to treat others as they wish to be treated, they have to treat themselves as they wish to be treated. Does that make sense? I guess it’s like we have to stop making exceptions for ourselves, and treat our bodies to the love they deserve, because that only makes them more deserving.

  • Cel

    It’s so true. It was a pretty interesting discovery for me when I finally reached a point where I was happy with how I dressed myself and how I looked.

  • I love this Sal. What a great post!

  • Mel

    So true.

    I’m struggling with a few unpleasant things in my life right now….and I’ve noticed that if I dress better I feel better overall. My co-workers mock me for dressing better than them but I tell them that it makes me feel better so back off. Way less expensive than therapy!

    • Eleanorjane

      They’re just trying to pull you down to their level – social groups tend to try and enforce conformity. Good on you for pushing back and doing what makes you feel better! 🙂

  • diane

    Thanks for this.

    I’m in the middle of a self mini makeover. It’s so true that looking nice makes us feel nice. And every bit worth the extra minute to put on some pretty heels or whatever it takes.

  • That is such an amazing circle to be in! I hadn’t thought about how my style affects all of those things, but everything you’ve said is so true!

  • Eleanorjane

    Hmm… maybe you’ve inspired me to go and get a manicure today… it is a beautiful day (so far) though, so maybe a walk on the beach instead…

    I do see your point (and it’s a very good one) but I also like ocassionally getting out of the big city to a little country town and feeling the pressure to look good and compete and have those high status items come falling off my shoulders. Somewhere where I can tromp through the mud and sand and get wind blown (but still try not to get sunburnt). Maybe I need a holiday (vacation to you) as well as a manicure!