I'm going to touch on your 'heavy-rotation' look for this round of Ultimate Closet Consciousness. You know the outfit, the one that finds it's way into your weekly wardrobe without fail and not because you feel amazing in it. Sure, it's easy, it seems to work, and it's the one outfit your comfortable reaching for time and time again (as seen by the evidence of wear i.e. those pills, holes, discolorations, etc.).
It's easy to go back to the same-ole same-ole, and why wouldn't you? You don't have the time. You're not looking to be a personal style poster girl/boy so why put the extra effort in?
Well, I'm going to just guess or assume (and yes, I know what they say about making assumptions; just go with me on this one) that you would love to feel good, nay, you'd love to feel A-FREAKING-MAZING in what you're wearing tomorrow, but the thing is, you have no clue how to get from point A (sad outfit) to point B (updated, happy-face outfit).
Am I right? If I am, keep reading. If I'm not, go back to Pinterest, Twitter, or whatever is feeding the ADD beast at the moment. No love lost...
If you're wearing the same 20% of what's in your closet, and you still wake up every morning to the thought of, "I have a full closet but seriously, how do I still have NOTHING to wear?" then I know exactly what you can do to take a step outside of your comfort zone and find a quick solution to your wardrobe dilemma:
Get, inspired and start small.
So often we make these grandiose goals that end up overwhelming us or sending us into a state of paralysis that can usually only be calmed by a pint of Haagen Daaz. Just me? Ok fine. Replace 'pint of ice cream' with 'bottle of wine' and I bet I got the rest of you...
In Week 2 of The 30-Day Ultimate Closet Guide (and this also is a step I've taken with hundreds of personal styling clients so yes, it works like a charm) I recommend getting Outfit Inspiration. But not just scrolling on Pinterest only to find you've lost three hours of your life post-diving head first into a rabbit-hole of colorful, pinned images. Nah. What I'm talking about it edited inspiration.
That is why I created the Outfit Blueprint (digital lookbooks) pin boards. There's nothing wrong with having a 'uniform' of sorts. Actually, I recommend it. When you have that little bit of structure or a fashion foundation to build upon, it takes the stress out of the situation and you can actually get more creative as a result.
The Outfit Blueprints are separated out by occasion (this all lines up with your calendar and the amazing Outfit Planner worksheet that will have you knowing exactly what to wear for every event on that calendar) and give you a friendly (inspiring) push to try something a new, mix it up a bit.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel here. Back to this whole 'starting small' concept. As you scroll through the look-spiration, the trick is to take one small cue (a new way to wear a scarf, your hair, your makeup, your skinny jeans, etc.) and apply that to what you already have hanging in your ultimate (in 30 days it can be) closet.
Example scenario: You have a black cardigan (along with 99.9% of the female population in the US). You wear it the same way at least once a week and you're bored with the outfit but you have no clue how to change it up with even just accessories. Cue: a little Outfit Blueprint inspiration. Head to the boards!
Find the occasion you need an outfit for, let's say Day/Polished (for the office) and look for a new image to play with.
IMPORTANT: You may see a few images in there and think, 'I could never do that...' or, 'Um I kinda like it but, I am not soooo sure." Right, luke-warm feelings or negative self-talk need to be removed from the process completely. Not allowed. Feeling a Debbie-downer moment? Cool. You have 10 seconds to feel that and then move on until you spot the look that makes you go, "ohhhhhhh." Get, excited.
That's your look. Yes, you can pull it off. Remember, it's about inspiration, not imitation.
It is officially time to break free from your comfort zone and start to get excited again about what you are going to wear today, tomorrow, etc.
Re-read that last sentence. No seriously, do it. Ok great. Got it? Moving along...
Incorporate the inspirational look into what you already have by looking at the accessories first. If the woman in the picture is wearing a basic white blouse and black skinny leg pant/legging, but has a blue shoulder bag/stacked bracelets/bold lip/bright sunnies/colorful heel added into the mix in a way you wouldn't have thought of doing, give it a try. When you do this for the first time (and this is also when I encourage clients to start building their 80/20 Shopping Lists to fill in the wardrobe holes), opt for looks that have items in them similar to what you already own. I've curated these pin boards to cover looks that start with a strong, core-closet-piece foundation, so you can see yourself in them. Take a peek:
Broken record: You don't have to re-create the look. Use tiny pieces of it to change up what you already have. I guarantee that if you take a basic couple of pieces from your closet and go all stylist-ninja on them (more info and step-by-step tutorials on how to do that in my book here) you will get compliments on the same old pieces you've always had. It's a fun game to play actually...
With personal styling clients, the bulk of what I do is what I like to call my 'Hour of Power.' During this time (one hour or so) I create 20-30 new looks (new= they had yet to think of doing that) using what they already have sitting in their closet. It's a beautiful thing.
And now, I've given you a snippet, a quick tip on how you can do the same. The guide spells it out for you (it's the equivalent of having me in your closet along for the wardrobe transformation at a fraction of what my in-person services cost), but this should definitely get you warmed up and ready to play (play= step outside of those comfort zones).
In no time you'll be wearing WAY more than 20% of what's hanging in your closet, spending less on shopping (the 80/20 Shopping List is key for that process; see a screen shot of that 'closet tool' below), and upgrading your entire look to fit your lifestyle while you do it. Love it? Love it.
Speaking of love, keep scrolling. But before you do, check out a sneak peek of the 80/20 Shopping List for 2014 in the Closet e-toolkit:
FYI I'll be closing every Ultimate Closet Consciousness post with these two little challenges, steps, whatever you want to call them. If you read the previous post, then you know what to do. If not (read it, it was a goodie). Today's mission, should you choose to accept it (and you should):
1. Now that you're completely inspired with what to wear today, go ahead and get that new look on. Ok great. Moving on...
Now, head over to ye old mirror (full length or not, whatever works). Go ahead, check yourself out. The challenge is to find ONE thing (or more, don't let me get in the way) that you love about what you see in that mirror.
What is one thing you can give yourself a compliment on? Try not to think too hard. It could be that you love the ring you decided to put on, that your legs look amazing in that skirt, or that you're having a great hair day. Just find one thing and throw yourself a, "looking good today!" Cheesy? Maybe. Important? Hell yes. Think of it as if you're complimenting your best friend. Go for it...
2. Ok, now that you're all boosted-up from your mini-mirror love sesh, you can bring that warm and fuzzy feeling with you into your day. It doesn't take much right?
Now, for the next challenge: Find someone nearby that you can give a quick compliment to. Think: 'love your shoes,' or, 'that jacket is amazing,' or, 'I love your bag, where'd you get it?' You can come up with something better than what I just threw out there I'm sure. Whatever it is, look for something you find beautiful and call, it, out. Just a quick compliment, that's all, no need to stick around or get up in someone's personal space (I'd recommend you don't, especially if you're doing this while waiting in line for coffee). Let's keep it creeper-free here. Just a quick drive-by complimenting.
You're about to make someone's morning/afternoon/evening/day...
Also, here's a trick, when you're feeling low in life, when you just can't see how things are going to work out and you hit a downward spiral (I personally use this trick in my own life to change the radio station in my head from REM's Everybody Hurts to Pharrell's Come Get It Bae) go outside, and take the step I just spelled out for you.
Compliment someone else. Make someone else's day a little brighter. You may not want to. You may feel like [expletive here] and I understand that, you are human after all. But try it and see what happens.
It really can be that simple. Less can be more (says the former luxury retailer....weird, right?). Go get 'em!