Clean Closet Clear Mind

Clean Closet Clear Mind

The first step in dressing well starts in your mind. Because what’s in your mind shows up in your closet and on your body. Let me give you an example.

For years I felt that it was frivolous to spend money and time on myself when I perceived that I didn’t have time or money to spend on myself. I would wear things that were gifted or passed on to me. I would hit up the thrift store without a plan of what I needed.

I would allow confusion and hence obsession over my inability to put together an outfit that looked good on me to take up my time in the morning.
As I started to dig deeper I also discovered that I wanted to hide a body I was ashamed of. I also realized that as a woman I was tired of perceived unwanted attention from the opposite sex. By covering up, wearing worn items, choosing colors and styles that didn’t complement me and not having a plan when I did shop, I ended up with a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear. I was uncomfortable in my clothes because I knew they weren’t right.
And it all started in my mind. I would look at beautiful clothes and tell myself I could get something beautiful when I reached a certain weight. I berated myself for not knowing what to wear. I beat myself up!

Are you still beating yourself up?

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if your mind is the reason you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
1. When you look in the mirror do you focus on your perceived flaws instead of being neutral or positive about what you see?
2. Are you confused about what to wear?
3. Do you find yourself making impulse clothing purchases online, at the checkout counter or when you have a few minutes to spare?
4. Are you waiting until you are perfect to buy yourself something new?
5. Do you have a clothing budget?
6. Do you tell yourself it doesn’t matter how you look?
7. Do you think being comfortable means wearing sloppy clothes?
8. Do you think you might be trying to hide using your clothing choices?
9. Do you have clothes in your closet with tags still on them?

10. Is your closet so jam packed you can’t find anything?

When you don’t take time to care for yourself including your appearance and your mind, you are not allowing your full self to be present in the world. You may think your sacrifice is helping the world but in reality you are keeping yourself from showing up fully in the world.

Remember, what’s in your mind shows up on your body and in your closet. Let’s make it good! Take me up on the free 30 minute consultation. I can help you show up and shine.

What examples do you have of closet confusion? Now is the perfect time to clean up that closet confusion. Give me a call if you need help. I would love to work with you in person or virtually to make a change in how you show up.

Could getting naked help you look better clothed?

Could getting naked help you look better clothed?

My Christmas gift was a trip to Olympus Spa (a woman only facility) in Lynnwood. When you enter you are given the ultimate equalizer – a little mini hospital gown to cover your body and a cloth cap to cover your hair. And this is what you wear as you spend your time enjoying rooms of varying temperatures with different themes.

It was interesting to simply be without comparison or judgement of clothes, make up or hairstyles.

Then it came time to try out the water portion of the facility. In this area we are all equalized by the fact that now the only thing we wear is the little cap to cover our hair. No one was worried about or trying to cover up their flaws or allowing their thoughts about their body to keep them from participating in this experience. There was every variation on body size, shape and color represented and it was beautiful to see.

It has been my wish to remember that experience when I look in the mirror. How could this translate for me if I could capture this freedom I felt when naked to when I look in the mirror and try to get dressed? Keeping in my mind this freedom of not judging myself and not comparing myself to the false standard set by a world trying to sell me things so that I am perfect.

Take a moment to appreciate your naked and see if it helps you in loving yourself. How could seeing your perceived “flaws” as simply a part of a beautiful universe of differences change your life? (And help you dress better)

Photo mojo

Photo mojo

How many of you like to have your picture taken?

I hope there are some of you who would say yes but I don’t personally know anyone. And that leads me to ponder why. Do we feel we must be model perfect to have a shot taken? Models aren’t perfect and quite often that photography shot is airbrushed to make them look perfect.

Do we fear having our imperfections captured forever in picture form? (I have news for you – we are all imperfect).

Do we fear appearing self -centered – as in a selfie?

Do we fear judgment by others?

Probably no judgment will be as critical as our own.  In a group shot we automatically look to see if we were smiling or if our eyes were shut or if our stomach is sticking out etc. Yet the thing to realize is everyone else is looking to see if they are perfect also so odds are no one will notice your perceived faults because they are looking for their own.

Is it just that we don’t look the same in a photograph as we do in a mirror?

In this day of photoshop, big brother and our picture online everywhere, should we also fear being turned into something we are not through copying and manipulation of our personal images?

There is so much behind that photograph.

What are some reasons to submit to a picture being taken of yourself or to taking one of yourself?

  • Well those photos taken throughout the school years are super cute to share and look back on.
  • You’ll probably never look better than you do now (most certainly not younger)
  • A photo can help you sell yourself and or a product in a job interview, website or marketing campaign.

A photo ideal way to demonstrate how an outfit goes together. I guess I will work on this hangup.

I have challenged myself to post on Instagram for 30 days. It is an effort to try to understand how it works. A better challenge would have been to post a selfie for 30 days. I did take a few selfies and made sure to include some that were not perfect to begin with. I found it impossible to get a great selfie so maybe my next challenge will be to post till I actually get a selfie I consider “good”. That could be a long and painful journey.

A good photographer is an investment worth making when you can afford it. They know how to pose you and your body so that it looks good. They have excellent lighting and they can help you make the right wardrobe decisions. Take a look – it’s easy to tell who’s the photographer in these 2 shots.

Back to that original question, How do you feel about being photographed?

What’s Wrong with this outfit?

What’s Wrong with this outfit?

I always love those what not to wear shows and now it is fun to figure out why my outfits don’t always work. I made these great flannel pants from a Sew Chic Pattern Co. pattern. I put the cozy side inside and they feel like pajamas. With the shirt on the left they also look like pajamas. Whoops! This shirt’s v-neck also makes my torso look too short since these pants are high waisted. 

When I switched to the white shirt and blue sweater, it drew the eye up and elongated the torso. The navy sweater lowered the visual waist a little bit and it all balanced out. My favorite outfit on a chilly day. 

The effect of high waisted pants is to make your legs look longer and as a result your torso is automatically shortened. These pants would not work as well on someone with long legs and a shorter torso unless there was another balancing trick – Perhaps a collar that stood up on the neckline to make the upper half of the body taller as well. 

If you try something on and at first it doesn’t look quite right, play around with the proportions and see if you can fool the eye till you get it right. What problems have you had with proportion?

Your best networking Tool

Your best networking Tool

What’s your best networking tool?

You might think it is a glitzy card or a cute elevator pitch. These are great but in my opinion your best tool to opening the door to genuine conversation and networking is a warm smile.

As I walked the streets and waited in line to take in the Guinness Tour on a recent trip to Dublin I did some people watching and experimenting. Why is no one smiling? We are all about to go on a brewery tour and we are in Dublin and the sun is shining. Will I look like a mental case if I smile? Will I be happier if I smile? Will it get reflected back? Are these people happy? Has someone studied this officially? Are there places where smiling is bad form or forbidden? Do I just feel freer to smile now that I am an older woman and it won’t be taken the wrong way?

I mentioned these thoughts to my daughter who has covered a little more of the world than I have. She said that when she was in Argentina part of her instruction was that she shouldn’t smile as it could be taken as an invitation. I’m not sure if they said what it would be an invitation to, but I agree that a smile could be taken as an invitation. Did the males get the same instruction? It is sad that we feel we have to fear that a smile will bring unwanted attention. Is it a societal more to look sad so we will be “normal”” and unapproachable? Does it save time? Is that the kind of time we need to save?

When I was younger people were always imploring me to smile. My husband is always trying to get me to smile for pictures I don’t want taken of me. So I am guilty of not always being a happy face. And some of that not smiling may have come from fear of being taken the wrong way or having to engage. (Not a problem for me now days – bring on the conversations with strangers). Contrary to all those people who seemed to feel it was OK for them to tell me to smile, I won’t tell you to smile but I will invite you to think about what doors it could open.

When you are networking your goal is to GET invitations to engage and communicate. And if a simple smile is all it takes then why not? Unless you are afraid of what comes next. If you are scared stiff at networking events try a warm smile next time as a part of your introduction. At least in the US you will appear more relaxed and confident, ready to learn what others are about which is the key to successful networking.

Beginning wardrobe color

Beginning wardrobe color

I love color

but I didn’t know what to do with it in my wardrobe. I fretted over what were my best colors and it often seemed nothing I had matched anything else I had. I tried diagnosing myself using online quizzes that confused me more than anything else. This is why I want to help you gain color clarity.

Why should you care about color?

Wearing colors that don’t fight with your natural colors and repeating those colors found in your eyes, hair and skin will allow others to focus on you and not what you are wearing. If you want to create discord then wear colors that don’t match you. Nothing you choose is right or wrong if it feels right to you.

 

How do you find these colors?

Let’s start with the warm-cool-neutral test. Most people have undertones in their skin that are either warm or cool. The best way to find this is to go to the fabric store and get a square of silver fabric and a square of gold fabric. Wearing no makeup,placing yourself in natural light, and wearing white in a space with a white background will greatly improve the accuracy of your results. Now simply drape  those fabrics around the front of your neck? Which color looks better? Does one make your skin look clearer than the other? Does one make those wrinkles and under eye circles fade away better than the other? If so you have an answer to the first question. You are either warm or cool. If both look equally good you are probably neutral and can wear either tone.

Grab yourself a color wheel and use it a guide to begin finding colors in the right tone for you. Start in your own closet. If you are warm (gold looks best) then locate the colors in your closet that have some yellow in them. If you are cool (silver looks best) then locate the colors in your closet that have some blue in them. You can do this by holding the yellow and blue of the color wheel up to that item and seeing which color is more harmonious with the item you have selected. This can be an item of any color. Blue items can be cool or warm and yellow items can be cool or warm. It has to do with what dyes were mixed to produce the fabric your item of clothing is made out of.

This simple exercise will begin to help you select good colors for yourself. And remember wearing colors that are similar to you will enhance your chances of being noticed, being memorable and helping make the world a cheerier place! 

Up next week tints tones and shades! Go forth and have fun.

 

If you want help gaining color clarity drop me a line.