The Body Undressed: Wear What Makes You Feel Good

When we discuss fashion we often talk about what looks good. It's obvious to me, looking at my closet, that I have a fondness for certain cuts, styles, colors and print patterns. Our primary sense is the sense of sight and we surly know what we like when we see it! But, what the heck does it mean when people tell you “Wear what makes you feel good!”?   Of course they're empowering you to make fashion decisions that please you personally instead of dressing how other people want you to dress. Yet, how do you go about figuring that out? Do you decipher your body shape and then wear what designers tell you will flatter your figure? Do you listen to people who explain how to dress “age appropriately” and flatter your size? Do you read fashion magazines? Those are all great places to start, but finding your unique personal style that makes you feel good about yourself extends beyond your sense of sight and merely approving of what you see when you look in the mirror.

I want to help you to stop strictly looking outwardly in your quest to find what makes you feel good and turn you onto the sensual nature of your own existence. You are covered with glorious skin that has specialized sensors that respond to texture, pressure and temperature. Those sensors rush information to your brain subconsciously and give you nonstop feedback all day long. Let's start by taking a moment to pay extra attention to those sensors. Take your hand and touch your bare forearm. Just put your hand on your arm, don't think about it too hard. You will feel the temperature of your skin. the texture of your arm on the palm of your hand and the pressure of your hand on your arm. These sensations feel comforting and familiar to you because your body recognizes itself. Now remove your hand. Suddenly your arm feels the absence of warmth and pressure – it's naked. Your body undressed is the most vulnerable and perfect state of being. It doesn't matter what shape, age or size you are: your body is this unique glorious field of sensory magic. If you're blushing, right now, your skin is merely responding to the compliment.   Hi, beautiful skin!  You know you're great.  *wink*

Now that we've acknowledged the sensory power of your entire body, you can delight that sense of touch. Our hands are very specialized and sensitive due to the concentration of nerve endings, but our entire bodies also have specialized sensory powers.  Various parts of your body have different textures and elasticities that are unique to that part's function.  The skin on your eyelids and the skin on the bottom of your feet are very different in thickness and sensitivity.  Your entire body is a marvelous organic machine that you don't really think about because you're just so busy existing. 
I want you to touch your forearm again, but this time I want you to touch your arm like it is the most expensive, precious and luxurious thing you have ever had the privilege of touching. Gently explore the subtle variations in texture until the tiny hairs on your arm stand on end with excitement. Each little hair on your body has a muscle surrounding it that flexes when it is stimulated into excitement. That's why your hair stands up when you are thrilled, scared or experience a powerful piece of music, art or writing. Those hairs standing on end heighten your skin's ability to sense the world around it. If you've done this correctly it should give you a mild euphoria. But, don't worry! You can try again if it didn't work the first time (or if you're at your desk at work and don't really have the chance to feel up your arm until your hairs get an erection.  heh.).

What was the purpose of this little exercise in sensuality? Well, now you know what it means to do something that “feels good”. Your clothing covers your skin every day. It buffers your skin from experiencing the world around it. When clothes are too tight, itchy, rough, or too thick or thin for the temperature that day we just end up feeling uncomfortable all day long. When we wear something uncomfortable our skin constantly shoots signals of irritation to our brains throughout the day and it subconsciously affects our mood and paints your perception of everything around you. Yes, your clothes can give you a bad day! The same goes with shoes. Have you ever purchase a pair of shoes that look adorably on trend but hurt your feet so badly that you end up thinking about them all day or slip them off whenever you get back to your desk? That sucks. Don't do that to yourself. You do not need to suffer or torture yourself to look good (but, if you're a fashion masochist and enjoy the mild torture because it makes you feel powerful—then that's both a little scary and hot!).  But, other times the solution is as simple as removing an irritating tag, unbuttoning a button, letting your belt out a little or even just buying one size up instead of letting your vanity control your shopping habits. 

Dressing for your senses doesn't have to mean dressing in satin, velvet and lace every day (I like lush tactile textiles, but that might just not be your thing).  Maybe, for you, dressing for your senses means wearing vibrant maxi dresses on the weekend and a ponte peplum power suit come Monday morning. Perhaps you wake up on Wednesday and feel the need to wear a turquoise satin midi skirt with a fitted t-shirt so you can bask in the smiles and compliments you'll receive all day. Maybe the next day you wear simple black slacks and a gray button down shirt because you don't want to feel the breeze on your legs or squeeze into a pair of tights that morning. Dressing for your sensual self means acknowledging who you are in the moment and dressing to make yourself feel comfortable and capable to take on the day ahead of you. Nobody can really give you any quick easy rules on how to wear what makes you feel good. They don't live in your skin. What makes you feel confident and unstoppable today might feel like a cumbersome distracting hassle tomorrow. The most important part of fashion is knowing that you can seriously pull off any look as long as your center of self feels secure, you are comfortable in your skin at that moment and aren't distracted by your clothes to the point that it takes away from your confidence in your abilities. Dressing to make yourself feel good is subjective to your own unique daily experiences.  Embrace that.

I hope you feel more empowered to embrace the ever changing and evolving you. Honor your sensual nature and allow your skin to send happy signals to your brain all day long!  


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