Spiritual and relationship expert, teacher, counselor, advisor, speaker, and writer James Gray Robinson


I live in New York City/Manhattan, the melting pot of the known world. Fashion is always a malleable thing here, with cultures standing out, clashing, merging and creating a vibrant newness every day. There are also the corporate type that wear suits and ties all of the time. The one thing that I notice and love about New York is that there are so many styles to choose from. It is fun to notice whatever is the new hairstyle, the newest shoe style, the newest fashion craze. I am told that the leggings industry grew out of one woman’s dilemma of not having any clean pants or skirts to wear, so she just cut the feet off of a pair of panty hose. Voila!

I also counsel people on how to breakthrough their illusions and become bigger, brighter lights. (My website is www.jamesgrayrobinson.com). It occurred to me the other day that how we dress is one of the biggest boxes that we put ourselves into. My father wore a suit and tie six days a week for most of his life. His “sloppy” clothes consisted of a button down collared shirt and ironed blue jeans. I completely understood that he grew up in the Depression and he wanted to dress as elegantly as he could to underscore his success later in life. When people looked at him, they instantly knew he was a force to be dealt with and a very successful man.

There are many reasons why we dress the way we do. Some people are guided by comfort, some people guided by price, and some people are guided by appearance. Being the raging rebel that I am, I usually dressed “down” as often as possible to be as opposite to my father as I could be. I did not understand that at the time, but it is pretty clear looking back that was my motivation. I think that is a large part of the goth and gangsta look these days, basically a rebellion against the status quo and an attempt not to fit into any kind of mold.

I remember back in the 60’s and 70’s the great discrepancy between corporate dress and the counter culture. Blacks and grays clashed with primary colors and offbeat designs. I was never allowed to wear that “hippy stuff” because it might reflect poorly on my wealthy parents.

In contemplating what to wear these days, we have a much wider range of styles to choose from than ever before. Corporations allow jeans and “business casual” to replace suits and ties. Even designer t-shirts and blue jeans are considered stylish these days.

It occurs to me that clothes can reflect a lot about who we are and what image we want to present to the world. Clothes can also be a limitation about who we are because we may be wearing a “uniform” of sorts that keeps us in a box. Clothes should reflect our uniqueness and individuality. I dress according to how I feel. The saddest thing about style is how people judge us by what we wear. How limiting and judgmental! It would be such a wonderful place to live if everyone on this planet would let go of their prejudices about style and let people be whoever they want to be. If I want to wear my underwear outside of my pants and be Superman I will.