Ever feel like you want to light a match to the entire contents of your wardrobe? I definitely do. Right now nothing fits.Maybe it’s because I was way active, constantly exercising and eating fresh fruits and salads, so everything feels too big. Not quite. This summer I’ve been a sloth who slurps margaritas and calls wine and cheese a meal. All my clothes feel too tight and I hate them. We are in the dog days of summer, July is ending and August is breathing her hot humid stinky breath upon us, reminding us that Fall’s chaos of activity will be here before we know it. It is the calm before the storm yet I feel unsettled with my current clothes and my current body.
Mood is everything when it comes to our clothes. Some people think personal styling is a superficial job but it’s actually quite the opposite. I can’t think of anything more personal where we need to go deep under the surface. In order to truly be happy with your clothes you have to start with your brain, diving into the depths of our own self-esteem. I can throw out the entire contents of your closet, and replace it with a brand new designer wardrobe, but if you don’t feel good about it yourself it’s not going to matter. It’s so easy to beat ourselves up, in fact it is almost too easy, especially when we are the ones putting on the boxing gloves. Last week I tried to do some work on my Facebook page for my business. I discovered on the Insights tab there is a way to tell if people (it doesn’t say who, just a number) have unliked my page. Well isn’t that a soul crusher. Yet, conversely who am I to think that everyone has to like me or what I do? That’s decidedly self-righteous and equally uncontrollable. Even the lovable Taylor Swift has “bad blood” with Katy Perry. She can hire all the models she wants for her videos but she can’t force Katy Perry to like her because “Haters gonna hate.” (Can you tell I have had too much time with daughter in control of the car radio?!?!) Sure I should be focusing on the new “Likes” on my pages as opposed to any negativity, but sadly its human nature to want to dwell on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. The runaway train of self-esteem can is known to ride rather quickly in the wrong direction, making brief stops at Comparison City and Jealous Junction, neither of which are fun destinations.
So how do we turn the train around? Hit the brakes. Stop the negative thoughts. No one ever spent a good amount of time looking at themselves in the mirror, picking themselves apart and then afterwards thought, “Wow, I’m so glad I did that, I feel so much better!” If you are having trouble thinking positive than it’s time for a gut check. Are you alive? Are you loved? There’s a start.
Start slow. Put one foot in front of the other, heading in a more positive direction. Don’t give up. Effort isn’t failure but apathy can sure feel like it.
Ask for help. Find the positive people in your life and soak up their good vibes.
Embrace change. Nothing extraordinary ever came out of doing the same thing year after year and day after day.
Expect resistance. Most people are adverse to change. Change tells us that the future is not completely reliable. It shakes up our GPS and takes us off track, which sometimes is exactly what we need. A couple of years ago I had bangs cut and my own children cried. They didn’t like that I looked different. I thought I looked like a badass version of Joan Jett and insisted on collecting vintage rock t-shirts. It was awesome and I felt very cool. And I am not a cool chick.
I tell you all of this because I have seen it so many times in so many closets of so many clients. I also see it in myself right now. This summer I am driving my own train into a complete rut. I feel my own personal style changing and I am scared to make any purchases or to get rid of anything. I don’t know where I am heading exactly in terms of how I want to look and feel in my clothes. Even moving to our older, more casual home has influenced my style wants and needs. It’s going to be a cool journey.
Getting dressed sounds so simple and yet it can be so hard. I get this, I really do. Sometimes people are afraid to call me because they think I will give them a makeover or make them throw out things they aren’t ready to part with. Never. A true style consultation and closet clean out is collaborative. A client has to be ready, mentally and emotionally to want to make some changes. This isn’t an ambush it’s a consult. When you are ready you will know. It won’t always be easy but I promise there will be no judgement from me. It’s an intimate personal process and it can only occur when a client is ready. The best part of my job? Seeing someone who puts on an outfit and feels good about themselves. I love it when clients send me their photos of what they wore and when they tell me they got compliments. Those positive vibes are contagious and felt by everyone around them. It’s a good thing and it’s way having a wardrobe you love is so important.
*Insider Tip – Clean it up.
If you can get your mind and body agreeing upon your wardrobe you need to give them a positive place to hang out together. Your brain doesn’t need or want to work that hard to find what it is looking for to get dressed, and your clothes deserve a place of peace and respect. I like to help my clients organize their clothes in a way that is visually pleasing as well as functionally efficient. It needs to make sense to you and for your lifestyle. In my client profiles I like to know how their brain works. Ergonomics and aesthetics need to coexist but different people require different levels of each. If you are bored with your clothes try to rearrange them from their normal homes.
Things to try:
All below pics via suziegaffney wardrobe consulting.
Hang your jeans instead of folding them, or fold them if you usually hang them.
Arrange by type (all sleeveless together, all short sleeve together, all long sleeve together).
Arrange by color (all black tops together, all white tops together, all gray tops together).
Arrange by purpose through departments (gym section, casual section, work section.)
Remember, it’s only clothes. You can always change it back. Give something different a try and you might discover pieces and combinations you hadn’t thought of, breathing new life into your outfits and a new confidence into you. Watch out Fall, this year my clothes are going to kick ass.
Photo below by one of my favorites , the great Arthur Elgort.