Fashion + Mental Health 2020

Feel Good Fashion: Mind, Body and Soul Healing Clothes

Fashion and mindset go hand in hand. For many people, their style is their confidence and likewise their style is their insecurity. Finding the right clothes for you can be just as stressful as everyday life; worrying whether we keep in trend, whether our clothes are sustainable, even if our outfit commands the respect we deserve can feel like a full-time job. We can often feel in disjuncture with the rest of the world, leading to stress, depression, and insecurity. Thus, follows a much darker route. But why do we worry about our exterior when our interior is slowly beginning to crumble? First, we must look to fixing our foundations before we begin to observe our architecture. Finding our feel good fashion will help us realise that we are a temple that deserves worshipping at. With a little Eastern inspiration, I will begin with finding a healthy way to see how we are worth our own worship.

Sahasara: Knowing what makes us feel good

The crown chakra is our seventh and final chakra from which all others stem. I think it is important to proceed by thinking of how to address the problems we have. Beginning with our mind, focusing our thoughts on the centre of the chaos. Slowly begin to let it fade away, eventually the root of the problem will come to light. Perhaps you’re worried about how you can keep in trend while doing a million and one other tasks. Or maybe the image that is constantly presented to you is something that you cannot make yourself fit; it’s not your personality, it’s not your body shape, it’s not what you look like.

Sahasara is the final step but today it is the first. Think of the issue that makes you feel stressed, think of how you feel diminished. Then visualise yourself standing tall, maybe find a mirror and put on that fateful outfit and see how everything can grow from there. Find your feel good fashion.

Ajna: Seeing our feel good fashion

The third eye is probably the most well-known chakra. Ajna helps us see what we must do to reach our goal. Whether you need to find the perfect outfit that will command respect or find a sustainable way to feel fabulous we must visualise our end place to find our path to get there. We must see ourselves wearing our happiness and feeling good.

Vishuddah: Saying– like James Brown- I feel good

Similarly, Vishuddah – the fifth chakra – is the throat. It asks us to open our voice to that which oppresses us; fear, denial, something else? Vishuddah calls us to speak out and define our imbalance. What is it you need to say? What do you need to tell yourself to find a solution? Can you say your feel good fashion?

In many ways I think a lack of voice is the downfall of the fashion industry when it comes to mental health. Sometimes we are afraid to say I don’t look like that. It’s just not my style. I can’t pull that off. Because of this the darkness seeps in. Everyone is different and fashion is endless. We must learn to find something that we do like, that is our style, that no one can wear better than us. As soon as we find, wear and see ourselves, we find our voice.

Anahata: Loving feeling fab

I don’t mean to breeze through, these steps take time to achieve but the destination they lead to is our ultimate goal. The next step? Saying I love you! Saying it to yourself and feeling beautiful. Of course, no one is perfect, we all have our insecurities, our bad habits and our fatal flaws and we often see these as though they are our colossus. But to come to full acceptance of ourselves and gain mindfulness of others we must speak our flaws. Must acknowledge that they exist and find our Anahata – find our love, whatever it may be.

Manipura: Doing the feel good fashion dance

But how do we do that? How do we take action to overcome our insecurities and decided that we are worth all the love we have to give? The answer: pro-activity. Maybe choose a colour that means something to you, maybe purple means confidence, maybe a tailored suit means you’re the boss. Anahata lets us experience the love we can have for ourselves but Manipura tells us of the strength we need to get there. We must accept ourselves and proactively go about achieving our goal. We must believe in ourselves and decide to live our lives by that belief.

No one will have the same task to complete; we must experiment with our actions like we experiment with our clothes to see what fits best. But actively believing in ourselves is the best way to reconsecrate the temple of ourselves. What will you do to re-consecrate your temple?

Svadhishthana: Feeling, because by now you know

Do you feel worthy? Have you taken that proactive step? The problem will never go away in seconds, but it will diminish; fall a little bit more towards extinction so we can be birthed anew. Svadhishthana is our second chakra commonly associated with our sacral region which is generally around our naval. It is where we feel. It is our base instinct. The most important thing to think about when it comes to fashion and mental health is how the fashion you wear makes you feel. Without knowing how we feel about ourselves how can we ask others to make an opinion on how we go about our lives? Svadhisthana is where we find our inner core and ask ourselves the truth of our insecurities. It is where we reach to when we must imagine how we felt when we did whatever it was to get towards our goal. We look to our Svadhisthana to know how it will feel when the problem that haunts us is gone. Our Svadhishthana is the house of our feel good fashion.

Muladhara: Being your feel good fashionable self

Maybe it will feel like light brims from your toes. Maybe it will feel like a certain colour. The base of us, our Muladhara is our root; the harsh fact of us all. We have our flaws; we have our beauty and we must come to accept them each in turn. Having our yin and our yang is not bad; it is our balance. Our flaws are our beauty and we must learn to know, see, say, love, do and feel them. It is only by doing this that we can truly be ourselves and get what we desire

Locating our negativity, planting it, watching it grow and bloom – whether it be from our wardrobe or our minds – cultivates our soul. I do not think one can have a positive mindset without balance. When our body and mind are out of sync chaos ensues and our edifice begins to disintegrate. Sometimes we become so engrossed in other things that everything around us begins to fracture. Think Becky Bloomwood in the Shopaholic novels; loving staying up to date with the fashion industry but unable to control her spending and finding herself in debt. Fashion can be a catalyst, both positive and negative on our mind and our body, and we must find a balance with it and ourselves. We must find the harmony of our temple and learn to worship in it every day. The chakras help me find a balance and my feel good fashion; could they do that for you?

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