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How To Tell If Your Clothes Are Bringing You Down


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“Life is too short to navigate aimlessly – how many times have you asked at the end of the day, week, month, or year WHERE HAS TIME GONE?   When your internal state is flat lining, your external appearance often follows.”  – Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, You Are What Your Wear

How To Tell If Your Clothes Are Bringing You Down

I know this statement to be true.  In my forties, I had a mom-uniform and it reflected the sadness I wore on the inside. The clothes alone were dreadful, even without me in them.

Are you bored with your wardrobe?  It might be time to shake things up a bit, just to put a spring in your step.  Many women do not want to admit their appearance affects their attitudes, but like it or not, it does.  As Dr. Baumgartner writes, “a bland wardrobe is likely to reflect an internal feeling of blah.”

She asks twenty questions in her book, YOU ARE WHAT YOU WEAR, to determine if we need a wardrobe refreshing.  Here is just a sampling:

  1. Is shopping a task rather than a creative endeavor?
  2. Do you wear the same clothes every day?
  3. Does most of your wardrobe consist of multiples of the same items?
  4. Do you find dressing in the morning uninspiring?
  5. Do you feel you have little that is exciting to look forward to?
  6. Would you like to make a change, but don’t have the energy?

She reminds us that anything from perfectionism to depression can suffocate your style.  “The effect is cyclical: your wardrobe is blah, you look in the mirror and feel awful, you lose motivation to pretty yourself, and the wardrobe becomes even worse. Or you fall into the trap of thinking that if you can’t put together a Vogue-worthy outfit, why bother (or risk) at all?”

She discusses how our brains register repeated behaviors, and over time the brain signal no longer requires much effort.  If we take out excitement and motivation, they will eventually completely disappear and there we are, in a rut.

As I said, I found myself there once.  I wore the same mom-denim, a man’s over- sized polo shirt, pulled back ponytail and tennis shoes every day.  It took a wakeup call to get me out of that rut, and I am so glad I climbed out.  Life is short–and it can be fun every day.  I am here to tell you, attention to your appearance will add a spring to your step, just as she writes.

Join us next week in the Joy Boutique to begin learning Dr. Baumgartner’s suggestions of how to enjoy your closet again!  I am just skimming her thoughts, so you might want to purchase this book.

Anyone want to confess to clothing boredom?  Please join our conversation …then have a wonderful week!

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Leisa Hammett

Wednesday 24th of June 2015

As nonmaterial as I'd like to aim to be, I am the daughter of a now deceased clothes horse. it's in my genes/jeans. I live and work in the art world. Clothes are art. Not a day, hardly, goes by that I don't love the art of putting together an ensemble. Our clothing is an expression of art / creativity. I'd like to know about your wake-up call, Pam. And wow, you did transform if that was your old go-to duds! x


Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

me me me. I'm having a clothing challenge. My body shape and size, my age, just cut my hair short,. Identity crisis city. I need clothes with flattering colors, I need to get out of the jeans and tees I've worn since I was four, I need woven fabric, I need not be fancy. I need to look like I know what I'm doing with myself.

Carol Graham

Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

One of the problems with working from your home is you have a tendency to not 'bother' when you go out for a few minutes. I work at not allowing myself to fall into that rut. I am blessed to have a daughter who delights in buying her mom a wardrobe once or twice a year -- to keep me current for when I DO actually leave the house!


Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

This is really true Pam. While I am not in this slump at this point in my life, I have been before so can relate to what is written here. My closet currently reflects my stye and I do enjoy putting together new looks from what I have. I remember when I hated to go shopping, now it is one of my favorite things to do! It is so very true that what you wear really does affect your attitude. On Sunday I write down what I want to wear each day of the week (I can be flexible, but it makes getting ready in the moring so much easier!) and when I come home having felt great all day in what I wore, I put a star by it in my little book of outfits. On a day I know it's going to be particularly rough at work, I put on one of those starred outfits and it changes my entire outlook. This sounds like a book to check out!

Pamela Lutrell

Tuesday 23rd of June 2015

Karen, I love this idea with the star and wear those on challenging days! Excellent idea! I am going to do this! Thanks for sharing

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