How do you know if what you wear doesn’t identify with you anymore?
As time passes, our bodies, lives, and what we like start to change a bit. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow change that first happens within us, but it does feel like one day, we start waking up to the notion that the pieces we are wearing or trying on somehow don’t work anymore.
There are a few things that happen when you are going through this shift:
- You don’t wear the piece of clothing – it sits in your closet even though you once did identify with it and feel good in it. Now when you wear it, it doesn’t fit where you’re at anymore.
- It feels dated – like a past you, from a past life, with memories that somehow make it feel like it’s not where you want to be anymore.
- It doesn’t fit the clothing you DO love – it’s a piece that, with the years or months that have gone by, it’s gone to one side because you’ve found new tunes that identify with you more. It doesn’t fit into the style you are going for or stepping into now.
- When you try it on, it doesn’t feel good. Feel good means it doesn’t make you feel confident, beautiful, sexy, or any describing word that identifies most with you or your style statement. If you haven’t learned about style statements, you can listen to the episode Setting a Style Goal.
- It fits your body, not your style – You put it on, and it fits like a glove. It hugs just the right places, sits well, and the fabric is wonderful, but it doesn’t feel like you. If you were to go to your closet to pick something to wear, this would be the last thing on your list.
I recently went through this around May of this year. It’s funny because I work with clients going through their life transitions, stepping up their dating game, career goals, turning a new decade, and having a baby. When I start to go through it, I become very aware that, oh, it’s my turn to go through my process again.
As I reached 35, I felt this new part of me burst into life. The work I’ve had with my clients over the past few years has been much deeper and more profound because I also worked on myself more. The amount of people I have been able to reach through my work still astounds me. It only keeps growing. The pieces I wore didn’t match the level I was at now in my career or who I am.
Dressed conservatively because I started my business when I was only 22, I wanted to be taken seriously. Back then, being a young entrepreneur was not cool. It took a lot of proving your worth, having to be a bit more serious and closed off to get through it.
Compared to where I am today, I feel freer in expressing myself through what I wear. I still love a good blazer; it feels put together to me. I love feminine, fun dresses, unique jewelry, and statement pieces in my clothing. Still, as I got older, I appreciated better quality items. Spending more on elements I love feels better to me now.
Throughout the years, I have collected some wonderful pieces that have stood the test of time, like my Alexis Bittar bracelet, my Vince Camuto cowl neck long sleeve shirt (which I wore the other day, I think I had that for at least 7 years!), a Theory leather jacket which was my first big purchase when I became a stylist, and my Elle Tahari laser cut skirt I’ve had for 5 years. I must say, there are some items I treasure, and they still feel good. I can still wear them with modern pieces and change them up. They still feel like me after all this time.
I love helping you find these pieces, too. I was talking to a client I worked with 10 years ago who was sharing how some of her favorites are items from back in the day. It brings me so much joy to help people spend money on clothing that makes a difference in how they show up and feel. Best of all, some pieces stand the test of time.
It’s okay if not everything you once loved still works for you. There will be many loved pieces that need to be donated and don’t fit into your life, but looking back at items worth the buy are special. The pieces you can hold onto for more than a couple of seasons and reintroduce into your outfits in new ways make our lives much easier.
I also worked with a client 8 years ago who hired me again because most of the pieces we bought lasted her for years, and we took a small break working together. She found that when she shopped, she wasn’t purchasing items that aligned with her or fit her body well. She just wanted more of those key items to build up her wardrobe again.
The items we purchased together were all very intentional. At the time, she was a therapist and owned her practice. Then when she hired me again, she had recently retired and didn’t know what her style was anymore. The once loved pieces in her closet turned into old favorites because they didn’t fit her lifestyle anymore. She needed help finding what worked for her now—the life of traveling, hiking, wine tasting, and being more low-key. In our last session after retirement, I wanted to stay true to the essentials of her style. She’s artistic and enjoys color, good print, and great texture. She has a classic look and wants less trendy items and more substantial pieces. Although her style needed an update, the core of what she valued was the same. It was all about tiling up the right clothing to fit this new place with easy-to-wash items.
Pieces that stand the test of time can’t be calculated. It’s a natural thing that happens as you begin making purchases that truly fit you. It feels good to wear clothing that you know will last and be constant go-to’s in your closet. You can recreate them in new ways.
If I had to pick the top 3 items that stand the test of time, they’d be:
In my program, Style Refresh, I guide you through finding your style, how to dress your body, and give you the exact places and pieces to purchase what you need to build a foundation for your fall wardrobe. It will only be available to buy until the end of this month, and won’t be open again until Spring 2023.
Clothing from my closet that has stood the test of time:
Alexis Bittar Earrings
Alexis Bittar earrings, my first big purchase of jewelry when I was starting out as a stylist 14 years ago. They have a pop of orange and a sort of vine, wrapped texture to them. I had no idea I’d treasure and wear them this long. This photo is on my birthday this year. I took myself out for a glass of bubbly to celebrate before my hair makeover.
Vince Camuto Top
This Vince Camuto top must have ONLY cost $69 back in the day and the fabric has lasted multiple washes and wears. It’s a comfortable put together cowl neck top that I still pull out for outfits during fall and winter. In this look I updated it with a tiered bomber jacket and snakeskin print silk skirt with chunky platform booties.
Elie Tahari Skirt
This Elie Tahari skirt was purchased 6 years ago at a designer blowout event. I have loved it ever since and always pull it out for fall. There are no signs of wear or tear on this piece and I recently updated the skirt look with a new Anthropologie top and white booties.