The Link Between Fashion and Psychology in the Legal Field
We live surrounded by lots of stimuli that dictate how we make choices. Let’s take some time to understand why this relationship between law practice and fashion is important. I am not referring to the practice of fashion law, it’s deeper than that. I want to emphasize the importance of our freedom to choose our attire, our style, and finally, being conscious consumers. If we are not making ourselves different, we will all be the same, driven by those external stimuli that push us into patterns of unconscious consumerism.
How do you make choices when it comes to your personal fashion style for your law practice?
I’d like to bring to light some aspects of choosing style, in general. Our choices are dictated by our unconscious needs. For example; I’m very open to fashion and I like the beauty and the spirit of fashion. When I was thirteen years old I started creating my own clothing. I had so much passion inside of me and I was so attracted to the world of fashion. I sewed my dresses by hand, I even made a bridal gown and sold it. Everything was beautiful at that moment. I was ready to be a fashion designer, after finishing high school.
I was living with my father who, was a musician before becoming a priest, immediately told me, “you can’t do this! As an artist you won’t have a future in this country.” It was the best advice given by his experience and perspective. Because I asked for his opinion, I also considered his opinion, seeing him in that moment as the authority. So, I chose a different path, law. More “serious”, more “significant” in society. I mention this to emphasize that there are needs that lead to our choices, but beliefs also play a very important role in our lives.
I want to invite you to ask yourself some questions. In your reality, who is the authority that guides you toward your choices? Are you influenced by social media? Models in fashion magazines? TV? News? Friends and/or family? I started sharing my story with you because I want to bring awareness of the importance of making choices from the authentic place within yourself.
I became a lawyer and this choice not only changed my path, but also shut down my connection with my passion! I saw lawyers wearing very formal clothing. I started believing that our image influenced our credibility. I was twenty four years old when we (my sister and I) opened our own law firm. I started changing my style, I was wearing glasses to appear older and more credible. One day I realized that my entire wardrobe was black with a little grey. I felt my sense of self had gone away from what it was my true nature. I was trying to fit into the law profession. Have you ever have had this feeling?
Enclothed Cognition… A term coined by psychologists, Hajo Adams and Adam Galinsky. They discovered a direct correlation between your attire and your performance. People also can take on some of the characteristics of what they’re wearing.
Now I will show you four steps when considering fashion, style and law.
1. Be aware. Ask yourself what you like, but please ask yourself why you like this dress/suit or style. Explore deeper what do you think and how it makes you feel. Perhaps it reminds you of something that brings up emotions? Be truthful with yourself.
2. Be curious. Research alternative styles, resources, stores and magazines. You may discover something different about yourself. Action leads to results. Different actions bring you different results. Choose something you like without any reason, just because you like it.
3. Observe. After you have the answer, ask yourself how it feels when you choose somethings that fit your choices. Recognize what you like and don’t like about these choices. Maybe you like the colors or texture, but you don’t feel good in the pattern. Remain truthful with yourself. Remember your needs, what matters to you. Comfort? Fun?
4. Make choices that are sustainable for you. Take into consideration your needs and beliefs. Honor the part in you that feels happy. Also, take into consideration your environment. Remember the halo effect. The first second you meet somebody they create an opinion of you. It’s different to make choices from a place of fear when you believe you are not credible. You have to make sure that there is a balance and you feel good and aligned with your values, but also with your work environment. I just want you to remember, when you own your style there is an energy you transmit, your confidence will rise up automatically.
I remember when, after many years of darkness, formalism and the pain of stigma, I felt free and I changed my style. I was “me” more than ever before! I was more than a lawyer.