A Little Something About Having Something (or NOTHING!) to Wear…

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I have a little different view on the scripture Luke 12:22-31 – not worrying about “your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.”  While I totally agree with this scripture and am definitely NOT saying I disagree with it – I do view it just a little bit differently than a lot of people do. If we are not to worry about it, then does that mean we are not to think on it? Or do something so that we no longer worry about it? My view is this – we obviously have to wear clothes. (Unless you are visiting a nudist beach which after having 5 kiddos will never be on my radar!) We are NOT supposed to worry about it. Check. If I haven’t taken the time to really look at my wardrobe and make it “me” so that I am comfortable in my own clothes as the saying goes – then I have a feeling I’m going to be worried about it. Okay, I KNOW I’m going to worry about it! So here are a couple tips about how to be confident in your own clothing options and how not to worry about “what you will wear”.

I will admit to being fashion challenged for awhile while having my kiddos. I loved clothes as a teenager, but having babies really messed with my head and body and I admit to living in sweats and un-flattering  jeans  for way too long. I finally saw the light though and began to care about how I looked because I wanted my kids to see their mom as a confident put-together woman and up til that point I truly was neither. Feeling put together helped give me confidence as a mom and a woman, and honestly helped rejuvenate my marriage as well. My husband was attracted to this confident woman that I had once been and was thrilled she was back! Please read my heart in this – if you are not someone who worries about clothes or styles then that is fine. I am not saying any of you may even have confidence issues like  I did – I’m just sharing what changed in my own personal thinking and how this helped me.

First things first: Decide what styles of clothing you like or enjoy wearing.

1. Look at magazines and ads for clothing that catches your eye. I have a collection of pictures cut out of magazines and ads of clothes and outfits I like. This helps to determine your own style of clothing and helps you focus on what you really would wear and weeds out those orphan pieces we all have in our closets. (It won’t eliminate those pieces that sneak in every once in a while but it will help! Closet organizing once or twice a year will help with that.)

2. Go shopping just to try on clothes – preferably similar to ones you’ve found in step #1. No pressures of buying or needing a specific piece – just trying on several different sizes and styles to see what looks good on you. You’ll be surprised how different things look on you than on the hangar. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Have fun with it and remind yourself (out loud if you have to!) if something doesn’t fit or look great you can put it aside and try something else. There’s nothing wrong with you – the item is just not your style. Be willing to go up or down a size if you love an item – all brand sizes are not created equal.

3. Once you’ve tried on lots of clothes and are starting to have a view of what your own personal style might be you can begin putting a wardrobe together. There are three general styles you might choose from: Classic = timeless /simple; Traditional = conservative /professional; Trendy = current.

      I took favorite pieces I owned and used them to start my base. There are basics everyone should own so that you can easily mix and match a few new pieces in each season and keep an updated wardrobe without having to purchase new every season or trend change. (Unless your style IS trendy and then… well you’ll just have to keep shopping ! J) The basic categories are: jackets, pants, skirts, tops, dresses. If you prefer not to wear skirts, jackets, or dresses feel free to skip these categories. In other words – pick the ones YOU would feel comfortable wearing.

Now that you have an idea what style you might be apt to like best on you – go through your own closet choosing pieces that best fit this style and YOU. Begin a list of what you will need to purchase to complete your wardrobe. You may want to enlist a friend who will be honest with you at this point and can help you truly see how these items fit you if you do not feel quite confident in doing so yourself. As you begin to pull pieces you like from your wardrobe , look to see what pieces you might be missing to make them into a complete outfit. For instance do you have a pair of black or dark blue pants but no tops that go with them? Then write tops to complete that specific color down on your list. It’s a good idea to have at least a dark pair of pants (or skirt if you prefer) and a light colored one as well. Same for sweaters and shoes – both flats and dress shoes (heals or otherwise). As you begin to make your list, relax. You have time to do this right so pick the most important pieces you are missing and begin looking for them. When I was first building my wardrobe I kept my list in my purse so it was always with me as I looked at clearance racks and such. I stuck to my list as much as possible and it really helped me stay away from those orphan pieces that don’t go with what I already owned or was looking for to complete my “look”.

A couple of things to remember as you begin shopping….

Pay close attention to how an item fits you. Are you comfortable in it? Is it snug, loose, does it need to be altered? There is nothing wrong with having an item tailored, but only if you really love the basic fit of the item to begin with. I always move around in the dressing room reaching my arms out, up , bending down. This helps me tell how comfortable an item feels and see what it looks like once I’ve left the mirror and began actually living in the clothes.

Another thing to pay attention to is what fabric an item is made of. Does it wrinkle easily? If you’re someone who hates to iron this item will inevitably stay in your closet and be a waste of your money. Maybe the fabric pills up easily – this can make an item look cheap and wear out easily so if you aren’t someone who wants to constantly be “shaving” your clothes you might want to opt for a different fabric. Really inexpensive items are always a draw for me (I admit I love a bargain!) but often they are made of cheaper fabrics that will shrink up or stretch out and I won’t get as much wear out of them as I might have with a sale on a higher end fabric that holds up really well. For this reason I love to shop more expensive stores’ clearance aisles. I get well priced items that will last me without paying a fortune for them.

Hopefully this will help you determine your own style and take the dread of shopping out of shopping for you! I used to dread trying on items because I let the way an item fit me determine my mood. Often things didn’t fit well and I left the store in a bad mood. As I’ve begun to view trying on items without the emotions I’ve realized that some items are just not going to fit my body type. The item is the issue and not me. This has taken a lot of the worrying about what I will wear out of my shopping and daily dressing and given me confidence to be just the size and shape God has created me. Some days this is harder than others – but I AM a woman and it’s just another opportunity for me to learn from my mistakes and try again. Happy shopping!

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