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A Closer Look At Clothes

What's there behind the surface?

In our culture we are used to seeing clothes as something on the surface. When we look at someone we can see, through how they dress, if they follow cultural codes and which societal group they belong to.

Even though clothes also express our personality, this usually has to do with the more shallow parts of who we are - the ones that have been conditioned by our family and the environment we grew up in. But there’s so much more to our identity.

There’s also much more to clothes than meets the eye.

There are hidden facets and far more significance than what’s first apparent. Let me evolve this a little…

At one point in my life I went through a deep crisis. Everything I had identified with was suddenly gone, which was a very painful and confusing place to be. But there was another side to it that was unexpected. I rediscovered, and began to identify with, my deeper Self. But seeing how unintegrated this part was with my personality and outer appearance, I was horrified.

Since I also tried to find a deeper meaning in my work as a designer, I did something similar with clothes. I stripped them down to bare essentials in order to grasp their deeper meaning.

What was left were colors, shapes, patterns and styles.

I realized that COLORS were a direct link to our feelings and moods, our energy. That you could actually read a person from the colors they wear (and those they don’t wear). But also how the colors we use directly affect our energy.

It also became apparent that different SHAPES described our basic psychological functions and I began to understand why checked and striped patterns were among our culture's most sold fabric patterns. I began to wonder if these affect us the way colors do.

Experimenting with PATTERNS helped me discover deeper truths. Their connection to the human life patterns we seem to repeat, and get stuck in, became more and more obvious. I saw how this could be used for healing purposes.

And STYLES turned out to be totally connected to the archetypes that are so deeply embedded in our psyche — how we choose styles depending on which archetypes we identify with, and thus their inherent life dramas.

Most of all I began to grasp what these could do for us if we use them consciously!

My own healing journey involved just that: using colors and patterns to balance my energy and life patterns as well as integrating different parts of my personality. I began to understand how utterly important this balance is in order for our deeper Self, or Soul, to be more embodied and find outer expression.

Nowadays it's obvious to me that clothes are so much more than is usually acknowledged. Let's shift focus and begin to dress for wholeness! And how about looking beyond the surface to discover who we truly are and begin expressing this through our clothes!

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