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How Do Your Clothes Make You Feel?


Covertly I watch the four giggling women as they take their seats at the table. The restaurant is busy, but I’m aware I’m not the only one who’s noticed their arrival. There are many admiring glances being shot their way.

I know immediately which one I would like to emulate, at least in appearance, should I be so lucky to reach my 70s.

I love their stylish sunglasses and smart outfits. They have chic bags and bright scarves, and one woman is a walking masterclass in the art of textured layering: She’s draped several shades of caramel in silk, wool and tweed around her body like a perfect afterthought.

The lady who really catches my eye is wearing a pinstriped, emerald green suit. It could almost be tailored pajamas it looks so comfortable, but with her gorgeous grey hair and silver accessories, it doesn’t look out of place in this classy London establishment.

These are women who clearly find pleasure in dressing and know exactly what suits them. I get the distinct impression they dress to please themselves.

They understand that their closets are where they get to make a daily decision about who they want to be. Regardless of whether you wear a dress and heels, everyday, or prefer your favorite jeans and a simple shirt, we all have to get dressed. To me, that’s often the one chance I get to enjoy a few sacred moments each morning before my day begins.

Why not get dressed with care and in a way that expresses who you really are?

Whilst I love ease and comfort and could easily spend the entire day in my pajamas, getting dressed does something to me. It prepares me for what the day will bring, and it feels like I’m making a conscious decision to be the best version of myself.

A lot of women I’ve met, lately, seem to disregard the importance of taking time to get dressed and wearing clothes they love. Caring for your appearance seems to be regarded as a frivolous pursuit, and yet, I see it as so much more than that. It’s got nothing to do with fashion or owning a closet crammed with clothes. It’s about setting an example; it’s about living life with purpose.

I want to be remembered for being compassionate and kind and so many other good things, but I also want to be remembered as someone who demonstrated exquisite self-care; that I wasn’t afraid to choose who I want to be in this life.

I’d love to believe that someday, I could leave a positive and lasting impression on someone younger than me. That I demonstrated the power of ‘”Just be yourself” because I wasn’t afraid to express who I am through what I wear. Sure, in the big scheme of things clothes don’t matter, but the way they make us feel? That matters a lot.

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Esther Zimmer is an Australian writer, lifestyle coach and personal stylist based in London. She believes everyone has a calling, and it’s not necessarily just one thing. The home she shares with her husband, David, is filled with art and books, and her favorite pastime is packing a bag and heading somewhere new. Esther writes about life, relationships, body image and travel and can be found at

11 thoughts on “How Do Your Clothes Make You Feel?”

  1. Extreme self-care and living a life with purpose… two things we should each practice every day. Thanks for the reminder and for painting a picture of the older women. By telling us what they were wearing, we get the impression they dressed for themselves, and if we’re to be honest, perhaps for one another. Lovely! xoxox, Brenda

    • Brenda, thank you for your lovely comment. Nearly all the women I look up to because of their incredible style are older than me, I find the younger ones or even those in my age group are still playing it a little too safe (and I include myself in that ‘safe’ category!). And yes, I believe women do dress for one another, but what a lovely sign of respect, I always think it’s divine when girlfriends arrive for dinner all dressed up, it’s a compliment to us both. I hope you’re having a wonderful Easter! Essie xx

  2. Dressing well is such a confidence booster. I work from home so jeans, a great t, and a cashmere cardigan are my staples. I put my energy and dollars into fabulous coats and blazers since they spruce up my look when I run errands.

    • Jen, it really is, isn’t it? I work from home a lot too and I have a few quality staples that I trust to keep me looking and feeling good as well. And I don’t think you can go wrong investing in fabulous coats and blazers, they’re the kind of things you can wear again and again, I have a cashmere coat I bought about five years ago and it still looks like new – and gets a ton of compliments! Worth the money, for sure. Esther x

  3. I love this, Esther! You described exactly where my mind is at regarding self-care and dressing myself. I have a lot of fun planning for and thinking about how I’m going to dress for the upcoming season. What new pieces to I require to fill in gaps, or to update my wardrobe? What do I get rid of? You made a very good point about not “owning a closet crammed with clothes”! In fact, I think owning too much is detrimental to discovering your own personal style. I’m working on weeding out my closet (not Marie Kondo-style, just a ne essay purge) and it feels good. Thanks for a meaningful post about what we wear. XOX

    • And thank you, Val, for your wonderful comment! I love reading about your current wardrobe situation and I believe it’s a really positive thing to enjoy dressing up and to think about what how we’re going to dress. What I find is that if I put some thought into it in advance, then I don’t have to think twice about it once I leave the house, leaving my mind free to focus on other (possibly much more important) things! And I’m a big advocate for less but better items too. It’s been a slow and on-going evolution, but I have quite a minimal wardrobe now, and when I do purchase something I make sure it’s really good quality that I’ll wear again and again. Your comment, “I think owning too much is detrimental to discovering your own personal style” is so true! Essie xx

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