Very short one today on a personal observation.
In one of the “Goth” groups over on the Book of Faces someone posted a “meme” about feeling more confident when dressed “Goth”, that the clothes were their armor.
I find that a very good description actually.
While I have mostly dressed very basically–black t-shirt, black pants or jeans, black or purple nail polish–of late I have started to “dress up” more. At first I had dressier outfits to wear for “special occasions” and kind of lamented the fact that I didn’t have a good excuse to wear them. Then I came to a realization: I didn’t need a special occasion. I could wear them just because I wanted to wear them. I didn’t have to dress for anybody else–especially not for strangers at a club or other public gathering. I could “dress up” simply to please myself.
And once I started doing that, I found something remarkable. Oh, sure, I’ve talked about my issues with social interaction in the past, that I don’t get social cues, that I get tongue tied (possibly related–I don’t know what to say because I don’t understand the cues to know what “type” of conversation we’re having), and as a result I have major, major social anxiety. Well, not entirely as a result. I think those things feed into each other.
That said, when I dress up, I find that the anxiety level goes way down. Sure, I still don’t get social cues. I still get tongue tied. I’m still extremely introverted. But those things create less stress. Being around other people uses fewer “spoons”. The fancier dark “gothy” clothes really are a form of “armor”, shielding me from those intangible stresses
When I dress up, I am simply happier and more comfortable in my own skin, in my own clothes, in my own dark armor.