Healthy narcissism and clothes: What’s the occasion?

It was a dark and looming laundry pile, and no clean capris were in sight. I stood in my closet searching for something to wear and all I could find were dresses, skirts and completely impractical outfits. I wistfully gazed at a gorgeous skirt that I found at a port call on my first deployment seven years ago and thought, why not? What am I saving it for? I got a bit giggly as I pulled together an outfit, some jewelry, and even (gasp) applied some makeup! I felt fantastic.

Then I had a crazy idea:

I could do this every day.

What? Wear my nice clothes every day? And get smushed bananas and half-eaten Cheerios on them?

Yep. That’s what I did last week, and it was wonderful. Every day I heard:

“What’s the occasion?”
“You look so nice today!”
“What’s with the getup?”
“I love your outfit – is that new?”

That last outfit was actually many years old, but still looked new because I had worn it so rarely. And it is one of my favorites. Isn’t it a shame how often we do that? We wait for a reason to show other people our favorite things. We wait for the right occasion and the right people.

I’m done with that.

I’m done with gorgeous necklaces and stunning dresses that just sit there unused. I’m done with finding a reason to wear a dress or makeup or earrings. I’ve decided to only wear the clothes that make me feel like me. I’m giving away my filler clothes. You know, those ho-hum clothes you wear on a “normal day” that hold you over until you find a reason to wear the clothes you really love. Because I’ve found the only reason that matters.


I matter the most. The people I take care of will be better people if I take care of myself first. My loved ones will love me even more if I love myself first. It’s not egotism or unhealthy narcissism. It’s self-compassion, and we all need more of it.

So now you try it. What’s the worst that happens? You look fabulous all the time? People wonder why you always seem to have events to attend? Negative people say unkind things because they wish they had the chutzpah to do it themselves? Good! Maybe you’ll inspire someone else. Because when someone says “You look nice; what’s the occasion?” you’ll simply say:



5 thoughts on “Healthy narcissism and clothes: What’s the occasion?

  1. Love this idea. Brava! I periodically ditch the clothes that make me feel fat or ho-hum or whatever and it feels great. I also dress up randomly and sometimes it ends up on casual Friday, so the natural reaction from the staff is the same, “What’s the occasion?” People smile and laugh when I tell them that I just felt like it. We should all do this more often! Agreed.

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