How to keep your individuality without changing clothes
By Sonia Cardinal
It’s no secret that assembling an outfit is like putting together a social uniform and that what we wear has effects on others. Finding that balance of personal style is a quest of trying to have enough stimulus for others to notice the reference, but at the same time, being different “enough” for this authenticity to be noticed.
This contradiction of wanting to fit in opposed to our need to establish individuality is powerful and interesting. Society constantly presents us images of what we should be and what we should buy, while at the same time we only seek to express a unique and personal persona.
When transposed into a personal uniform, these aspects of individuality combined together and repeated often (we’re talking at least 3-4 times a week) are the key to feeling better in your mind and finding balance in your closet.
As you repeat the same outfit over again, this idea of you becomes clear and reassuring in others’ minds because you are promoting consistent self-image. This leads to better communication and interaction between you because of the clear picture you are presenting. Confidence comes out of that and so do the positive feelings of being yourself. Your commitment to ownership of specific clothing will help reduce material waste and will make you save energy and time, every single day.
According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, when we wear a personal uniform or specific clothes, we tend to assume the attitude behind it. Scientists report this phenomenon as enclothed cognition: the effects of clothing on cognitive processes1. That being said, if you wear a piece of clothing that you value or attribute a positive feeling to, you are more likely to embody its symbolic meaning and act with more awareness because of the positive feeling you gain from wearing it. The study explains how we tend to think with our bodies, not just with our brains. Our thinking processes are based on physical experience which develops abstracts concepts, related to those experiences. Apparently, these experiences do include what we wear.
The whole point of having a personal uniform is not to stop buying brands that make your heart swings, but more so to raise awareness of our underlying motivations that guide our choices. The focus should stay on the brands or designers that best represent who we are and how we feel when we wear them, in order to gain the positive sides of it. So you can tell the skeptics that your closet isn’t minimalist, it just contains the cardinal gateway to reach the best version of yourself.
Find more on her website here: oneselfclothes.com
Her instagram @oneself.clothes
1Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/clothes-and-self-perception.html