Wednesday, 3 June 2015

How I got my life sorted and dressed accordingly. My closet my life style guru. Part One

Do you want to know the powerful lessons your closet can teach you? What does your closet and self improvement  have in common?
 Did you know that you applied some basic principals to live a happier and more fulfilling life  in your closet all along? 
In these series , I will show you how your closet can inspire you to a more meaningful life. 
 Part One:

 To be able to make your dream life true you must know where you are now. You think the strangest place to get your answers is your closet?
Read on!
In this part I will discuss with you how I used my closet as a starting point to figure out what kind of life I dressed for, which wasn't necessarily the kind of life I actually lived or aspiring to live.(the blant truth). 

It's vital to figure this out before any life style change can be designed.
 I will show you how I personally turned my closet to be my "life style guru". ( No spending money involved but please do use it as an inspiration kickstart)!

One and a half years after the birth of my 3rd child and soon after I started working full time again as a teacher and I was still in a complete loss concerning my self image, my clothes and my life  in general. 

Frustration, dissatisfaction and finally mild depression  setlled.

My two main problem areas were that I didn't feel good about my looks and that I was hopeless in organising my time, and space and establishing routines.

 It is clear to me now that I was having a lifestyle change. From a stay at home mum to a working outside the house mum.The thing is that it wasn't that easy to figure that much out, back then.

What I'm trying to communicate here is how a mindfull, soul searching approach of my closet triggered a huge shift in my mentality and helped transform my self into a better person.

The cruel facts I managed to see clearly
  • I hated the few outfits I could manage to put together out of my stay at home clothes
  •  I had no idea where to start to built me a functional wardrobe
  •  I didn't even knew that notions like a basic wardrobe existed
  •  I also didn't know that orginising my everyday life by establishing routines could transform my life.

During this period of frustration I could have never imagined that the help for me would come out of the most unexpected place, my closet .

 One morning as I was standing in front of my messy pit of a closet, trying to figure out how to make a decent outfit out of a pair of jeans, a t shirt and the top half of a track suit and be presentable for work ( what was I thinking?), it hit me big. 

 I was trying to  live my new life as a working mum wearing the clothes of a stay at home mum plus those I had saved from when I was in my 20s partying around the world!!! 

I was trying to do the un doable!!! And I was causing stress and pressure for not been able to do it.

All I had to do all along was to take a hard look at what my wardrobe was saying about me and my lifestyle. I had to move on and I had to build me a  new wardrobe and a new stage in life. 

 I sat down on the computer that very moment and searched on the internet using some key words like new clothes, what to buy, basics, new life style etc, next life stage, routines, home organising and soon enough I had a handful of sites with information to study closely later that night, after everyone was in bed.

What I discovered that night almost threw me out of my chair. I didn't have a clear sense of what kind of life I was leading and what kind of life I was dreaming for myself the next couple of years. Now, everyone knows this is not a great way to live your life and raise 3 balanced kids.

 But at least now I knew where to start. I would start with figuring out the life style I was actually living and I would shape a better one in the next few months. 

Deciding about my wardrobe was more about gaining clarity about my life than deciding what clothes to buy. Track suits and all of my clothes before pregnancy had to go. I had to part with so many beautiful shortdresses from my single years, it physically hurt.  I had to say goodbye to the years of carelessness and freedom and accept they would never come back.
But I also had to get rid of all my pregnancy and post pregnancy stay at home mum clothes. I made clear to myself and husband that I was not planning to have more than 3 children. I also made it clear to myself and committed that I would find the time each day to take care of my appearance and style. 

Track suits, ugly, loose clothes and pass me downs had to disappear from my closet and my life.
About that time I started following style blogs and a bit later I started my own. 

After a huge purge I was left with nothing. Both liberating and frightening. It was high time for the second part of the lesson. Decipher my life style.

I was a mum of 3 under the age of six, I worked as a primary school teacher, I was the main person doing the housework and shared the super market trips with my husband.
I lived a quiet life, no nights out clubbing and not a fancy social life except for the occassional wedding, baptism or funeral.
I didn't exercise back then nor did I have a special hobby that required special equipment. I lived in a warm Meditteranean country and I had 3 months holidays in the summer so no much fuss over my summer clothes.
It was at that point that I realised I was not going to live a glamorous life full of excitement or travels and that I wasn't going to make a big career. I also realised I was more of an introvert person and socialising was not my strong point so no need for formal or fancy stuff.
It became a realisation that for the next few years I would be absolutely absorbed with raising my kids and having quiet nights with my husband and occassionally with a few loved friends or family members.

There would be no travels for me but no problem, the nature is great in Crete and the beaches always near.
Additionally, when I accepted that I would be the main household 'slave' I had to find me solutions via the internet on how to organise my day and establish routines and on how to simplify things and declutter my house.

  After this amount of soul searching I was finally able to start my days happy and nicely organised.
 And to built me a very basic wardrobe, practical enough to get me through my busy days. Nothing fancy or terribly stylish but a big improvement . So, from my experience here is some tips to help you
  • Find some quiet time and take paper and pencil with you. 
  • Open your closet and look at every piece of cloth you have. What does it say about you and your lifestyle? Try to be objective and write it down. Not explicit stuff, just first impressions.
  • Now that you have all information, try to make a summury of what you have found.
  • Is the person your clothes describe the person you are or you  want to be? If yes, fine! Congratulations! If not, you now have on paper a great starting point to figure out how you want things different and in which departments of your life
  • From here, you can pick one thing to change and look for all information to educate yourself about it. 
 Do you think that our closets can be a starting point to evaluate our present stage in life ?
Are you willing to spend sometime in sorting out your closet and if you do what your personal approach would be?
I would love you to use my tips(as a kind of homework! I'm a teacher after all!) and come back here in the comments form to tell us all about it. 
Also those of you who have different opinions please do share in the comments form so that we have an open/honest discussion!I will gladly answer back to all your comments.
In my next post I will tell you how I used my own tips to figure out what stage in life I'm now!
We can even compare notes! 

There was no way to finish this post without presenting you with some of my latest outfits!

Since then I have purged some that don't fit my life anymore. I have used a collage form not to overwhelmyou after this long post. I hope you like it!


    1. great post! It's inspiring to follow your journey through style. xo

      1. That's what we do in this world wide community. Inspire each other!

    2. Great post, Angie! I love how you explained your process and the collage photo-which I have not yet learned how to do- and all of the outfits are great. Your look says to me that you are a polished and organised creative person. xoxo

    3. Picmonkey for the collage , my dear and thank you. It means a lot to me that you liked the way I explained my process.

    4. You certainly have polished up your look if I understand your explaination!
      Well done for taking on this process.
      I am in the process of reexamining my life and have just done the Konmari method on my clothes. Slowly working on the rest of the house.
      It's great to take stock occasionally and become more aligned.
      Lovely outfits! xo Jazzy Jack

      1. Simplifying and re examining our lives tend to go hand in hand, and the results are such a relief! I also like your scarf challenge,too. I might get inspired to try myself if I have your permission, of course!

    5. angie! i´m totally impressed!!! this really was it worth waiting for you! so clever, structured and honest!!! looove it!
      and i realized that i did it myself - years ago but totally unconsciously. still living in berlin i dumped my fancy city girl clothes piece after piece without much thinking about and only kept the dirndl styles and traditional wool garments. years before the cottage appeared on our radar! people must thought of my as crazy i fear ;-)
      and then we moved into the woods and all was fallen into place! i closed the gaps in my wardrobe by sewing more dirndl style stuff, got used to live a rural live (woodpile) and i´m happy like a fish in the water!!!!
      tons of hugs are on the way to you!!! xxxxxxxxx

      1. Hugs arrived, thank you! It proves that the way we dress is so interconnected with who we are. So much so that when we change from the inside we change from the outside,too. It must have been a sock to many that you dumped your city clothes! but then we only have to be true to ourselves,right? No one else to ask permission from but our true selves.

    6. What a thoughtful, deeply analyzing post! It was interesting to read about your personal experiences and about your journey to understand yourself, to accept yourself and then to learn to create your wardrobe according to it.
      Thank you for your support and for adding me to your blogroll list!

    7. So glad you enjoyed my post. It's not that easy for me to go that personal.

    8. Firstly Happy Belated Birthday!
      This is a great post, I understand the transitioning wardrobe of early years Mum to working Mum, I think it is important for our wardrobe to reflect our personality and have access to garments which make us feel wonderful, to me, it's our foundation and then we can go out and live our lives, feeling confident in who we are x x x

      1. It saves time,too. Not to constantly make combinations and wonder if everything matches. A well cocrdinated closet makes for happy feelings first thing in the morning! Thank you for taking time to visit.