Dressing Mindfully

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The art of dressing mindfully.

Getting dressed is something we do habitually. It’s not often that one thinks about every detail of their outfit unless there is a special occasion or event. Most of us (not all…but most) will have items we wear out of habit. These items are usually the ones we feel most comfortable with in a literal and/or emotional sense or the ones that made us smile from ear to ear. Every once and a while it’s good to shake up habitual dressing habits with a little bit of cultivated mindfulness.

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Why dress mindfully?

The act of getting dressed is an art-form. For some it’s an Avant-garde statement art form (like my way-too-fancy-for-dog-walking-outfit above). Others prefer to slide under the radar in minimalist design. Whatever your preference there is no denying that your clothing speaks volumes about you without saying a word. As our lives change we grow and evolve, and our style should do the same thing.

Often dismissed as a ‘vanity’ or ‘frivolous’ past time, style is a powerful tool for personal growth, understanding and empowerment. It’s also an easy way to cultivate a world that you want by drawing in the opportunities and people that you want to converse with (your vibe attracts your tribe).

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How to cultivate mindful style.

Set a date with yourself to participate in an act of mindful dressing. The following are techniques that you can use:

  • Sit down with one item from your closet. Spend some time looking at that item. Use your senses to explore it. How does it smell? What does it feel like on your skin, your body, or between your fingers? Does it visually appeal to you? How does it make you feel? Are there memories associated with it? Write these things down if you like. You can also post a #garmentgratitude selfie with it following your assessment.
  • When you find yourself having an emotional reaction to your outfit ( feeling good, bad, comfy or getting lots of compliments) take some time to mindfully pick apart what it is about this outfit that made you feel this way. Use some of the questions from the exercise above for items or the whole outfit. Make some mental or physical notes about how and why you felt this way. If the feeling is bad then try to find a way to make yourself fell better about it. Perhaps remove an item or two and add some things you love instead. Feeling good? Work those good feelings into other outfits by using similar layering or styling techniques, colours, cuts, fabrics or the like.
  • Have you ever thought about HOW you dress? Probably not. Spend a morning mindfully dissecting your routine. Get up and think about what foot you put on the floor first. The order in which you shower. How the water feels on your skin. The crispy towel after you shower. What order you put your clothes on. Whatever you choose to do in the morning make it a judgement free moving meditation. When you leave your house to start your day think back over the routine and see if there are any parts you would like to change, bits you enjoyed, or ways that you can slow down and enjoy the ritual more.

Have you tried techniques like these? Do you use other ones? Every thought mindfully about fashion?

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Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

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