What do you think the #1 roadblock is that keeps most women from having a wardrobe they love?
Is it Money? Time? Desire?
No, no and no.
When I ask women the #1 why they don’t have the wardrobe they love, most answer something along the lines of their weight or body image.
It’s the (mistaken) belief that you can’t have the wardrobe you want until you have the body you want.
Disclaimer…..This post is not about weight loss or how to dress different body types. I’m not a weight loss expert, and the body-type dressing lesson is part of the Style System Planner program.
Instead, this is about building a wardrobe you love regardless of the number on the scale or the size of your pants.
It’s about valuing yourself enough to care for yourself. Today. As is.
That’s what I mean when I say #justgetdressed.
It means dressing the body you have right now, in clothes that make you feel great right now, without waiting until you’re happy with the number on the scale.
It means buying great jeans, even if they’re a size bigger than you’d like them to be.
And, by the way, it also means some days leaving the house in sweats and no makeup because you know you don’t need to #justgetdressed in order to feel good about yourself.
But Instead, you #justgetdressed (most days;) because you enjoy it, it makes feel more confident, and it’s become a habit.
One of the main “why’s” behind B.Styled is my desire to give women the freedom and joy that comes when they #justgetdressed today, not putting it off until they’re the “right” shape or size.
I’ve never met a woman, either through my business, or in my life, who doesn’t have body image “issues”. Never.
The closest I’ve come is Mary, my 95-year-old mother. I’ve never heard her beat herself up about her body, or even really put it down. The only exception is that my dad used to lovingly tease her about having “thick ankles”. This makes him sound like a jerk, but trust me he wasn’t. He adored Mary and I think it was just an inside joke they had because in his eyes she was perfect.
She also had (and still has) an irrational obsession with her ears…She thinks they stick out. Whatever. I don’t see it…but she does, and always will.
Now, I know, both Mary and I are blessed with genetics or metabolisms that keeps us pretty thin. And some would say I have no credibility on this topic because I don’t have weight struggles. Believe me, both Mary and I count our blessings for this. We also work at it and take steps to maintain our weight and stay on track. Some days are harder than others too.
But the fact is, unlike Mary, I do have body image issues. I grew up with a body that looked more like a boy’s (with the lovely nickname of “Bones”) and I was so envious of the more developed girls. Then in college, I gained weight and was heavy for the first time in my life. I felt awful in my own skin for many years. I spent some time digging out old pictures – which brought up some VERY fun memories –but I also vividly remember how yucky and self-conscious I felt.
Here’s just one doozy I found.
Can we ignore the dress for a moment (it was a loaner) and focus on the awful tan, ridiculous make-up, not to mention the hair?
And does this prove that girls have been sticking out their tongues to the camera since the beginning of time?
I’m sure I was having a great time though based on the friends whose faces I cropped out. You’re welcome, girls.
I did end up losing the weight in my early 20’s and swore I’d never go back. Since then (aside from pregnancies) I’ve stayed within a few pounds of the same weight. I learned that it’s easier to take the steps to maintain an ideal weight than it is to lose weight, so I try really hard to stay within a pound or two of my ideal. That’s gotten harder thanks to menopause, but I still get on the scale a few times each week and cut back or change things up if it starts to creep. But I know for many, many women it’s not this “easy” and again, I’m not here to give weight loss or health advice.
What I am here to say is , we’re all sisters here, and though our struggles are different, I say let’s just support each other, and not judge or discount one another’s experiences.
Ok, now, back to the connection between weight, wardrobe and style…
Through my business I speak to women all the time about this topic and few themes come up over and over.
The first thing I hear frequently is “I don’t want to invest in clothes at this weight”.
The question then becomes, how long is too long to put off investing in yourself? A year? 5 years? When the kids grow up? When the kids get married? You get my point.
Focusing on what “could be” next month or next season, keeps you from enjoying clothes and prevents you from appreciating and enhancing how you look and feel right now.
Another point about not “investing” in clothes you love until you’re a size you love, is that most of us here aren’t shopping at Barney’s, buying thousand dollar pieces meant to last for “a lifetime”.
Even if you had your dream body, the clothes you’d buy today at Loft, Banana Republic or even Nordstrom, are going to need to be updated at some point.
Face it, these clothes aren’t going to truly last forever, so no need to wait until you’re a size you’ll be happy with forever.
The second thing about weight and wardrobe I hear all the time is, “I have SO many clothes – I just need to lose x pounds to get back into them”.
And I get this…it’s painful to think about getting rid of perfectly good clothing that may fit someday.
So, what should you do? Should you buy clothes now, or just wait until you can wear the things you already own??
That’s a tough question, but let’s review what a WARDROBE really is.
Your wardrobe is NOT all the clothes you own.
Your wardrobe is all the clothes you can wear – right now.
So, what about all those clothes you love but can’t wear right now?
First of all, staring at those clothes every morning is not an effective #justgetdressed strategy, and will not help you feel good about yourself. And, I dare say it will also NOT motivate you.
Instead, try this: box up everything you still love, is still in style, but that you can’t comfortably wear today. What’s left in your closet is your wardrobe.
Will this wardrobe enable you to #justgetdressed every day and make you feel confident?
If the answer is no, then you really don’t have “SO many clothes”.
Go buy things that you can wear right now, and that make you feel good right now, and will make it easy to get dressed – right now.
PSA: My Seasonal Style System will help you do just that, with a step-by-step list and plan, and NO willy-nilly shopping. Click HERE to learn more about the Style System Planner and get it for just $47.
When and if you get back into those beautiful things you boxed up, great. But in the meantime, they won’t be taunting you or taking up valuable real estate in your closet.
Here’s another consideration. You know that when we feel good and like the way we look, we are more likely to treat ourselves better as well, right?
Have you ever noticed that when you #justgetdressed, and put a tiny bit of extra effort in…maybe real shoes instead of slippers? Maybe pants with a button instead of elastic? How about a little make-up too? There’s no doubt we feel more confident and carry ourselves differently than when we’re schlumping around feeling like a hot mess.
Which version of you is more likely to eat healthful, nourishing food? Which one of you is more likely to dig into “comfort food” and a gallon of mint chocolate chip?
Now, this is NOT to say that the answer to weight struggles is a better wardrobe (wouldn’t that make me rich?) But I do know that looking and feeling frumpy is never the answer either.
Today is the day to start valuing and appreciating and dressing the body you have.
Today is the day to give yourself a break and show yourself some self-love (personally not a fan of that trendy term, but it is true;)
And, today is the day to make your closet a boutique customized to YOU and your life, your body and your style.
I’m here to help! A perfect first step is with my Closet Edit Bootcamp. Click here to learn more.
Ok ladies…Philosophical Beth is done.
For more, see the LIVE video below where we discuss the topic.
Now go #justgetdressed.
Well said. “Dress the body you have.” Following these seasonal challenges has helped me learn to dress well even when
I was thirty pounds heavier. You also gave some great advice for accentuating the positive and diverting eye away from problem areas.
You are a perfect role model. You dressed as well and as true to your fabulous personal style before the weight loss as you do now. Thank you for everything you to bring to B.Styled and our special community. You are a true gem. xoxo