I know I just wrote about using fashion to boost my serotonin, but did you know that I also dress for protection?
Allow me to explain.
A couple of weeks ago at the library I work at, I presented a program on 22 murders that occurred in my county. I’ve not done any public speaking of this kind since my third go round of community college in speech class, which was close to fifteen years ago now. I did well in the class, of course, because I’m one of those people who insists on excelling academically, but this program wasn’t for a grade. Speaking in front of twenty people, even about something I’m interested in and excited about (like murder) is daunting. Throw some anxiety in there and the entire week leading up to the program I was regretting my decision to do this. I felt like there was no way I was going to remember everything, that people were going to be bored, that it was going to be a dud of a program, and I was going to let down our program director, whom I adore.
Knowing that anxiety and doubt were going to plague me, I decided my best course of action would be to put on my body armor.
I meticulously picked out my outfit down to the socks, panties, jewelry, mask, and eye shadow colors to make me feel as fierce and badass as possible, while still meeting dress code. And it worked. I still had to deal with my anxiety and I still had some doubts until I started talking, but damn I felt good about my look.
I felt bulletproof.
(For the record, I wore a pink button down shirt, white criss-cross tanktop, boyfriend cut jeans, pink socks, my custom chaos Vans, pink mask, and black and pink jewelry.)
Like playing with my fashion to help boost my mood, sometimes I use it as armor, too. Armor against the world and armor against myself.
Facing a crappy day? Sometimes all I need is the sexiest pair of panties I own. It’s like wearing kevlar. My secret defense against the world.
Not in the mood to be fucked with at work? I have found that people do not argue with me if I wear excessive amounts of pink. No, I don’t know why, but it has yet to fail.
Needing a little extra insulation from my anxiety? That’s why I have an ungodly amount of novelty socks.
It’s something that I can do even on the days when I’m not going full fashion. Maybe I’m just having a meh day that calls for soft clothes, but I’ve got glittery slippers to cap off that legging and sweatshirt combo.
Like any armor, it has its weaknesses. It’s not foolproof. Some days, no amount of armor can protect me. Some days the world is too harsh. Or I’m too harsh. Sometimes, the anxiety finds the gaps in my kevlar. Sometimes, the world does.
And like any armor, I don’t always need it. I’m not constantly walking around in my stylish chain mail anticipating a lance. Sometimes it’s all in the name of serotonin, all just to have fun.
And sometimes, they’re just clothes, something I put on because I live in a society that has decency laws and/or I’m feeling a bit chilly.
That’s what’s so great about fashion.
It’s so versatile.