This morning I received an email from a client who was working through my Personal Branding course. She was concerned that her wardrobe was not varied enough for her lifestyle.
Her question reiterated just how important it is to know not only what you do, your lifestyle but also what you truly value.
Ideally, your lifestyle should be represented equally in your wardrobe. By that I mean, if you work 50% of your waking week your wardrobe should consist of 50% of it being appropriate for work. The greatest mistake I see many clients making is that they indulge in their happy areas. For younger clients, they have an excess of party clothes. For my health and fitness motivated clients their wardrobes consist of an excess of fitness gear and for my mummies, they have lots of clothes that they can throw on quickly and will wash easily, require no washing and can put up with the wear and tear of running around after infants and toddlers. It is only the male and female executive who knows the value of their work wardrobe and that is where they invest their most money. Mind you these people are also at work 80% of heir waking hours so it is unsurprising.
The biggest complaint I hear from most people is that their either “have nothing to wear” or they “never feel any good” in what they wear. Both complaints are very valid and easily fixed. For the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ women it is time to start planning your wardrobe. This is a 3 step process.
- Plan out your lifestyle and discover how much of your wardrobe you need to allocate to work clothes, social clothes, event clothes, exercise clothes relaxation clothes and whatever other special needs/hobbies you might have
- Assess what you have in your wardrobe. Do your clothes match your lifestyle and your values.
- Create a plan of what you need and follow it.
To understand how your lifestyle breaks down you can create a chart of what you do from hour to hour every day of the week. Break it down into work hours, social hours, special event clothing and of course, relaxing at home. If this all sounds too hard, you can do my lifestyle quiz here.
Once you know what your lifestyle looks like you can start analysing your wardrobe. This will answer why you have nothing to wear. Your wardrobe and your lifestyle are not aligned.
The next step is to discover what you value. This will answer why you may or may not ‘feel any good’. For some people looking great is everything so it is important to plan who they spend their wardrobe dollars. For others, they forget that they have to consider this at all. This can be highlighted in your values and can assist you in stepping up to get ready for that promotion. If you are wearing and buying clothing which does not support your values you will just leave it in your wardrobe and believe that you truly have nothing that makes you really feel good. To discover your values I have a really simple quiz right here.
Normally I would be telling a client to have let’s say 50% of their wardrobe for work and maybe 25% for social events and the rest for relaxing around the house, exercising, gardening etc. In this woman’s case, she was confused as she was happy to wear the same clothes for work as she was to go out with her friends for a casual dinner. You see, in her personal values, her highest values were in sensory, economy and aesthetics. Not influential, social or status. Therein lay her quandary. She was very happy being comfortable in clothes that looked good. She would wear her lovely comfortable clothes to work and be happy to go out in them. Having a high economical value also meant that she didn’t need to necessarily spend money on clothes she didn’t need. Her clothes worked for her. She was balanced. All we need to work on with her is ensuring that her clothing now suits her frame.
So, don’t let someone tell you that there is a one-size solution for everyone. Discover what your life consists of and ensure you have the right mix of clothes so that you always have something to wear and then also make sure what you are buying supports your values. Now you will also feel great in everything that you wear.
Remember, if you are still stuck after completing the quizzes I am available to help you with your clothes either face to face or via skype.