Why the clothes we choose matters when it comes to self‑love

I think personal style starts from within because it’s a philosophy and an attitude. If you’re honest and true to yourself, you will have the best sense of personal style.

Stella McCartney

Self-expression is self-love

Self-love is a hot topic right now and it can be practiced in numerous ways (click here for more inspiration on self love practices).

Personal style is one of them.

How is that? Firstly, self-expression through the clothes you wear means choosing how you want to see and define yourself.

Secondly, it takes confidence to select and express your personal choices. Wearing what’s true to you, instead of what you think you should be wearing in order to fit in, is an act of self-love.

Being playful with what you wear is a creative and fun way to cultivate self-love, self respect and inject the feel-good factor into your life.

Imagine standing out in the crowd without feeling self-conscious, feeling happy in your own skin. If that’s not a manifestation of self-love, I don’t know what is.

Your style tells the truth about how you feel

Your personal style can be a great way to express self-love but it can also be a way to self reject and self criticize.  In my darkest moments I would only dress in dark colours, big and baggy clothes trying hard to hide my body and myself from the world. I just wanted to disappear, I was riddled with insecurities and self doubt, I hated my body, but ultimately I hated myself. 

It wasn’t until I went deeper on my inner journey where I came to the realisation that the way we dress is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves, it’s more powerful than we think.

Working on your personal style isn’t superficial, it’s deep

Through experimenting with style, I discovered who I really am. I have learnt how to see myself in another light so that I could believe something different about myself and my body.  

Becoming braver in my style choices and the colours I was choosing had a positive effect and supported me in taking bolder steps in all areas of my life. I felt more confident in my own skin, ready to take on the world. 

When we don’t put enough care into how we dress, we don’t feel right either.  Taking care of your appearance and body will boost your confidence and your self esteem. It doesn’t mean having loads of clothes and being on trend. It means being you, owning who you are and having your own unique style authentic to you.

Let your authentic style come out of hiding and change how you see yourself

Working with many different clients from all walks of life,  I see how they light up when they do the inner work and begin to see themselves differently. They really get to know themselves, what feels good to them and how they want to express their confident selves.

It’s not about any particular dress, shoes or jacket. It’s as if their style had been lurking deep down, waiting to come out. Given the right opportunity, yours could too.

My question to you: Do you wear clothes that make you feel good and empower you?  Or do you just grab whatever each morning not paying attention to how you look and ultimately how you feel? 

Feeling empowered is all about confidence and what you wear is a powerful way to reflect that. From the inside out.

5 tips to help you begin your authentic style story

  1.  Visualize your dream style.  Let your imagination run wild, see yourself how you want to feel and be seen. Feel it in your body, have fun with this. 
  2. Journal what comes to you. The  images, words, sensations, write it all down. Do this several times and see what comes up.  Write without overthinking. Let it flow. 
  3. Create a mood board. Your goal is to create a visual reference to your dream style.  This can either be done digitally using something like Pinterest, or you can do it the old-school way by printing out images and cut outs from magazines and glueing them to card. Once you have done this you will see obvious patterns, shapes, colours and silhouettes that you are attracted to, setting a tone for your new style. I Have fun with it! After the visualisation and journaling exercises your style story will start to emerge.
  4. Assess your wardrobe.  After creating your mood board, go to your wardrobe and ask yourself if what you see represents your new style story. Can you find 3 pieces that are in alignment with your style mood board?
  5. Go discovery shopping. Don’t buy anything. You just want to try clothes on.  Dedicate yourself a day of pure fun, go to the shops you have never been to before and try items on you have never dreamed of wearing before. Try different fabrics and colours.  This is so much fun and it is also very revealing as you will be pleasantly surprised. 

Before you decide to actually buy anything new and after you have done your discovery shopping, I suggest you do a wardrobe detox. Releasing clothing that no longer serves you is essential when you are in the process of creating your new authentic style. Check out my article on the detox here for more details and support .

Feel beautiful and strong

Taking care of yourself is your number one priority. Wearing clothes that are true to you and right for your body and lifestyle means you are paying attention to your needs. That is in itself, empowering.

I truly believe style is a form of self-love and can seriously change lives. I have seen it happen and witnessed so many transformations. 

Enjoy the journey, and don’t hesitate to reach out for a coffee chat if you would like some guidance on how to get started with your Style Story. I am here to help you – book your call here.

Lou Stokes

Lou Stokes

Lou Stokes is a Style & Confidence coach based in Madrid. With online 1-1 coaching she helps women cultivate confidence, magnify their wellbeing and express themselves through style. Book a power call with Lou to find out more.

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