Ha, this one is a close second on my style skeleton list. Standing in front of your clothes, your arms on your hips, poofing out a frustrated breath, this thought sneaks in: “I have nothing to wear…”. Mind you, our shelves and racks are often filled to the brim. As mentioned in my previous post this mental block stems in part from filling our closet for our envisioned life as opposed to our actual reality. Let’s take an even closer look at these old bones.
Have you ever been to one of these restaurants that offer a million and one different entrees on their menu? It's very overwhelming for me personally. I just end up ordering the same chicken and broccoli I always get, because it’s just what I know best. More complicatedly put this is called
Out of sheer option overload you give up before you even fully look at everything because your brain just can’t handle it. So you stick with what’s easy and familiar. That exact phenomenon happens in an overly full, unorganized closet. Too many options are the killer of easy, beloved outfits and the maker of overwhelm.
Besides, the thought “I have nothing to wear” is obviously incorrect (clothes are clearly present). Let’s rephrase it to “I don’t know what to wear”. You have clothes, you just don’t always know what to do with them, how to pair them to make an outfit that holds up your personal “this is what a well-dressed person looks like” standards.
I gave you my thoughts on dealing with our fantasy thoughts last week.
Healing decision fatigue can happen in multiple ways.
Step 1 is to clean out our closets (I do it every Spring and Fall when I change things up for the new season anyway). After the harder decisions of keep/toss/repair/donate are done with, your second phase here is to actually reorganize in a way that works best for you (hint, hint, I can help with this).
If this is too daunting and overwhelming for you, aside from getting professional help, you can also start by rearranging everything at least a little bit (as in: put the short dresses in the spot where your tanks used to be and put those tanks where your pants where previously folded and so on). This might not solve the full dilemma, but it will at least give you a fresh perspective and might set in motion a step-by-step closet make-over.
Our changed phrase “I don’t know what to wear” is a bigger can of worms. You might think it takes a lot of learning about shapes, proportions, cuts, colors, patterns. That is certainly helpful. And yet, understanding style principles before you dive deeper into what it is that you actually desire is jumping the gun.
“The happiest people discover their own nature and match their life to it.”
said Ray Dalio and - to me - the same holds true for your style. Figuring out who YOU are and how YOU feel, what YOU like and dislike, and then matching your clothes authentically is the backbone of great style.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What interests do you have? History, art, food, music, hobbies, culture - think of anything that has a special place in your heart and write it down.
Who pops into your head as a personal style icon? Audrey Hepburn, Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Sophia Loren, Jennifer Aniston, Claudia Schiffer, Janelle Monáe, Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly, the list goes on. Simply googling "style icons" is a great start as well.
Which color have you always been drawn to? Forget for a second about all the things you've heard before - warm, cool, neutral undertones and what not. Which color do YOU love?
Which word applies best? Classic, Boho, Edgy, Casual, Glamorous, Romantic, Preppy
The answers to these questions are the beginning of your style study and can become your filter for how to organize your closet and shop for yourself in the future. The more precise you are the better. It is also absolutely ok that these preferences change and grow into something else over time.
Style is the sum of clothes/accessories and the woman wearing them. Once you start regarding the latter as equally important, you stop buying things merely because they look good on a hanger or in pictures, and start getting the pieces the woman will actually wear.