When you go on vacation, you don’t just get in the car and start driving, hoping you’ll get somewhere exciting, right? You pick the destination first and then figure out the best way to get there. So before you dive in and start making changes in your wardrobe, let’s give some thought to the look you want to create. Here are two exercises to get you started:
Exercise #1 – Say This … Not That.
What are the descriptors you’d like to overhear people using to talk about your appearance? And what are the words you’d never want to hear them use?
For myself, I’d like to have people say words like: Always Polished, Put-together, Contemporary, Classic but Distinctive, Refined, Sleek, Shapely, Just a Bit of an Edge
And I’d NEVER want to hear: Romantic, Frilly, Rustic, Sporty, Trendy, Extreme, Glitzy, Over the Top
Those descriptors lead me to outfits like this when I need to be dressed up – for community service meetings, religious services, luncheons and client meetings.
Or to looks like these – dark wash skinny jeans or ponte leggings with shaped tops – for casual situations.
Those outfits may not be your look at all — but can you see how they fit my set of key words, and none of the words I listed as “don’t want to hear.”?
Spend a bit of time this week defining your word list. Then search through catalog pictures, magazine photos and even your own closet to identify examples of garments and accessories that align with your word list.
Exercise #2 – Toward/Away From
What elements of your wardrobe would you like to have more of? Less of?
Here are two examples of things I’d like to have more in my wardrobe (ie: move toward) –
- Shaped single-layer tops (I’ve been hanging out in tanks with over-layer tops and cardigans to disguise a few extra pounds, but those shapeless, oversized layers make me feel matronly and a bit sloppy.)
- Nice casual shoes ( I have an enviable collection of pumps and booties and I love wearing both of those styles. But when I need a more casual shoe there is only one pair of clogs or my running shoes – leaving a big gap between the looks.)
And I’d like to move away from:
- Too-small bras (I was a plain C cup before menopause, darn it!)
- Button-up white shirts (I know they are supposed to be a Must Have, but they never look or feel good on me – and the bright white is just too strong for my coloring.
- Sloppy, worn-out exercise clothes. (The gym I go to isn’t a fashion event by any means, but I feel better looking nicer, so it’s time for some new yoga pants and tops.)
What closet items bring you joy and what items drain your energy? What do you want to move toward and what are you ready to leave behind?
I look forward to hearing your key words and your wardrobe objectives in the COMMENTS section below. Then use those words to guide your first round of closet purging. A wardrobe is one place where less is definitely MORE. What can you get rid of because it simply doesn’t fit your target style?