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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Climbing Out of the Rut, or New Year, New You

“The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.” 
― Shannon L. Alder

It’s the beginning of a new year, and some of us are contemplating or experiencing changes. And maybe we want or need to change our image. What if you’ve been in a rut for so long you don’t know where to begin? If so, here’s a path to find your way out of your rut. 

First, break it all down, very thoroughly and carefully. Be specific. 

What do you dislike about how you look?
What do you want to look like?
How will you do that?
What are you willing to commit to?

1. Decide what you don’t like, and what you want to change.
Really think about what you don’t like- write it down. Label it. If appropriate go into detail. Mind you, this isn’t an exercise in self flagellation- the object here is to become completely aware of what you don’t like about what your clothing and overall look projects, not yourself. Don’t berate your weight, your height, your hair, the size of your backside, etc. We need to love and respect the one and only body we were given to plod through this life in- we want to enhance it, not insult it. Now, what do you want-? Start with generalities; what would you like your image to evoke? What would be an authentic expression of your aesthetic? Get specific again, too- how would that translate to your wardrobe? Maybe your hair? Makeup? It’s better if you also know what colors and design lines flatter you, and can incorporate that as well. 

2. Be patient, plan carefully.
Be patient with this part of the process- take the time to figure out what would make you happy. Remember, this is one of the few areas of life where you really only have to consider yourself. Do what makes you happy. Consider your lifestyle and budget as well. If you have no idea what would make you happy, or how to express your aesthetic, then one good way to explore is to create a board or two (or twenty) on Pinterest, and spend a few minutes of free time every few days collecting images in your Pinterest boards, then go back and review what you have. You might be surprised to find much of the same stuff coming up over and over. Maybe an unexpected color, or texture or style. Maybe this should be up for consideration in your new wardrobe-? 

3. Start small, go slow, make necessary changes.
Ok, so you know what’s making you unhappy about your current appearance, and where you’d like to go with it. Now comes the action part. Since this is a new direction it pays to go slow by starting small. Don’t invest a lot of money to begin with - buy small and/or inexpensive versions until you’re sure it’s going to work for you. You might find a style you always wanted to try isn’t physically comfortable for you. Maybe you find a color you want isn’t suitable or you get really tired of it really quickly. Maybe you thought you were ‘mad for plaid’ and then decide one plaid item in your wardrobe is quite enough, thank you very much. Be prepared- things won’t always go how you imagined, you’ll goof, you’ll change your mind. If you haven’t invested much, then you’ll have explored without having lost much, and who knows- maybe it’ll lead you to something else completely perfect for you.

4. Go for the long haul.
Plan to be in this for the long haul. This is actually a lifelong process- we change how we dress for different phases of life, but this way you’ll be doing it consciously and with the intent to express yourself authentically and make yourself happy.  So, create the ‘new’ image you want for yourself, but think of it as being a process; you might say this is about creating more of your own ‘trend’ for a while to which certain variables come into play, then fade and are replaced, which are in turn eventually replaced, and so on. Just keep it fluid to allow for growth.

5. Have fun!
Remember that this is about you being happy with what you put on every day, knowing that you look great, and maintaining an efficient, effective and budget-friendly wardrobe. So have fun with it and make sure what you invest your time and money in pleases you. You can always call me to schedule consultations for color and design lines to ensure that your choices are always going to make you look your very best, each and every day. I also offer wardrobe analysis and personal shopping services. Call me and we’ll talk about what you want to do.

Happy dressing!