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Self-Confidence & Fashion: A Love Story

I've always been fascinated with the idea that clothing can make you feel more confident. I've seen it time and time again with clients, they put on a rocking outfit and their whole demeanour changes. I personally noticed the same for myself and I truly believe that when I put on my best outfits I feel my best. This boils down to clothing being a vessel for my self-confidence, but is that enough to call me a confident woman?

While doing research on this subject I stumbled upon a phenomenon scientist call: Enclothed Cognition. This term was coined during an experiment conducted in 2012 by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky, where they divided people into two groups to perform a series of tasks wearing a white lab coat. One group was wearing lab coats while the other group wore their normal street clothes, the group wearing coats performed better in their tasks. To solidify their findings, they took the experiment a step further and asked both groups to wear white coats, except this time they told one group it was lab coats and the other it was an artist's smock. Still, the group that thought it was a lab coat performed better at their given tasks, thus showing that the symbolic meaning of the clothing can translate into a physiological experience, depending on what powers you think those clothes represent. I believe that there is some truth to the Enclothed Cognition phenomenon, for example, anytime I've gone for a job interview that I wear my best power suit, I've performed very well in my interview and most times landed the job, however, how can we translate this phenomenon to everyday life?

This got me thinking, does that mean if we give power to our clothing it can translate into self-worth, confidence, self-love? I'm no scientist, but I think it's more complicated than that. I've tried to do more research on this subject and what I've realized is that confidence is a very tricky and complicated matter, everyone has their own recipe for their confidence. What I can speak to is my own recipe and the journey I've been on to find it, because I am still just that, trying to find it.

I think that confidence has it's ups and downs, you do not arrive at the destination that is confident, you have to work at it every day. I think most of our journeys begin in our teen years, where a lot of us young women start to develop a very false sense of worth based on our appearance. I was very self-conscience as a teen, I had a face full of acne, a body that changed overnight resulting in stretch marks and I didn't know how to deal with it all until I discovered, makeup. I realize now as I'm writing this, that makeup was my own experience with enclothed cognition. I started playing around with makeup and realizing that it brought me a sense of confidence, can we argue that it was false confidence? Of course. But in those years ahead that confidence led me to accomplish great things, I started modelling professionally, started a career in business management and graduated high school. That last one might not seem like a huge accomplishment but I struggled with Dyslexia my whole childhood and getting that diploma was one of my biggest hurdles. I think it can be argued that without finding my confidence in something so little as makeup at that early age, that I wouldn't have been able to accomplish all these things. Even if it was a false sense of confidence, I faked it until I made it, every step of the way.

Now let's fast forward to my present, has my confidence followed me into my adult years? Is it still a false sense of confidence? Have I replaced makeup with clothing? Or both? Well friends I can say that I've done a lot of soul searching and self-reflection over the last few years and all of it has led me to some major healing. I can say now that my confidence is no longer fake, I am confident. Am I confident every day? No. I think that confidence needs to be worked on constantly, for me, it started in a big step I took towards healing my past pain and it continues in my everyday life with rituals I created to make me feel confident.

My big step was healing past beliefs I had about myself, for example, I wasn't pretty without makeup, I wasn't smart because of my learning disability, I couldn't accept love from a partner because I had a fear of abandonment. These are just some of the many things I had to learn to let go of if I was going to begin a journey of self-love. Did I change all these beliefs overnight? Hell no. I still find these past beliefs can creep up from time to time, however, when I do find them creeping in, I now know that they are false. I am beautiful with or without makeup, I am smart regardless of my disability, I can accept love from a partner even if it results in abandonment because I am enough for myself to love. Working on myself on a deeper level brought me insight into my style, what I like and dislike and it's always evolving because I'm always evolving. Healing old beliefs of myself brought me confidence that no external factor could've ever given me, confidence is an inside job and external objects can only be used as tools to help. Sitting here, writing this now for everyone to read, is healing in itself because I can only hope that my story helps someone else's journey.

You may be thinking? Can't a woman be fashionable and still be filled with issues? Of course, but I believe that real style comes from a place of knowing one's true self, going through a journey of self-discovery and feeling confident in your choices of style. Getting to the root of your true desires, passions and dreams. Feeling a sense of seeing "la vie en rose" which normally translates to being in love with someone, but for me, it's a feeling of being in love with myself. Which is what I hope to bring to all my clients. This is why I will be launching a six-week program called, Journey to Style, based on my free workbook that some of you may have downloaded. This program will help kick off your healing journey and help bring you confidence in your choices of style. If you've downloaded my workbook, I've made significant tweaks, so this will feel like a new experience. During the course of the six weeks, we'll touch on limiting beliefs, self-care, learning to describe your style, fashion terminology, makeup, planning and a new concept I'm adopting to my brand, Kibbe Body Types.

For the first program run, I will only be accepting 12 participants, as I want to keep the group as intimate as possible so that each member can get the most out of the experience; we're now down to 6 spots left. Each week of the program there will be two live classes with me, the first being course content, accompanied by homework and the second being a live Q&A with an open group discussion. The home of the program will be a private Facebook group, and once you've completed the class you'll have access to our community Facebook group, The Lavish, where you'll be able to keep in touch with your classmates and have access to exclusive Lavish & Rose content.

I am so grateful to all my readers, thank you for taking the time to listen to my theories and experiences. Whether or not you join the program, I really hope this will inspire you to start your own journey of self-discovery.

Sending you all lots of love!

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