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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

Every day we make so many decisions about how to express ourselves. One of those decisions is choosing what clothes to wear. Our clothes are such an important part of our identities because they are one of the first things people notice about us when we walk into a room. They are one of the first indicators about who we are, or especially, who we want people to think we are. They show the identity we are choosing to put forth by telling people what we want them to notice. Those noticeable things could be parts of our personality, like how preppy is often associated with pastel colors, cardigans and an overall “put together” look. Or how sportiness is associated with gym clothes, sneakers and a more “relaxed” look. But our clothes can also show people what we like; we can wear band t-shirts that we got at a concert. Our clothes can have references to musicians or television shows. But no matter what you choose to wear— what colors, fit or style— our clothes always show people aspects of ourselves that we have deemed important.

But what about the clothes only you see?

Kristen Bryant-Urban Outfitters Inspired Overalls Sports Bra Crop Top Lala Girls 3
Kristen Bryant / Her Campus

Most of the time, we put more thought into our outer layers because those are the items that people will see. But that just means we often forget to consider the effect our underwear can have on us. It’s not as important as your choice in sweater or jeans as far as self-expression goes, but rather underwear is our secret weapon to self-confidence. 

Say you have a big presentation coming up. You might put on a nice blouse or a pair of slacks, maybe even a blazer. But that’s because you want to look professional, you want to look the part. These items might even be expected of you. But nobody tells you what underwear to wear because nobody at that presentation is going to see it — and that would be seriously creepy — so it doesn’t affect your level of perceived professionalism. Why does it matter then? If it doesn’t affect the look you are going for, what difference does it make? Well, it might not make a difference to the other people in the room, but it could make a difference to you. If you are wearing something that makes you feel good without fear of other people judging you for it, then you always have something to remind you that your internal confidence is there. 

There’s a lot to be said about how clothes make us feel certain ways about ourselves. We all have our favorite pairs of jeans and our go-to t-shirts, because they make us feel comfortable in our appearance. But we cannot underestimate how our undergarments can make us feel because they are the items we choose for ourselves. We don’t have to worry about what other people will think of them, so it leaves so much room for them to increase your self-confidence. 

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The true power in underwear comes from the fact that it allows you to take power back. You get to make a decision that nobody else gets input on. You get to tell yourself, “I feel great in this,” “I look beautiful in this,” and “I feel confident in this,” without anyone having the opportunity to tell you otherwise. When you choose a pair of underwear that makes you feel good, you are also deciding how you are going to feel about yourself that day in all areas of your life. Choosing underwear that makes you think positively about yourself is the best way to start your day already feeling confident in who you are.

Underwear is so personal. Underneath that first layer of clothing is just skin, it’s just you. So, when you go to pick out underwear, you are choosing what is closest to the body that is under it. By choosing underwear that makes you feel good about yourself, you build your self confidence before adding on the additional layers of who you want people to believe you are. So, the next time you have a rough day, put on a fancy pair of underwear. When you have a big presentation or an important test, put on a nice pair of underwear. When you need that extra boost, put on a good pair of underwear. I think that you will find that when you get to choose how you feel about yourself first, then you can go out into the world having a more concrete appreciation of who you are. Your confidence becomes immovable when you take the power back to decide how you see yourself first, before anyone even looks at you.

Amanda Kraemer

Virginia Tech '23

Senior studying creative writing, professional and technical Writing, and English pre-education, with a language science minor. Adores reading books, listening to music, viewing art, and studying language. Also, an avid Disney lover, determined to see the magic in everything.