What are the causes and effects of feeling comfortable in your clothes? After working with thousands of people over the last 30 years, I see patterns among tribes of people. Talking with clients about what causes them to feel comfortable in their clothes, they reveal their needs and likes uniquely. I find this very interesting because underneath the demands and desires for particular clothes are souls in need of authenticity. This is definitely psychological territory where successfully identifying the right clothing qualities leads to a deeply felt sense of fulfillment.

People define comfort in very different ways. This leads to the many ways in which people seek out comfort in their clothes. The most common way in which people seek comfortable clothes is to wear styles that are loose fitting. The notion of not being confined in clothes a very popular concern. Even so, numerous causes and effects of feeling comfortable cause someone to express the need for loosely fitting clothes.

One client, a lesbian, never wore bras. It made all the sense in the world to me. Even though she has breasts and is not in denial of the fact, a bra felt all wrong to her. The mere idea of bras is confining and constricting to the very core of her being. Instead, she would wear very fitted Hanro ribbed men’s tank t-shirts that I’d get for her. One might think that the fit she preferred would be particularly confining. But, this describes exactly how she felt comfortable.

In other words, a bra only addresses her anatomy. But the fitted ribbed Hanro tank t-shirts did the same thing and more. For her, the causes and effects of feeling comfortable in her clothes translated into being comfortable in her own skin. Choosing this undergarment honors her identity and leads to a deeply felt sense of personal honor.

Another client, a married woman with children, felt it necessary to dress modestly around her children. She wanted to appear warm, supportive, and parental around them. She did not want her teenaged children to pay attention to certain things about her that were not their concern. So, I always found clothes for her that showed no cleavage, covered her upper arms, and flowed over the body. By providing her with clothes that flowed over the body, she could more easily fulfill her parental role.

I thought this was particularly thoughtful, because she could eliminate the risk that her kids may sexualize her. It is my belief that, at other times in her life, others objectified and sexualized her. This would have sensitized her, and maybe even weakened her to an extent. By dressing to eliminate this concern around kids discovering their own hormones, she could simply focus on being their mother. The causes and effects of feeling comfortable in clothes is pretty palpable.

Many people I deal with in New York are concerned about how they look when visiting the West Coast. It’s not just that the West Coast offers different weather-related climates. It’s an entirely different business climate. High level New York-based executives, attorneys, and financial professionals typically dress up to work. But, the looks they get when visiting West Coast clients result in a sense of unease. The non-verbal looks can tell a powerful and even threatening unspoken story.

When someone from one work culture visits a different work culture, the visitor wants to fit in. To the visitor, fitting in is an effect of looking like she or he fits in with the workplace culture. Fitting in equates with acceptance, and acceptance is comfort. So here, the causes and effects of comfort in clothes matters to many working professionals and executives.

One of my newest clients is dogmatic about the colors she wears. Doing her personal color profile was an intriguing and very unusual experience because she was not open to new ideas. My rule is to meet the client where she is, and this is where she is. I noticed her attraction to colors too light in value and too soft in intensity for her actual visual appearance. Based on very little information, you can tell that she appears very strong, although, I believe, protectively. The very soft colors represent an energy she wishes she had. But, she is in another place entirely.

I had to resolve the disconnect between the colors she would show up best wearing and the colors she prefers. First, I suggested a side-by-side comparison between color values that she preferred versus what would actually look best on her. I educated her about her visual strengths and how to approach color with more openness. As for colors too soft in intensity on her body, I suggested that she use them for decorating. In fairness, I independently found agreement with many of her conclusions about colors she has an aversion to wearing. So, I honored her eye and her preconceived conclusions and notions.

As with other examples, the causes and effects of feeling comfortable in right colored clothes makes the wearer feel safe. Clothes are the closest thing to our bodies, and when we wear them, they act like our skin. The reason why there are so many causes and effects of feeling comfortable in clothes is because what we really want is to feel comfortable in our own skin.