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27. Can you recall some times when you have dressed a particular way to calm yourself or gain a sense of control over a situation that scared you?

Yes, many times. Most recently I wore a Maria Cornejo jumpsuit and all was well.

I use scarves and jackets if I’m feeling anxiety – so I can still look classic and put together without trying. The scarf covers any weight issue I may be feeling that day, and the jacket gives it that tailored look.

When I was a child, every year before going back to school I would carefully plan how I'd be dressed for the first day. I still do that, even though I don't go to school anymore.

When I have a big meeting or one with someone I know is difficult, I will wear something that I know I feel comfortable (no fidgeting) and powerful in. Usually that’s my version of a suit, but not always.

I was part of a court case. The opposing attorney worn very dated shoes with an open back and a lot of studs. They didn't even look appropriate for court. My shoes became my weapon, at least in my head.

Oh yes ! I used to be terrified of flying and I'd try to intuitively feel what I should wear. If I wore the right thing, the flight would be ok, and I'd get to wherever I was going. If I didn't, disaster would strike. I don't do that any more. It's a very dangerous place to be.

I had to go to court after an ex-boyfriend pushed me. The thought of seeing him terrified me. I remember putting on a pencil skirt, blouse and leather bomber jacket that made me look put together, like I was doing fine. It made me feel powerful.

I have one really expensive item in my wardrobe. It was a gift, and is a really sexy blazer with these huuuuge power-pockets. If I’m going somewhere I’m scared of, or where I feel like I don’t really belong, I’ll wear that blazer for a hit of courage. I sometimes feel like I’m fooling people when I wear it- it’s very “sexy exec-y”, which is not exactly how I would ever classify myself. Like, it would be a “definitely-wear"” if I’m ever attending something in Yorkville.
Heels too, although they sometimes make me feel like I’m trying too hard to be sexy. I like when I can be a little more creative, if that makes any sense?

If I want to feel powerful, I wear black. It's not the goth black of my teenage years but a black like the black of a killer whale. I need to dress this way 5 - 10 times a year, depending on what's going on.

The first time I went to a sex party" I wore fishnets, with underwear OVER them so that my vagina was completely inaccessible to random people. It made me feel safer. I also wore motorcycle boots instead of heels. I needed to feel comfortable and powerful. Not too femme-y for me.

I love this question. In general, I try to buy clothes that make me feel comfortable and at ease. I do not like fussy or ill-fitting clothes. I seek out items that can be worn thoughtlessly. I wore a particular sweatshirt nearly every day for two years after I moved back to Portland from New York. I think it was part of my recovery process from a traumatic year. It felt like home.

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