Look at what you are wearing right now. How do you feel? Are you dressed in a style that evokes boredom, excitement, depression, anticipation, happiness? Getting stuck in a style is common. We wake up and throw on our familiar clothing that makes us feel comfortable, secure, grounded. Alternatively, those same senses can also mean we are in a rut; we crave to blend in, to be a wallflower so to speak, and not draw too much attention to ourselves. Why would we want people to look at us, to be startled by our presence, to SEE us?
The desire to "fit in" is a strong psychological need, rooted in evolution. Being part of the collective group offered protection, sustenance, survival. But those who dared to step outside the bounds of the norms are the people who have left a legacy, who impacted those around them and fostered change in the world. The clothing we choose does much more than keep us warm on cold days and shield us from the sun's rays during the heat of the summer. Our clothing choices can dull our senses and allow us to slip through our days relatively unnoticed. For example, we can plod through the grocery store, camouflaged among the aisle of cereal, or we can choose to don an outfit that will cause us to stand out, even in the brightly colored produce aisle. The style we choose will either result in us shutting ourselves into our own little world, quietly and silently selecting the canned peas or green beans with little other interaction in our environment, or we can garner a second glance; startling others out of their own little world of creamy or crunchy peanut butter. Perhaps, we will elicit a conversation or a short but meaningful interaction.
I'm not speaking of choosing clothing that could be more prone to eliciting unsolicited advances; but clothing that stands out, makes a statement, in a noteworthy and positive way. By dressing in a style that stands outside the norm we wake ourselves up and enliven others. In a society that has become more and more distant from one another, which encourages little to no eye contact, try being the spark that creates a response. You may find a new outlook for yourself and encourage others to become re-energized in the world around themselves. Be the igniter!
"Nature made us individuals, as she did the flowers and the pebbles; but we are afraid to be peculiar, and so our society resembles a bag of marbles, or a string of mold candles. Why should we all dress the same after the same fashion? The frost never paints my window twice alike?"
- Lydia Maria Child (1802 - 1880)