Monday, August 28, 2006

Challenge for the Closet Therapist

I found out last Friday that I will be moving from Houston, TX to Cheyenne, Wyoming for 7 months on a project for work. I find myself putting my own advice into practice and have learned even more about simplifying in order to make my wardrobe work for me.

We are almost finished with our 1200 mile road trip, writing to you from Ft. Collins, Colorado. I am making mental notes of the lessons I've learned and want to share with you when I get some time. I can say there are new goals I have for myself regarding simpflifying the beauty product area of my life. And having your wardrobe pared down to only a few color groups definitely makes layering and small wardrobes feasible.

More on these things later:

Layering summer clothes in with winter clothes

Avoiding "vacation panic" syndrome

Same colors-different shades

Beauty Closet breakdown

Thanks to everyone who stops by for a peek at my blog. This topic is one of my favorite passions, and I hope it inspires you to simplify your wardrobe so that you can live more LIFE!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Journey IS The Destination

I've posted one of my favorite poems below, and the reference in the title is a line I read in Mireille Guilliano's French Women Don't Get Fat. They both say that our life, our endeavors are meant to be treasured for what we learn and what we become along the way. Our experiences, good and bad, are what shape us so that we are wise and happy by the time we come to the destination. We become the journey.

Building a wardrobe works best in the same regard. Personal style is not something you can buy from a store. When you are younger, experimentation is a wonderful way to express yourself. You may even figure out what style fits your personality best. But if you're like most people, one day you become frustrated and realize you don't know what "your" style is. So begins the pursuit and desire for a silver bullet to figure it all out for you. But it's not that easy. It takes time.

So often we (that's me too) are trying to rush ourselves along in having the perfect wardrobe right now. Maybe you feel like rushing right out to get the latest in the shop window. But that is not the way style works. Being truly stylish is sometimes as elusive as truly knowing yourself. Chanel said "Fashion changes, style remains." We also aspire to be stylish, not trendy. As you find out what gives the most pleasure from expression through clothing, you will start forming your own personal style.

I want to help you get going in the right direction so you can begin building your own style. That means removing the things that are blocking the view. Here is your Closet Mission:

INTERVIEW YOUR CLOTHES:

Take out of your closet what ISN'T you. This really is the easy part. If you haven't worn it all summer, now is a great time to say bu-bye. Don't pack it away again for next summer. Now, also is a really great time to wear what you think you wanted to keep, but haven't worn yet. Take it out, plan an outfit and wear it today or tomorrow. If you can't bring yourself to wear it, say bu-bye. If you wear it, and it doesn't fit right, or the color looks bad on you, guess what, say bu-bye. Keep a bag going all the time so you can easily take it to a friend or charity.

Next, we will look at what to do with what remains in the closet. Enjoy the poem and YOUR JOURNEY.

ITHAKA by Cavafy
Translated by Edmund Keeley & Philip Sherrard

As you set out for Ithaka
hope your road is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians, Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope your road is a long one.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you're destined for.
But don't hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you're old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you've gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you wouldn't have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Itaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you'll have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Perfectly Messy

Did you know that perfectionism can manifest itself into clutter and hoarding?

I'm fascinated by the fact that the pyschological dysfunction of OCD and perfectionism are linked. That someone who has a hugely cluttered home and has a fear of letting go of things, is actually a perfectionist is completely bizarre to me. Here is a website on the subject.

http://www.ocfoundation.org/hoarding/index.php

I see people all the time at the local superstore buying organizing materials. Now, I love to organize, but are you organizing clutter that you really don't need to keep? Are you storing things away to never be touched again? I'm not asking this from a pedestal, but from experience!! I still have to look at every piece in my home and ask myself if I really need it and it IS hard to part with things for so many reasons. Look at these common themes/excuses for hoarding.

*They want to be responsible with disposing of things, thus may not get around to doing so

*Want to organize things, but become confused because they want to place similar things together, but see everything as unique

*They buy things just in case they need them

*They have trouble throwing out things because they fear having to replace them

*Incoming material far exceeds outgoing material

Hoarding is not a commonly used term except in the extreme cases, but I believe as a society that we have a problem with hoarding. Is it completely unacceptable to go around telling people they are hoarders, but I want to make a stand against accumulating all these things!!!! I want people to be free of owning so much that it ends up owning them.

Here is your Closet Mission for this week:
Find something that you are "saving" and give it your attention. Do you need it, well probably not. But do you love it? Ok, do you use it? You probably don't. Why not? What are you saving it for? If you love it, use it!! Burn those candles! Use your china! Read those magazines!

If just reading this is giving you the heeby jeebies, consider how you are feeling. I'm not telling you to throw out what you love, but remember that if you are not using these things someone else can and will. If you are not sure, put these things in a box to revisit in a month.

Practice letting go. After all practice makes perfect.

Monday, August 14, 2006

$$$ Opportunity Cost = Your Life

Part of my mission as The Closet Therapist is to battle the materialism and marketing we are tempted with everyday. I want to teach others to see clearly the fashion choices they make in order to cater to a false ideal. What you wear should be appropriate, but essentially you. Your choices should allow you to focus on other aspects of enriching your life, not only the way you look.

The marketing tends to confuse people and keep them chasing after something they will never catch, usually at a personal sacrifice that is great. The cost is monetary, but also the opportunity cost is a consideration. Credit card debt is obviously a burden, but the opportunity cost is what you could have been doing with your life if you weren't obsessing over the "it" shoes or looking like a celebrity.

Think about how you want to create your life, what is important to you. If you are unbalanced in the clothing and appearance sector, let me help you have a new perspective. While you are learning how to edit and choose the right clothing, you are getting to know yourself. It's wonderful to know who you are and stop trying to be that fantasy person you are trying to dress. You are going to uncover yourself the more you stop buying things that don't really fit you or your life.

Closet Mission: Gift or donate one fantasy item in your closet that you never wear but you realize that it doesn't fit you or your lifestyle. Oh, and please don't buy those peg-legged jeans!

Carolina's Fifth Birthday

We have been busy celebrating someone's much anticipated birthday around here!  Carolina has been longing for five since her classmates ...