Readers, please give a warm welcome to Ellen McKinney, Ph.D., guest writer to my blog this week. Ellen, take it away!
A few years back, I conducted a research study (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/berg/jdbc/2007/00000011/00000004/art00007 ) on the reasons women keep clothes in their closet that they cannot wear because the clothes don’t fit! Reasons were related to weight worries, garment worth, sentimental value, or aesthetic value of the garment. One conclusion of the study was that women should be allowed to keep these clothes. Just box them up, label them, and keep them somewhere besides your everyday closet.
Inspired by a talk Bethany gave to my fashion styling students, I recently cleaned out my closet. Anything that was not my color was out! Anything wrong for my body type was out! Anything that didn’t fit my current body was out!
I learned something in the process. The kicked-out clothes all had something in common. Each had a special detail on it—embroidery, appliqué, beading, pleating, interesting seams, or a ruffle. I bought each of these items because I LOVED something about that garment, while ignoring my education on what colors and styles are best for my body. The light dawned! These garments were bought because they express “me”. My fashion design education draws me to these types of details in garments.
Now, I buy only things that are my color, my style, AND have those special details that make my heart flutter. The great result has been that I have a much easier time mixing and matching the clothes in my closet—no more “wrong color”, “wrong style”, “don’t fit” wardrobe land mines.
I encourage you to be brave and clean out those clothes that are not productive members of your wardrobe. Here’s my helpful hint . . . you don’t have to get rid of them immediately or at all . . . just get them out of your current closet. Getting dressed will be so much easier and you’ll feel so much happier. You just might learn something about yourself!
Ellen McKinney, Ph.D.
Fashion Design Instructor, The Art Institute of Dallas