The easiest way to figure out what's going on in a woman's psyche is to look at her shopping and clothes-wearing habits.
I was reminded of this last month while talking to a friend of mine about a skirt she had recently bought. Her face lit up as she described a gorgeous skirt in a beautiful floral print.
"Why haven't I seen you wearing it?"I asked.
"I'm saving it," she replied.
When I asked her "For what?" she couldn't come up with an answer.
My girlfriend suffers from a clothing affliction that many women, including me, share: namely, we buy clothes we love but instead of wearing and enjoying them, we save them.
There are plenty of crazy reasons why we do this. One of the most common is that we have a fantasy about who we are and how we'd like to dress or live. We buy for the fantasy instead of buying for our real lives.
Maybe you've fallen in love with an edgy and expensive pair of high-heeled studded boots that speak to your inner rocker chick and you just have to have them. But when you get them home, you realize that your serious corporate job and busy home life chasing after two young children means you really have no where to wear your beloved boots.
I'm guilty of this myself. I'm a sucker for dressy business clothes but since most of my time is spent working from a home office, what I need is more along the lines of upscale casual clothes. I have a few things sitting in my closet that I'm saving for the next big formal corporate meeting I have to attend but since that isn't about to happen anytime soon, they'll unfortunately languish there for some time.
Another reason plenty of us save clothes is because we're waiting to lose those last five pounds. Be honest, do you have a pair of pants sitting in your closet that are a little (or a lot) too tight but you keep holding on to them until some unspecified day in the future when you'll be able to fit into them again? Do you keep fantasizing about getting out to the gym, doing a million crunches and miraculously toning your abs so you can once again wear a favorite sheath dress without any tummy bulge?
We've all been there, particularly as we age and it gets too darn easy for the pounds to add up. But ladies, let's be honest with ourselves, that "someday" when you lose weight may be a long way -- maybe a long, long way -- off.
Life is too short to wait for "someday". Instead of saving clothes for something that may or may not ever happen, let's embrace who we are today, take a deep breath and toss what doesn't fit. Or, to paraphrase The Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the pounds I cannot shed;
Courage to alter and wear the clothes I can;
And wisdom to dump the frump.
Occasionally, and sadly, women buy clothes and not wear them for darker reasons.
They may have a compulsive shopping habit and buy more clothes than they can wear. Or they feel guilty about spending too much money so, as Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner suggests in her book, You Are What You Wear: What Your Clothes Reveal About You, we buy clothes and don't wear them as a form of self-punishment.
Or maybe it's for one of the saddest reasons of all: as we get older, we feel we're not pretty enough or youthful enough to wear beautiful things. If this rings a bell with you, I'm here to tell you that you do deserve to look and feel fantastic and that you truly can be fabulous after 40 or 50 or at any age.
Then of course, there's the craziest reason we save our clothes (and it is the same reason we never use our china dishes for everyday), we think they are so beautiful and precious that we don't want to muck them up. Instead, we go around wearing the same old boring clothes week after week, waiting for a special occasion to put on something pretty.
That was my friend's problem. Since she works from home, her days are mostly spent in front of her computer, walking the dog and running out to do the occasional errand. She's in the habit of wearing a practical, boring uniform of jeans, a t-shirt and boots for Birkenstocks.
While there's nothing inherently wrong with this, there's nothing particularly right about it either. She loves clothes and looking good and if she worked in a downtown office building, she would take full advantage of being it to unleash her inner chic fashionista.
So why is she depriving herself of something that brings her joy simply because her office is in her home? If you can relate and have been saving your nice clothes out of habit or fear of mucking them up, I say it's time to break that habit.
Train yourself to live in beauty every day. Eat off your china dishes every night of the week, buy flowers and have them around the house and wear your lovely clothes. Style is not about the way you dress, it's about the way you live.
Is there something in your closet that you have been saving? Then I challenge you to live in the moment and wear it today so you can start looking and feeling Fabulous!