Clothes do many things: they give us a sense of power when we are making a presentation or need to take control of a situation; they give us calm when we are in need of relaxation and peace; they provide comfort at the darkest times in our lives. And when we are feeling a little low, clothes can provide the whimsy we need to lighten our mood. That is what this strawberry cross-body bag and flea market fashion find does for me. Not only does it transport me instantly into the warm summer months, but the colors make me happy. The bag makes me happy. If you have a chance to dress with whimsy, I say yes! Do it, and lighten your load, too!
My friend Michal took these pictures of me not long after I started taking her class. It was my first formal exercise routine in a very long time; I was nervous and intimidated. At first, everything seemed too hard and scary – I felt unsure and unsteady. To match my insides I wore gray sweatpants and tees. I thought that would make me feel better, more comfortable. What I didn’t realize was that the clothes actually made me feel worse; they were not helping me to feel stronger or better in any way. Eventually, I decided to invest in proper exercise clothes and see if that made a difference. It worked: my Lululemon clothes helped me to feel stronger and gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. Even when I felt unsure, wearing the proper gear helped me to feel that I belonged in the class. I let the clothes work for me.
Now, I find myself feeling unsure all over again. I have a new full-time job and I can’t get to Michal’s class during the week. After much research I decided to join a gym. I was never a member of a gym – it is new for me – and the feelings of insecurity are returning. Just walking though the weight room to get to my class feels like an act of bravery. So once again I have decided to invest in new exercise gear that will give me the boost I need. Let your clothes do the work and lift you when you need it; they have that power.
Sitting down with Jeneane I was reminded of an important life lesson: we all feel fear – but it’s what we do to push beyond our fears that matters. This inspiring story is about Jeneane, her partner Bill, the ocean, and a leopard-print vest. Because clothing can affect us on a deep, emotional level. And because, of course, nothing bad ever happens when you are wearing leopard. Jeneane tells her story …
“My partner Bill wanted a boat. He grew up in New Jersey and had been around water his entire life. He felt that it was a good time to have a boating experience and for us to set sail to new places. I, on the other hand, grew up in Colorado. For the first 23 years of my life I had no exposure to water whatsoever. I have a tremendous fear of the ocean; I love to look at it from a distance but I could never go near it. Continue reading
Sometimes our clothes can do the talking for us. When we feel pain or sadness or when we may not have the words, we can simply get up and get dressed and let the clothing speak for us. To those who say that fashion is frivolous, I say clothing is a necessity and one of life’s basics – just like food, water, and shelter. And that is why our clothes say so much about us and will forever connect us to each other.
I am not someone who exercises naturally. I love to walk and do as much as I can, but I find it hard to pick myself up and head to a class or to the gym. My routine is simple and sometimes, non existent. So for someone like me, it is important to commit by starting with exercise clothes that make me feel good and will help me take it seriously. Your clothes have that power. When I wear raggedy-old clothes, I am not inspired to exercise and I simply won’t do it. On the other hand, when I feel good in what I am wearing, I stand taller, and feel able to push myself out the door.
And the older I get, the more important it is to move and stretch and add to my routine. I want to stay healthy and this is one way to do that. I recently started a new class and try to be there as often as I can. But I noticed that it wasn’t until I bought this bold outfit from Lululemon, that I started to feel as if I could do it, as if I believed in my own strength. I urge you to do the same; take care of yourself and get the clothes to help. You so deserve it!
Photo credit: Michal, my friend and exercise guru, shot on location at Mondo, Summit NJ