Fashion as armour - Look and feel confident on a bad day

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

We all have good and bad days and while the good days are wonderful, the bad days show us our true mettle. But no matter what my day looks like, I believe in looking good to feel good about myself. 

I know this is not an easy task. Paying attention to your clothes, hair, skin and jewellery doesn't seem important when you are down in the dumps. It is difficult to pull oneself out of whatever is going on inside our head or outside in our life, and bring focus to how we look.

At such times I like to think of looking good as a means to cheer myself up. I had never thought of dressing well on a bad day beyond a means of lifting my spirits before. However, recently, I have begun to think of fashion as an armour. 

The words somehow just popped into my head and the researcher in me had to analyse this. So I typed them on my search bar and came across this quote that seemed to express exactly what I was feeling.

“The world perceives fashion sometimes as a frivolity that should be done away with in the face of social upheavals and problems that are enormous. The point is in fact, that fashion, you know, it’s the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.”

— Bill Cunningham

Fashion as armour

When you think of fashion as armour, looking your best becomes a logical next step to empower yourself and face the world. Turn fashion into your armour and make up your war paint. Let the world see a confident woman (or man!) who knows what they want and has the capability to make it happen.

Maybe the effect of fashion falls within the "fake it till you make it", I don't know. What I do know is that on some days when you look at yourself in the mirror and see a well-dressed person staring back at you, it is a confidence booster.

This is my armour on a bad day or even a rough phase that can obviously last longer than a few days.

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Flowy Dresses

I love wearing flowy dresses. They are a complete outfit on their own and require no effort in terms of pairing a skirt with an appropriate blouse, which means less of my mind space is occupied by how to find the perfect combination. 

Dresses are also feminine and playful. Put me in a fit and flare and I am immediately tempted to twirl like a little girl. And let's face it, you can't be unhappy while you are twirling, even if it's for a few seconds.

Fashion as armour

Statement Tops

A few compliments from family, friends or co-workers are sure to make you feel at least a little better during a rough patch. So wearing a top that brings those compliments flowing is a no-brainer. And statement tops with unique details increase the odds of that. 

I would not recommend wearing something with the sole purpose of receiving compliments though (because let's face it, some days nothing goes your way and the added pressure of expecting compliments may not help). Wear what makes you feel happy and since I love statement tops, they are my preferred choice.

Fashion as armour

Ballet Pumps

On most days, I wear stilettos or kitten heels at work and sandals for the commute. But on days when I need an extra feel-good factor, I switch from the sandals to ballet pumps. They are innocent, playful and pretty and make my feet look dressed up without the added maturity of heels.

In my mind, heels are somehow associated with being a grown up and ballet pumps take me back to my childhood when I wore flat shoes everywhere. So a pretty pair of ballerinas is a wink and nod to simpler times when problems were fewer and life was fun.

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If ever there was a single piece of fashion element that described armour, to me, it would be stilettos. The high pointy heels that raise you a few inches higher above the ground literally feels like an armour.

Stilettos represent sophistication, style and confidence. It is a confident woman who can wear three or four-inch heels and not teeter around at a slow pace or complain about pinched toes. So on days when I want to project the confidence, I don't feel at the moment, stilettos are my best friend.

Fashion as armour

Shift Dresses 

Nothing screams professionalism as much as a well-fitted shift dress paired with stilettos.

Shift dresses inherently project the most confident version of you because one needs self-assurance to wear a fitted dress that accentuates your best features but may also reveal your flaws.

If there's an important work meeting that I am anxious about, this is my go-to outfit combination.

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Jewellery and Makeup

I don't have any specific changes I make to my jewellery and makeup routine. My everyday look includes earrings, watch and bracelet for jewellery and a face cream, lipstick and kaajal (kohl eyeliner) for makeup.

This doesn't change when I am having a bad day, but that's important too. I don't skip the steps I take every day, just because I am not in the mood to see myself in the mirror.

Fashion as armour

So that's it. A few elements in my regular wardrobe that inspire confidence or make me feel happy when the mood is low and I need something external to boost me up.

Do you ever think of fashion as an armour or means to uplift your day? What are your preferred outfit choices at such times? Let me know in the comments section below.

Fashion as armour - Look and feel confident on a bad day

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