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Is Your Wardrobe Draining Your Energy?

When you open your closet door, how do you feel? Hopeful? Excited? Uninspired? Overwhelmed? A sense of delight or a sense of deep discouragement? Watch this 7-minute video and read the full article (with photos) below.

Getting dressed is something you do every day…often before your day gets fully up and running. You want that experience to feel uplifting or at least productive and satisfying, right? Whatever you feel when you open your closet, it can spill over into the rest of your day.

There are many reasons why your wardrobe can be draining your energy. Let’s look at three possibilities here:

1. You Feel Self-Conscious
When you don’t feel good in what you are wearing, it can weigh on your mind as well as your heart and soul. That nagging feeling that says this outfit doesn’t fit right or it feels uncomfortable so you’re fussing with it all the time. Or, you don’t feel like you have the right outfit for the situation—everyone else is dressed differently.

I know many women who have chosen not to go to an event, a job interview or a gathering because they felt self-conscious in what they had to wear. What makes that even worse is that whatever they chose to do, felt terrible. Either they go dressed in something that makes them feel self-conscious and project that energy of discomfort or they don’t go and feel badly that they are missing out or letting someone down.

The best recourse is to plan ahead. Make sure you have the clothing you might need for all aspects of your lifestyle. If the frustration goes deeper and you’ve tried that, but you don’t know what to buy or the things you buy never seem to work out the way you had hoped they would, it’s time to reach out to get some support. Life is too short to feel self-conscious every time you get dressed and learning a few handy tools (e.g., knowing what colors look great, feeling confident about the lengths and fit of garments, knowing how to express your personality and so much more!) can make it easier and more satisfying.

2. You are Trying to be Someone You Aren’t
When I was in my twenties I had no idea how to dress so I tried dressing like the women I was around. We did a lot of folk dancing, which was fun, but when I wore what the other women were wearing I felt awkward and uncomfortable. They looked great and I felt like I was wearing a costume.

Here’s a current example. What’s in style right now is oversized jackets. I don’t like them on me. At all. Below you can see what I would put on with this outfit – it’s still a current look, but I feel better wearing it—it feels more like me!

Perhaps you’ve had a similar experience? Maybe you’ve been in a corporate job where you had to dress more formally than feels comfortable to you. Or, the opposite could be true. You work somewhere where everyone dresses super casually, but you feel out of sorts when you do the same.

What is absolutely critical is that what you wear feels authentically you. It doesn’t matter what you do for work, leisure or social. What does matter is that you make choices that you enjoy wearing. Yes, you might have to wear a suit or dress very casually, but putting your unique twist on that is what will help you feel like yourself.

As Kim Ravida shares, “You certainly made a difference in my life and in my work. Without you I wouldn’t being doing the perfect work and wearing the perfect clothes for me and my lifestyle.” Kim found that dressing to express who she is made her feel amazing in everything she chose to wear.

Julia from Montana had a similar experience, “I really appreciate your approach using the inner beauty words. In a sense, I don’t care enough about what I wear to take the time to figure out “fashion,” but this way of thinking about clothing has made what I wear into a small but tangible way to be more open and more true to myself. Sometimes such small changes can make a really big difference, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

How do you do that? Look deeply inside to explore who you are at your essence. This will give you insights into how to express that through your clothing choices. Perhaps you are someone who is joyful or serene or free-spirited or elegant. There are so many options. Knowing what describes you is what will help you make any outfit you wear feel like you!

3. Shopping When You’re Desperate
This is a very common dilemma for women who feel discouraged when they open their closet door. They often put off shopping as long as possible because when they go to a store or shop online they find themselves wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out what to buy. It’s not a surprise that they put off shopping until they absolutely have to.

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s easy to find more pressing things to do when you dread the idea of buying clothing.

Eventually you’ll have to shop and the problem is that when you shop out of desperation or in a big hurry it’s easy to make choices you don’t love just so you can stop shopping! This then adds to your discouragement the next time you get dressed. It’s a vicious cycle of frustration.

If shopping isn’t your favorite pastime, find a way to make it more appealing.

  • Make a list of what you’d like to find so you have direction.
  • Invite a friend to come along and plan on lunch or coffee afterwards.
  • Go to a store that has a personal shopper and ask for help.
  • Explore a new store—it might surprise you.
  • Don’t hesitate to leave without buying anything if you don’t find what you want or what makes you happy to wear.
  • Find a few brands or learn a few techniques or tools that will help you make good choices more easily.

Here’s what Karen has to say about shopping once she has a few tools to help her, “I am spending less time and money on things that are wrong, and more time just learning how to consider better possibilities, and am taking the time to try things on at the store. I then try them on again at home and have become a Ruthless Returner. If it’s not perfect, it’s clutter and it’s out the door before it gets hanger space. This feels fresh and light. I really really like it.”

While you might not be where Karen is yet, imagine that feeling. Take baby steps to make those changes that will help getting dressed feel better and less draining. The reward will be a more delicious morning experience and more fun wearing the clothes you have!

If you need support, please let me know. Check out my classes (both live and on-demand) here: or set up a time for us to chat (there’s never any pressure) and figure out how to get you to the point where your wardrobe inspires you:


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Ginger Burr is a fashion stylist and personal shopper serving clients worldwide from metro Boston.