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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Notre Dame chapter.

I have long believed that fashion has incredible power. From making a political statement, spreading a powerful message, or even just allowing you to feel like you can conquer the world  – clothes have the ability to effect change. Change in how you see yourself, the way you interact with your community and the message you choose to send to the world.

It’s almost silly to state the obvious at this point, but it’s been a rough time. I spent most of my time at home in quarantine alternating between the same two pairs of pajamas. I spent all of today in sweats too because some days it’s just necessary to feel comfortable, or there isn’t enough time to get a full outfit together. But I’ve also noticed that there have been many days lately where feeling motivated or staying focused is a challenge. I’ve also found a fairly simple and effective way to meet this challenge: getting dressed.

Becca McHaffie

Full disclaimer: I love clothes. I’ve been an admirer of fashion for as long as I can remember. Yes, I love pretty things as much as the next person, but it’s the value of fashion that lies under the surface that’s always drawn me in. Vanity aside, there is so much power in genuinely feeling good about yourself, and I see it as a power that allows you to be a better version of yourself for the people around you.

Sure, many say that the way you choose to present yourself to the world tells other people a lot. It’s the plot line of shows like What Not to Wear or segments like the Today Show’s Ambush Makeovers. It’s why the business world is full of tailored suits that essentially scream “I’m on top of my shit.” There’s the “Dress Well, Test Well” sentiment that centers the idea of creating a successful score on exams by dressing like you want one. But when we look deeper into the plot line of these entertainment programs or the work of these students, there’s a more important truth that the “right” outfit for you can lead to incredible things. It can lead to a confidence and a joy that not only shines outwards to the people you encounter but fills a fire within. Clothes can be used as a tool to say something to other people, but what I’ve been thinking a lot more about lately is what my clothes say to me. 

A good outfit, or should I say an outfit I feel good in, makes me walk a little taller, with a little more energy in my step. It gives me a feeling that truly fills me up and can carry me throughout the day. The days in which I put on an outfit that makes me feel good, I’m more productive, more determined, and more purposeful in what I do. 

It’s psychology. What you wear really does have the power to affect how you feel. Many articles have been written and plenty of advice given about it. It’s backed by science, the way our clothes can make us feel. For me in these last couple of weeks, it’s been my favorite skirt, my beloved boyfriend blazer, or my new pair of shoes that has had me feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. My mind, my body, my heart calls out for fall break – for a break – but there isn’t one coming. So I’ve found a way to recharge through my wardrobe instead.

Emma Koster

Notre Dame '22

Hi! My name is Emma and I'm a junior at the University of Notre Dame. I'm so excited to be studying psychology, journalism, and digital marketing here at ND! In my free time I love to read, eat yummy snacks, and hang out with friends.