You are what you wear.

i’ve always thought that clothing and style were more important than most people gave them credit for.

call me vain, call me shallow… but what i wear impacts my mood, my day, my overall sense of self. in my career thus far, i have experienced first-hand small wardrobe changes that enabled rather big promotions, so why shouldn’t i believe that the right wardrobe will one day empower me to do everything i’ve ever dreamed of? in a world as complex as ours, is it so bad that clothing is more than a shield from the elements, but can also be a shield from reality, or a mask that helps us to be who we want to be?

i don’t think so. and the research¬†seems to agree.

so – let’s just agree. what we wear is important. you could maybe even agree that we are what we eat do wear.

but what does that mean?

because we are what we eat, i eat a diet of primarily organic, healthy foods (with liberal doses of sugar and french fries along the way.) because we are what we do, i (try to) work hard, recycle, love my family and friends and am kind to those i come across, and try to do good for the world. i’m not perfect in any way, but i try to live a life that reflects what i believe in.

so if we are also what we wear, if the act of buying an item speaks as much to our intentions and beliefs as anything (you vote with your dollar), why don’t we think about what we are buying? why do we just buy, buy, buy and think that it doesn’t matter?

i’m not afraid to admit that i used to do this. that i used to get a high when i snipped tags or wore an item for the first time. I’m also not ashamed to say that i didn’t have a big realization that made me stop – instead i (figuratively) ran out of money and had to start thinking about my purchases a little differently. creativity through constraints, right?

i realized cost per wear only makes sense if you have just enough clothing where every item gets it’s due wear. i discovered that when my wardrobe was small but filled with beautiful, high quality items, i never thought about what to wear, and i was almost never uncomfortable in what i was wearing. i felt good, and my brain was free of the constant “what should i wear” clutter that it had been consumed by since adolescence. i felt relief.

i ate local and shopped local when i could and i’d always understood that cost does not equal quality, but as i started to buy more expensive clothing, i was surprised to see where the pieces were made. if in general i am a proponent of localism, shouldn’t my wardrobe, which is so incredibly reflective of who i am and who i want to be, be more local? wouldn’t that make a difference, to me, and maybe, possibly, even have the slightest impact on the world around me?

i hope so.

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