What happens to us internally when we adhere blindly to what others tell us about how we should appear in the world? Ultimately, I believe we do ourselves an injury. If we take on the status quo willingly, and with full foreknowledge of our intent, then its our real choice and we suffer nothing from it. But when we blithely follow other people's ideas simply because its what's happening now, we are internally dumbing ourselves down. We are denying some part of ourselves that could, and probably should have a chance to express itself in the world. Not only for our own good, but so others might know us better.
Thing is, we do this, every day, almost all of us do. Sure, in part we are hamstrung because we, most of us, have no skill at making our own clothing; so we have only what is available in shops to work with.
I understand that for a huge number of us, the sheer bulk of what's out there, coupled with the fear of getting it wrong, with the social disapproval that comes with that, is enough to send us running to the mall and buying the whole outfit we see displayed. Or perhaps it is simply easier to ape whatever the current mode is. I think of the hipster thing going on right now.
Now when we put things together and say to ourselves that we don't care whether its fashionable, or current, or appealing to others, when we dress entirely to please ourselves, we are expressing a profound freedom, and a good dollop of self confidence too.
And of course part of my larger point, and not just for this post, is that taking a conscious look at what we wear and why is enormously revelatory, and potentially a huge help in your life.