Dress Yourself Happy
(The 5-Minute Recharge is now on a summer schedule and will land in your inbox twice per month...) Wellness pillar discussed in this article: Reflect “Style for me is someone who figures out who they are. What works on them. What they feel good in and develops that. Develops their character. And the outer expression of character is what is style.”- Tom Ford I have a confession to make. I don’t incorporate all of the suggestions from The 5-Minute Recharge into my life, or else my day would consist entirely of wellness practices. Lately, however, I've been following my own advice, and it has resulted in a significant increase in my happiness. Based on the newsletter “Change Your Clothes Change Your Life,” I began to put a lot more thought, time, and effort into how I dress. After publishing that piece, I immersed myself in fashion videos and podcasts. Rather than read depressing news headlines first thing in the morning, I’d tune in to “Five Ways to Wear a White Blazer.” My obsession with defining my style and finding the right clothes for the life I want to live has paid off. Almost every time I go out in public these days, I get a compliment. Dressing for compliments was not my goal, but it sure is nice. The formula I used was simple. I scanned Pinterest and picked outfits to place on “Looks I Love” and “Looks I Hate” boards. It wasn't long before the Pinterest algorithm figured out my style and sent me emails with the header, “Lynne, these ideas are so you!” And they were! Evidently, my style is perfect for a robot. I shopped my closet to duplicate a look from my Pinterest “Looks I Love” board. The resulting black blazer-white denim combination lit me up and gave me a boost of confidence. I still make mistakes, but I now know how I made them. I miss the mark when I overthink my outfit, dress to impress someone other than myself, and veer off from my three style words. In life I miss the mark when I overthink my decisions, do something to impress someone other than myself, and veer off from my values. My three style words are elegant, minimalist, and artsy. My sister, who would like to make me over as a rocker chick, helpfully pointed out that elegant and artsy are in conflict with each other. This, apparently, is a good thing. Your outlier word is what makes your style unique. Your turn. Fill in the blanks, “I want to look ____, ____, and ____. Note: comfortable and casual are not style words. Would you want someone to walk up to you and say, “You look sooooo….comfortable!” Do you want to be described as a casual person? Your clothes can be comfortable and stylish, or casual and stylish, but your style, the way you dress that tells people who you are without having to speak, always comes first. Lest you think Dress Yourself Happy is an tone-deaf invitation to spend oodles of money to upgrade your wardrobe in an inhospitable economic environment, one of my favorite, most versatile pieces is a onesy that cost less than $20. Because it has a billowy high waist, unadorned it makes me look a bit like a clown. But with a scarf made into a belt, it makes me feel like I’m on top of the Big Apple.
According to Everyday Style podcaster and wardrobe stylist Jennifer Mackey Mary, your style isn’t just for holidays in New York City. It’s for your entire life. I use my three words to dress for hanging out at home, the gym, Date Night, and even for bed. I filter every purchase I make through my style words and ask myself if a particular piece excites me, works with my lifestyle, and can contribute to multiple outfits. Knowing my style and sticking to it will save me a lot of money. Plus it’s a whole lotta fun to play dress-up when you're dressing up like the real you. To recap, here’s the Dress Yourself Happy Formula based on my experience applying the insights gleaned from wardrobe stylist Jennifer Mackey Mary's Everyday Style podcast:: 1. Go to Pinterest and create your “Looks I Love” and “Looks I Hate” boards with 25 to 50 images in each. You don't have to create your boards all at once, in fact it's better to create them over time to get an accurate reflection of your personality. 2. Think of three words that describe the outfits you love, words that you’d also like to describe you. 3. Apply your three words to everything you wear. Let go of the items in your closet that you wouldn't buy again, don't match your three words, and don’t make you feel fabulous. Weeding out your clothes in this way will allow you to make better style choices with what you have. Plus your donation of clothing could help someone else dress happily. Notice how you feel when you wear an outfit that expresses your true style. Getting dressed in a way that makes you feel good is a fun way to charge up your day, show respect for others, and prime yourself to live the life you want to live. “Your wardrobe can be a catalyst for reaching your goals, not just a reward.” - Jennifer Mackey Mary Get Fully Charged on Dress Yourself Happy “The Five Elements of Style,” from the Everyday Style podcast “Men’s Style with Visiting Professor Patrick Kenger” from the Everyday Style podcast. Dressing yourself happy isn’t just for women. My favourite fashion vloggers: Dearly Bethany Frédérique Bros for tips on how to dress like a French woman. “Change Your Clothes Change Your Life,” by Lynne Everatt, The 5-Minute Recharge, May 18, 2022. (I kept my imitation French woman dress with the little Eiffel Towers on it because it checked the boxes of my three style words. And it makes me smile.)