Honor Your Needs

April 16, 2010

Have you ever had a friend or sales person marvel at how amazing you look in, say, a scarf tied beautifully around your neck but all you can think of is how much longer do I need to wear this thing!? Or, perhaps you have seen women wearing 4” heels and love how they look so you buy yourself a pair. The first time you wear them, your feet are in agony for days afterwards. Still hopeful, you keep them in your closet and glance at them from time to time with a mix of longing and bitterness but never again do they adorn your feet.

As I mentioned in my letter this month, I am always cold so feeling warm is imperative when I dress every day. I rarely wear a short skirt in the winter for that reason (too many unworn skirts in the past!), and I never buy 3/4 length sleeve tops for the winter unless I know I have a sweater or jacket I can wear over it. (Yes, that extra 6 inches of exposed skin makes a big difference. I keep waiting for the trend of wearing gloves indoors to make a serious comeback but I suspect I have a long wait!)

As you know, I am a big believer in exploring new possibilities. Its how we find out what we really like and don’t like, and it is a way to keep us from getting bored or to understand how to dress our bodies as they change with the years. That said, however, there are often certain things that are just off limits things we know about ourselves that others might not that impact the choices we make and what we will and will not wear.

Take a peek at the things in your closet that you don’t wear (some might even still have tags?). Is it just that they don’t have the other pieces to complete the outfit or perhaps it doesn’t fit right now (those are all issues for another time!), or is there something more? Perhaps it is in a fabric that itches and you are extremely sensitive to the feel of the fabric against your skin (not everyone is). Maybe it exposes a scar on your arm that you are sensitive about.

The next time you put something on and find yourself anxious to take it off again, explore more fully why that might be. It’s possible you will learn something very valuable about yourself. Something that will help you shop in the future and keep you from buying things you won’t ever wear.

There are many, many reasons we impose limitations on ourselves about what we think we can and cannot wear. Many can be overcome or tweaked so that they are no longer limiting. I have found, however, that most true fashion needs are not simply a matter of personal preference but have more to do with physical comfort. Do you have any needs that you have been ignoring?

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