Hell lurks in the depths of my closet.
At least once a week I find that everything in my closet looks terrible on me and nothing will do. I suspect it’s either a demon who alters clothing with a jinx, or some inner monster determined to ruin my morning.
Either way, you know what I’m talking about — when all your clothes seem like they don’t fit even though neither you, nor the clothes are different — and you have to change multiple times to discover that you do, in fact, look fine.
I could talk about how women face body and confidence issues in front of the mirror and how we suffer from the pressures to look good. Even though these claims are true, there are a few easy ways to combat these problems so you can keep your sanity until gender bias and the subjugation of women’s bodies end. (Ha!)
Until then, avoid purging the contents of your closet with an exorcism, or shouting how much you hate the “candy man” three times in the mirror, by following some tricks I use when I can’t stop fussing with my outfits.
Now, it goes without saying that most of us, myself included, do not have the wardrobe or beauty staff of Sarah Jessica Parker or Chloe Sevigny. We cannot look stylish by merely walking through our closet and stumbling out in couture. So, we have to work with what we have.
For starters, we should lift the curse of blaming our bodies. Translation: cut the crap. We need to stop giving ourselves such grief and select simple pieces that make us feel good. One of the worst parts about mornings with a closet conniption is the negative feelings we experience while looking in the mirror.
So, what’s my first trick? Stop being so mean to yourself. Embrace what you look like instead of being so hypercritical.
Tip number two: Figure out which aspect of your clothing choices you don’t like. Has something changed about your garments? Should they be ironed? Do you need to do laundry? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to understand why you are having trouble, instead of asking yourself, “Does my butt look fat in this?”
This morning, for me, it was the weather change. I paired several different skirts with a green and white short-sleeved blouse, but the multiple iterations looked frumpy. Since the clock was ticking, I abandoned my original inspiration and wore a black pencil skirt and paired it with a long-sleeve red and white striped shirt.
By balancing my desire to wear a skirt with a long-sleeve, the transition from being covered in warm clothes, to bare legs seemed to work better because there was less skin and more of a classic shape.
When I was done, I gave myself some credit, instead of insulting my appearance, which brings us to the next tip: Once you are dressed, don’t think about what you don’t like about your clothes, compliment what you like about yourself in them.
Pin point what you like and then find a way to enhance that part of your look. Feeling good about one’s self is the best way to overcome those mornings when you feel like a Ms. Hyde ready to attack yourself.
As for tangible ways to keep the gateway to the underworld from becoming your closet, I recommend organizing your clothes and jewelry in categories that will make it easy to piece together outfits. Lifestyle Expert Susan Matthews uses a dress form to organize her bling. When you organize your clothes, notice the different fabric types in your wardrobe. It’s fun to mix and match textures to create an interesting palette.
Also, in between seasons, adding a scarf is a fun way to add some style without much effort. As mentioned in MegHibberd’s Blog, a circular scarf is great because there are no loose ends to deal with, making it a little effort with a lot of style gain.
When you’re not in a hurry, I recommend finding inspiration. There are many ways to cultivate your look when you are not heading out the door. Why not create your own fashion with this new tool that allows you to design your own tees?
Or, you can check out one of the numerous fashion blogs, that show you how to mix and match different pieces you own. There’s an eclectic array listed at the ModCloth Blog. For a quick fix, there’s always the “Look of the Day,” a hot spot where InStyle Magazine editors search for fashion finds.