Our clothing choices reflect a lot on how we feel about ourselves. When you’re excited to show off your one-of-a-kind style, it says confidence. But when you limit yourself to the sale rack or hide behind baggy clothes? That’s a sign of low self esteem which impacts how we show up in the rest of our lives. Acknowledging the connection between your wardrobe and self worth is good because once you’re aware of your behaviors, you have the power to make a change!
Keep reading for 5 common ways that low self esteem shows up in our clothing habits.
1. Hiding The Real You
If you’re all about baggy clothes that conceal your shape and never wear anything bold or colorful, but instead stick to dark, neutral shades that make you blend in and feel invisible, you could be covering up a low self esteem. By hiding in your clothes, you’re often overlooked and unheard, but this may be what you unconsciously prefer — to avoid attention!
2. Compulsive Shopping
Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling the shopping sites at night? Do you buy items because they’re beautiful and it’s a thrill to have the packages arrive? But then you feel guilty for never wearing your new purchases and overwhelmed by the clutter you’ve accumulated through excessive shopping? If so, your shopping habit may be an escape from reality. It provides a temporary boost to your self worth, but quickly leads to feelings of remorse for overspending and having too much stuff.
3. Living a Fantasy
This is your situation if you find yourself constantly buying clothes to fit a certain image, even though it doesn’t align with your actual lifestyle. It could be compulsive shopping, but not always. You’re living in a fantasy, where you imagine yourself in a certain role. Like, if you’re 100% WFH, but still splurge on custom suits as if you’re headed into the office. Or maybe you never go dancing with friends, but you still buy “going out” tops and dresses. By doing this, you’re basically shopping for a make-believe world because it feels good to dress up as that imaginary version of yourself which is often based on someone you used to be.
4. Pleasing Others
This often starts in childhood when our parents put pressure on us to look a certain way. Then before we know it our outfits become an expression of our need for other people’s approval, and not for how we want to feel. Sure — we all want to belong, that’s normal. But when it becomes an obsession — worrying all the time about what others will think — it can be draining and make you feel insecure and full of self-doubt which inevitably impacts your self worth.
5. Stuck in a Rut
Wearing the same thing every day is only a rut if you’re unhappy with it. (Some people prefer the uniformity of single dimension dressing and the efficiency it offers.) But if you’re feeling uninspired and stuck with your wardrobe, it could be a combo of pleasing others and a lack of confidence to try new things. You’re playing it safe and sticking to your comfort zone because it’s a lot easier to wear what you know than it is to try something different. But it also could be a sign that you’re holding back in other areas of your life too. (Need a wardrobe purge? Join the Closet Revival so you can clear the crap holding you back from showing up as the real you!)
Your Wardrobe And Your Self Worth
If you see yourself in any of the behaviors above, you’ve just taken the first step to a stronger sense of self. Awareness is essential when you want to make a shift so recognizing the link between your style habits and low self-esteem is a good start! Next you must decide if it’s worth it (if YOU are worth it) to put in the time, effort, and self-care necessary to do things differently.
Which of these behaviors do you find yourself engaging in?
My mission is to help my clients feel like their most confident, powerful selves through their personal style. If you’re ready to start embracing all parts of yourself so you can experience this transformation, click here to schedule a complimentary call. Let’s chat about why your style hasn’t been a priority and how we can set you up for a stylish, confident new year.