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Ruby's Pearls of Wisdom

Clothes & Confidence


Why do I rely on an outfit to make me feel good?

Not completely, that would be extreme, but putting together a fab ensemble certainly appears to help me have a more positive day.

I have days where I run out the door in a hurry and instantly know I’ve made a bad outfit choice… but it’s too late to get changed. On these days I cringe when I get a glimpse of myself in shop windows and I tug and pull and fidget with my clothes all day long. I get home, break free from clothing prison and mentally note to never where that particular combination again.

But on the days when I’ve made a good outfit choice, I instantly just know I have, and I walk with a spring in my step. A good outfit can make me feel much more confident, put-together and motivated. Some outfits can even made me feel like a supercool movie heroin, or a French model from the 60s. When I don my baker boy hat, I instantly feel chic (and like Bob Dylan circa 1964 according to my mother), and like I’m projecting to the world that I’m hip and edgy and confident. And believing that can then, in turn, make me more confident.

Actually, when I think about it, the outfits that I end up not liking are the ones that I feel less like myself in. Something will be off with them… the trousers will be an inch too long to turn up and so I won’t be showing a little bit of ankle like I usually do, or my coat will be slightly too formal compared to my usual style.

So maybe the confidence from the outfits that I do like comes from emphasising and projecting to the world my true self. What a nice thought… that I love being myself and feel most confident when I really feel myself.

Some nights I lie awake worrying that I can’t think of a good outfit to wear the next day, even if I don’t plan on leaving the house. Because apparently, I always have to feel one hundred percent myself, even if I’m just wearing loungewear… since when was I so high maintenance?!

I have to admit, sometimes I think that it would be easier if I didn’t rely on my clothes so much, and that it would be great if I could just carry this confidence with me at all times, regardless of the material items I’m bundling myself in… And I do think, as I get older, that that confidence will come. Each year I definitely feel more unapologetically ME, and it’s definitely one of the best things about getting older. But I don’t think the fun in putting together an outfit to suit a particular day or mood will evaporate, at least I hope it doesn’t – fashion and styling is a hobby for me as well as a confidence booster.

So, if I had to give some advice to my younger self, I would say get up 10 minutes earlier everyday so you never have to have those running-out-the-door-in-a-bad-outfit-and-knowing-it’s-so-bad-and-that-I’m-going-to-feel-so-self-conscious-all-day-moments. Plus, don’t stress, confidence and finding who you are will come, it just comes with time and experience… and you can’t rush that.

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