The Style Mantra That Gets Me Through EveryDay Challenges

Fashion is the self-care we need in 2021.

Getting new clothes is exciting. Whether they come shipped in a pretty pink box from a fancy boutique or are handed down from your grandmother’s cedar closet, there’s nothing quite like the rush of endorphins you get from putting on a brand-new-to-you item of clothing.

That’s because trying on new clothes is like trying on new selves. I believe this to be the reason why so many people are borderline obsessed with what they wear and how they look — they want to be certain they’re representing the absolute best version of themselves, whether they’re headed to the office or meeting up with a friend for coffee.

The tricky part is, we are desperate to stand out as much as we are to belong, both in life and in fashion. Style, to the style-obsessed, is not really about clothes, but about the possibility of becoming exactly who we want to be.

The link between self and fashion, between mood and style, is utterly undeniable. My fascination with the how, what, and why of fashion, in the pursuit of finding my own self, has lead to my mission of dissecting the interconnectedness of mind and style in order to better understand people and the world around us.

Fashion, for fashion enthusiasts, has always been a form of self-care — it’s just now becoming apparent for everyone else.

It’s been proven, by stylists and mental health experts alike, that dressing up is indeed an effective method of self-care. I think we can all agree we’ve come a long way since bubble baths and pedicures as a means to taking care of ourselves — from spending time in nature to reciting self-affirmations.

Which brings me to the self-affirmation, or mantra if you will, that is making the mundane days of stay-at-home-mom life more exciting, and the moments where I feel homesick much more bearable:

“If you’re dressed well, you’ll feel at home anywhere you go.”

At the top of the list for dressing like home is comfortability, of course, followed by functionality, practicality, and style (whatever style means to you).

Maybe for you home feels like leggings and a t-shirt, while for someone else it’s a luxury knit jumpsuit or power blazer and jeans. For me, it’s anything I can move easily in — an outfit I don’t have to worry about tugging at to sit down, or feeling self-conscious that it might be see-through when I go outside.

Not only is fashion a form of powerful self-care, it is the lifeblood of what makes you you — of what gets you out of bed in the morning. Of what pushes you to make your deadline. Of what compels you to show up for other people, even when you’re tired. Of what makes you feel so excited about life you could dance.

At the risk of sounding like a New York City billboard, you can’t put a price on comfort. And nothing is more comforting than home.

As you study yourself in the mirror upon trying on new items of clothing this season, keep in mind you are deciding who it is you want to be in the world — and if you’re lucky, the clothes might just speak for you.

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Sip Sip is a weekly newsletter dedicated to making moms feel SEEN in the realm of mental health. As the editor, I’m committed to easing your mom woes — one newsletter at a time — through advice, lessons, and humor.

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Be you.

Xo, Ash