You’re staring into a closet full of clothes and feel you have nothing to wear. You go shopping and nothing works. Why is it so hard, you wonder?
The struggle that so many women face is as relevant now as it was in 1985 when I had the late, great cartoonist Phil Frank draw these illustrations for me. I was starting a business called Take Me Shopping, and I wanted to help.
All these years (and two books later) the challenges are still the same. Are you feeling less than joyful about the prospect of getting dressed? There have been many times in the course of my career when I’ve wondered about the importance we place on appearance and how it fits into The Big Picture. Beauty brings us joy, and in each of us resides a deep desire to be seen and make connections. When we are feeling stressed we need to simplify our lives and nurture ourselves any way that we can. If you are in need of comfort now for whatever reason, here are the ways to care for your appearance that I consider the most supportive.
• Create a bit of order. Move last summer’s clothes and ill-fitting items out of the way. Arrange your closet like a color wheel, like colors together. Keep your session short, even 10 minutes can make a difference. Use your rolling rack so you don’t end up with a big mess on your bed. Pick out a garment you feel like wearing and hang it on your rolling rack. Hang a few coordinating options next to it and glance at it when you walk past. Consider playing around in your closet a welcome distraction, not a chore. Don’t let being a perfectionist overwhelm you. Easy does it.
• Wear only comfortable clothes. Choosing soft fabrics in styles that don’t bind is a gesture of self-love. If you don’t have anything that fits properly ask for help finding something that does. No judgements! If that means you wear the same things over and over, so be it. Save your skinniest jeans and “look at me” outfits for when you feel more in the mood.
• Find the pleasure. Indulge your love of color and texture. Play with quirky combinations. I just bought a navy knit cap woven with sequins and topped with a fake fur pom pom. The best thing about winter fashion is the need to layer, so have fun with it. Consider a fuchsia umbrella worn with chili pepper red rain boots.
• Treat yourself well. A nurturing facial, an easy care haircut, a color palette update, a bottle of luminous foundation or a luscious lipstick are all great perks. Letting someone lavish attention on you will lift your spirits.
• Soften your gaze. Change a lightbulb in your bathroom if you have to, but don’t look in the mirror and pick out your flaws. Gaze at your reflection kindly. You can always up your game and problem solve later if you want to.
• Ask for help. In just a couple of hours I can calm the chaos in your closet and make getting dressed immeasurably simpler and more rewarding. I can also help you shop for those comfortable outfits or recommend an in-house shopping specialist I trust.
When your spirits are high, share your good mood with others. Kick up your style a notch and enjoy the attention. You will receive lots of heartwarming smiles. Growing More Beautiful is a delicious process and the choice of what is important is always yours to make.
For more closet inspiration check out my latest article in Pryme Magazine, “Love to layer? Creative Shortcuts To An Organized Closet.” I’m now their staff fashion and beauty writer.