Do you armour up and defend your heart with what you wear?

I was listening to a podcast episode with Brené Brown where she talks about armouring up. In this context, she’s referring to what we do emotionally when we’re uncomfortable, feeling threatened or misunderstood or not being heard. Sebene Selassie, a meditation teacher talks about the defended heart which I think is the same thing. It’s about protecting ourselves.

Dressing to keep ourselves safe

It made me think how we can use clothes to armour up and defend our heart. Our choice of dress can be a way to keep ourselves safe. There’s the obvious physical elements which we Canadians know well. We don our heavy coats and boots during the winter months. But, what about dressing to fit in, to hide our true selves, to play a role, or overcome imposter syndrome?

Dressing to play a role

I distinctly remember in my accounting days that wearing an expensive well-tailored suit made me look the part. That helped me feel like I fit in so I could get the job done. Ultimately, I realized I didn’t fit into that world no matter how well I dressed.

A good friend, an accomplished PhD in neuroscience, published researcher, and former head of a large university department, has relayed to me how he could do his job so well because he put a suit on every day and played a role.

This is nothing new, of course. We all know Superman. An unassuming guy who transforms into a super hero by ducking into a phone booth and changing his clothes.

Dressing to fit in

Think back to when we were teenagers. What did we wear? In most cases, what everyone else was wearing. We wanted to fit in. Not be on the outside with an undefended heart.

Dressing for ourselves

With age and maturity, comes confidence and wisdom. We can let our true selves ‘be’. And we can dress the same way. We no longer have to dress to fit in or play a role. Rather we can dress to please ourselves and attract the people who love us for who we are and appreciate our sense of style.

Dressing for comfort and style

I believe comfort is just as important as style. And the thing is, we don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. We all want to look good, and to look good, we have to be comfortable in what we’re wearing. One leads to the other and when we have both, life just flows more easily.

My goal has always been about simple feel good clothing for women over 40.


Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen Kanna

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.