Next up in the joyous dressing spotlight series is the lovely Teija, aka Chronically Loving Life.
When I first started posting and taking part in the joyous dressing challenges, Teija was one of the first people interacting and commenting on my posts.
I was immediately drawn to her, she was encouraging, supportive, kind and on top of that, her pictures were amazing!
She was openly talking about life with a chronic illness, which I always appreciate as someone dealing with chronic illness myself. Putting yourself out there can be scary, but the amount of people you could be helping, without even knowing it simply by posting about your life and your experiences, is amazing.
Teija’s instagram bio will let you know that she loves the 70’s aesthetic, thrifting, playing dress up and that she lives with multiplesclerosis.
Since befriending her (and I do think of her as a friend, same with a lot of the people I’ve connected with here, it’s amazing what the internet can help you achieve when put to good use) I have also discovered that she lives in Finland with her family, though she did live in the UK for a while. She is a chronic illness warrior who is passionate about fashion, music and clogs! 🙂
I asked how she had come across joyous dressing, and what if any impact it might’ve had on her life. Here’s what she said:
I really do not remember how I learnt about joyous dressing. Maybe I followed someone who followed Josephine’s account. It feels like ages even if its been less than a year.
The concept of joyous dressing and all these style challenges have changed the way I think about clothes dramatically. As my illness (MS) with it’s most debilitating symptom (cognitive fatigue) has forced me to give up lot of my interests and to live quite a secluded life, dressing up became a hobby for me.
I think a lot of people struggle to understand fatigue if they don’t experience it themselves. Cognitive fatigue is, essentially, tiredness. Not physical tiredness, but mental exhaustion. It happens when people have to work with their minds for prolonged periods of time, whether it’s writing an article, figuring out a schedule, doing research, or reading a book (quick lesson for ya).
It became an outlet for creativity and has brought a lot of joy in my life. My confidence has grown and I have become more me style wise. It has made me understand that I really do tell stories with my style & looks and how important a part of me it is.
There have been so many great challenges. I think one of the first ones I did was the red lipstick challenge which was fun and I remembered what a great colour it is. Usually any challenges that are somehow linked to music I love to do as my outfits are often music/band/album inspired. That’s why I usually post my look to stories accompanied by the related song.
Josephine has also so warmly welcomed my two ideas for style challenges and I’ve really enjoyed hosting them.
Once again we are feeling the love for Josephine 🙂
Teija recently hosted the #topstyleforatenner challenge with Jospehine and Tamela, which called for thrifters and bargain shoppers everywhere to show the world that a great outfit doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.
I took part in the challenge myself as a well known bargain shopper! I have almost exclusively shopped sales for years, and there is always a bargain to be found in a charity shop!
I really do cherish the community I’ve found from IG. I get inspiration from here, support and kind words when I need it.
I really appreciate Teija being so open and letting me write this piece, and I hope she realises how much of an inspiration she is herself!
If you’d like to check out her insta for yourself you will find her @chronically_loving_life
I did an intro to joyous dressing here, and the first of the spotlight series is available here. Remember clothes can tell whatever story you want them to, wear all the colours if you want, wear only one colour, dress like a hippie, mix all the styles.. just do you and be happy!
Note: I got permission to use the pictures and feature the accounts prior to writing this.