Fashion and Real Life: Dressing Functionally
NOTHING TO WEAR?
Each day we wake up to face a plethora of choices. Do I get out of bed when my alarm goes off or do I press snooze? (Repeat the snooze scenario a few more times.) Do I choose to spend time with the Lord or catch up on social media? What should I eat for breakfast? What do I need to get done today? And then we get to the choice that usually gets all of us stuck: What do I wear? (Insert hands thrown into the air in total desperation…okay, that might be a little dramatic, but you know what I’m talking about.) We have all gone to our closet and been faced with that awful thought that usually makes us late to work: “I have nothing to wear.” Our morning routine can be halted and thrown off in an instant by hair that just doesn’t seem to curl the right way, clothing that looks out-dated and a body we wish looked different than the mirror tells us. The decision of what we wear paralyzes us, monopolizes our feelings, and often affects the way we feel the rest of the day.
As women, it’s easy to get stuck in a me-centered, others-pleasing, “I have to fit this image” mentality. Our wardrobe and clothing choice affects our day and our lives. Whether you are a fashion-lover (like me) or you hate shopping (like my sister), every single woman has to get dressed. The reason we all struggle with our image and identity is because we have been taught what beauty and fashion is from a world seeking for fulfillment in every place but Jesus. As we chase after a beauty that is not God-centered, we run frivolously in circles feeling like we are never enough, spending money on things that won’t last, and living out of envy and discontentment. This chase for beauty leaves us out of breath and feeling like what we have and who we are just aren’t enough.
At the cross, Christ traded our imperfections for His perfection. Instead of chasing perfect, which is an endless pursuit, we can now chase Jesus. The gospel sets the stage for our freedom, even in our clothing. But how does this affect real life? How does this impact the moment you are faced with the “I have nothing to wear” debacle in your closet? Let’s get practical today with some fashion tips to help you get dressed in the mornings.
SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY!
Too many choices adds up to decision paralysis. Narrowing down your closet to thing that coordinate, compliment each other, and highlight your best features will make your decisions a lot easier. Most women’s closets are full of disjointed pieces of clothing. Very few things match or coordinate well together and most items don’t fit well and are being held with the “one day I might fit into this again” or “one day this might come back in style” mentality. While it is true that fashion goes in cycles, keeping every piece of clothing isn’t practical and actually hurts your ability to make good decisions and dress well. Having too many things becomes too complicated and adds up to a confused closet and a frustrated woman. Simplifying your closet by getting rid of excess is not only a wise use of possessions, space, and money; it will also save you time as you get ready each day to focus on the most important things rather than trying to pair together an outfit.
here are a few tips to narrowing down your closet each season:
- At the end of each season, go through your closet and move every article of clothing that you didn’t wear to the very back. Then pull out the pieces of clothing you naturally gravitated towards. Most likely, the clothing you didn’t wear never made you feel confident, didn’t fit just right, or is out of date. Get rid of these pieces. I know it is hard to let go of those articles of clothing that you hope might one day fit, but know that the freedom you will have when your closet is a little less “lighter” and cluttered will far outweigh how you feel getting rid of it. Find a local homeless shelter or charity that you can donate your items to each year.
- If the price tag is still on it, it shouldn’t be in your closet. We all have those impulse buys sitting on our shelves or folded in our drawers. Even if it was a great bargain, if you aren’t wearing it or it doesn’t fit well, it needs to go. To prevent these kind of impulse purchases later, take your time making decisions. Stores want us to buy right away and make us feel the need to purchase things quickly. Walk away first. Wait a few days to purchase to make sure you truly will wear the clothing you have been eyeing. If you go home and find a few ways it can be worn, then it is a good purchase. If you forget about it immediately, you’ve saved yourself some money!
- Have a friend or family member who has an eye for fashion go through your closet with you. Sometimes we need that extra nudge from someone to get rid of things and give us the freedom to let it go.
- When you purchase something new, make it a habit to get rid of something old. This will keep your closet streamlined and will help keep your wardrobe up to date! If you have articles of clothing that have barely been worn, try reselling them to get back some money to go toward updated items. This will save you money as well as make your husband happy!
BACK TO THE BASICS
Once you have gone through your closet and gotten rid of the excess and items that are rarely worn, it is time to start adding in staple pieces into your wardrobe that are classic, timeless, and multi-purpose.
here are a few items to look for that stay in style:
- A denim jacket or chambray shirt - Having a denim jacket or chambray shirt in your closet that fits well is great for layering and an item that stays in style. One way to update this look is by cuffing the sleeves instead of wearing them straight.
- A dark pair of skinny jeans - Darker bottoms are slimming on women, no matter your actual pant size. By skinny jeans, I am referring to a jean that has a tapered, narrow bottom. This season, wider leg jeans and capris are popular and are an excellent addition to your wardrobe! They are modest and comfortable and change up your look!
- Go grey and blush - The new neutrals for fashion are grey and blush. Various shades can be worn as a neutral bottom or top to pair brighter colors and patterns with!
- Basic tees/tops - As a new mama, I am learning the need to have a simple wardrobe that I feel confident in, but is also practical. Purchase tees that fit well and can be layered with jackets, sweaters, and pops of color through scarves and accessories. It is worth investing in a nicer tee that won't look worn after a few washings.
- Colorful accessories - When I worked in fashion, I was constantly having to convince women to wear brighter, more colorful accessories. A simple outfit can be completely updated with a fun necklace or pair of earrings. Two companies that I love for accessories that are also mission minded companies are FashionABLE and Noonday Collection.
- Neutral pair of sandals or flats - Every woman should invest in one pair of shoes that are comfortable and can be worn with most outfits. I have a pair from The Root Collective that I love!
- Black dress - It is always a good idea to have a black dress on hand! Find one that is simple and classic.
here are a few tips on streamlining your morning routine:
- Lay out your outfits the night before. The decision will already be made for you when you wake up in the morning!
- Take one afternoon or evening to go through your closet with a friend and pre-match outfits. You can even take pictures of all the ways you can wear them and pull this out as a reference when getting ready.
- Organize your closet by color and style. I organize my closet using the colors of the rainbow (ROYGBV). I also organize with sleeveless shirts at the front, followed by skirts, dresses, and jackets at the back. This makes finding items easier and looks a lot cleaner!
here are a few tips to remember when you go shopping:
- A size is not a law. Every company sizes their clothing different. When you are wearing the right size, you will feel more confident and actually look more put together! Don't be bound by a certain size, focus on fit.
- Accentuate the smallest part of your body. Whether it be your wrists, ankles, or waste, accentuate the features you feel comfortable in by wearing jewelry and accessories.
- Coordinate your outfits. When you purchase new clothing, stick to a similar color palette and pieces of clothing that can be mixed and matched! Just remember, you can only wear one outfit each day. We don't need as much as we have! Less is more when it comes to our closets. Keep pieces you truly LOVE and get rid of things that are just taking up space.
Galatians 5:1 tells us "for freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Even when you go to your closet, you can live free because of the cross. May our closets be an area of freedom that points others to Jesus!