A Closet Full of Nothing to Wear
The never ending desire to add another garment to an already packed closet; an epidemic that most North American women face. Struggling with a relentless longing for another beautiful find that will finally fulfill the wardrobe we have always dreamed. From a young age women are taught that pieces go in and out of style; that fashion is ever evolving and so should be our wardrobes. The problem: most women simply cannot sustain a complete wardrobe reinvention with every changing trend.
But still, our desire for a perfect wardrobe remains. In every Instagram post, in every magazine we read there was a woman wearing something we wanted. With every piece we would add, it seemed we would just as quickly find another to collect. And so the cycle continued and we were still left in the disarray of our closets, spending countless time trying to find the perfect outfit; leaving us with questions that seemed to be without answers. How could wardrobes so full, boast so little to wear? With every event, coffee date and work day we scrambled to find a suitable outfit. Rarely, with success.
In moments such as these, we found reassurance in telling ourselves that it meant we needed just one more piece. A blouse to perfectly pair with the slacks we bought last week; mules to match a dress; and something simple to compliment a loud skirt. The cycle was continuous and the shopping insatiable. How long could this go on? As far as we were concerned: forever. At least, from what we had seen this was the case for the women around us. How were women in their 40s and late 50s grappling with the same “closet syndrome” we were experiencing in our 20s? The few who weren’t seemed to have simply given up. Was this what our future held? A fashion confused middle aged woman, contending with moo-moos and stilettos.
Confused! That was it.
Our closets mirrored every advertisement, magazine clipping, or blogger we had ever come across. There was no true rhyme or reason to our style. One day we were bohemian, the next we were business executives and the following day we’d be yoga instructors. We were any persona at any given moment – chameleons – and never a true depiction of our own selves. It wasn’t another garment we needed. It was a fashion foundation; fueled by the yearning to be our authentic selves, not by the desire to recreate someone or something we had seen.
A conscious effort had to be made to discover the women we were and how our wardrobes would reflect that. First we had to decide that our wardrobes would not be persuaded by location, partners or peers. Deliberately, we chose to focus on the women we would be regardless of those three factors. Fixating on fashion from eras and places we had and had not been. Inspired by styles and designs that made us feel like the best versions of ourselves.
It was time to part with the garments in our wardrobes that no longer – or never did – represent the women we are today. Bags of beautiful pieces were parted with; donated and soon to be discovered by their rightful owners. In the after math, we were left with a small, mildly pathetic wardrobe; but we had never felt more like ourselves. It became simple to get dressed in the mornings; not because we had fewer options, but simply because the options we had, mirrored our inner voice. Once we recognized the women we were and how our wardrobes could serve us and not discourage us, we began to invest in pieces we knew would be with us forever. Knowing that it wasn’t the amount of garments we owned or whether they debuted on the runway that season, we challenged ourselves to splurge on pieces that we felt were a representation of us. Slowly we began purchasing based on our personal preferences and not on sales or fleeting fads. A consistency was established in our wardrobes that will gradually evolve with us as we gracefully mature.
To our surprise, something as frivolous as fashion, had taught us the value in being true to who we are, despite our surroundings. It had revealed to us that if we are constantly desiring something new, something different, then self-reflection is required. If we feel an unsteadiness in our life – careers, relationships and closets – chances are it’s because we are not being genuine. Discover yourself, don’t lose her and remember that in life – the largest closet of all – the most fashionable thing you can own is yourself.