My calendar has very helpfully informed me that it’s world kindness day. So I wanted to take the opportunity to consider the question: “what if fashion were kind? (Or at least less full of fear.)”
Fashion, whether we’re talking about personal style, or a single brand, or the fashion industry as a whole, is many things, but I doubt many would characterize it as “kind”. Too often decisions in fashion (and beauty) are made out of fear – from amplifying insecurities for profit, to manufacturing scarcity plus excess, to innovations stunted by fear. It’s easy to find fear in fashion.
And it’s only a hop from making fear based decisions to making unkind ones.
We won’t solve a centuries old industry-wide problem in the space of this post.
But we can probably make it easier for you to make kind decisions in your own wardrobe. Let’s focus on you.
Making unkind fashion decisions
When was the last time you made a fearful wardrobe decision? Maybe it was…
- Wearing a blazer to work every day because it’s “professional”
- Dressing down every day because “everyone wears jeans and a t-shirt”
- Buying something you didn’t want because it was on sale
- Holding off on buying new clothes so you’ll “be motivated” to lose the weight
- Waiting for a sale even when you can and would be willing to pay full price but are worried about getting ripped off
Making kind fashion decisions
What could a kind clothing decision look like? It could be…
- Wearing clothes that fit and feel like you – regardless of the numbers
- Decluttering clothes that don’t fit (without second guessing yourself)
- Wearing colors that light you up, even when everyone else is in shades of blue and grey
- Getting help with your closet when you want it
- Setting up a proper clothing budget and sinking fund so you can easily buy the fair trade, sustainable clothes that fit your style AND your values.
How to filter fashion fear out of your closet
Just because the status quo of fashion is fear – and more specifically – FOMO, doesn’t mean it has to fill your closet.
I’ll leave you with a couple steps to start filtering fear out of your closet. Next time you’re making a clothing related decision:
- Check in with your body.
Notice how your breath and stomach are feeling. Is your breath shallow? Stomach queasy? Neck tight? Then you’re probably about to make a fear-based or fear-adjacent decision.
- Follow the fear to the end.
Talk or write out everything you know or suspect about the wardrobe fears you’re feeling. You don’t need to dismiss or belittle your fear. Just find out more. Fashion fears aren’t frivolous fears – they are as real as any other fear.
- Consider what the opposite decision would be.
Because we’re making a clothing related decision, the decision is usually hanging in front of you. What would the opposite decision be? Not to do the opposite (it’s probably not your personal style anyway). Rather to get some perspective.
- Consider a third possible decision.
Again not to choose it (although this time – maybe). But to get an even wider perspective. Your original decision gave us a starting point. The second opposite decision gave us a second point to connect with the first point to form a line. This third option gives us a third point so we can form a triangle and get out of fear-based either/or thinking.
- Come back to your body.
How is your breath? How about your stomach and neck? What would a kind decision feel like? What would it look like?
Now choose your decision. Even if it’s only a slight variation on your original decision – you’ve successfully started filtering fear out of your wardrobe.
It won’t all be done by Tuesday, but you’ve made a hell of a start.
And if you want help, see if coaching is the right option for you here.