Today, I am really looking forward to introducing you to another Amy.
When Amy and I met, she was somewhat familiar with capsule wardrobes. She believed that less is more and wanted her closet to reflect that choice. She didn’t like to have “stuff” if it’s not being used.
Amy has a strong sense of personal style, and has for as long as she can remember. She can tell you about specific outfits that she wore and loved in the 90’s. She has great memories of trading clothes back and forth with her two sisters to help keep her closet fresh. She knows her brands, and how to look for clothes that are made with quality in mind. She follows certain fashion rules such as no white after Labor Day, your shoes should always match your bag, cotton and linen in the summer and cashmere and wool in the winter, floral prints should only be worn in Spring, and having church-only clothes that only are worn to church.
There is nothing wrong with these classic rules, but fashion rules are meant to be broken after you have a deep understanding of them. So, needless to say, Amy and I had a lot of laughs during our sessions. She clearly had a deep understanding of them so I was convinced that she needed to break a few just for fun.
Here is Amy, before we began her closet make-over.
The past few years have been rough for Amy, and she hasn’t had the freedom to reflect on her personal style or her clothing because she has been going through the devastation of a divorce. It has consumed her life and she has used all of her energy to be strong for her children, leaving her with very little to absolutely no time to even think about her outward appearance, not even for a minute.
After Amy reached out to me because she wanted to have less and be happy having less, I saw that her clothes were beautiful and she was beautiful, but her confidence had been misplaced. I knew that if Amy worked through the task of purging her clothes and putting together a selection of clothes that brought her joy to wear, that she could re-cover her lost confidence and once again feel beautiful and confident.
Amy chose three style words to describe how she wanted to portray herself. Her style words were: classic, attractive, and comfortable. The importance of choosing style words before you purge is that when you put your hands on every garment, you can ask yourself,
“Does this look classic?”
“Do I feel attractive in this?”
“Am I comfortable when I wear this?”
If the answer is a resounding “YES!” to each one, then it’s a keeper!
Amy’s closet boasted 100-200 pieces of clothing from Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, J Crew, with a sprinkling of Old Navy, Dress Barn, Steinmart, TJ Max, and Target. After we got rid of piles and piles of clothing (some literally from high school) we were left with…..still an amazing selection of clothes!
The purging process happens in stages. It is easy at times, and down right difficult at others. I don’t know why it is soooooo hard to let go of some things, and so much easier for others. I struggle with this myself, so I don’t have all of the answers. I try to know when to push and when to not push a client based on their reactions to each piece.
What I have observed, and in this case with Amy, is that we become attached to the emotions that we feel when we look at or touch a piece of clothing or an object. And, depending on where we are in our stage of life, we may be able to let those feelings go and we may not be ready.
In Amy’s case, I want to say that she was so brave during her closet purge. Here she was, a woman going through an un-expected devastating divorce, her world was being rocked upside-down, her stability had been shattered to pieces, and she was letting go of memories that brought her happiness – something that she struggles to feel in her current situation. I believe that when she was able to let those memories go, not knowing if happiness is lying around the corner for her or not, that she began leaning and trusting on the Lord harder.
I will never forget the power of that moment when she let a particular item go with tears in her eyes. It was a raw emotion. She wasn’t dwelling in the past anymore. She was trusting in her future. It was inspiring. It was beautiful. Amy had just found her confidence again.