Lessons From The Wardrobe

Some of you may know that we’re in the midst of launching our first online wardrobe course. In preparation for this course, we visited many wardrobes, conducted surveys and spoke to many customers to better understand everybody’s wardrobe woes. We tested the principles taught in the wardrobe course and we're happy to report that we’ve managed to help declutter and edit the wardrobes of everyone we met! Every time, after their wardrobes have been detoxed, the one unanimous response was a huge sigh of relief, followed by a version of “I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders!”, “I should have done this earlier”. This blog is about what we’ve learnt going through so many varied and different wardrobes. 

Make Yourself A Priority

As women, as mothers, as wives, as daughters etc, a great number of us always place the needs of others above our own. Many of us are unaware (though some of us are willing) of being victims of emotional blackmail or we become enablers – allowing other people to manipulate situations around us in their favour, so that we give in, and take care of their needs/demands/work etc first. Thus, leaving no more room/time/energy for ourselves and because of that, we compromise on things we rationalise as not so important, like our wardrobes, clothes, manicure, haircuts… we put ourselves on hold. Nothing wrong with occasionally doing it, after all, we all want to be the supportive wife, the understanding daughter, the encouraging parent, etc etc etc… the list goes on. But if we are not careful with our boundaries, one too many compromises later, our wardrobes, style, poise, personal grooming can easily all head south, and suddenly, we feel like we’ve fallen so far behind, catching up can actually be quite overwhelming.

The clients that we’ve met, were all unique and fabulous women in their own right – ranging from stay-home mums, busy career executives and fellow girl bosses. We intentionally seek out women of different ages, professions, style challenges so that we could effectively test our A-Z Wardrobe course curriculum on them, yet what became glaringly obvious was that regardless of these external factors and lifestyles, most of us, (myself included), face very similar challenges navigating work, home, social relationships frontiers than we care to admit.

Special thanks to Anu Shroff, one of our beta clients on The A-Z Wardrobe course. 

Special thanks to Anu Shroff, one of our beta clients on The A-Z Wardrobe course. 

In my household, my boys often laugh and say that: ”If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy.” Of course they meant it as a joke, (since I AM slightly OCD and has occasional control freak tendencies ;) ), but there is some truth in the statement. Sometimes, when we “over-give” of ourselves – out of obligation, duty, responsibility, and we get to at a place of burnout, bitterness sets in and love dissipates. Then in that state, we may unintentionally lash out at that last person, thing, situation that broke the proverbial camel’s back, and then truly, nobody’s happy. A smart woman knows where her trigger points are and when to step away BEFORE the X%&#@! hits the fan.

Take it from a professional shopper. Guilty shopping, angry shopping, even I-AM-BORED retail therapy shopping is usually a bad idea. You end up buying things you don’t like because your emotional frame of mind was lousy. Even if it fits you, chances are that eventually when you bring the shopping home, there’ll be a negative emotion attached to it, or worse still, every time you take it out to wear it, you’ll be reminded of that unhappy situation and so you’ll be unhappy every time you wear that items. I just think that your wardrobe should be filled with pieces that you love, that love you back, rather than impulse purchases brought home with bad memories from the start.

Listen to your heart. We’re all wired differently. Maybe you know you need a haircut or a pedicure, perhaps you need to shop for jeans, but you’re juggling finances and you find it hard to justify items for yourself versus anyone else in your household. Unless, you’re an obsessive compulsive shopper, (in which case you wont have any difficulty spending money on yourself), otherwise, budget in your needs and don’t feel guilty about it! Self-worth and self-respect are lessons best taught at home, and to everyone who is reading this – YOU are worth it, just as you are, so stop putting yourself on hold.

If It's Not Scheduled It's Not Real

This one is huge for me. I’m what you call the "creative sort", the one that goes on and off on a whim, designs, budgets, writes for hours when inspiration strikes, then binge watch Korean drama late into the night when I need eye candy and brain space, (I’ll leave you to decide on the order of things ;)). I embrace spontaneity, love going with the flow – one of my favourite phrases is “see how things go”, and then I’ll adjust, adapt or alter to accommodate the situation at hand. Being an entrepreneur means that work, home, play, kids, friends, church all gets blended together, I lose track of time …. and you’ve guessed it, the one that shouts the loudest (or the most urgent tasks), gets my attention first.

Of course, our modern lives are filled with unexpected circumstances that arise from time to time, but by and large, where the important chunks are, I’ve learnt to follow this advice: if its not scheduled, its not real. Honestly, if you need a haircut every 6 weeks, schedule it. If you want time out with your BFFs for a catch up, set up a Whatsapp chat with them, agree and arrange a time, then schedule it. Schedule your style too! If your wardrobe has been calling for new pants or a white shirt (the ones hanging in there no longer qualify to be white), schedule a time for shopping. Don’t just make a list, girlfriends, make a schedule. Nobody gets stylish by accident, you got to put in both time and effort to keep your style relevant for your lifestyle.

Everything Is Figureoutable

There’s this scene from “Pretty Woman” at the end of the movie, when Richard Gere arrives in his limousine to Julia Robert’s attic flat, climbs up the stairs to her flat, proposes and "rescues" her. It’s the classic Prince Charming comes on his white horse to rescue his princess and they live happily ever after scenario. The little girl in me still swoons at every happy ending, especially satisfying if the "prince" of the moment is more able and proactive in "saving" his princess, but the adult in me realises that sometimes, its more efficient to work out our own salvation! If there’s something we need or want in our lives, a more practical solution is to reach out, ask for help, figure it out ourselves, solve the issue and move on.

That helpless damsel in distress thing … distresses me, more than anything else. Furthermore, you could be waiting a very long time for Prince Charming to come to his senses, manoeuvre the traffic and come rescue you. I think its more empowering to be proactive, ask for help and find out own solutions, because after all we know our own problems best.

At The 24-Hour Woman LIVE! event

At The 24-Hour Woman LIVE! event

All the wonderful women that opened up their wardrobes to me (some have asked to remain anonymous and I fully respect that), live rich and active lives. All of them contributing effectively and selflessly in their various arenas. It was never their intention to allow their wardrobes to fall into disarray – it just happened over time. I was privileged to help them restore some sanity back into their wardrobes and gave them some practical ideas to refresh their style and maintain wardrobe clarity that works for their lifestyles.

There are lots of stuff that I can’t do. I can’t stand the sight of snakes, I can’t tread water, I can’t do sit and reach beyond my toes - but I’m great with helping you detox, curate and organise a wardrobe that works for your style and your lifestyle whatever that may be. I’d love to help you with your wardrobe needs. That’s why I created “The A-Z Wardrobe” as an online course, so that smart and busy women like yourselves - can in your own time and convenience, in the privacy and comfort of your homes, go through the course and the exercises. If you have any questions, I’m just an email away.

Registration for “The A-Z Wardrobe” online course, is just a click away, so if you’re interested or if you know of any of your friends who may be interested, forward to them this link, I’ll love to be able to assist with your wardrobe woes.