July is the month where we have the opportunity to celebrate our country and all the lovely things that we enjoy about living in a place where we are mostly free to say what we wish, believe what we want and express our individuality. Keeping our patriotic spirit alive can take a number of forms in your wardrobe.
The first and most obvious way to express your patriotism is to wear something on Canada Day that has our Canadian flag emblazoned on it, or something sporting our red and white colours. Almost everyone can wear some version of red and white that looks good on them and our Canadian red is actually a good neutral red that almost anyone can wear. The next way to express patriotism is to really embrace and celebrate your personal style. We live in a place that allows and encourages us to be expressive with who we are, and when you take steps to define and enjoy your personal style, you are daily enjoying one of our many freedoms, the freedom of expression.
Here are some great questions to ask when you’re working to define your personal style:
Do the clothes that I wear reflect my values?
You may have a high aesthetic value, so all of your clothing can reflect that by being well made, well fitted and beautifully put together. You might have a high economic value, so all of your clothing can be either inexpensively purchased, or of good quality and worn for long periods of time.
Are my clothes honouring my social context?
If you work in a conservative industry, your work wardrobe needs to reflect the values of that industry, with a personal spin added for you. For example, if you love the beach and the outdoors, you might wear a suit that has a natural fabric with interesting accessories like shells, beads and sea-themed jewelry, as opposed to bringing your flip flops to the office. If you don’t feel like you fit into your workplace, you can choose to either modify your wardrobe, or find a job that fits your style a bit better.
Does everything in my closet fit me?
When you’re looking at expressing yourself in your clothing, the things in your closet need to fit you on every level, not just physically. When you’re looking through your wardrobe, see if the things in there feel good, feel comfortable and feel like the best version of yourself when you wear them.
Do I have something for every occasion?
The activities you do and the roles you play in life require different kinds of formality and different kinds of clothing. If you’re looking to define your personal style, the activities you do can be a great guideline. For example, if you are very outdoorsy, your style throughout your wardrobe can reflect that in the fabrics and styles you choose. If you love drama and live larger than life, your clothing might have bolder colours and be more fashion forward or unusual. Look through your closet to see if you have clothing for any occasion and if so, what kinds of clothing make up the largest part of your wardrobe.
Most people don’t consider their wardrobe as a tool for their freedom of expression, but here in our beautiful country, we have a great opportunity to share our personalities with our community, just by defining and celebrating our individual style and the individual styles of others. Enjoy your summer holiday this year and spend a bit of time thinking about what it means for you to be free to express who you are in our wonderful country.