My husband responds to my whining like he does when our teens say, “there’s nothing to do!” He laughs and says “oh, of course not.” After a number of changes in attire I immerge from the closet and Ron will respond, “I see you found, ‘this ol’ thing’.”
Putting an outfit together can be a dilemma, and I’m afraid it’s just hard for our husbands to understand. It’s not that we don’t appreciate our luxurious American closets; it’s just that… well, honestly, we just don’t want to wear most of what is in there. Why?
- The items stand alone, with no complimenting garment
- The color / texture / style drains us, and zaps our energy
- We lost (or never found!) the accessories to finish the outfit
- They are uncomfortable
- They are too big, baggy, bulky
- They are too tight, short, revealing
- They are stained, stretched, worn out
- They are missing a button, have a snag, broke a zipper
Or how about this one, which no husband seems to understand:
- “It’s just not me, I love it, but I feel [phony, old, boring] wearing it…”
As an image consultant, I love to do wardrobe assessments; it’s kind of like doing undercover marriage rehab. I know it seems a bit shallow to say that an organized wardrobe could help a couple get along, but like cleaning house, there is a certain liberation that happens when clutter is removed. Sometimes less is more. Less to choose from can bring more power if all the choices are good ones.
If you are looking to have a more simplified wardrobe, and are willing to let go of things that need to be passed along or thrown away, then follow these simple (but not necessarily easy) steps:
- Look through all draws, shelves and hangers for what not to wear. Pull out anything that robs your confidence or breaks the guidelines for your personal image identity. Don’t forget to go through your accessories.
- Physically remove these items from your closet. Yes, even those comfy sweats that you don’t want to be caught in, but somehow think your husband doesn’t mind seeing you in. Make a “give away” pile and a “throw away” pile and then do just that – and do it right away before you decide to wear it one more time.
- Put together as many complete outfits as you can with what is left. Make sure you have adequate attire for your lifestyle. (How many casual outfits do you need? How many professional? Dressy?)
- Document the missing pieces (i.e. “If I had a white tank top, this could be another outfit.”) Sometimes it helps to take a picture of the incomplete outfit so you can look at it when shopping for what it needs. (This can help you find the right color too.) Other times a list is all you need.
- Shop. That’s right, I give you permission (sometimes we need that, don’t we?) Seriously, check your budget and go out on a mission to invest in your marriage (ok, I am being obnoxious here, I know, but just play with me.) Remember the saying “if mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Well if your wardrobe is all about what NOT to wear, and it is robbing your joy, then please, spend a little money for your family’s sake! Do not worry, a woman with a list is not nearly as damaging as a frustrated one who only knows she has nothing to wear.
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.