The Importance of Dressing for your Spirit, Old Photos, and Glamour Magick
Originally published via Wordpress August 26, 2018.
It’s been a while since I’ve written, so I thought I’d pop in to say hi and ramble briefly (ha) about a few topics that have been floating around in my head as of late.
I was talking to my friend, Anna Sirota, the other day about how we rarely dress up anymore. And not even talking about the heels and whole 9 kinda thing, but just ANYTHING other than super casual. Dressing for our spirits. It's been years. The conversation started with Anna asking me if I dye clothing, and telling me she wants to dye all of her denim black or grey. So of course I had to ask why. Was she revamping her wardrobe? (no pun intended!) She said she wasn't revamping it as much as building it up, taking her style up a notch.
I got to thinking, I hardly wear anything these days but scrubs, athleisure, and yoga clothes myself these days save for a few rotating shorts and tanks. I have more clothes than that, I love finding pieces that speak to my soul, but for some reason I’ve gotten so out of the habit of physically connecting to these pieces that it's like relationship left untended to. I agreed that I wanted to start dressing more intentionally too, dressing for my spirit.
Anna told me that in high school, she tended more towards goth but her style has evolved since. Currently at her most aligned, she is a combo of steampunk, goth, rock and fairy. And she loves her crystal jewelry, her rings and necklaces. I’m probably somewhere between jungle fairy/goddess-y/mermaid vibes with armbands, and rings and crystals too. I used to love those long skirts you’d find in Goodwill or the little hippie shops in Asheville paired with tiny tank tops or little boys shirts I’d get for four bucks at Walmart.
Though back to the black pants.
I must admit that I hit a point in college while living in Philly when my friend Jackie introduced me to BDG jeans from Urban Outfitters (specifically the black,high-waisted skinny ones). I haven’t looked back since. I used to live in my faded low-rise flares back in high school. The more raggedy, the more they dragged on the ground and covered my shoes, the better. It was a particular joy when they’d actually cover my shoes since it happened so rarely, being that I was so tall. Now I feel weird if my belly isn’t covered and comfortably tucked into my mom jeans. Plus I always feel pulled together in black high-waisted. Something about how clean and sharp it feels, and also like I can easily do a little high-knee-to-elbow dance or something. But I digress.
Basically this chat with my friend Anna inspired and reminded me what it felt like to clothe my spirit and dress for my soul. Dress for the feeling I want to invoke. How does a certain color connect me to an element? How can a piece of jewelry empower me and connect me to the energy of the friend who gave it to me? And not to mention all of its history!
For example, the necklace I'm wearing below is a piece of costume jewelry that belonged to my friend Madeline's great grandma. How's that for magic. I've never met Madeline's great grandma, but Madeline is an amazing artist and wild soul who lives out in Montana, nearly off the grid as far as social media, and focuses on the root of her art practice and travel coming from a more personal experience of the world rather than creating a reality that is super connected to the outside world via IG (like me haha). I love these qualities about Madeline and how she tunes in to her own frequency wherever she is. She is a Libra with a Leo south node and Lilith in her house of career, you can absolutely see that in how she marches to the beat of her own drum in life and in art. So wearing something that is so deeply connected to a part of her roots allows me to embrace all of those things that I feel when I think about my friend.
Similarly, a light blue and tan combo connect me to the ether but also keep me gently grounded. A flash of coral red on my lips stimulates me and creates a sensation that while I’m still feeling pretty earthy, low-key, and protecting and nourishing my energy, I’m also diving in head first and mean business. It’s a way of showing up in the world ready to take on the day with whatever it throws at me.
And to be honest, y'all, if you feel cute- freaking selfie! I mean why not? Love yourself, embrace your beauty, and congratulate yourselves on dressing for your spirit even if nobody sees but you.
My friend and life coach Shawn Engel, teaches this concept as Glamour Magick and she often talks about it on her platform, WitchyWisdoms. When she’s feeling down or maybe in a rut about money, she’ll go rummaging through her closet and throw on a designer jacket from the days of her first-job, spendy shopping. She talks about how important it is to step into the feeling of what it is we want to attract and through involving physical items (i.e. a baller jacket) we bring that feeling more and more to life. Feeling like a boss, you become a boss. Wear that shade of lipstick, paint your nails fiery orange for Leo season (which we are slowly but surely leaving), put on the freaking crystal crown people! Put yourself into the role that you want to see yourself in.
And because you feel like one, boss energy attracts more boss energy and soon your outside world begins to line up with your inside world because your boss magnet is just so. Damn. strong. How many more times can i say boss? Bossbossbossbossbossboss (that actually feels quite nice to type.)
Isn’t that awesome though? I mean, this doesn’t have to just center on money and success- it can also mean wearing your favorite Hanoux and feeling like a beautiful, stretchy, ethereal goddess and being inspired to play on the ground and throw handstands against random walls in your house all day.
The beauty in how we can build our world through how we show up to it is limitless.
As we move through styles due to changes in our external circumstance, we sometimes forget what our initial impulse was with clothing. The things you would throw on just for fun hanging out with your friends in your bedroom at your parents house and take silly pictures in. The look you first gravitated towards when you began expressing yourself because it just felt like home. It's funny -how when you start looking back you find patterns. Patterns that change, patterns that remain, patterns that weave together where you've come to now.
I’m always really impressed when people dress up everyday. Mostly because that is so far from my scope of capability that I don’t see how one can stay so crisp at all times. There was one girl I went to art school with who always looked like a million bucks, and her work reflected the same structured, methodical diligence and clarity of design. She’s a jewelry/metals teacher at a college now herself, and I bet she’s a really good one.
But while I’ve always admired a sharp sense of style and have tried lots of different looks myself, but I always feel super off if I’m not in something loose and flowy or tight and stretchy. Nothing starchy and ironed please. I always seem to come back to comfy yoga goddess vibes. It just feels good to me. (Except the pants, y’all. Those high waisted black jeans help me keep it together and not float off completely. Telling ya.)
So now I’m just going to focus on finding comfort, intention, and meaning in the pieces I do wear, knowing all that I’ve collected suits my spirit and I don’t need to buy a new wardrobe to embrace the magic- that already lays hidden in the one I have. So thank you, Anna!! Here’s to our inner fairies.
In writing this blog post (and actually why it took me so long to put it on the internet), I decided that I needed to dig up my old hard drive and actually look back at some of these high school days. Back when I first started to feel in alignment with my true spirit through clothes. (I mean, we lived at home and were still in the first 12 years of school so it isn't like we had all the freedoms of expression that we do now. And even if we did we were too decidedly rebelling rather than just calmly stepping outside of a frame of mind and walk away whistling. So clothing it was!) So here are some gems that I uncovered in the process of taking a hike through memory lane circa 2007-2009. Enjoy! (And be gentle with me. It was high school, and I wore push-up bras. Haha.)
(Lol! It is so hard to find a photo from this era when I'm not making that face. Who can relate?)
(This was found very strangely and I HAD to include it because what is this even? Zebra leggings beneath basketball shorts paired with my mom's salsa dancing top which was I believe from Victoria's Secret. But I absolutely freaking love it. WHY DIDN'T THIS OUTFIT HIT THE STREETS!? Probably because I lived in SC and was too self conscious to rock such spirit wear in Greenville. So sad!)
That was apparently my face at holding a really adorable, tiny puppy?
(Also there was a lot of really excited open-mouth smiling happening in this era.)
And then this skirt which was also convertible into a dress...
Pretty sure those two pictures above were taken specifically for Myspace, lol.
Another gem from remnants of scene-era energy fused with discovering hippie lifestyle and being 17. Not really sure what's going on, but I'm with my best friend/high school roommate, Kati, who is wearing a shirt I used to pair with the most raggedy Victoria Secret flared sweatpants. I call it boarding school class. Classy on top, comfy on the bottom... right? Anyways, such little bebies.
This was taken the first week of school in Philly. I still had all of the Southern hippie energy I brought with me. (Again, not sure what was going on ... let's not forget these are from DEEP in the archives! haha)
And thennn, life happens. Here is me standing in the doorway of my dorm room, also freshman year in Philly. Getting ready to go to one of our first college parties. The style up North was much less flowy than what I'd been used to and surrounded by in SC. My Jersey and NY friends wore small little straight skirts and bandeaus with cut up tee-shirts. I added the bright tights and cardi because to be honest I'm from the South and it was cold and I thought I looked so GD COOL.
Pictured above with the infamous black pants in 2015 in Berlin. You can't exactly tell how high rise they are because my tall girl torso kicked in for that pic, but you can see how two schools of experience and style begin to slowly merge (i.e.my inner Southern hippie + going to school and living in Philly for 6-7 years and riding a bike everywhere.)
So much of how we dress is just our experiences linking together, bit by bit. Unless you are a true fashion person (which I sadly am not) and are always consciously thinking about your look, our personal style can be a piece of ourselves that we lose as we navigate the changes and shifts in direction our lives can take. Suddenly you find yourself wearing only sweats and scrubs. What happened to that bohemian mermaid spirit?
The past few years I've started coming to terms with my higher self and getting back to wearing what simply feels good - mostly through colors and patterns that make me happy, or pieces that hold meaning - like my mom's necklace that traveled all over Europe with me, of a pair of pants I bought in Bratislava.
Me dancing around in my room in 2015, feeling totally aligned between my outer and inner worlds.
An amazing piece of fabric I found in Costa Rica and made a shirt dress that later traveled through Nevada and California with me as two friends and I embarked on a photo extravaganza that became "Dusty Divas & the Devil's Cornbread."
A furry coat and a vibe, shot by Jordan Scott. This was the rebirth of feeling aligned with my style this year. I absolutely love how an art project or conversation (such as mine with Anna) can spur a flow in a positive direction.
And to be honest it doesn't have to be some big extravagant piece that speaks to your spirit and feels aligned for you. Sometimes it's some paint leftover from your studio time earlier and comfy dance shorts with a crop top. If you feel beautiful and fulfilled with the things you are working on or have done that day, you may feel like a total babe in the most casual of outfits and THAT is also fucking awesome. I'm not saying casual is bad here. I'm saying that tuning in and listening to our inner self, our higher self, our most aligned and authentic self with what to clothe our physical bodies in can make showing up to the world a much more easy and fun thing to do.
These photos are from me yesterday, feeling happy, fulfilled and truly aligned, celebrating the Pisces Full Moon with my hubby and some Sake on the back porch. I find that when I am painting, I automatically feel more aligned with my higher self, and my style reflects my spirit no matter what I wear. Thanks for tuning in peeps! Until next time. Much love to you all.