The Alignment Between Attitude & Attire
How you feel on the inside & how you present on the outside are related. Here's some insight on what it means.

by Vard Mov
At VARD/MOV we always say that style and fashion is how we externalize our inner selves–but did you know that that’s scientifically proven?

The fashion psychologist (i.e. the study and treatment of how color, image, style, beauty, shape, and fabric affects human behavior while addressing cultural norms and cultural sensitivities) and founder of Fashion Psychology Success Dr. Dawnn Karen states there is definitely an alignment between “the attitude and the attire[…]that your emotional state and how you dress and present yourself in the world”.

Let’s discuss:

There’s a reason most of us who worked from home during the pandemic had to start dressing up again (at some point!) to face the day, instead of hanging out in comfy sweats all day. Dressing for the task, putting on your ‘uniform’ is not only a good habit for self-grooming, etc., but it also ignites your brain into believing that you are in fact qualified.

It’s the same logic for why–for most mentally healthy people–getting dressed up for a special night out or a wedding is a cathartic, cleansing practice and gets you feeling your best.

But not all of us are in a place where that’s easy to do–so how do we identify when we or our friends are going through a rough patch?

Starting from the most visibly obvious, here’s what to look for to indicate if something is generally off.

Are you or someone you know wearing the same outfit every day? What about wearing clothes that are missing buttons/accessories, or wearing something out of place that doesn’t fit the occasion (i.e. a tank top and jeans to a wedding, etc.). Are you dressing like you’re from another time period?

Naturally, not dressing perfectly happens to the best of us from time to time–but if someone is exhibiting strange or careless behavior about their dress continuously, it may indicate something just isn’t right. Time to check up on those around you!

People who are suffering with depression have a lowered capacity to care about outward appearance–mostly because they are focusing the energy they can on preserving and protecting their inner self. We all know what it’s like to be so sad that we can’t change out of the sweat pants and t-shirt we’ve been wearing for days, so extend that empathy to those in your life who may be going through the same thing or worse.

The key here is not to criticize or make them feel bad–be a solid, positive force by helping to clean up or preparing food for them. Trust me, a person who is depressed will appreciate these small actions, which will ultimately give them support to take care of their inner self and, eventually, their outer self again, too.

My personal favorite to talk about: Are you or someone you know following trends obsessively, never straying outside of the style that’s purported on Instagram or TikTok? Maybe you don’t feel confident in your inner self (and subsequently, your personal style) and need the trends to speak for you because they are ‘pre-approved’ by society. However, at VARD/MOV we never stop saying that you make the clothes; the clothes don’t make you.

Our advice? Focus on yourself, grow your wellness routine (i.e. journal, go on walks, get in touch with your roots by cooking or talking with family members). Try to take your style inspo from history and old movies (i.e. timeless styles!) rather than IG. Trust me, this ailment is easy to rehabilitate, and with a little self-reflecting, things will slowly fall into place. ;)
Conversely, there is something to be said about the practice of buying too many clothes, or fixating almost entirely on fashion/style. Leading a balanced life is key in cultivating a positive inner and outer self, so we want to be mindful of when we or those around us are tunnel-visioning on clothes. Are they lonely? Do they want to feel in control or maybe they are filling the void? Perhaps all of the above–in the past, I have binge-shopped as a way to make me feel more grounded, and I know the feeling of retail therapy first hand. But it’s not sustainable, for the planet, for our wallets, and for our emotional selves.

Our advice? Try a clothing swap or donating. That way, you’ll be purging clothes that don’t serve you and bringing in new ones for little to no cost. It’s a win, win–and may give you the satisfaction of retail therapy without the heavy costs.

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