I’m not one of those people. My clothing choices are often clumsy and (gulp) a little sloppy. I have no excuses. I have a wardrobe of gorgeous clothes from a former life when I needed gorgeous clothes on a regular basis, rather than on a going-out-to-dinner-or-a-movie-once-a-month kind of basis I have a husband who doesn’t begrudge me spending money on myself sometimes.
But my problem is two fold; I don’t know how to throw together gorgeousness and more alarmingly, I don’t want to wear my good clothes for fear I might umm, wear them out? What am I waiting for? Will I be an old lady with a wardrobe of unworn, lovely clothes, suitable for someone in their 40’s to be wearing?
A few years back a group of my dearest friends all took turns using a clothes stylist – Jacqui was her name, and over a 3 month period they all got a Jacqui makeover, with the stylist taking them on shopping expeditions, creating a manual on their body shape and “look” and basically transforming them into stylish dressers. At the time I had just had a baby with a swollen post baby body, “I’ll just wait until I’m back to my normal size and then I’ll call her”. But we all know that can take (ahem) quite a while, and by then I’d moved cities and changed priorities. And made the mistake of thinking I could do it on my own. I seemed to develop a few failsafe uniforms; summer – shorts, singlet top, thongs, winter – trackies, trainers, hoody, evening – good jeans, heels or boots, pretty top. Yawn. Predictable. Lazy.
And I’m making this sound like it’s all in my past. But sadly no. I still wear my uniforms and my wardrobe is still full of lovely unworn clothes. How do you undo a lifetime of lazy dressing? How do you put the high heel boots on to go somewhere even though you know you’ll be far more comfy and relaxed in your trainers?
What’s the secret of stylish dressers – you know the ones you see who have added a quirky belt, a string of bright beads, or a whip of scarf to that everyday outfit, transforming them into fabulousness. You see them around the schoolyard, in the office, at the Saturday markets, heading to the gym. It’s not necessarily the clothes they’re wearing but how they are wearing them. And what they have done to those clothes or added to that outfit. It’s like they have an innate knowledge of how to look “just so”.
I have sort of worked out my body shape in a confronting, reality watershed (my legs won’t get longer or slimmer, these are them, now use them wisely and dress them appropriately) and I have kind of worked out the clothes that work best on that sort of body shape. Nothing technical or exact going on here. But what I have done is get a big, fat, old scrapbook, and started to stick pictures in it of outfits I like, and how I’d like to look. When stuck for inspiration, I flick to my scrapbook and find a nattily created “look” that I then straight out replicate. I usually have all the bits I need to create that outfit, just not the vision of how to put it together. Nor the confidence to do so. Problem solved.
Because no one has ever said that if you’re born that way you need to stay that way, and that if you didn’t know how then tough, you’re destined to a lifetime of trackies. Make a choice and surround yourself with the tools for gorgeousness. Before you know it, you’ll be flicking a scarf around your neck as if you’ve been doing it your whole life.