Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gratitude as an Element of Wardrobe Planning

Over the past week, I've been discussing how the Paradox of Choice affects both our clothing choices and how we maintain our closet. Today I'll share some thoughts about how approaching your wardrobe with an attitude of gratitude impacts your ultimate satisfaction with your wardrobe.

If I may share a bit about my wardrobe planning philosophy -- I believe that the most functional wardrobe consists of a pared down closet full of clothes that you love that look great and reflect how you wish to be perceived by the world. A closet that is overburdened with too many choices leads to an inconsistent image and dissatisfaction with your overall appearance. We've been talking about some of the reasons this is so.

However, it is very hard to be satisfied with less choice unless you can be grateful for the clothing that you've chosen to be in your closet. When you aren't grateful for what you have, you are longing for what you don't have. Here is where wardrobe planning can help you figure out what to keep and what to let go of...and it can give you a sense of peace surrounding the choices you've made. It also gives you a plan for moving ahead into the future, so that you can let go of a lot of the fear surrounding not having "enough".

Right now, I am in the midst of a wardrobe updating of my own. I have a wardrobe of clothes that I love, and have served me well. But for many of these outfits, their functional life is near over. It's time to let them go, and bring in some new. However, I am still very grateful that I've had these outfits, and I will continue to be grateful for them until I have replaced them. My wardrobe plan allows me to be able to strategically replace these garments without anxiety.


You are a work in progress. Thinking that your closet must be perfect before you can appreciate what you have will set you up to fail. Think instead of seeing every piece in your wardrobe as having a function...perhaps you are not able to afford the quality of clothing that you desire, or this season you will not be able to update as extensively as you thought you might be able to. Be grateful that you have a functional wardrobe that is easy to manage. Love the garments that you wear, take good care of them, and appreciate them for how they serve you today...knowing that you are not tied to these garments for the rest of your life. Having a plan for slowly upgrading, for slowly improving, for always evolving is far more valuable than having the perfect wardrobe today.

Join me tomorrow when I share how keeping up with the Joneses can disrupt even the best laid wardrobe plans. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on the topics of wardrobe planning, style and image, pleasestop by my website.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Questions From The Audience, Part One

Greetings! Today is the day of the week that I try to answer questions and address comments that have come from you, my loyal readers. There were so many questions this week that I decided to divide and conquer. Today I'll spend time answering questions from the ladies...and then next time I'll answer all the great questions from you fellas.

First, April Braswell had asked about how to manage a wardrobe when you are between sizes. I responded to her in the comments, but I'll repeat my answer here, as I get this question from a lot of curious people.

Jennifer responds: Figuring out what to wear in-between sizes can be a challenge. You want to look your very best at all times, but you don't want to buy an entirely new wardrobe every month. However, there is one thing that you can do to stretch your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Try to put the focus of your wardrobe on less structured items (usually sized s-m-l instead of numbers) as these will fit a slightly broader range of sizes. It takes some looking, but there are some really great clothes sized this way. Reward yourself periodically with one or two key structured pieces that really show off your new figure...realizing that you will let these go once you've reached your next size.

Next, Lisa McLellan says, "I'm waiting for you to tackle the issue of finding everything you need or want in your size when you don't have any money. Then when you have some money you can't find a thing you like or at least not in your size."

Jennifer responds: This can be frustrating! Some of it can be helped by strategy, and some of it is plain ol' Murphy's Law. The first thing to do is to organize your wardrobe in such a way that you are never caught in the position of needing something right away. Know that you have enough outfits to carry you through even if something dreadful happens to a piece of clothing and it needs to be replaced. When you seasonally review the contents of your closet, take note of what needs to be purchased, and make a list. Then take your time finding these pieces. This gives you and your wallet some breathing room. Another tip is to discover your fail-safe brands that you can always rely on. This way you can shop online with reasonable confidence...and online shopping is one way to locate sizes that might not be in the stores at the time you go looking.

Lastly, Sue Crutcher asks, "I have to wear many hats during a day (construction worker, holistic health care provider, retreat manager, gardener, gourmet cook, hostess..) what to do...?!?"

Jennifer responds: You are a lady with many talents! When you have so many areas of your life that require different attire, it can be tricky managing your closet. But it can be done. First, you'll need to figure out how much of your time is spent wearing each hat. Then look for the crossover. Can one segment of your wardrobe satisfy more than one area of your lifestyle? If so, that is great! For areas that have no overlap, look at how much of your time is spent doing this activity. If it is a small amount, you really won't need all that much to outfit yourself...and this would be one of the few times I'd recommend a small capsule. What you will probably find is that one part of your life takes the most time...and that is where the largest amount of your closet should be dedicated to. Another thing to consider is maintaining some form of consistency across all your various "looks"... maybe having a signature color or a signature piece of jewelry that you incorporate in some small way into each outfit. Get creative with this...and let me know how it goes!

I hope you enjoyed this week's Q&A. Next week, I'll have answers for Matt, Yann, Aaron and John. Come back tomorrow for a discussion of how an attitude of gratitude can improve the outlook of both you and your closet. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information on creating a wardrobe plan, please visit my website!)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Good Enough -- Better Than Best?

Yesterday's posting was all about the opportunity costs of opportunity costs -- what we lose when we put too much mental energy into figuring out all the pros and cons of minor decisions. Now today we'll touch upon the concept of "good enough".

We are all lured by the idea of "best" and everything emotionally associated with it. When you are the "best", or own the "best", what exactly does that mean to you? Why is it so important?

Come with me on a semantic journey here: the word best can be used as both a noun (as in "do your best") and as a superlative ("that is the best car"). The superlative form connotates hierarchy -- if you are the best xyz or own the best xyz then unquestioningly you are or have the highest quality or most desirable xyz of all.

And this means...? Status. Freedom from worry and doubt. "Best" means precisely that there's nothing better...which means you've made a great choice. Ahh...the nirvana of "best"!

We as humans will put a lot of energy into "best" because of how it makes us feel. For some it is more important than others, but we are all affected by this drive. The problem comes when we spend so much energy finding the "best" of something when the truth is, it may not exist. Because, it so happens, "best" is also extremely subjective.

Enter "good enough". Sometimes it's far wiser to go with a suitable choice, rather than stressing out over finding the very best. "Good enough" doesn't have to be a throw-away term of defeat. You can have very definite criteria for what is good enough, and your standards can be quite high. Looking at your options in this manner will save you a ton of stress and worry.

Now, how does this apply to our closet? If you've been following my blog, you probably already have a good idea how to do this. But here are some more ideas to ponder:

1) When shopping for clothes, think in terms of great, amazing, fantastic, fabulous, beautiful....pick your adjective. These are concrete descriptors that can help you make distinctions between items. But avoid obsessing over finding the very best that exists. "Best" is illusory.

2) Begin to see when your desire to find the best option is filling an emotional need rather than a practical one. On the practical side, there are extremely good reasons to have high quality. But if you are trying to find the best because you fear those opportunity costs, fear not.

Tomorrow is Q&A day, when I take questions from the audience. So if you have a burning question that you would like answered, please ask! See you tomorrow...same blog time...same blog channel....

(If you would like more information on wardrobe planning, please visit my website!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Opportunity Costs and Your Closet

Yesterday's post was about making your decisions nonreversible. Today the topic of discussion is, as Barry Schwartz labels it, the "opportunity costs of opportunity costs".

So just what exactly is an opportunity cost? Simply put, it is the cost of choosing one item over another. Let's say that you have two hours of free time to spend. You decide to go to see a movie. That time is now cannot also be used to go grocery shopping. Not being able to shop for groceries is one opportunity cost of going to the movie. But choosing the movie has opportunity costs other than the groceries, as fact, it may never be possible to know for certain the sum total of opportunity costs for this decision or any decision.

Examining opportunity costs is often a valid thing to do. If you have money to invest, you want to know which investment is the wisest. If you are choosing a college, you want to make sure you choose one that will provide you with a good education but will also be a good match for you socially. Very large and very important decisions warrant a thorough thinking through.

But what about smaller decisions, like with your closet, for instance? You can choose to buy one shirt over another. You can choose to buy or not to buy. Here is where we run into the opportunity costs of opportunity costs. For smaller decisions like these, it pays to avoid using excess mental energy, as it only leads to stress and indecision.

Here are some ways to avoid the oportunity costs of opportunity costs:

1) Don't be tempted by every new fad and every new trend. Stick with what you know looks good and is flattering on you until it doesn't any longer.

2) I recommend that my clients find out which stores and brands they can consider their "fail-safes", and that they try to stick with these. It makes shopping so much easier!

3) Don't buy clothes unless you need them.

4) Don't worry about all that you might be missing out on. There will be plenty of opportunities left when it is your time to go shopping.

Next time I will talk about the idea of "good enough" and why it is often better than "best". (And yes, it all ties in with everything we've been talking about!) See you tomorrow...same blog time...same blog channel....

(My website has more information on wardrobe planning. I encourage you to stop by!)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Power of the Nonreversible

Yesterday I explained a bit about the difference between being picker and a chooser, and why being a chooser is the way to go to beat indecision. Today we're going to look at the idea of making your decisions nonreversible, and how that can also help you feel more satisfied with your choices.

How many of you have ever bought something with the thought in the back of your mind: "Well, I can always return it if I don't like it"? Chances are, nearly everyone has had this experience. Now, let's imagine that you've come to this decision after a lot of thought. You've weighed the pros and cons, you've looked at several options, and the decision to purchase was not an easy one -- in fact, you are still not convinced you've made the right choice. Maybe you were even picker and not a chooser. What happens after you buy? Missed opportunity regret. Yup, that sneaking suspicion that we should have gone with the other option instead. And where does that lead but to more stress and anxiety.

This can happen in any situation where more than one option is available, and it's even worse if the decision is a difficult one to make. This one or that one? Do I or don't I? This way or that way? Nothing is worse than continuing the process of deciding long after you've decided!

But here's the interesting thing about choosing: if a person feels that the decision he made is nonreversible he is far more likely to be satisfied with his choice than if the decision is seen as reversible. You might think otherwise -- that a reversible decision is more palatable precisely because it can be changed. But not so! The research that Barry Schwartz discusses in The Paradox of Choice shows that it's actually the reverse.

So what's the lesson here? How do we apply nonrevisible decisions to our wardrobes?

1) Make all your purchases knowing that the only reason for return will be to exchange for the same item. In other words, something was physically wrong with the garment. And remove those tags as soon as it arrives home with you! You will be far happier with this article of clothing than if you allow it to sit around while you finish deciding if you really want it.

2) Many of us fall into the trap of the schizophrenic closet. We have multiple personalities hanging out in our wardrobes, all clamoring for attention. Who am I going to be today? This is a disaster from a style standpiont for more reasons than one. Once you've put all the work into figuring out how you want the world to see you, don't go changing this from day to day. Don't worry that you've made the wrong choice. Know that you can reevaluate at a later date, but for now you are committed to your decision. You will be far more confident, and your closet will thank you for it.

Continuing on with the current theme, tomorrow I will explain the opportunity costs of opportunity costs. See you then...same blog time...same blog channel....

(For more information, please visit my website on wardrobe planning.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Be A Chooser, Not a Picker

Shopping can be a bewildering experience. With so many options to choose from, how do we make a choice? Barry Scwhartz in his book The Paradox of Choice discusses two ways in which we can make decisions. The first way is to be a picker. The second is to be a chooser. But only one gives us more peace of mind in the end. I will show how both ways affect how we end up with what is in our closets.

A picker looks at all the options available to him, and analyzes each one. A picker is not satisfied with looking at just a few options, but feels compelled to investigate further, deeper and wider. Ultimately a picker wants to pick the very best option, and feels incredible anxiety over picking exactly the right one. You probably remember this feeling from childhood when you stood in front of the candy rack for what seemed like hours and you just couldn't pick out only one from the many. Or as an adult, you may have experienced this when you went to buy a new car or a new computer. We are taught that we need to make careful choices...but when the options are too many, making the choice leads to overwhelm and uncertainty.

A chooser, however, does not feel compelled to examine every option available. A chooser knows the criteria necessary to make a choice between options, and any option that satisfies the criteria will suffice. Often, a chooser will rely on habits and customs when making decisions in order not to waste the mental energy that would be necessay to re-invent the wheel. In spite of this seemingly irresponsible method, the chooser does not experience nearly as much regret over missed opportunity once the choice is made.

In terms of managing your closet, several things become clear:

1) Know before you shop what it is you are looking for. Know what size, what color, what style, what fabric, what price. If you know that a certain brand is fail-safe, then buy that brand. Look until you find what you are looking for. And when you find it, buy it. Don't spend too much time wondering if there might be a better deal around the corner. There may, and there may not.

2) Limit the amount of clothes in your wardrobe. Remember, the more options there are to pick from, the less satisfied you will be with your choice. And the harder it will be to make one in the first place!

3) Have pre-determined oufits to choose from. (Choose, remember? Not pick!) When you know already that something works, you spend less time making decisions.

Tomorrow I'll explain a bit about why you should make your choices nonreversible. And now that you've made your choice to be here tomorrow, I'll see you then! Same blog time...same blog channel...

(If you would like more information on wardrobe planning, come visit my website!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

More on the Paradox of Choice-Adaptation

Yesterday I shared with you the idea that choosing beforehand WHEN you will make clothing purchases can be a helpful practice in managing your wardrobe. And today I will talk about the process of adaptation and how that affects how we feel about our clothing purchases after we've made them.

If you've ever been elated over the achievement of a desired goal, or excited over some good fortune, or incredibly happy to have bought something you really like--only to have that great feeling lose it's strength over time--you have experienced adaptation. Adaptation is an interesting phenomenon we all experience where the high and excitement of something new wears off and turns into mere comfort. Many times people become addicted to the good feelings they get when they have "new" experiences...and they end up no longer content with merely being content.

Whenever we buy something, we anticipate the good feelings we will gain from the purchase. That new car makes our day (or week, or even month). In terms of relationships, the new love makes us feel like we are on cloud nine.

And we forget that over time, the feelings will mellow.

The trick is to ANTICIPATE adaptation...before it occurs. Know that you are buying something because you need it or want it but that the feeling associated with the newness of it (or the feeling of "scoring" such a great find) will not last. Keep this in mind when you are passing up that great "bargain" that you don't really need but you want so very badly. Know that chances are you will not feel nearly so strongly about it in the not-too-distant future.

Come back tomorrow to learn why being a "chooser" is better than being a "picker" (and why beggars can't be either!). See you on the morrow...same blog time...same blog channel....

(Warning! Visiting my website will give you more information on wardrobe planning. Proceed with caution!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Paradox of Choice

You've heard it said that less is more. But have you heard about how more is less? That is the topic of Barry Schwartz's excellent book The Paradox of Choice. In it he discusses how, even though the luxury of many choices is an indicator of progress and affluence, we have found that we are in a double bind: for that wonderful freedom to choose amongst many options leads to doubt, indecision, stress, and regret. And so it is in our closets, ladies and gentlemen! Over the next several days I will show how we can work to solve the paradox of choice in the area of wardrobe management.

Today I'll start with:
#1 Choose When to Choose
One thing we can all do to keep ourselves from being overwhelmed is to make a decsion about exactly WHEN we will go shopping for clothes. So many of us shop as a pastime and so it is no wonder that we are continually tempted with the prospect of buying something new and wonderful. I counsel my clients to seasonally go through their closets, remove what no longer is suitable, record what they will need to replace, and THEN go looking for the items that they need. If you are a pre-season shopper, then that is when you go shopping for the season. If you like to take advantage of all the post-season bargains, then wait until the end of the season to shop.

If you feel that this takes all the fun out of shopping, then allow yourself to window shop...go with some friends, see what is out there. But don't buy. Discipline yourself. Wait until your chosen time.

"Aaargh!", you may be saying to yourself. "How can I pass up such great deals when I see them? What if I see something that I really, really want?" Tomorrow I will share with you the idea of adaptation, and how anticipation of this psychological process can help mitigate some of these fears. So, fear not--I'll be back tomorrow! See you then...same blog time...same blog channel...

(Oh, by the way...if I haven't told you are welcome to vist my website on wardrobe planning for more articles and information!)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Questions from the Audience


Today I would like to take time to answer some questions that have come from you, my loyal readers!

First, Kevin Hogan asks: "Does it count as a small wardrobe if you have a bunch of clothes in the closet and only wear a few of them?"
Jennifer replies: It sounds like you need to do some weeding! The world only sees the clothes that you put on, not the ones "hanging" out in your closet. And if you don't wear them, the clothes have no function other than to take up space. Think of it this way: you don't really need them if you aren't wearing them in the first place. Build your wardrobe around what you DO wear. Get rid of the rest. Then you will have a small wardrobe!

And now a question from Steve Chambers: "How do I get rid of those pants I no longer fit but can't get rid of yet?"
Jennifer replies: This is a common problem for many people. I call it the problem of the "someday clothes". Someday they'll fit again, someday they'll be in style again, someday I might need them.... but someday rarely comes. Or if it does, you find that you actually don't WANT the article any longer. You lose the weight, you want NEW clothes! The style comes around again, but you're just not into it any longer. The way to separate yourself from clothing that is no longer useful is to box it up and store it away for six months to a year. Hey, go through your closet and take out ALL the stuff that doesn't really fit and do the same. If, after a year you haven't missed them, donate the box to charity straightaway...don't even open it!

And lastly, Aaron Agostini wants to know: "What are some basic recommendations for guys? I want to communicate something professional, but we have a fairly business casual office."
Jennifer replies: At the top edge of business casual, I would recommend a nice pair of dress pants and a button-down shirt. Add a pair of good leather shoes and a belt and you are good to go. Slightly more casual is to change out the dress pants for a pair of khakis. And the next step down is to trade a polo shirt for the button-down. Never, never go for jeans...even of the other guys are doing it! And watch the don't need dress shoes per se, but stay away from anything blatantly casual. The shoes can keep an outfit looking just that one step snazzier than the next guy without being too over-dressed for dressed-down office.

Cheers, everyone! I'll be doing another Q & A next week, so do ask the questions! As for tomorrow, I'll be elaborating on The Mysterious Paradox of Choice. Come back and see why too many options actually causes stress. See you here...same blog time, same blog channel!

(My website on wardrobe planning just loves visitors!)

Monday, April 21, 2008

What Have They Got That I Haven't Got?

The longer I stayed in Sweden the more apparent it became. There was a certain element of style the Swedish had that Americans had long ago abandoned. What was it? I'll tell you in just a moment.

But first, let me recap the lessons that I had thus far so painfully learned:

#1) Style is not about owning a large quantity of clothes.

#2) Style is not about wearing all the latest fads.

#3) You can't throw a suitcase/closetful of mis-matched clothes together and expect an outfit to appear like magic. Well...I suppose it is possible...chimps typing on typewriters will eventually produce a line of Shakespeare...but you get my point.

#4) There is a difference between truly having style and merely being "in style".

And now back to our regularly scheduled program:
Ok, so here's what I began to notice. The Swedish girls DID NOT own large amounts of clothes. In fact, they owned a relatively small amount. They were also really picky about what they chose to wear. They wore each article of clothing often, but never when it was dirty or wrinkled. By the years' end I knew the contents of most of my classmates' closets by heart...or if not by heart, I recognized most of what they wore. They knew the secret to managing a stylish wardrobe was... less is more. This is such an important point that I will just have to elaborate upon it at a later date.

Tomorrow, however, I'd like to answer questions that have been addressed to me both here and elsewhere. If you have a question, please ask, and I'll try to respond. I'll see you tomorrow.

(Or if you can't wait that long, please visit my website on wardrobe planning for more information.)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Opposites Attract

To say that the only thing I learned while living in Sweden was that my distinctly American fashion sense was truly off the mark would be downplaying the tremendous experience that I had while abroad. Living in another country opened my eyes to wonderfully new and exciting ways of viewing the world. I often wish that I'd had the experience when I was much older than sixteen, because I feel that in many ways I was too young to really absorb all the lessons that were presented to me.

Nevertheless the experience was formative in more ways than one, and I remain ever grateful that I had the opportunity when I did.

But I digress... I believe I promised to tell you about Caryn....

To set the stage I must tell you that sixteen-year-old Jennifer was about as clean cut and straight-laced a girl that ever there was. Sandy from the musical "Grease" had nothing on me...I was as clean as the new-fallen snow. Adam Ant even wrote a song about me! (Ok, well perhaps that is a little overboard, but you get the idea.)

By appearance, Caryn was everything I was not--a rebelious mix of punk and goth with a The Cure/Depeche Mode/Ramones-ish bent. Her favorite color was black, but she wasn't afraid to throw a splash of color or a funky pattern into the mix. She altered her clothes in any way necessary to pull off a certain look. But more than that, she could look at an article of clothing and know instantly if it fit her overall look. Everyone I had ever known had always dressed to fit in. Caryn, however,dressed to fit her own personal idea of style. She judged each article of clothing NOT by whether it was acceptable to everyone else, but by whether or not the cut, the color, and the style were right for her.

Caryn had an enormous influence on me. The year that I returned home to the states I even adopted a large part of her style as my own. (Yes, I was still learning....) She taught me a powerful lesson about developing a style persona and using it to guide your choices in clothing.

Of course, Caryn also realized the impression her clothing choices made on others. And so the year before college, she began to adopt a less rebellious, more mature style...might I even say it was a wee bit preppy! But as always, her choices we consciously made with an eye to the consistent image she wanted to project.

Check back tomorrow and I'll let you know about one amazing feature of Swedish style I learned that year that most Americans are clueless about...and even Caryn didn't know! Until we meet again....

(You have an open invitation to visit me at my wardrobe planning website. Don't knock, just come on in!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Style to Call My Own

It didn't take me long to discover that I really had nothing to wear that year in Sweden. I managed to squeak out a few weeks of dressing...until I started to get a wee bit rounder. And then most of what I'd brought with me didn't fit.

To make matters worse, the Swedish girls dressed in a way that was entirely different from my American friends. At first I really couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was other than to say that many of them wore things that I would have been embarassed to wear back home. Like big mohair sweaters (chunky-knit cotton was big back home) and socks with sandals (eeeek!). Some things were the same, like Converse All-Star high tops and jeans. I had become so accustomed to seeing nearly everyone in the states dressing like carbon copies that it took me by surprise to see something different. And I'm ashamed to admit that at the time I thought they did it because they didn't know any better.

Several things, however, became exceedingly apparent to me as the year went on. These Swedish girls each had a unique style that was all their own--and dressed in a manner that I felt intuitively was more "grown up". All the kids in my American high school wore jeans day in and day out. These girls favored slacks and skirts. What I had originally seen as a lack of fashion sense was really a lack of conformity...and a very highly develped sense of personal style. I was really a fish out of water. I had nothing to wear and no style to call my own. Until I met Caryn.

Caryn was another exchange student from the states. Had we not both been far from home that year I am not sure we would have ever become friends, as Caryn dressed in a manner that I found...welllll... frightening. I'll explain more tomorrow...but let it be known that we did indeed become the best of friends, and this girl taught me more about developing style than anyone before or after. So come on back now, y'hear?

(Or mosey on over to my website and take a gander while you are waiting.)

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Tale of Two Suitcases

I was so excited! I would be spending my Junior Year as an exchange student in Sweden. Here was my chance to be *that girl* abroad! It didn't matter that I couldn't speak Swedish or had no idea what the Swedes were like. And it didn't matter that I could only take two suitcases with me. I was going to S-W-E-D-E-N! The land of ABBA!

Just before departing, my mother and I went shopping for clothes. And in my usual manner of purchasing, I managed to bring home a small handful of disparate items with no relation to one another. Distant cousins, perhaps. Maybe. I remember that among the items were a pair of purple flower-print jeans (really--these WERE trendy at the time), a pair of olive-green high-waisted pants, a red short-sleeve knit sweater, black leggings, and a brand new pair of white Nikes. But perhaps the worst mistake I made was this: I bought most things just a *tad* bit too small. After all, I would be LOSING weight on the other side of the pond, wouldn't I? Please don't laugh...I really thought I was going to impress my new European friends with my ultra-trendy style. (I did mention that I was young and clueless, didn't I?!)

What I know now that I didn't know then is that you cannot throw two suitcases' worth of individual items together and expect to get a year's worth of outfits out of the mix. It is not possible. It does not matter how wonderful each piece of clothing is on its own if it doesn't have an outfit to belong to. And in the context of two suitcases, it better have more than one outfit to belong to!

This is the same problem that so many people have with their own wardrobes...only it is their closet they are challenged by, and not a suitcase. But the principle is the same. Without a plan, you will end up looking into a full closet/suitcase and saying to yourself, "I don't have a thing to wear!"

So there I was in Sweden, with two suitcases full of a disaster waiting to happen. Come on back tomorrow and I'll tell you about the girl who rescued me from my own cluelessness ...same blog time...same blog channel....

(If you can't wait that long, you can read more on wardrobe planning at my website!)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Young and the Clueless

I'll admit it. As a young person, I was clueless about style. It wasn't until my late teens and early twenties that I even began to develop anything remotely like a personal style. Now it wasn't that I couldn't recognize style when I saw it...I certainly knew who the stylish girls were in school. And I was envious of how they always looked so trendy and well put-together. But I had no clue about HOW they did it. And I began to fall into the terrible trap of believing (along with everyone else) that the MORE clothing you had, the MORE stylish you would be. Probably because my family really couldn't afford to spend all that much on clothes, while I just "knew" that these trendy girls could. And so I began to accumulate. Little by little, over time. All the time thinking that eventually I would find just the right outfit to miraculously confer upon myself that mystical state of STYLISH.

Ummmm...I was wrong. But it would take me years to figure that out. And in the meantime, my wardrobe developed into a schizophrenic mess of odds and ends that looked absolutely amazing on the dummies in the store, but looked...well, not equally amazing on me.

However my style misadventures really came to head my Junior Year in high school...the year I spent abroad in Sweden. Looking back, it was SO bad that it was comical. Come back tomorrow, and I'll let you know why...same blog time, same blog channel...

(And if you can't wait that long, pop on over to my website for more information on style and wardrobe planning.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Prefacing the Whys and Wherefores

I am really excited to be getting this blog off the ground. For a long time I've mused on the idea that I should be writing about the things I am passionate here I am, finally. Writing about... simplifying what's in your closet. Now, those who know me well are probably wondering why I didn't choose to write about my adventures in theatre (I have had many) or my thoughts on education (yes, I am opinionated). So over the course of the next few days, I plan to write about just exactly WHY I find this topic so fascinating...why this fairly petite, theatrical, teacher-type would choose to step out as a wardrobe guru. I can're just itching to know! What I hope you'll see is that my journey towards my own "very small closet" is one that anyone and everyone can take...and how this journey can improve nearly every facet of your life. If you enjoy what you read here, you may also want to check out more information on wardrobe planning . Until next time....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

While you're waiting...

if you have not yet seen!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Welcome to Jennifer's New Blog

Jennifer Ann Skinner will be here soon....