It’s Fashion Week in New York, and my Instagram feed is full of gorgeous people wearing gorgeous things. So then naturally *I* want gorgeous new things too.
But I had one of those epiphanies the other day that was so basic that I wanted to groan out loud. It was so simple that it’s embarrassing, but I’ll share it with you because I like my mortifying moments to serve the greater good.
I don’t need new clothes. I just need to wear the ones I already own.
Quick disclaimer here: perhaps you just started a new job, or your body changed sizes or you had a baby, and you truly don’t own anything you love. In that case, here’s a quick exercise the Queen Sweep Secret Society just did: ask yourself what key pieces would pull it all together and let you wear your favorite shoes and scarves and accessories. Do you need a basic pair of black pants, for example, or a pair of good jeans, or a couple camisoles so you can actually wear those floaty tops and flattering blazers?
But most of us already have gorgeous things hanging in our closet that we never wear.
Maybe they require dry cleaning, or they need a pair of uncomfortable heels to really make them work, or they’re just a little adventurous and take some guts to wear. Maybe your town is super casual and you feel a little self-conscious when you show up to pick up your kids wearing a silk dress. Maybe you just got a little lazy and kept going for the safe yoga pants all summer, or the shorts and t-shirt combo that doesn’t do you any favors but lets you be comfortably invisible. Maybe you’ve worn a variation of the same pantsuit for months now, not because you love it but because you’re exhausted and the thought of coordinating jewelry, scarf, earrings, and handbag just seems too hard.
There’s nothing wrong with comfort, and I think having a sort of ‘uniform’ to fall back on can be a good idea. (My Tokyo uniform was jeans, a blazer, and heels; I haven’t figured out my Portland one yet.)
But like it or not, clothes are a language you’re always speaking. A powerful language that communicates to the world and to our own subconscious who we are and how we expect to be treated.
So dearhearts, let’s use this language to speak of delight. Let’s speak of powerful silhouettes, dreamy dresses, and colors that make your heart sing. Let’s dress for joy, for a life that’s rich and exciting.
Let’s dress like women to be reckoned with.
My hunch is that you already have these clothes (at least a few of them!) already hanging in your closet. The trick….drumroll….is to wear them! It takes a few more minutes of planning. It might take some bravery. It might take a little more effort. But the payoff is huge.
This is a good metaphor for so many parts of our lives. I love shopping just as much as anyone, but the truth is that most western women could stock an exquisite boutique with the beautiful things they already own. Look around your home or your office; look at the gorgeous things you’ve picked out, with that excellent taste of yours! Think about your closets and drawers; how many scented candles, jars of bath salts, and expensive unused creams and potions do you have?
We don’t need more things; we keep buying them because we hope they will give us a particular feeling.
The romantic feeling of walking across a misty moor. (2 dozen gray cashmere sweaters.)
The warm coziness of curling up and daydreaming. (9 soft chenille throw blankets.)
The airy freedom of walking along the beach. (6 straw tote bags.)
The calm ease of commanding the attention of a room. (5 pairs of black heels.)
You already have the key to those feelings, inside you, right now.
You can make yourself feel romantic, or cozy, free, or powerful. It’s an inside job. (And good props can certainly help.)
It all comes down to your decisions.
Will you rush around, or will you sit down and make a priority list for that day?
Will you zone out on Facebook, or will you sit on your porch and smell the morning air?
Will you worry worry worry, or will you pick up the phone and make that scary call?
Will you push until you’re exhausted, or will you pause and give yourself a bliss vitamin?
These tiny choices make up the fabric of your life.
And the beauty of putting on a good outfit is that it reminds you again and again throughout the day of who you are and who you want to be.
Someone to be taken seriously. Someone who values beauty. Someone who is quirky, whimsical, tough, grounded, elegant, wise, avant-garde– whoever YOU are, at your very best.
So do me a favor; put together one outfit that expresses your awesome YOUness, and wear it this weekend. Yes, even if you’re just hanging out at home alone!
What are we waiting for?!?!?
This is our LIFE.
Let’s make it gorgeous.