Believe it or not, there could be a direct connection between what your wear and your mental state, or, mood. During much of the pandemic, many of us have, at least temporarily, fallen into a kind of clothing slump where day after day, we chose to wear the same sweatpants or t-shirts as we went about our business - often at home. Making the effort to “dress up” during those periods was effectively halted as, hey, nobody other than our own families and pets would be around to look at us anyway, right? Sadly, that kind of thinking didn’t help our already often low moods, the state of the world being what it was. Today, as restrictions ease and we begin to emerge from our homes again, ready to take on adventures big and small (albeit a little bleary eyed), we may find ourselves pondering: who were we dressing for all along? Ourselves, or others? Over the course of our lives, a lot of us have undoubtedly felt societal pressure to dress a certain way to fit into long-held perceptions of attractiveness. While it’s perfectly okay to identify with these perceptions, it’s equally important to ensure that our dressing habits aren’t mindlessly ruled by them. How we dress should arguably be a reflection of our individual values, whatever they are, and as such, can bring us much happiness - particularly in these challenging times. What’s more, trying new styles can actually help us discover that “different” can feel good, too.
For starters, a set amount of time on earth isn’t guaranteed to anyone. This is not to sound morbid or dark, but rather, it is a simple reminder that making the most of our time on this planet is basically a good idea. A lot of us usually save our “good” clothing or our “fancy” accessories for special occasions. Well, if there’s one thing the very beginning of the pandemic has shown many of us, it is that life can turn at the drop of the hat. We may never know when the next special occasion is. Life is itself a special occasion! A great way we can live life fully is to consciously choose to do what makes us feel good. Tapping into the colours, textures and styles of clothing that genuinely make us smile can do this! What’s more, doing this can help us find our “fashion identity.” Many of us temporarily lost that identity when we walked by our closets each day and instead reached for the same old repetitive outfits during lockdowns. As we tap into figuring out what kinds of pieces make us feel our best, we discover what it is that we value, and, as we take those pieces out into the world via our bodies, we surely show others what we value, too. In this regard, it’s pretty safe to say that our clothing speaks for us. Without a doubt, we want to make sure that the clothing we choose to wear sends an accurate message about who we are, and not what anyone else wants us to be.
Additionally, on occasion, it might be a good idea to spend a little time discovering new styles that we may not have tried before. Because we can so often find ourselves caught up in a web of social expectation (even from our peers), it can be easy to get lost in it where our clothing selections are concerned. We may even fall into a kind of routine of wearing what we usually feel good in. While the physical and mental comfort our clothing gives us is certainly important, there are actually benefits to stepping out of our comfort zone when it comes to what we wear. The sheer novelty of throwing on a piece we wouldn’t normally choose to wear can boost our mood and even reduce stress! Test driving new colours and styles of clothing can, in turn, also help build confidence in ourselves and our choices. Pandemic lockdowns certainly afforded us plenty of extra time to stand in front of the mirror to try on pieces we might have otherwise overlooked. This kind of experimentation with clothing can not only open our minds to new things but also, it could even open us up to new kinds of joy.
Blossom and Tempest is definitely a shop where one can find a wide variety of colours, textures and unique styles to suit many people—and spark joy. While we are largely known for our signature boho pieces, characterized by floral prints and flowing fabrics (current examples for spring include the embroidered Elina dress and the Delhi patchwork tunic by April Cornell), Blossom and Tempest will occasionally carry a few “classic” styles such as blazers, sweaters, coats and jackets - but with a decidedly boho twist. The Sasha quilted jacket by April Cornell is a great example. What’s more, the shop takes pride in carrying handmade pieces such as the Kimono Ojo by Mi Tribu, or the Penny polka dot kimono and Aura long skirt by our very own house brand, Tempest! These are particularly special to the shop as they showcase the individual talents of many local and international artisans, giving customers the ability to experiment with wearing unique items that aren’t always available to the masses. For anyone feeling a little unsure about fully stepping out of their comfort zone with clothing, a great place to test the waters on a smaller scale could be through jewellery. If you normally wear dainty pieces, for example, try wearing a fun little pop of colour on your earlobes! For instance, the adorable Fruit drop earrings by Riley Grae come in a variety of uplifting spring colours such as clementine and pineapple, adding a quirky, cute little touch to a standard jeans and white tee outfit (FYI, we also sell the softest white bamboo tees by Terrera!). In addition, we are featuring a new maker at the shop this season, Kat (not to be confused with our beloved shop owner, Kat). She is a talented silversmith based in Toronto who specializes in crafting handmade, one-of-kind sterling silver and semi-precious stone jewellery. Try adding one of her statement lapis rings to your collection for a quick dash of unique style. As you gaze down at your special, new jewellery, you will no doubt also be reminded of Mother Nature’s beauty - a lovely feeling, particularly as this new, vibrant season approaches.
While dressing up during a pandemic (and even posting photos of your dressed up self on social media) may at first thought seem pointless or even frivolous and insensitive, we mustn’t forget that it isn’t about the what, but rather, it’s about the why. Your intentions for dressing up and celebrating yourself are what count, and, there’s reason to believe that others could be inspired by that. What can happen as a result of wearing what you like and proudly sharing that with the world, by walking down the street or posting photos of yourself on social media, is that others will see that feeling joy can still be possible during a dark time… and yes, joy can even be sparked by something as seemingly trivial as wearing a colourful shirt or a uniquely crafted piece of jewellery. The key is to choose pieces that spark your joy, and no one else’s; that very important part likely won’t go unnoticed. So, make the effort and get dressed, especially when you need a lift. What you choose to wear can make a positive impact in more ways than one!
Written beautifully by Karina Doob