3 Wardrobe Resolutions You Can Practice Every Day of the Year

January 16, 2015

Have your New Year resolutions already fallen by the wayside? Did you enthusiastically get on the treadmill for a week and are now draping clothing on it in a futile attempt to hide it so you don’t feel guilty? Did you commit to clean out your closet or sort through all the books on your bookshelf, but somehow the days have flown by and everything is still where it was?

Could it be that the task is overwhelming and there is too much pressure to do too much all at once? When that happens your mind, body and spirit revolt and you are back to square one with an added touch of remorse.

Before you do anything else, mentally take a step back and breathe!

Close your eyes, feel the energy relax you as you expel every bit of your breath. Then do it again.

Ahhhh, that’s better.

When it comes to New Year resolutions, upgrading your wardrobe is popular on the list—a close second to losing weight. But, as you probably have experienced, biting off more than you can chew backfires.

Here are a few comments that I hear from women:

  • I feel worried that I am giving up on myself as a maturing, wise 50-year-old woman.
  • How do I keep my sense of style and dress in a way that suits by changing body?
  • I sometimes find myself looking at clothes with an 18-year-old mentality which translates into, “It’s Cute!” and that’s not really what I want my wardrobe to express.

Then think about what you do want…really want to feel each time you get dressed. For instance, the statements above might translate into:

  • I am celebrating my life and style as a 50-year-old woman.
  • I am excited to explore new ways to dress my newly changing body.
  • Cute doesn’t cut it anymore. I am ________, _________ and _________ and that’s what I choose to express in my wardrobe.

I am sure you agree that it is so easy to fall back into old habits and berate yourself when you look in mirror and see that once again you chose to default to your yoga pants and t-shirt or grabbed your teenage son’s sweatshirt.

To help support you to make changes that address those inner desires keep reading as I share three ‘reminders’ that make a world of difference.

1. I will not make “On Sale” Translate into “Must Have”

This is particularly timely now as we head full steam ahead into the season of winter sales where racks and racks of clearance items demand your attention. We have all been there, wandering the mall perusing all the options. Along the way you see a top that is “eh” but after glancing at the price tag you think, “For $9.99, what’s the harm?” You take it home and add it to the other ‘eh’ items in your closet where it hangs (often not worn) forever.


When your credit card bill arrives reality sets in and you realize that all those ‘harmless’ purchases add up. It would be fine if you were actually wearing the items that were such a deal, but truth be told, you’re not. That $9.99 doesn’t seem like much of a deal after all.

The next time you are perusing the sale racks, remember to ask yourself this question:

“Would I pay full price for this?”

If the answer is no, leave it on the rack and walk away. If the answer is yes, grab it and head right to the cashier with big smile on your face. You just scored a big win!

2. I will use outside culture sources as inspiration and not a strict guide when choosing what to buy and wear.

While J-Lo, the Kardashians or your next door neighbor might look lovely in that top or dress, it doesn’t mean you should run out and buy it, too. It may not be your color, or the fabric might be too bulky or it might look best with skinny jeans, but you don’t like to wear them. I have had so many women tell me that their sister looked great in a particular outfit so they went and got it, but somehow it just didn’t have the same magic when they wore it.

Photo Credit: Emka74 / Shutterstock.com

Before you buy something you’ve seen on someone else (or even on the store mannequin), stop for a minute and think about it. Believe me, I know what you’re thinking because I’ve been there, done that.

All my life I have wanted to be an artsy, creative type person in the way I dress. I see other women wearing flowy tops with layers of jewelry or vests over a dress or belts worn chicly on their hips. I try those things and I look like I’m wearing my pajamas or I feel fussy and overwhelmed or even (gasp!) frumpy. I have had to learn how to use their fabulous style as inspiration and not try to relate it exactly.

How do you do that?

One way is to create a fashion treasure map. Use a special notebook or a piece of poster board and cut out items from catalogues, fashion magazines or things you see on the internet. Create a collage that inspires you and makes you smile every time you look at it.

Then see where it takes you. The concept is simple and timeless. You know how when you decide you’re going to buy a red Subaru and all of sudden you see red subarus everywhere. It’s the same with your fashion treasure map. As you cut out pictures you love, your subconscious searches for the perfect solutions.

In the long run, this will also save you money and “What was I thinking?” post-purchase heartache.

3. I Will Find a New Place to Shop

This all leads to step #3. You know the saying, “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting the same results.” Nowhere is this more true than with your wardrobe. Perhaps a store that was your favorite for years just went through a transition and they have a new buyer who doesn’t buy things you love. Or maybe your changing body doesn’t fit into the styles that have been your old standby’s at your favorite store. It could also be that you just need to expand into different departments of your favorite store.

If you practice the first two steps but neglect this one, you will continue to feel frustrated. You cannot buy broccoli at the hardware store!

It doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your old haunts. It just means it is time to see what else is out there and that means doing a little exploring.

You must have 3-4 go-to stores. These are places you can go to regularly and generally find clothes you love. One of each of these types of stores covers all the possibilities:

  • A department store
  • An off-price store
  • A consignment store (like the Turnabout Shoppe, Wellesley MA)
  • A boutique (not all boutiques are pricey and they all have great sales)

Yes, you might have to explore several of each before you find the perfect match (take a friend if that makes it more fun and combine it with lunch or dinner). For instance, I have countless consignment stores near me (and more seem to pop up every week). I don’t need to shop at all of them, but having one or two favorites is fun and expands my shopping options.

If you find yourself falling too easily back into old habits, a reminder is all you need. What I do to keep reminding myself of important things is to have a quick reminder pop up on my iPhone. I hear a little ‘ding’ and I can’t help but look and smile. “Ah, yes,” I think, “That’s what I want more of in my life.” The app I use is TellMeLater and you can find it at the app store.

You can also cut this out and take it shopping with you:

  • “On sale” does not mean “must have”
  • Take a picture of your ‘fashion treasure map’ and keep it in your phone for handy reference
  • Find new places to shop

Do these 3 things and magic happens!

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