Clothing as Armor

by D

A collaborative post with the lovely Catherine Kirk, a designer at one of the best studios in the nation
and a very close friend, who never fails to come up with brilliant ideas.

Armadillos - nature's most armored creature; knight armor as literal protection;
casual street-style by way of "that leather jacket and those skinny black jeans";
an Alexander McQueen ribbed and defined purple dress.

Every morning, we dress in a certain way. Whether it be to fit in, to disappear or stick out -
our choices are pretty strategic. No matter what we pick, our choices have intention, and that can manifest consciously or unconsciously. Even if the extent of our actions are to pick up a set of shirt/pants/skirt/dress off the floor and throw it on, thinking "I don't care," along the way -
this says equally as much as smartly dressing in a fresh, pressed suit.

Clothing is a form communication to the outside world. Realizing it or not - your outfit
physically reflects and informs society about who you are and where you are in your life. On the
flip-side, clothing can also be a mechanism that protects you from that same inquisitiveness
of our curious social world. 


Color, fabric, and texture can all function as an emotional medicine. They work to balance
whatever great, crappy, bored or productive mood you are in. As much as it presents YOU to the
world it also protects your underbelly. It is your armor. 

Take that leather jacket and those skinny black jeans of yours. In them, to everyone else you appear effortless, strong and powerful. To you? ....What happened that morning? Well, that was that day you couldn't deal with everything buzzing in your head and life, and needed something easy to put on that was going make you feel strong and set to take on the next challenge. Insecurity has always had a way of dictating our attire. We all have people around whom we feel insecure and defenseless - as though they see every one of our flaws - and what do we do? Pull out that outfit that we feel the thinnest, prettiest, most powerful in - or whatever it is we need to say: screw you.

For me? It's this amazingly simple Anne Klein violet sweater dress. I just pull it over my head
and am instantly polished. The cut makes me feel elegant and beautiful, while still looking modest
and allows me to function at my highest  - a perfect defense against any bystander daring to criticize. In this dress, I am armed and ready.

What's your armor of choice?