I think everyone goes through a stage where they are not happy with there wardrobe or how they look, I guarantee you its just a phase.
The problem with fashion is that it changes and evolves so quickly. What you like today may not be the same as what you like tomorrow or next week, because you no longer like the look you currently have or you want to be smarter/more casual, and when this happens (and it will happen to everyone who is fashion conscious) you start to lose confidence in that look and also yourself. But last week you loved the look and also yourself.
When it happened to me, I went back to basics.....jeans, white t-shirt, dessert boots. And kept it like that until I knew what I liked and didn't like.
Don't sweat on it, it wont be the last time it happens.
I sympathise Nath. I think you need to get to the root of the issues though, not just the symptoms, if that makes sense.
If it is a confidence thing, then why is that? Your own appearance? No longer want to stand out? Depression even? The latter has been an issue for me, and can affect almost every aspect of your life.
That's why it's so important to get to the root of it - what you do as a result will be drastically different. The solution could be anything from going to the gym, through to going on anti-depressants, you know what I mean?
I do occasionally think that the whole style game is inherently narcissitic and shallow, and if I was a good person then I wouldn't be interested in how I look. But I usually find some way of rationalising it to myself!
Good luck anyway man - hope you figure it out.
The important thing - be you.
Oh, yes. Depression, or even just a tendency to be blue (which I certainly have, at least periodically) has such an impact on ones ambitions and energy. Though I've never had to medicate for it, I've on occasion had to resort to counselling for some mind guidance. Counselling and working out (gym and running) has so far always helped me back on my feet.
Originally Posted by Nat
This is something I have struggled with as well, which has to do with the fact that growing up, people interested in fashion almost exclusively were an elitist, snobby bunch, which put me off completely. I didn't want to be associated with their kind.
Originally Posted by Nat
While there is an element of narcissism to it, and certainly the whole industry is based on a pretty shallow foundation, there's more to it than that. Not being able to dress well was actually a big anchor for my self esteem, and ever since I found a style that feels more "me", I've felt a lot more confident. It has less to do with looking good, and more about feeling you look the way you want to. That you are in the right element. Or something.
Still, one has to remember that it's just clothes!
Not sure if that helped the cause, in regards to Nath's post, but I felt I needed to comment.
Yeah I definitely agree Marc - dressing well has been part of me developing into me, through my late 20s. That's how I justify it anyway! And yes, looking good helps me feel a lot more confident, clothes being just a part of that. Always fighting against the danger of style over substance though... And I will always have a grudging respect for people who just don't give a fuck about how they look! (as opposed to people who do care, but still look bad)
On the depression issue, (although it's not a word I like to use), I don't want to say too much. On one hand, it's a problem I've encountered throughout my life but it's also something I started to accept I'm not going to get rid of.
But it's getting to the stage I don't really want to leave the house because I hate every outfit I try on. More worrying, I really can't stand looking in the mirror, a phenomenon I haven't experienced since my early teens.
I've swapped to less skinny jeans, but now all I can think about is that I might have looked stupid all these years wearing them. Just an example of my mindset at the moment.
Sorry for the self-deprecation, but I'm a big believer in the advice of (relative) strangers.
I think it speaks volumes of this forum/community that people are willing to listen to others and give advise for more sensitive issues.
Originally Posted by Nath6644
Firstly Nath you are not alone, most of things people will say to you on here you will already know but it is nice to hear it from others too. This is not simply a matter of going to a gym and everything will be ok it goes further than this. Dont be put off by the term depression. Depression does have stigma attached but it is just an umbrella term. Anxiety, OCD etc all come under the general term depression. The fact is it is more and more prevalent in today's world so we need to talk about.
You are clearly down, and judging by your last comment lack of self confidence in your physical appearance is something you have felt intermittently since teenage years. We need to get your confidence back, it won't solve the underlying issue but it will help. Someone mentioned anti depressants above but that is not the root. I would strongly recommend cognitive behavioural therapy, do some research for a good CBT therapist, they can work wonders.
I can empathise with the not looking in the mirror thing. Many People will just tell you to cop on and get over yourself, youre good looking, but it is not as simple as this if you suffer from low self confidence. Confidence is such a driver in life and translates to success in all facets of your life that it really is something you need to regain.
The gym can really help this in terms of positive endorphins and a well constructed weights programme will boost your confidence in terms of bodily changes from muscle gain. View this as a project to re-invent yourself. Wear clothes you feel comfortable in and if that means less skinny jeans then go for but each time you go out try and put your own stamp on it. Blending in will not help your confidence. I am sure you have many things going for you in your life such as your music, your fashion blogs etc.
Forget about wishing you were something else and be the best version of you that you can be, not a mediocre Nath that blends in.
Post of the month^
But I agree, any kind of one on one treatment will be more effective than any kind of drugs (I say as a training clinical psychologist), and the results are for a far greater time. Drugs relieve the pain but doesn't deal with it, where as treatment like CBT [or any kind of counselling] deals with root of the pain.
I'm glad this is being openly discussed actually, talking about depression and how down you're feeling does not make you weak - shying away from it does. But I think the root of that problem is because of society's reluctance to acknowledge what it really is, everyone will run over and sign your cast if you break a bone but when it comes to your inner-psych being disrupted everyone feels awkward and just thinks you need a pat on the back and saying "you'll be alright" just because they believe you're feeling a bit sad.
I think it's only a matter of time though until we truly care what's going on in our minds. Self-development of any kind is really moving forward, we really care about our bodies, diets and style; it's only a matter of time before we start learning about our inner psychs and getting the best out of minds.
Rant over, back to you Nath.
Now's a time to give yourself a good bit of self reflection, and to help find the root of what you're feeling, think about what's going on in other parts of your life, is anything stressful happening in your romantic, work, financial or health? Or even the amount and quality of sleep you're getting has massive effects on your mental well being. Just give yourself a few moments everyday and see if anything stressed you out and see how you can avoid that in the future, perhaps a journal would be an effective way of keeping track? Certain aspects of your life in the categories mentioned above, when they boil over they have effects on your mentalities without you even realising, until it gets too much (the position you maybe in now).
Also I would suggest reading some blogs on Psychology Today: Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist hopefully they will aid you in this process
Just wanted to post quickly and say that I too am really pleased/impressed with the way the forum/community are dealing with these issues. Some great advice, esp Happydayz' post.
As anyone who ever reads any of my journalistic writing knows, I am very seldom lost for words. However, I am so blown away by the sensitivity and understanding reflected in the posts on this thread.
Thankyou guys, you've been a massive help.
It was me who mentioned anti-depressants. I wasn't trying to prescribe a course of treatment for Nath - I'm not a doctor. I was just trying to illustrate the point that the underlying issue could be any number of things, and that he may benefit from trying to figure out what that was - is he depressed, is his style changing, is it a body image thing?
In terms of treatment of depression, I would be loathe to suggest what to do. But Nath, if you did decide on the CBT route, I am actually close friends with one of the country's leading CBT specialists (based in Cardiff). She is not cheap, but I understand she is very good. Or else she may be able to recommend someone in Bristol? Let me know if you want her details or any information.
In any case - hope you get to the root of it man, and start to feel better soon. If nothing else, the experience will be valuable to you as an artist I expect.