This week, Rachel asks one of my favorite questions, which is “How do I Stop Saving Clothes for Special Occasions?”
I share why this is one of my favorite questions, and the most common reasons I’ve seen my clients not wear things they love.
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Read the full episode transcript below! – Ep 53 Office Hours Saving Clothes for Special Occasions
Today’s episode of Office Hours is sponsored by the All-Access Membership. Ladies, if our Capsule Wardrobe Guides are one tool to make style effortless, the All Access Membership is the whole darn toolbox! You get Style Masterclasses that make it easy to find the best colors for you, or to create a Signature Style you love. You get bonus resources each month like checklists, and exclusive podcast episodes that nobody else has access too. Plus, you get an invitation to our All Access community on Facebook where you get style inspiration from women just like you, and weekly Q&As with personalized advice from me. The All Access membership is the closest thing to having a wardrobe stylist in your closet, and a heck of a lot more affordable.
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Welcome back to Office Hours–the weekly show of the Everyday Style School podcast, where we answer one question, submitted by you, you lovely listeners to help make style easier, and getting dressed more fun.
Before we get started, I have to give a special birthday shout-out to the person who gave me my favorite job title of all. I wear a lot of hats. Business owner, podcaster, wife, sister, friend, daughter–but my favorite is mom. And today, my oldest, the one who made me a mom, turns 12. Happy Birthday Annika. You’re hands down the coolest 12 year old I know, my favorite older daughter, and I am so very very lucky to be your mom.
Ok, on to the show. I have got a back log of questions you’ve sent in, and I’m working through them week by week, but when this one came in last week, I pushed my whole plan back a week and decided to tackle this one. You know why? It’s my very favorite question of all. I’m going to let you hear it from Rachel, and then I’ll tell you why it’s my favorite. Here goes:
Rachel, thank you so much for sending that in, and sharing your voice–I love getting questions this way. It’s a great question, like I said, it’s my favorite question, and here’s why.
Don’t get me wrong. I am happy to answer how to track down items online, or how to choose the right necklace–both of those are coming up in future, by the way.
I understand that these practical questions make style easier, and when style is easier, you’re more likely to make it a priority, and when you do that, you like the way you look, and have fun with style, ultimately getting you to my goal of living the full rich life that I believe you should have. That you deserve.
So, like I said. Happy to answer those.
BUT, I’m always wishing that women would think a little higher level about style, and getting dressed. As you know, I don’t love clothes. I love what clothes do for women. I just happen to be really good at clothes, so they’re my vehicle.
When you search for the answer to the end result question, like what type of dress should I wear, you get the answer to one question.
When you search for the answer to a higher level question like understanding why things look better on your body than others, you can apply that knowledge to every part of getting dressed–to tops and bottoms and dresses and outfits.
But when you think even higher, about why you get dressed, and why it matters, it gives meaning to all the answers below it. Its like the Linda story I shared in an older episode about the woman who asked me for years where to get a bra, but never did–because she wasn’t ready to value herself enough to make it a priority.
When you’re asking the higher level questions, it means you’re ready to put in the work, and make getting dressed about more than just not being naked. And that makes my heart happy.
The other reason I love this question is that it gets to the heart of what everyday style is all about. Not saving style for special occasions, but getting dressed because it makes you feel good.
A lot of women struggle with this. I’ve seen hundreds of closets full of beautiful, unworn things.
And in my experience, there are a few reasons for this
The first is that while your things might be lovely, they’re not what you really want to wear for the way you really live. This is one of the biggest disconnects I see, and I talked about it on my recent Personal Style episode.
Style is not the things you wear when all conditions are right, style is the way you want to look, expressed by the things you wear wherever you go. Let me give you an example. I have a closet full of blouses and dress pants that fit my style guideposts of fun, current, and polished–that’s how I want to look.
But I work at home, by myself, and I don’t want to wear blouses and dress pants to sit at my desk alone. It’s not that I’m saving those things for a special occasion, I’m saving them for an occasion when I want to wear blouses and dress pants. I will happily wear them to church, or out to dinner, or even to a little family gathering.
But by myself in my office, I’m in athleisure stuff. But guess what–my athleisure clothes are fun, current, and polished. I never look at my closet, disappointed by the beautiful thing I never wear, or disappointed by the lackluster things I default to everyday, because that’s not the case, I have things that
Overwhelmingly, this is what I see when women tell me they’re “saving things for a special occasion”. They’re really saying I’m saving “style” for when all conditions are right…but conditions are ever perfect, so they never wear the stuff. We never have enough of those special occasions.
Buy things that reflect your style, for the way you really live. If you don’t know what your style is, The Signature Style masterclass in all access will help you figure it out.
So Rachel, and anyone else struggling with this, here’s what i want you to do. Go into your closet, and pull out the things that are appropriate for the season, that you think you’re saving for a “special occasion”.
Make 5 outfits using them, and then wear them all week long. If you’re gardening in a beaded maxi dress, or playing on the floor with your kids in dress pants and a blouse, you’re probably not saving your things for a special occasion.
But you’re probably not buying things that make you look the way you want to look, for the way you really live, either. And who knows, maybe this experiment will make you see that you LIKE wearing those things in your everyday life. Either way, it’s a win win.
The other thing I’ve seen is women who are convinced their clothes are “too nice” and they don’t want to ruin them or wear them out.. I’ve got a lot of thoughts on this, and first, unless you are climbing trees or mountain biking chances are, your clothes won’t get ruined by your daily life.
If you are mountain biking, or climbing trees, you should have clothes for those activities. Most adults I know aren’t walking around, stomping in mud puddles, wrecking their clothes on the regular.
The adults I know who do stomp in mud puddles aren’t concerned about their clothes getting ruined. I like those people. Its like people who won’t buy white jeans because they’ll get dirty. We do have ways to wash them, you know.
I think ruining your clothes is a worry we can put out of our minds, and stop using as an excuse not to wear nice things. We’re grownups with washing machines. It will be ok.
The other part of that is not wanting to wear them out. I have to ask Why would you not want to wear your clothes out? It should be a goal for all of us to wear our clothes out before we throw them out.
Before they’re out of style, or don’t fit, or we’re tired of them Worn out clothes means you loved them well and wore them often. If you love something, why would you not wear it often? Can I tell you a secret?
Your clothes are more or less worthless. The money you spent on them is gone, there’s a 99.9 percent chance they’re not going to increase in value–it’s like driving a new car off the lot. The only thing that gives value to your clothes is wearing them. Every time you wear an item, it increases in value.
Think about your closet, and reset the value of everything that’s in there at 0. Then, start trying to build the value of your wardrobe by wearing the things that are in there.
Make an effort to wear the things you love so often that they wear out. Instead of worrying about it, make it your goal. Parting with clothes because they’re worn out is sad, yes.
But not nearly as sad as getting rid of things you never wore, and now they don’t fit your body, your lifestyle, or the times. That’s the true waste.
There’s one other reason I’ve seen for not wearing the beautiful things you have, and that’s worrying that other people will think you’re trying too hard.
That if you show up to a playdate or a meeting at work dressed to the nines, people will think, who does she think she is? The reality is, they won’t be thinking that. If they’re thinking anything at all about what you’re wearing it will most likely be “I wish I’d worn that”.
If this is what’s holding you back, you’ve got to get comfortable wearing what you like, regardless of what others think about it. Don’t make yourself small and less stylish to fit what others think you should wear. That’s the opposite of style, friends!
That’s all I’ve got for you today, friends. If this is something you’re struggling with, head over to our Facebook Page (our free group has closed) and weigh in on the post–which reason resonated with you the most?
Is it a case of your style and your lifestyle don’t match up? Are you afraid your clothes are too nice? Or, are you concerned with what others might think. We’d love to hear from you.
If you’ve got a question you’d like me to cover in Office Hours, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for today–see you next week!