This is the second in my blog series focused on women and body confidence.
Thank you to the wonderful Carol Hanson from Want Her Outfit for this inspirational and informative guest blog. Carol is a personal stylist whose mission in life is to inspire women who have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear. She is very open about her own struggles with her body image and how she suffered from an eating disorder for over 20 years. Now fully recovered, Carol helps women to look great and feel fabulous every time they get dressed.
Here are her 5 top tips on how to improve your relationship with your wardrobe. Having trained as a personal stylist myself, I completely agree with all of these tips. After years of bullying and other personal issues, I also battled with eating disorders for over 10 years (still do when I am dealing with emotional turmoil in my life) and subsequently overspent a significant proportion of my money on clothes! My relationship turned around after a personal stylist taught me how to dress for my own body. You can read more about this in my previous blog post ‘6 Style Tips to improve your body confidence and save you money.
Have you ever stopped to consider your relationship with your wardrobe?
Like most relationships does it change from time to time? Some days you love it and it’s your bestie. But others you loathe that moment you need to confront it?
Sometimes as dependable as an old friend, with go to pieces that flatter you and ensure you look your best. It can also be like the friend you turn to in times of stress, offering a soft and comfortable shoulder to snuggle into.
Or does it sometimes defy you with items you’ve bought? Those pieces that looked great in the changing rooms but have turned into demons and refuse to look good.
Is it a secretive hoarder that buries its treasures and refuses to let them go? When you do pluck up the courage to confront its bulging contents it’s much easier to simply shut the door again!
I’d like to reassure you that you’re not alone. It’s not unusual to have a love/hate relationship with your wardrobe. Those days when you ‘re out of sorts, your wardrobe’s got to work much harder to help you look and feel fabulous.
So I’d like to offer you my top tips to improve your relationship with your wardrobe.
1. Call Time!
How many hang on to clothes that no longer fit us? You may have put on a few pounds and be proactively looking to lose weight.
If this is the case then great having a goal such as getting into a smaller dress is a good motivation.
However, are you hanging on to clothes that are the wrong size, then ask yourself the following:
- How realistic is it that you will lose the weight to wear them?
- Are you keeping clothes to remind you of good times? If so is there something in your life that needs changing?
- Even if you do lose the weight do the clothes suit your current lifestyle
Just remember that lumps and bumps show but labels don’t. You will look much better in clothes that fit you properly rather than pieces you’ve squeezed into!
2. Look After Your Investment
How often do you spend time trying on clothes in your wardrobe and playing with new ideas?
You have invested money in your wardrobe and rather than let that money go to waste, look at the return you may be able to get from it. Or to put it another way if you had been building an investment account would you simply let the account balance build up without keeping an eye on it and seeing if you could get a better return?
Play with your clothes and try on some new combinations. I bet you will discover some new outfits or colour combinations. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t matter – you’re just having some fun!
Take some photos of the outfits that do work. When you’re rushed and searching for inspiration in your wardrobe you can refer to the photos for inspiration.
If I had a choice of playing with my wardrobe or looking at investments I know which one I’d choose!!
3. Deal With Guilt Inducing Outfits
Have you got a posh frock or outfit in your wardrobe that you bought for a special occasion?
Perhaps you had great intentions to wear it again but you’ve not had quite the right occasion or when you try it on it just feels too special?
There’s another reality check needed here. Again this is a bit like having money in an account that’s not performing. But with the money, you can probably justify that it’s at least earning peanuts. Your outfit is a sunk cost – unless you do something with it:
- Can you tone down your outfit? Wear a posh dress with a denim jacket and flip-flops for example?
- Look for a designer dress agency that will be happy to try to sell it. They will charge you a hanger rental fee and take a commission on sale.
- Sell it yourself on a site like Vestaire or Facebook marketplace.
4. Add A Bit Of Bling
I’m a huge fan of statement necklaces and colourful scarves. But I know that lots of women struggle with accessories or simply forget to add them to an outfit.
Scarves and necklaces are such a great way to create new looks and to wear colours that aren’t really right for you.
Black is one of my favourite colours and I have a large collection of black tops in my wardrobe. But I need scarves and necklaces to ensure that black doesn’t make me look like I haven’t slept for a week!
I am a magpie and attracted to costume jewellery and inexpensive scarves (providing they feel nice!). So I often rummage in charity shops to find unusual and inexpensive pieces. This is a perfect way of improving your relationship with your wardrobe without spending a lot of money.
You’re investing in your investment!
5. Out of Ideas?
You want some ideas about how you can make more from your existing clothes but are not sure where to start? I’d recommend Pinterest. But be warned it can be quite addictive! Get yourself a Pinterest account and start playing! For example: Put something into the search bar (not too specific) – e.g. Denim Jackets.
A page load of results will come back. Narrow down your search using the secondary menu options – e.g. Cropped. When you find something you like then hover over the image, hit the save button. It will then take you back to your account where you can create a board and then add your image (ie pin) – e.g. Outfit Inspo
Once you have a board you can just add to it. Boards allow you to see your ideas in one place.
Why am I suggesting this? It opens up your mind to new ideas – e.g. how you can wear a cropped denim jacket, given the example above.
You can read more about improving your body confidence and saving money in my previous blog post ‘6 Style Tips to improve your body confidence and save you money.