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3 Ways to Overcome Formal Event Clothing Anxiety

Getting dressed up can be intimidating and bring about feelings of clothing anxiety. The following questions fill your mind: Do I look okay? Are people going to look at me? 

First, let me reassure you. Yes, you look great! Yes, they might, but that’s because you look stunning!

I get it, though.

The details of what makes up a fancy outfit – the heels, the extra showing skin, the itchy fabric – are literally designed to turn heads in terms of emphasizing the beautiful aspects of the body. 

Maybe you don’t prefer to put energy into “being seen” or just plain don’t like to be dressed up. 

Either way, clothing anxiety can quickly take over when it comes to events we really can’t skip out on – like being there for close family at a funeral, or supporting a cause that means a lot to you by attending a gala. There could also be an evening where there is a formal work event, and your presence is required to build team connections and impress clients. 

For these times, we need to overcome the clothing anxiety that comes about from having to put on fancy attire. 

Here are some tips you can apply that I think will greatly help!

Prepare Your Formal Attire Beforehand 

There’s nothing worse than adding to the snowball of anxiety by stressing out two hours before it is time to leave because there’s nothing to wear.

You will feel much more at ease when your dressy outfit is planned beforehand. Planning ahead gives you the time to think about and select clothing items that make you feel happy and comfortable. 

I recommend making a board on Pinterest of formal attire ideas you like (or can deal with, lol) and go off of that when picking the outfit. 

Definitely do a test run and try the outfit on! In fact, test out more than one (I’d say about three) and pick the one that makes you feel the most amazing. 

Take mirror selfies of you in the outfits and get a close friend’s opinion – someone who you trust and know will be completely honest. It will give you reassurance. 

Next, identify any issues the outfit presents and work on a solution that works for you. 

For example, if a dress is too low cut when you try it on, you can assess how to make it work, such as adding a camisole underneath to cover up cleavage, or applying fashion tape to keep the fabric in the right places.

Planning an outfit takes time, but well worth it! It’s like planning a wedding – we spend time selecting the perfect white attire, jewelry, shoes, makeup and hairstyle for the special day. When that day comes, all there is to do is enjoy the day and get ready!

Every event we attend should be treated the same way. On the day of the endeavor, it’s time to relax and enjoy getting ready in a calm and positive manner. 

A woman who has overcome clothing anxiety confidently wears a pink dress with a white blazer while standing on the beach.

Dress According to Your Own Personality and Comfort Level

If looking boujee is not your vibe, that’s perfectly okay. Your self-assurance and confidence should be founded on what makes you happy!

Intentionally dress to reflect your best self rather than letting others decide how you appear to the world.

Examine what pieces make you feel good and what pieces do not make you feel secure in your appearance. 

Doing this will make you feel more confident in your ability to make style decisions and will prevent you from having concerns about how you are being represented. 

If you don’t like dresses, don’t wear them! Try a chiffon jumpsuit, or wide-leg trousers with a silk top. Still dressy, but comfortable and expressive. 

The same goes for tight clothing. As an alternative, try a tiered flowy mini dress and accent your waist with a belt. This flatters your body by giving it shape, while allowing room for movement. 

Kick Clothing Anxiety With a Mental Moment 

Now that you are dressed up and ready to go, hush any feelings of clothing anxiety with a moment in silence. Take deep breaths and meditate, even if only for a few minutes. It will help get your heart rate down.

You can pray about it, asking for strength and confidence. 

Get your mind on a positive note by reciting a few fashion oriented affirmations like the ones below that I have written myself: 

My outfit looks amazing on me, and expresses who I am as a person. 

I love what I am wearing, and I truly feel like me.

I radiate with love and abundance in the clothes I have on. 

It can be challenging to force your mind into a different state, but with willpower and determination, it can be done. 

Only you can make it happen 🙂 you can do it!

A woman with clothing anxiety has a calm and relaxed facial expression after taking deep breaths to clear her mind.

Getting Dressed Up in Positive Vibes 

If being present in formal attire makes you anxious, make adjustments that can lead to a new, healthier self. No one has to be miserable, uncomfortable, or stressed out to look excellent!

Being dressed to the nine can provide an unexpected boost of confidence and self-assurance. It also encourages others to appreciate us and treat us with deference.

You got this! Are you ready to pick out your outfit?

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