At the time of this writing, there is a good chance you are self-isolating in your home. As we non-medical folk stay safe and stay home to “flatten the curve,” we may find additional leisure time at our disposal. I discovered sitting on the kitchen floor and watching my baked goods rise in the oven is oddly comforting.
I also enjoy spending time maintaining, organizing and generally admiring my clothes, while imagining all the places I will wear them again someday. It was this leisure activity that inspired the following exercise intended to bring awareness to our clothes and our relationship with them.
This exercise, which can be thoughtfully completed in a matter of minutes, does not require discarding old clothes or buying new ones.
It simply encourages us to be present, appreciate an often overlooked source of joy and understand what truly makes us feel good (and make that choice more often). Follow the exercise below, taking your time on each step, to deepen your relationship with your wardrobe.
Let Your Wardrobe Shine
Begin the exercise in your dressing space. Notice how much of your wardrobe is visible. Take a few moments to determine how your clothes are stored. Perhaps they are folded and put away, strewn about or sorted into piles. Focus less on judging your tidiness and more on how your clothes function in the space you have. Just like navigating a refrigerator, we tend to choose clothes within our line of sight.
Take a moment to consider creative ways to utilize your space to display your clothes with drawer organizers, garment racks or shoe hangers.
Like seeing clothing beautifully merchandised in a store, it is exciting to dress when each piece of clothing has its space to shine
Honor the Ritual of Dressing
Now imagine you are getting ready for a normal workday, an important event or a special evening. How does dressing for each scenario make you feel? Is the process instinctive, stressful or joyful? Notice the emotions you encounter thinking through each situation. Consider how many iterations of ensembles you try before selecting one.
The act of dressing is a more important ritual than most of us realize. If we go about it thoughtlessly, we miss an opportunity to create a joyful moment for ourselves every day. If dressing is stressful, we rob ourselves of that same joy. Next time you dress, consider the activity a ritual rather than a chore and see how you feel afterwards. A simple way to elevate the ritual of dressing is to play music you love or light a scented candle.
These little things can instantly boost your mood and prime your mind to dress joyfully.
Build an Inspiring Wardrobe
Select five of your favorite items from your wardrobe. Hang them up or lay them out on a bed or sofa so you can see them all together. Think back to when you wore these items last. Name the emotions you felt the last time you wore them. Perhaps they made you feel unique, elegant, cool, sexy or confident.
Discerning what makes you feel good and why helps you create a wardrobe that inspires.
So often we focus on our perceived flaws and insecurities, and we purchase clothes to hide those “imperfections.” But when we reframe our relationship with our clothes to inspire and empower, we create the wardrobe we actually want and love. Remember these five pieces and how they make you feel the next time you shop and challenge yourself to build an inspiring wardrobe instead of an insecure one.
-Una Voce Equa
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© 2021 Emma Westfall