What would your dream closet look like?

Before you go on the traditional daydream of a walk-in closet with rotating shoe racks filled with fancy designer clothes and chic handbags, I want to ask you this:

Imagine a closet filled with everything you need to get the most out of your life.

Last week, you cleaned out your closet and got rid of any object in your life that didn’t serve a purpose. GO YOU! If you’re on my mailing list, you even got some added bonus links to websites that will help you actually clean (I am far from a cleaning expert).

Before you fill your closet again, think about what you want to fill it with.

After my purge, I looked through my closet and  realized I had three business casual outfits and one sun protective shirt. The last time I wore the business casual outfit was three years ago when I applied for a job after law school. They have sat in my closet “just in case” since then. The last time I went hiking was Sunday. I wore the same dirty shirt from Saturday’s hike.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I’m not saying I have to get rid of the suits – they were expensive, still fit me well, I have room for them, and, most importantly, I love the way I feel when I put them on – but as a writer who sits at home in sweats most days, I don’t need to buy any more. What I do need, however, are more outfits for hiking, specifically sun-protective gear.

Do you have similar problems in your closet? What clothes are you holding on for “just in case”? What clothes could you use more of?

Steve Jobs wore the same black t-shirt and plain jeans every day so he had one less decision to make in a day. He knew himself, and knew that’s what he needed to thrive.

Ready to conquer a day at Disneyland.

Ready to conquer a day at Disneyland.

I, on the other hand, love expressing myself through my clothing and would go crazy wearing the same thing every day. Instead, I take more after my sister Michelle, who does what I call a “variation on a theme” style of daily dressing.

My sister has what we call her “uniform,” a version of the same outfit she wears each day, something she knows will be comfortable, practical, and save her time in the morning as she tries to get her two young girls fed, dressed, and out the door for school before she comes back and paints all day.

She’s an artist by passion and profession, so she needs color and style in her wardrobe. But she’s also busy, so she needs to not waste time thinking “what will I wear today” for an hour each morning. Instead, she grabs one long shirt or sweater, and a nice pair of stretching pants or leggings.

Each sweater/shirt goes with each pair of leggings/pants, so all she has to do is grab and go. And she only buys leggings, pants, shirts, and sweaters that are both comfortable and colorful, giving her confidence both in her studio and walking around town running errands.

On the weekends, when she has more time, she busts out the more unique pieces of clothing in her closet, but during the weekday she just throws on her uniform and goes.

My sister's uniform.

My sister’s uniform.

Can you create a uniform of your own? How can you consciously fill your closet to fit your lifestyle needs?

It took my sister awhile to come up with her uniform. After her second kid, she berated her belly for not shrinking to its pre-birth size, but after two complicated C-sections that was impossible for it to do so. One day she realized her (late for preschool) daughters were watching her berate herself for not fitting into an old pair of jeans, and on that day she swore to find a more fitting alternative.

Clothes take on the power we give them, so choose your clothes with intention and purpose. 

Before you purchase your next item of clothing or your next pair of shoes, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I spend my day doing?
  • What kind of clothing makes me feel comfortable in my skin?
  • Which shoes make me stand proud and confident?
  • What clothing do I hate wearing?
  • Which shoes hurt my feet?

Notice any patterns? Write your answers down on a piece of paper you can take with you every time you go shopping.

Before we go, let me leave you with this quote by Cheryl Strayed.

“Real liberation of women is profoundly connected to the shoes we wear. Until we as a gender refuse to wear any shoe that would be uncomfortable to walk a mile in, we’re perfectly screwed.”



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