Does choosing clothes for your life and style feel like random acts of buying and discarding?  You’re definitely not alone, let me tell you.  How is it possible to have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear?  Having walked into countless closets over 28 years, I know the roots of this problem.  Yes, I said roots.  There are many reasons why people’s wardrobes reflect the serious challenge of choosing clothes for your life and style.

First of all, the randomness of shopping is a huge problem.  I have often seen this randomness going way back to my days of working in high-end stores in Chicago.  Men, desperate to grab something quickly because they weren’t prepared for an occasion, make rash decisions.  Women, unsure of making the ideal selection, overbuy and end up with stuffed closets full of bad buys.  It’s not the end of the world.  But, buying randomly wastes resources, your money, the labor and materials to make stuff languishing in your mausoleum, er, closet.  There’s got to be a better way to identify clothes for your life and style.

Another huge issue is trying to figure out what to do with older clothes.  Discarding clothes that have been in the wardrobe and have served you well, or maybe not so well, isn’t always easy.  It’s typical to feel a connection to the money that you’ve spent on an item, and an uneasiness to part with it.  Also, it’s pretty common to feel tied to items with sentimental value.  Most of the time, though, you no longer wear these items.  They sit idle in the closet as reminders of a bygone era of your life.

One thing is for sure.  You need clothes.  Even if you hate shopping for clothes, you still need to own and wear them.   If you love clothes, it’s easier to enjoy acquiring new things.  Yet, in either case your life today isn’t the same as it once was.  And another thing is for sure.  Your style today isn’t as it once was.  Combining the old with the new is a very nuanced approach.  The tendency to buy randomly, and the propensity to hold on to too many old things, creates closet chaos. Blending new clothes representing today’s life and style with the clothes reflecting yesterday’s life and style often does not work.

Let’s say you worked with me as your personal style guru.  Early in our relationship, you’d struggle with sensing the right clothes for your life and style.  Some of this comes from not trusting yourself or knowing how deep your own connection is to style.  It’s often deeper than you realize.  Analyzing your personality traits, and translating them into a language of your style, reveals insights you’d not have known otherwise.

Even when you want to put your trust into the process, it can still be challenging to embrace new insights.  There’s a tendency to remain tethered to style elements from the past.  Plus, there are times when you are directly influenced by what other people around you are doing.  Maybe you want to incorporate some element of looking a bit like them.  But, looking to the past, or to other people, won’t help you end up with clothes for your life and style.  Another bug bugaboo is looking to fashion trends, as if they are the holy grail of your style.  Being trendy is not a style, per se.

The key to owing the best clothes for your life and style is deeply understanding your lifestyle needs.  The way you live, the activities you do, the people you spend time with, the places you go all impact your clothing needs.  But, keep in mind that a key has no value without a lock.  The lock on owning the best clothes for your life and style is deeply understanding your personal style.  Without this crucial understanding, your clothes are just meaningless pieces of cloth.  With greater understanding, that cloth comes alive for the way it fits, feels, functions, looks, and tells your story.

Yes, your clothes should come alive for you.  Dressing doesn’t have to be mundane by any means.  Expressing yourself shouldn’t have to come at the risk of playing it safe or being untrue.  When your clothes come alive for you, you come more alive.  The energy between your clothes and you become synergistic.  Owning and wearing the right clothes for your life and style supports the mission of the day, day in and day out.  Your mission can be different, day-to-day, and it can even be different inside of one day.  So, a solid understanding of your lifestyle needs and personal style empowers you to get the most of each day.

Think about what happens once you have great clothes for your life and style.  The discomforting energy of worrying about how you look dissipates into maximizing what you can get out of each day.