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Is There a Stranger In Your Closet? Personal Wardrobe Tips from Ginger Burr

Posted Sep 27 2010 10:42pm

By Ginger Burr, Total Image Consultants

Have you ever had this experience?  You open your closet to get dressed and you stare…and you stare…and you stare.  Nothing grabs you.  Nothing feels exciting or makes your heart sing.  Nothing says wear me now!  You sit down on your bed exhausted before you even begin the day.

If this ever happens to you, the very first question you want to ask yourself is:

Who do you see when you look in your closet? Is your mother’s face smiling back at you from that ruffle shirt you’ve never worn?  Or, is your best friend’s favorite dress hanging out in there taunting you?

Most often, in response to the question, “Who do you see when you look in your closet,” I hear:

  • My mother
  • My sister
  • My best friend
  • Myself, pre-children
  • Myself, pre-30 extra pounds
  • Myself, pre-menopause
  • Whoever was working at the store the day I went shopping
  • The store window mannequin…
  • All of the above!

Is this true for you?  If so, what is the first feeling that comes to mind when you open your closet to get dressed? Exhaustion?  Overwhelm?  Denial?  Frustration?  Dread?  Some combination of all of these?  Rarely, under these circumstances, is it joy and delight.

Guess what?  When you look in your closet

you want to see YOU…just you. That part of you that makes you smile, that reminds you of fun times and delicious memories (maybe the memories are of pushing your daughter on a swing, lunch with girlfriends, a successful business presentation, or a precious date with your sweetie – these are the simple pleasures that make up life).  You also want these feelings to be reflected in every aspect of your wardrobe down to your nightgown and slippers!

If you’re shaking your head in despair or frustration, you are not alone.  Most women will admit this is easier said than done.

So, let’s shake things up a bit.  Let’s begin to weed out those garments that make you roll your eyes or cringe.  They have absolutely no place in your wardrobe.

Evict the Strangers:

As long as it is taking up space in your sacred closet (yes, this is where your essence is expressed every day!), you will feel over burdened, frustrated, annoyed, despairing or resigned to all of those feelings every time you get dressed, and none of that is good.

It is also very likely that you aren’t wearing those things anyway – it’s more like a security blanket but the security is a sham.

Lay both of these garments side by side and have a piece of paper handy (your Nurturing Beauty Journal will do perfectly if you have your home study program “Who Taught You How To Dress?” ( ))

For the outfit that isn’t you, write down everything about it you don’t like. Be as picky as you can be.  Maybe it’s the way the fabric feels?  Perhaps the buttons seem overwhelming or there are just too many of them?  It could be that you dislike the pattern or the way it clings to your hips, or it has a belt and you don’t like belts.  Write down everything!  (If there are a few things you like about it, write those in a separate column.  Maybe the color is pretty if it weren’t so shapeless.)

For the outfit you love, write down everything you like about it. Color, texture, fit…maybe it makes you feel sophisticated, down-to-earth or pretty.  Whatever it is, write it down.

These lists are your lifeline the next time you go shopping.  Don’t leave home without them.  The next time you try on an outfit, run down both lists and compare the garment.

This exercise alone will help you stay focused when you shop. It is so easy to get distracted by all the choices, the lighting, or the helpful “advice” from sales women or your shopping buddies.

Sometimes, your desire to find “something” is so great that you settle for the best of what you find which often doesn’t really measure up to anything even close to fabulous – and that’s what you are shooting for!

Now, take a long, deep breath…this is just one step in creating a wardrobe you love.  It’s a biggie though and so important to creating a wardrobe and personal style you love.  Short of being nominated for ‘What Not To Wear’ (and even then you have to do it in front of millions of viewers…yikes, that feels very scary), few of us can do it in a matter of days – neither our psyche, our stamina or our pocketbooks can handle it!

And, to be honest, that’s often not the most effective way to lasting change.  Taking baby steps gives you some time to adapt to (and tweak) each step along the way.  Not to mention that having someone else do it for you often ends up with you looking more like them than you and who are you supposed to see staring back at you when you open your closet?  That’s right You!

Ginger Burr

The timing is perfect!  It’s September and the Fall/Winter shopping season is just underway. So, before you start wondering what you can possibly wear to get you through the next 6 months, open your closet door and say good-bye to your sister, best friend and anyone else who has been lurking under your favorite jacket and behind that pair of pants you never wear.  You won’t believe how empowered and joyful you will feel every time you get dressed!

Ginger Burr is our fiery compassionate fashion consultant providing tips, tricks and inspiration for the Diva side of our Raw Diva adventures. You can learn more about her home study course, Who Taught You How to Dress at her website Total Image Consultants.

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