I had a light bulb moment the other day when I was sorting out inside my closet.
There is a saying Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are. Have you ever thought of applying the same principle to the clothes you are wearing? Show me your wardrobe and I will tell you who you are. How about that?
Clothes is the very next, most intimate material thing we choose to keep next to our own body. What else can tell more about our personalities and who we are then clothes?
Here are a few combinations of woman-wardrobe relationships I came up with:
A messy wardrobe . You own a lot of stuff but it doesn’t feel like you have enough. You go shopping to get more stuff and feel like you have nothing to wear. Or you get dressed and go out and don’t like how you look. A messy wardrobe is hard to handle, it is often an unfulfilling wardrobe.
(Image source Homedit)
Correct me if I am wrong, but the person behind a messy wardrobe has some degree of mess and chaos in her life. There is one or a few spheres in life that are out of balance (if you read my Is your life out of balance? you know what I mean). Like there are some unresolved issues, internal and/ or external conflicts, lack of clarity, living on autopilot. I would assume that this person has relatively high level of stress in her life.
A cheap wardrobe. Or better to say cheap-looking wardrobe. It’s not really about how much it costs but about how it looks. Here I am not keeping in mind a beggar on the street who has no. money. I am talking about a woman who can afford to buy quality clothing but just doesn’t. This is when clothing is not given any thinking, it happens somehow by itself.
I can assume such person is having issues with loving herself and/or putting healthy boundaries. She is saving on herself, like she is not important and doesn’t deserve a splurge. I feels that other people and things are important, but she can wait. This person can’t just say, “Sorry, I am busy tonight. I am taking a bobble bath.”
On the contrary, a neat and organized wardrobe with clearly defined personal style is owned by someone whose life makes sense. The thinking of such person is uncluttered. That person knows what she wants, what she likes, she is likely to love her job and her relationships are not a mess. She knows how to set boundaries.
Image source Stylizimo
A fashion guided wardrobe (when a person is diligently following all the latest seasonal trends, buying only brand and expensive clothes, reading fashion magazines to know what to wear). It feels that someone else knows better what is beautiful, and what must be worn in order to fit into a certain so wanted beauty image. After all, if so many people follow this fashion trend it MUST be beautiful, therefore I have to follow it too. Copying others feels safe.
There is nothing wrong with following fashion trends and buying expensive closes. But do you see the difference between the two approaches “I like it. I want to buy it“, and “It’s in fashion/ it’s a cool brand. I want to buy it.” This is what I’m talking about.
Psychologists call it external locus of self-worth. Most likely a person behind a fashion oriented closet is lacking a strong core. She has not discovered her true self, her own personal style yet and deep in her heart is longing for approval, wanting to fit in a group, be accepted and admired. Her value comes from the outside.
A wardrobe that’s not suiting you. By that I mean not knowing the strengths and weaknesses of own body, what to highlight and what to hide and how to do it the best way to enhance beauty. Do you know your color type? – summer, autumn, winter or spring? Warm or cold color palette? Are all the clothes in your wardrobe fitting your color type? What is your body shape? What cuts, colors, fabrics and patterns do YOU need to choose to make the most out of it? What about the face shape? Do you know what type of accessories (glasses, scarfs, earings, hats, etc) suits you and highlights YOUR beauty?
Image source Polyvore
I am cringing to admit that most of my adult life I had no clue about these things. My guiding principle for picking clothes was “It’s nice”. Untill I took time to learn the theory, get shocked and to give away half of my wardrobe 🙂
What does a wardrobe like this tell us from a psychological point of view? As simple as that the person doesn’t know herself. Time to get introduced to yourself, baby.
The wardrobe has a big difference between clothes used for outside home and inside home. The best clothes are kept to wear for when other people see, the worst (oversized, worn out, faded, with stains, lower quality, etc) are used at home. The moment you come back home you are expected to change into the homey set and put the nice set away.
Well, I understand that clothing style used at home will be more chilled than what you wear say in the office. What I am talking about here is the complete difference in style. The person looks polished and dressed up outside, and doesn’t care about the look at home.
To me this looks like the double-faced-ness. People live according to different standards. They use the nice face to impress others, and not so nice, real one to show to your family and close ones.
When someone else is picking your clothes for you. This is usually a parent or a spouse who is not simply expressing an oppinion og giving advise from time to time. This is a person who dresses you up, picks what to wear for you, criticises your choise of clothes and makes you feel like ditching your outfit if your choice is disapproved.
Such setup is normal for parent to toddler relationship. But if it’s still like that in an adult to adult relationship, that’s a clear sign of some sort of psychological (narcissistic/ sociopathic) abuse. The victim of such abuse usually has a very minimal self-awareness and a low self-esteem. Needless to say, the sooner the victim is able to say “stop” the better.
Lastly, here comes the one I realized I am currently struggling with:
Ungrounded wardrobe. A wardrobe that is lacking a core. It feels like clothes I own are hard to apply to my every day life. As I was talking about in my previous post, I am making my own clothes. I love how they turn out, and I love having them. But way too often when I have to go out I feel desperate because I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!
This is partly due to the fact that during the past 7 years my body has been changing all the time: pregnancy, postpartum, nursing, gain weight, lose weight. But as I see it now, it is also because I am ungrounded too, in my thinking. I am a creative girl, I often time come up with ideas that look great in my head but not always easy to implement into reality. My thinking needs to get more practical.
With that being said, I realize I have to get on the ground. I am impressed what an insight I got just from looking on my wardrobe from a different perspective. Now, the question is: will I be able to change my way og thinking and mental setup by working on my wardrobe and organizing it differently?
Here is the plan. I will work on creating balance, practicality and daily applicability of my stuff. I will sew the missing pieces and will update you about the process here on the blog 🙂
Let me know what you think about my “wardrobe => psychology” theory 🙂 Is there a category you would add?
Update: Find out what happened next in my wardrobe story here