Back in January, I wrote a post called Sorting Your Style in 2017. It was a guide to coming into the new year with a bit of a plan around growing your confidence and awareness around getting dressed. In it, I make some bold claims about what I wanted to focus on in 2017 – much like most resolutions, results have been mixed. For example, my recent purchase of linen dungarees and camisoles from Glassons reveal that my goal to buy only NZ designer and second hand clothes was…ambitious. Also I just forgot (awkward emoji face).
But here we are! Spring! What better time to look in the wardrobe and feel a rising sense of panic. How do you dress for transitional weather? Where are all your summer clothes hiding, exactly? Why do you only seem to have bought clothes you hate? When you go to the shops, why is everything made for an 18 year old who apparently is not as skint as you were at that age? Do not panic – I repeat, do not panic. I’ve got four iron clad ways to reset your brain so that you’re excited to dress up for spring.
Number one: make a selection
Lots of women own far more clothes than they typically wear. Apparently, based on my scientific research/Google search, we’re wearing about 20% of our stuff. I do not believe on any level that the other 80% is stuff that doesn’t fit, or is the wrong colour, or is plain mad – some of it, you just forgot about. Be honest. When was the last time you actually dug all the way to the back of the wardrobe, past your partner’s clubbing outfits from 1998?
Tip number one helps to address the overwhelm lots of us feel when we open the cupboard doors, and cuts down on decision-making fatigue. Make a little space (even in your current wardrobe, if that’s all the space you have) and challenge yourself to find FIVE random things to put in that space that you will wear in the month of September – and these must be things you don’t usually reach for. If you truly don’t have five things, then borrow one or two, buy something new (second hand is perfect) or alter something you already have. If you do buy something new, make it something you’ve always wondered about, per me and this white denim jacket.
Complimentary extra tip: while you’re digging about, reorganise your stuff so it’s in a new combination – you don’t have to do a clean out, just mix things up so that your focus changes and you don’t glance past things.
Number two: it’s all about shoes
Shoes are so great, you guys. Am I a victim of gender stereotyping? I mean, yes, in many and various ways, but I consider my affection for shoes to be significantly less of an issue than, say, unconscious bias. I strongly encourage you to buy yourself a new pair of shoes in the next month or two that are totally and unashamedly designed for warm weather. It might be a new pair of jandals, it might be something like these ridiculous satin mules, it might just be whatever you found at Savemart by chance (and y’know, the finds are great). After months of boots and closed in shoes, these summer delights will signal firmly to your brain that it’s time to get excited about wearing something different. They’ll also unlock new wardrobe combinations, allowing you to get even more looks (and exceed that 20%).
Number three: visual clues
Where do you get dressed? For me, it’s my bedroom. I love my bedroom, and I’ve tried to make it a little haven by embracing my inner basic b*tch – my sheets are pink, for crying out loud. Come September, I tell myself that it’s time to start switching gears, and I bring out the visual clues that remind me that warm weather is on the cards. That means beautiful flowers (these ones are from my Mum for the blog birthday, but often they’re just cheapies from the dairy down the road), and rearranging things so that scarves are put away and sunglasses are out where I can see them. Think of this like the candles and slow jams that signal romance – except you’re telling your brain that you’re in the mood for fashion.
Obviously, if you’re on a budget that doesn’t stretch to flowers, or you have hayfever and the idea of flowers next to the bed fills you with horror, there are lots of other ways to set the mood. Photocopy images from magazines at your local library to create an inspiration board, or buy a wee plant from a local hardware shop (much cheaper than cut flowers). Jump on Pinterest for some inspiration, then regret your life choices (who are these people who do these amazing professional level crafts). Check out a local St Vincents for old frames and fill them with pictures of you and your friends and family on sunny days. All of this is just intended to put you in a different frame of mind, so that you open your closet (which you have reorganised, per tip one) and see things in a new light.
Number four: blatantly steal other people’s ideas
Look, you have a life. You are busy thinking, thinking all the time, trying to remember things and then having to apologise when you forget because the onslaught of to do lists and chores and requests is never-ending. I. Get. It. You don’t need another massive task on the to do list. You are a tired human.
Please sit down. Please eat a biscuit, or other treat of your liking. Have a cup of tea/wine. That’s right, a cup of wine, because wine glasses are a pain in the ass with their show off stems and I don’t care what anyone says, wine tastes basically the same out of a mug if you are drinking it quickly enough. Open a magazine or internet browser and let the images wash over you. If that seems like a horrible thing to do, watch a film. Binge watch some TV. If you’re feeling up to it, go for a walk to your local café, or some kind of attraction, and blatantly stare at people (this is where the wine you drank is handy). Let it all percolate away in your noggin, and whisper to yourself “ooh, I like that” when you see someone wearing something rad (again, wine). Weeks from now, all those images of other people will have soaked in and you’ll find yourself buying something, wearing something, or stealing something from your best friend as a result. This is, obviously, not scientific. However, worst case scenario is you get to have a little break.
Dress is Country Road from two years ago, but I like the look of this (totally dissimilar) one. Shoes are good old ASOS, and replaced my beloved Carvelas (RIP). ASOS is bloody handy if you want something in a particular colour and aren't having any luck in the shops. I don't love these quite enough to recommend them, but they're doing the job. Denim jacket is Miss Selfridge from The Iconic. Bag is vintage, from Unearthed Vintage here in Wellington.