Last week I was explaining to a podcaster what I do. And as we took apart my words about showing up as your authentic self, she urged me to go deeper with that statement. Any wording around authenticity and dress is a bit dicey because defining authenticity is difficult.

My short answer was that you have to work at finding the clothing that best represents you, and that you love in order to be taken more seriously, more honestly, and more as an authority in your field.

Having to work at it is not always what someone wants to hear.

And yet, work at it we must because our bodies are a powerful force – a fleshly thing — that when we attempt to put clothes on it, are not just reflecting inside to outside or vice versa — but in fact, are creating something new.

New in that our body is in direct contact with fibers and fabric and color and pattern. New in that we are now someone else after we are clothed.

Our clothing is part of our belonging to our life, to our world and to our culture we live in.

There is a deep connection that must be acknowledged in order to feel that you matter. That your presence matters. And it does! Our clothing gives meaning to others, and at the same time our body gives life to the clothing. It’s kind of remarkable — this inside/outside activity.

For example, my clients are amazed at what color does for them. And when I say “does for them”, I mean that it actually has an effect – a fleshly, tangible, feeling of happiness and peace of mind. About themselves, their bodies, their psyches.

A few months ago when I spoke to an audience of non-profit businesswomen, I talked about the idea that it was not fig leaves and plants that God offered to clothe his creation with, but rather flesh.

Fleshly flesh that Adam and Eve then felt the need to cover.

“And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” – Genesis 3:21

Corruptible, perishable skin that we now have to contend with! When women (or men) complain to me about their body — whether it’s about fit or aging or physicality or lack thereof, I remind them of the body they had 10 years ago.

Did they delight in it then? No! But they wish they had.

I then encourage them to enjoy it the way it is NOW because in 10 years — looking back — they will again wish they had THAT body.

This is a good lesson for all of us to, of course, appreciate today, appreciate now and what our bodies can do. Looking for the positive and realistic thank you’s we can bestow on our bodies today.

In a retail apocalypse, it becomes more difficult to find quality clothing or clothing that fits. May I remind you when clothing doesn’t work for you, it’s possible it’s not your body — but the clothing that isn’t working.

Your body doesn’t need a plethora of clothing – but only what works and makes you feel comfortable, powerful, appropriate or whatever it is you need it to be and do for you.

When you are shopping, look for clothes that really do fit and that really do make your body feel and look it’s best.

Don’t settle for mediocre fit, bland colors or fabric that pills on its first wash. Be brave and place those items back on the rack. Don’t buy them. In the long run, your body and mind will thank you.

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