Why Fashion is Important to Me
November 3, 2018
I hate the phrase “dress to impress.” From the day I began presenting school projects, to my first job interview, to my first date, I was recited this phrase. Dressing to impress implies that I dress well for other people’s approval, and I do not. Yes, I appreciate and love compliments on my clothes. Sometimes this external validation is a necessary and welcomed boost to my confidence. However, I do not choose my clothes under the premise or motivation of trying to please others. I dedicate time and put thought into my outfits because I want to dress well for myself.
For me, what I wear largely determines on how confident I feel on that particular day. I hold my head higher and feel as though I can conquer my day when I am wearing clothes I like. On days I fail to find this perfect outfit, I feel more self-conscious. I am more aware of my presence during uncomfortable situations. It might seem trivial to hinge all my self-esteem on my clothes, but everyone’s confidence is rooted in some part of themselves. For some, confidence derives from straight A’s or goals scored in a soccer match. For me, how I feel about myself on a day to day basis comes from my clothes.
I do not think this strong emphasis or importance I place on my outfits denotes that I am a shallow or vain person. Especially during stressful periods, every person should have a coping mechanism that boosts their self-esteem, and for me, this involves fashion. Dressing well gives me the confidence to stand with my 5’1 stature in front of a room filled with men and give a science presentation. My clothes allow me to have the self-assurance necessary during a job interview that my usually soft spoken voice does not denote. I use my outfits to overcome my introvertedness and the nerves of being vulnerable and honest on a first date. More generally, on a daily basis, clothes allow me to lessen the effect of characteristics I am more self-conscious about, including my height and legs.
Due to this increased confidence clothes give me, I do not see myself as a materialistic person for placing an importance on fashion. I still seek the vast majority of my happiness and satisfaction from my friends, family, and professional aspirations. I also am aware of how many clothes I own and make an active effort to not buy clothes I will not wear or that are similar to those I already own. The simple fact that I use clothes to boost my self-esteem does not make me materialistic. I choose to view my emphasis on fashion as a daily practice to increase my confidence. Fashion is my daily self-assurance. Thus, I do not “dress to impress,” rather I dress for myself.