Did you know that what you wear has a direct impact on your mood? That means fashion can actually function as a sort of meditation! With the right outfits, you can use fashion to relax your mind, body, and spirit. There’s an increasing overlap of the fashion and meditation industries, like runways held in meditation spaces, “wellness” permeating the beauty sphere, and comfort-first stay-at-home fashion becoming the norm.
We’ve discussed on this blog how fashion can be self-care, but we can take it even one step further. Not only can your wardrobe help you look good and feel good, but you can also leverage fashion to help calm your mind and enhance your wellbeing.
The goal of meditation is to help deal with anxious thoughts and tap into our own internal, subconscious wisdom. Meditation is shown to help reduce stress, lessen anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self-awareness, and so many other health, mental, and social benefits.
Meditation is an extension of wellness—and so is fashion. If you’re looking for a glow-up, you need both internal and external peace. So, let’s look at how fashion and meditation overlap, and how you can further blend the two to utilize your daily fashion as a meditative practice.
Meditation amongst fashion professionals
The overlap of fashion and meditation comes directly from retailers and designers within the fashion industry themselves. The professional fashion world is all about consumption and looking to what’s next. The fashion industry has high standards and is constantly moving forward at exceptional rates. (For example, designers used to release two collections a year, and now they’re releasing more like six collections a year to keep customers interested and engaged.)
Fashion professionals are busier than ever, so many of them have been looking for ways to slow down and re-center their hectic lives, like through meditation and yoga. These designers also have to constantly look towards the future and anticipate what’s next in fashion, so meditation helps bring them back to the present moment. Thus, we’re seeing an uptick in the number of designers and retail workers who are hitting yoga studios and meditating at home regularly to find their zen.
This movement towards meditation has naturally spilled into their work as well. As more fashion professionals are getting involved with meditation, they’re looking to incorporate these daily practices into their designs. We aren’t surprised to see that an emphasis on meditation and wellness in the fashion culture has pushed high-end and everyday fashion in that direction as well.
In addition, meditation has become even more practiced in mainstream society, particularly since the stressors of COVID. To meet the demands of consumers, fashion designers have to learn about and adopt meditative practices in their designs.
Transforming fashion into a meditative practice
I’m a business owner, mom, friend, and about thirty other labels. I don’t have a lot of time to meditate. Although I try to meditate for a few minutes every day, consistency in meditative practices can sometimes be a challenge.
Until I realized that meditation doesn’t have to look like yoga or sitting silently for an hour. The purpose of meditation is to slow down your mind and minimize stress, and there are several ways to do that. I’ve found that for me, being creative with my wardrobe can have similar effects on my brain, spirit, and body!
If you’re like me and love fashion, here are some tools that can help turn your passion for fashion into a meditative practice as well. (Not all of these tips will work for you, but they’re a great place to start exploring fashion as meditation to help center your thoughts, reduce stress, and focus on being present with gratitude.)
1. Be present in your closet.
Rushing to pick out an outfit in the morning is only going to leave you feeling stressed for the rest of your day. Take a few minutes to slow down, breathe, and really enjoy your closet when you get dressed. Get rid of your phone and just be present in the moment as you choose your look for the day. Be grateful for the clothing you have. Don’t be afraid to verbalize your gratitude with a “thank you” to your favorite pair of shoes or an “I love you” to your cutest dress. It might feel silly at first, but a little gratefulness can do wonders for your brain. You’ll likely find that taking time to appreciate your clothes will make you more aware throughout the day of other little things for which you should be grateful.
While in your closet, also think about what kind of outfit will make you feel sexy and confident. Enjoy the process of selecting your clothes. It shouldn’t feel stressful or overwhelming. If it does, it might be time to clean out and refresh your wardrobe, so you love your clothes more. Use your getting-ready time to be creative and inventive. Have fun with the process and pick out something that’s going to make you feel good the rest of the day. Remember that fashion is an art form!
Tip: If you tend to be in a rush in the mornings, do this process the night before. Turn a light on in the closet, take a deep breath, and select an outfit that will make you excited to wake up tomorrow morning.
2. Get rid of the need for external validation.
As we just said, fashion is creative. Meditation and clearing the mind is a pathway to creativity as well. Meditating can help the design process, and in return designing your look can be a form of meditation; this creates a positive feedback look that’s good for your brain (and your style).
But creativity doesn’t follow the rules, so stop worrying about the rules (like not wearing white after Labor Day). Creative meditation only works if you stop worrying about external validation. We all do it. We think, “what will my boss say?” or “what will my partner think?” when we’re choosing our clothes. You worry about how you’ll look to others. While this is important in some cases, like you need to meet your work dress code or look presentable for an important event, fashion shouldn’t be about what others think about you. It’s about how it makes you feel.
Focus on yourself, and you’ll start to enjoy the creative process of fashion a lot more.
3. Compliment yourself in the mirror.
That brings us to compliments. After you’ve put on your outfit, it’s time to talk yourself up in the mirror. This process is highly meditative because you’re filling your brain with positivity and love whilst vanquishing anxiety and stress.
Be genuine and kind to yourself. Say the compliments out loud, as hearing them aloud can solidify them in your brain and heart better. Recognize all the little details that you love about your outfit, like how your earrings frame your face or how your shirt matches your shoes. Notice how your body feels in the clothing, like the softness of a cashmere sweater or the sultriness of a pair of heels. Compliments, including internal compliments, are healthy and remind you how incredible you are, so really spend some time here and you’ll feel the radiating effects for the rest of the day.
4. Compliment others.
Don’t forget to compliment others as well! Remember that other women are also putting time and effort into selecting their outfits, accessories, and makeup, just like you are. A small compliment recognizing that effort can go a long way to making that person feel good—which in turn, can boost your own feel-good hormones in the process! Complimenting others helps build strong bonds based on positivity and joy, which is a great way to live your life.
Find out more about why and how to compliment yourself and other women here.
5. Clean your closet.
Cleaning is meditative. The repetitive task helps you focus and clear your mind, while also productively purging your space from anything that doesn’t serve you. Cleaning out your closet is an effective way to minimize your stuff and curate a wardrobe that makes you feel good every time you go in. If you love your closet, it makes the above four steps a whole lot easier and more fun!
Here are some of our most popular resources on how to clean out your closet:
- Quarantine Closet Cleanout: Love Your Wardrobe And Make Money
- The Ultimate Closet Clean Out Guide and Checklist
- 9 Ways To Organize Your Closet For Fall
6. Learn to mend clothing.
Sewing, like cleaning, can also function as meditation due to its repetitive and productive nature. Mending clothing is a practical way to reduce your textile waste, give renewed life to your clothing, and minimize your ecological impact on the environment. Mending and sewing can be a great way to relax your mind and reduce stress while giving your clothing a little extra love.
Check out these 10 easy hacks to make your clothes last longer.
7. Sketch outfit ideas.
If you like to draw and you love fashion, sketch out some outfits! They don’t have to be artistic. They don’t even have to be plausible! Draw an oversized hat or fairy wings or whatever else you want. Drawing can be a meditative act that gets you into a creative sphere, so what better way than combining your love of fashion and art? Assuming you’re not designing for a fashion brand or company, there’s no pressure to even be “good”—just have fun with it!
8. Play around with fabrics.
If you’re more tactile than visual, go to the fabric store to touch, feel, and play with some materials. Of course, you can learn how to make clothing from those materials if you’d like, but the goal is to enjoy fashion and be present in the moment. Walking through a fabric store can be very relaxing if you focus solely on the sensory aspect of it.
9. Dress up for no reason.
Even if you have nowhere to go, dress up! As a little girl, I loved playing dress-up as often as I could. It’s so fun to twirl in a skirt or throw on a bold color or imagine yourself as a queen, heroine, or movie character. Fashion is fun, and a little bit of play can instantly elevate your mood and reduce your stress.
10. Go shopping with a friend.
Shopping is a form of meditation for me (retail therapy anyone?). Sometimes I love browsing the racks of my favorite boutique for some alone time, and other times I love hitting the town with my best friend as though we were in a montage from a ‘90s rom-com. The goal of meditation is to be present, so taking some time for yourself to window shop can be a rewarding way to get back in the moment.
You’ll love shopping at Current Boutique. Whether in person or online, browsing our current offerings is like searching for treasure. We sell preloved high-end designer pieces that are unlike anything you can get on the market. Finding your perfect dress, top, or accessory is an exciting thrill that can help reduce your anxiety and clear your brain—while adding something special to your wardrobe. Shop our Just In section right now to start the search!
At Current Boutique, we believe in holistic fashion and wellness. What you put on your body is directly linked to how you feel and act. If you love fashion, you can leverage it to your advantage to work as a meditation that can enhance your body, mind, and spirit. How do you use fashion to feel good?