When you go to your closet to get dressed in the morning it can become an automatic response to just reach for the first thing you see that is clean, doesn’t need ironing or that you feel is appropriate for the occasion without even stopping to think if it’s what you really want to wear. If you’re not fashion-minded then getting dressed may be one of your least favorite activities of the day. You reach for the basic, yet somewhat matronly combination of black pants and a deep red jacket without a second thought, glad you don’t have to put any more thought into your outfit. Getting it done and moving on to the next task is how you approach it. But what if there was more?
When it comes to shopping and outfit coordination, many women would rather have a root canal than be subjected to the overwhelming selection of available choices. Double-breasted or single? Pleated pants or flat front? And where exactly should the hem of the pants hit? So many choices can leave an otherwise sane woman throwing her hands up and saying ‘just be done with it already.’ Her attitude is slightly defeatist and leaves little or no room for self-expression. What happens is that this approach leads to a closet filled with items that are ill-fitting, uninspired and - gasp - matronly. What if there were a better way?
When it comes to building a wardrobe, many women are so focused on the outcome that they completely miss the process. The result is that they end up with clothing that could just as easily be worn by their mother or any other woman give or take 20 years, yet it does nothing to bring out her best. It’s clothing and does its job, but little else.
Expressing oneself authentically, I’ve found, is essential in feeling connected to who we are. Just throwing on that boxy jacket in a color that leaves you looking ill is not doing anything to show off your assets and show the world what an amazing woman you are. In fact, the message it sends is that you don’t matter. Oh, but you so do! So let’s look at how you can approach your wardrobe from a different perspective to give you better results:
1/ Scenario – you have a meeting with an important client so you reach for your go-to suit. It’s black and boxy and something you’ve had for, oh, 10 or more years. You figure it’s a classic and never goes out of style, yet the high-rise, pleated pants with tapered legs and the long, boxy blazer visually add 15 pounds or more, wash you out and leave you looking frumpy. You show up feeling less than confident and disconnected with yourself. Client is not impressed.
Solution – You take stock of your current situation, looking at your body type (the way it is RIGHT NOW), your personal coloring (your hair is lighter than it used to be) and your lifestyle and set out to buy a suit that reflects who you are at this stage in your life. Your perfectly tailored camel suit fits you to a tee. Its classic styling is the perfect look for your office environment and you know it will be a go-to option for years to come. You mix in tops in your best brights to give it personality and bring color and light to your face. You take time to put on your personalized locket with pictures of your kids. You show up feeling fabulous and looking effortless. Client is more than impressed, asks to see your kids’ pictures and you two connect on a whole new level.
2/ Scenario – You have a wedding coming up for a distant relative. You really loathe shopping so you decide to wear the same dress you wore to the last family wedding 6 years ago, along with the same shoes, the same purse and even the same jewelry. You figure “It works, why not?” But what you don’t realize is that the dress was never flattering to begin with. Now it’s too snug, needs to be hemmed about 2” and with its navy floral print, probably isn’t the most contemporary choice. Family you haven’t seen since the last wedding will remember your outfit and think they’re stuck in a time-space continuum. You can’t wait until the wedding is over so you can take this outfit off.
Solution – Instead of going with a dated and frumpy choice that was so wrong years ago, you decide to show up looking sleek and chic. Wanting a dress that will wow, but will also offer versatility (you can also wear it to work with a cardigan or jacket) you opt for a simple and elegant sheath dress in a gorgeous shade of violet. Your style is classic, so you love that pearls are hot this season. You pile on several pearl necklaces to give your dress a punch and then opt for a great pair of gray snakeskin pumps to take your look to the next level. Family and friends you haven’t seen in years all tell you how amazing you look and ask if you’ve lost weight. You feel so fabulous that you dance the night away and are one of the last guests to leave. This wedding will be a very memorable occasion for all the right reasons.
I’d like to invite you to approach building and planning a wardrobe as a fun process that lets you express who you are and helps you to look amazing. When you have all the right tools and information, it can be broken down into a simple process that can easily be followed for years to come. And, dare I say, it might even become something you enjoy!
If you’d like to bring your wardrobe current and need to start with a great foundation, email me at Michele@onechicmama.com to discover how I can help you take your look to the next level.