“Every journey starts with a single step.” – Confucius
According to my friend, Alicia Richmond, wardrobe stylist, and founder of Celebrate Your Shape, “Most women only wear 20 – 30% of the clothing in their closet, which means a lot of wasted money and unnecessary frustration.” I totally get this. I looked at my stuffed closet almost every day and said to myself, “I have nothing to wear.” So, I’d go out, buy more clothes and still keep on saying, “I have nothing to wear.” What I needed was to find a way to stop this craziness and instead concentrate on putting together a functional wardrobe that not only would bring out my personal best, but also put my body in a positive light.
On Alicia’s website, I found just the answer: Four Steps to Develop a Functional Wardrobe:
1) Understand how to flatter your unique body.
2) Clean out and inventory your closet.
3) Determine your wardrobe needs.
4) Then… go shopping.
My journey didn’t exactly follow her steps in this order, but it did eventually get me on the right track:
When I met Alicia, she helped me understand how to flatter my unique body by focusing on my petite-ness: a short waist and short forearms. Buying items in the petite section addressed my short waist issue and wearing three quarter length sleeves helped elongate my arms. She steered me towards clothing items that met those needs and because I liked the results so well, I bought what she suggested. I spent more than I had budgeted but I convinced myself that that was OK. Since I was buying items that actually flattered my body instead of wasting money on clothing that didn’t do anything for me, it was worth the time and money spent.
When I returned home after my trip and went to put my new great outfits away in my closet, I made the conscious decision to “woman up” and face the difficult task of cleaning up and inventorying my closet. I’ve made halfway attempts in the past, getting rid of a few items. This time I was determined to finally “let go” of all the stuff that didn’t fit right, was outdated, faded or that I hardly wore.
This is what I pulled out:
I have to admit, at first I thought I did a good job. But deep down, I knew I hadn’t done a thorough job. If I was going to be completely honest with this project, I knew I was going to have to dig deeper and return to the task.
What did I get out of this exercise? A realization that I had wasted A LOT of money on clothes that never really flattered my body shape in the first place and that I had wasted A LOT of time trying to make those clothes work. Now I have closet that breathes, filled with a wardrobe that I no longer have to compromise to.
This picture doesn’t quite do justice to my hard work and decision making.
I gave some of my discarded clothes to a thrift store but the majority of them I gave to a non-profit who will give the clothes for free to women trying to get back on their feet. So, in the long run, I guess the money I spent was not totally wasted.
How do I feel knowing that I found what it takes to flatter my body shape, cleaning out my closet, and moving forward with only items that meet my needs? I feel liberated!! I feel confident!! I feel terrific!!