Clothes have been part of our basic need triangle along with food and shelter, like how we say in Hindi ‘Roti, Kapda aur Makan’. Out of these three I am going to talk about Clothes or ‘Kapda’ in this article.
Clothes are needed not only to cover our body but do lot more good than what we are normally able to comprehend. There are some people who feel as long as our body is covered, we don’t really need to give much thought to our clothes. Any amount of thought given to clothes is superfluous. However, I beg to differ. The reason is that the clothes have a far reaching consequence for us than what we might be willing to acknowledge. If I may say so, right clothes have a big role in enhancing our self-esteem and self-confidence, and hence our self-competence.
By right clothing, I do not mean expensive clothing. These are two very different things. An appropriate clothe need not be an expensive clothe or vice versa. When I say right clothing, I mean appropriate clothing that will work for you and exactly communicates what you want to communicate while making you appear nice to look at and communicating the same values that you want to communicate. If you are appropriately dressed for an occasion, you behave in a lot more secured manner. Others also perceive you to be a confident person and accordingly respond to you. Their positive response increases your self esteem and makes you feel lot more confident, which in turn has a positive effect on your performance and competence. This is true for all of us.
For example, a lawyer dressed up in a designer gown at her office might look beautiful but not appropriate for the role she is playing or the values that she would want to portray there. She might not be taken seriously at her work because she is dressed for party and not as per her professional role at her workplace.She would be better off wearing a lot more structured and modest clothes at work that suit her personality and are in tune with her individuality. Whereas if she has to go for a dressy evening party, she should dress in that gown and she would look appropriate for that occasion. So even if the person remains the same, the clothing selection has to be appropriate as per the occasion and your role there.
However, let’s assume that there is another person at the party who is not comfortable wearing gowns and would be more comfortable in a sari. So just because everybody else is wearing gown there doesn’t mean she also needs to do that and make herself feel uncomfortable. She might choose to wear a sari but the design elements on the sari could be lot more dressy as per the mood of the occasion. So the fabric of the sari could be lot more soft, pliable and luxuriant eg. chiffon, georgette, crepe, etc. to reflect the mood of the occasion. If she chooses to wear a plain cotton sari or a wedding Banarasi silk saree, it might look inappropriate.
Similarly, for example, a man might feel very comfortable in his shorts and t-shirt but that doesn’t mean he should end up going to office in those clothes if his work demands formality and credibility. Also, imagine someone wearing a round neck t-shirt with formal trousers. It will be a bad choice as the message of relaxation or informality communicated by t-shirt clashes with the message of formality and structure communicated by formal pants.
So always watch out for the balance and the message that gets communicated by your individual clothing pieces and the overall look. Observe if it is the same message that you want to communicate through your clothing. If the answer is ‘yes’, you have got it right. If the answer is ‘no’, you need to relook at your choices and pick up the right ones. There are various elements that need to be kept in mind while making your clothing decisions. But more about these later.
So, the bottom line is to not follow the trends blindly. Choose your clothes wisely that will work FOR you and not AGAINST you. Understanding your personal style will help you make the right choices. Be friends with your clothes and use them as your RESOURCE for fulfilment of your purpose and dream. And please never feel guilty while doing so because it’s your responsibility to project yourself in the right light, in the right way.