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The way that we present ourselves to the world is important. Equally as important is how we view ourselves. What we wear has a precedent over both of those things. Even if we don’t want our physical appearance to have an influence over what people think of us, it happens. For one, it’s what tells our employers whether we’re hireable or not, upon the first impression. It sets the tone for others’ perceptions of us, but it also influences our own perception. How often do we embody the phrase, “fake it ’til you make it”? It’s as if we’re constantly playing different characters in order to get by. Looking at our clothes as a wardrobe for each role we take on is just another tactic to help fulfill those roles. The right attire wires us into putting our best face forward, much like a superhero when they put on their cape or mask.
If we think of our favorite color or article of clothing and turn it into an amulet, it can serve us when we need it to. Say we have a job interview or a presentation to give, often our skills and preparation are shrouded by nerves and fear. So, we have to mask them, and not allow them to cloud our talents. Image shouldn’t be what carries us, but it should advocate for our person.
I should note that the best version of ourselves is our own—nobody else’s. Sure, we imitate, but to an extent. An idol or mentor is merely the template for who we want to become. When we imitate someone else’s image, it should be an equivalent to ‘dressing for the job you want’—in this case, for who you aspire to be. We dress the part to set ourselves up for success, and success is subjective.
There are many sides to a person, and the importance of costume lies in utilizing those different sides to achieve an intended goal. Don’t shy away from exploring those different parts of you: allow them to filter through your wardrobe. If you’re gonna imitate someone else’s style, wear it better. After all, it’s never about what you wear, but how you wear something. Most importantly, identify your amulet: find your own cape, mask, or signature color. Use it to tell the world what you want. The best you depends on it.