The Book That Changed My Wardrobe Life

Three summers ago I was in a wardrobe funk. I had a lot of clothes in my closet but didn't feel all that great wearing most of the pieces, and found myself wearing the same three pairs of pants and five shirts every week (and not feeling too sexy in any of them.) Then I bought this book:

and I haven't been the same since. I now find it relatively easy to get dressed in the morning; I get compliments on my outfits pretty regularly; I feel good in what I'm wearing; and best of all, I have fewer clothes in my closet to have to deal with and sort through.

So I thought I'd share my good experience and glowing review of this book with you.

The main underlying premise in the book is based on the idea that there are 6 basic styles, and that if you learn what they are and get honest with yourself about which of those styles is really "you" (not just in terms of what clothes you like on other people, but which ones you really feel good in and fit your actual lifestyle,) you'll know what to buy and wear, and you'll be happier wearing it. As I read Jill and Dana's illustrated descriptions of the six styles, I realized that my closet was full of Bohemian tops that I never wore (I'd put them on, and take them right back off) because I don't really like how blousy, flowy tops look on me, no matter how beautiful they look on other people or hanging on the hanger. And the rest of my wardrobe didn't go with those bohemian tops, because I like and buy more tailored pants for my figure. I also had a lot of bohemian jewelry that I tended not to wear, because I feel best in minimal jewelry, small silver earrings, necklaces, and watches. (My primary style by J&D's definition is actually "Classic," and that is the one that best fits my day job situation as well.)

Another style that lurked un-worn in my closet was Preppy with a touch of Soccer Mom (mostly things I'd bought from Land's End. Why???? Those clothes look terrible on me! And I'm not a mom!)

Once I admitted to myself that I really feel best in the types of clothes J&D were calling "Classic," it was so freeing. I used their guide to go through my closet, brutally clearing out everything that didn't fit, was in bad shape/disrepair, was out of style, things I never wore, and/or just didn't feel attractive in. This left me with the clothes that I really did wear and felt good in, and that by itself made it easier to get dressed in the morning. I also weeded out a lot of jewelry, found I only needed a few pieces, and had a much easier time choosing what accessories to wear with my outfits.

I'm not saying I got rid of every single thing that was bohemian-style (I kept some wooden-beaded bracelets and a breezy top or two) or Surfer Chick (I love athletic-looking clothes for weekends/lounging even though I am not an athlete!) but through the advice in I Have Nothing to Wear I got educated and then realistic about what I really like to wear. Then, it was easy to shop to fill in my wardrobe a bit, and I found needed fewer pieces anyway, so I haven't had to spend tons of money to be happy with my wardrobe. (I also found my go-to stores: White House Black Market for splurges/key pieces, a little outlet-mall Guess accessorizing sometimes (OK, Guess is probably "Fashionista" by J&D's description,) and for basic pieces like skinny jeans and t-shirts--JC Penney, H&M, and the occasional Target. Oh, and Aerosoles for shoes.)

I've tried to explain the advice from this book to a few of my family members and friends, and I could see from their glazed-over look that it just didn't hit home for them, so maybe this book isn't for everyone. But I seriously have no idea why, because it really changed my wardrobe life. And my getting-dressed-in-the-morning life, which is a big part of my Life life.

So I just thought I'd share! Let me know if you've read this book (or if you get it and read it) and how it worked for you.