Is your life marred by an unruly closet? Are you continually unsatisfied with the way your look? In 'I Have Nothing to Wear!,' Jill Martin and Dana Ravich pave the way to path out of that mess to a more fashionable lifestyle. Here's an excerpt.
Admitting You Have a Problem
Is your wardrobe a confusing mess? Do you go through the same grueling process every day when trying to pick an outfit? Do you have too many items in your closet—or all the wrong ones? Do many clothes still have the tags attached even though you didn’t purchase them this week, or even this year? Do you shop just to lift your mood?
Let’s go a step further. Most days do you find yourself in an outfit that is OK, but not great? Do you turn down evening invitations because you’re not happy with the way you look and feel in your outfit, and don’t have time to go home and change after work? Would a stop home help even if you did have time?
Do you lack the confidence to ask for that promotion, or even to speak up in a meeting?
Do you avoid eye contact with the hot guy in your building because you never feel like you look hot enough?
Are you always running late because you can never figure out what to wear? Does everything just spiral downward from there?
Have you, on more occasions than you care to admit, stood in front of an overstuffed closet saying, “I have nothing to wear!”
Well, if you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, the diagnosis is: You have a dysfunctional wardrobe.
Now take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be OK. Don’t feel bad. You are in the vast majority. The good news is there is a cure. So go ahead, admit it! Once you realize that this is a real problem, you’re on the way to fixing it. Yes, fixing it.
More in books
You know how different you feel on days you throw yourself together as opposed to the days you put yourself together. How you feel on the days you wear unflattering clothes because, for whatever reason, they are in your closet and will do, for work anyway, compared with those days you are in a dress that looks like it was made just for you, and you had your hair blown out to boot. Then there are those days that you can’t wait to go home, crawl in bed, and hope for better tomorrow, as opposed to the days you never want to end and feel like you could dance all night.
Are most of your days the thrown-together, crawl-back-in-bed kind of days, rather than the hot-dress, dance-all-night days?
Your closet is disorganized
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Let’s dive into your closet and see what’s going on in there. We’re envisioning shelves holding piles with no rhyme or reason. Pants are mixed with tops, T-shirts with sweaters. The colors are not grouped. Nothing is neatly folded. (You were rushing after you tried everything on in a last-minute panic.)
The rack is overstuffed. You can barely see what’s hanging. Some dresses are mashed behind others. Everything is wrinkled. The pants are not hanging together, nor are the tops, skirts, or dresses. The clothes are all randomly put away, in no particular order, and not arranged by color or any system. Some pieces are even dangling by one end of the hanger. Sound familiar?
Allow us to continue. Your shoes are piled on the floor of your closet. No wonder it sometimes takes twenty minutes just to find the mate to the one you want to wear. And most of them aren’t even comfortable.
Bags are shoved up high on a shelf. You can’t see half of them, let alone reach them. Like your clothes, they are squished and crushed. This is probably not how you planned to treat that bag the day you happily carried it out of the store.
We’re not even going to go into coats and jackets right now. We only hope they are in a separate closet.
Underwear, belts, jewelry. Please tell us these have a proper place. Right now, our best guess is that some belts are still in the pant loops, your jewelry is tangled together in a big pouch, and your underwear is all mixed up.
How can your day possibly start off right if you have to contend with this mess every morning? We’re exhausted just thinking about it!
You have too much stuff
One reason your closet looks like this is that you are afraid to get rid of anything. You think maybe it’ll come back in style. Or you don’t have the time or energy to deal with all that stuff. Or your weight goes up and down. Or you love your college sweatshirts even if they are all XXL.
You spent so much money on those pants. Your sweats are so soft and cozy, even though they have holes and stains. The T-shirts are still sort of white, so you can get away with them. The shoes are only a half-size too small, and you’re not walking very far.
Some people would call this saving for a rainy day. Others would call this hoarding.
However you justify it, rationalize it, or sleep at night with it, having too much clothing is a problem. Don’t worry—help is on the way.
Are you really going to fit into clothes you wore in high school? What if you saved just your favorite college sweatshirt, since it makes you happy? What if you let those expensive pants go, the ones that don’t fit you well? The stained and ripped sweats and the yellowed T-shirts—really!
What if you had a sexy pair of stilettos that actually fit? Instead of all that junk, what if your whole wardrobe reflected the fabulous you of today? Flattered your figure? Made you feel sexy and confident? What if your closet was organized so that finding an outfit was easy and even fun? How would your day be then? Your mood? Your life?
The truth is, the more you collect, keep, and yes, hoard, the less you will value each item. And the less closet space you’ll have! When you keep adding without subtracting, you find yourself in a real closet situation. When you have too much, you can’t possibly see everything you have, can’t keep track of what you have, can’t keep it in perfect condition, and can’t easily find things!
Excerpted from "I Have Nothing to Wear". Copyright @ 2011 by Jill Martin and Dana Ravich. Reprinted by permission of Rodale.
© 2012 MSNBC Interactive