how much do you associate appearance with feelings/identity/relating to others?

(4 Posts)
TMIandEmbarrassed Wed 20-Jan-16 05:37:31

Do you always feel fabulous when well-dressed, or only when someone else notices?
Do you dress up "for" someone - yourself, your DH, everyone who has to lay eyes on you, your Mum - whoever?
If you dress differently from normal does it feel wrong or as though you're letting yourself/ someone else down?

This is kind of in appreciation of the thread written by the person dressing up for her Dad's funeral, which is very nice and very sad.

I grew up as the ugly black sheep in a fairly dysfunctional household where my mother and sister have their identities very much tied up in appearance and in what others think of their appearance. I feel all wrong, fat, ugly, wonky, in anything other than jeans, fleece, a tshirt and trainers - I feel like I'm wasting money if I buy good clothes or makeup - and those that i own, I never wear. If someone says anything about my appearance i am immediately defensive. I think it has a lot to do with listening to my mother and sister pick other people's appearances to shreds, all my life. They're both beautiful, very well-dressed, and very insecure. I think they would feel exposed and wrong in jeans and a fleece. I know my mother would dearly love to relate to me over nice clothes and tidy appearance, but I can't bring myself to do it. So I go on being the slob that disappoints her sad

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 20-Jan-16 06:10:09

I really do dress for myself. I feel better when I have make up on and hair done and I really enjoy fashion.

A few of my friends are into clothes/bags as much as I am but the majority aren't.

I don't ever criticise what others wear but do compliment when people look nice.

I am sorry you had that experience growing up. If you're happy with what you wear then that's fine but do I get the feeling you'd like to wear something different?

Believeitornot Wed 20-Jan-16 06:24:45

I dress for myself. As I've got older I've become more accepting of my flaws and positives and have found a style which suits me.
Sometimes I slob out, sometimes I am smarter. But I stick to what works for me!

TMIandEmbarrassed Wed 20-Jan-16 07:13:07

I'm kind of a mix - I am happy with my appearance in contexts where jeans/fleece/trainers are appropriate. I don't really have a sense of dressing for myself, more dressing to be invisible. I like being invisible.

But in contexts where more is expected I always feel wrong and self-conscious. I also feel really guilty that I don't give in to my mother's unsuccessful bids for affection by dressing fabulously, being very well groomed, and having it all as a hobby that i can discuss with her. She's human, she in some sense deserves affection from me - i just find it so hard to give it to her. As I slob around in my jeans i often mix with people who dress fabulously and carefully every day of the week - I could do a lot more, but it all feels wrong and awful when I do it, and i guess i am using my appearance as a way of keeping my mother at arm's length.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now