My plate is full.
Yet despite an overwhelming list of jobs and must do’s, and with classes beginning one week from today, I’ve just now completed an application for yet another position, this one whose paycheck would come from a source outside of my LLC.
With all of this busy busy, otherwise known as starting over post marriage, I’m making up for lost time.
For six years I did exactly what I’d dreamed of. I mothered the heck out of my girls, the lights of my life, while wearing brands like Lululemon and Sweaty Betty, lots of denim, and more than my fair share of sweatpants.
But now, as a single mom working outside of the home I needed a wardrobe that fit my station in life, my personality, my shape, and my likes.
Getting rid of ill-fitting sweats, and committing to use the use of yoga pants for their intended purpose were no brainers.
The rest of the wardrobe re-haul, however, came as a surprise.
Enter Claire, whom from now on will be lovingly referred to as my closet angel.
After a short conversation about my lifestyle, makeup and hair routine, and the kinds of clothing I love (skinny jeans, boho-ish-ness, for starters), Claire and I took to my room.
For a girl like me who covets her clothes, it turns out that a massively stuffed closet isn’t always full of things that are suitable.
Piece by piece, beginning with pants and jeans, I tried on clothing, and when Claire recognized a learning moment we’d head to the full length mirror. With gentle guidance, Claire helped me see that skinny jeans aren’t really my best friends, but I kept the denim leggings that I love and the kick arounds I always grab. Flowy tops can work if they’re cut right, but for a girl with a bust, trying before buying is necessary; not up for discussion. Dress pants? As much as I love a cropped, straight and narrow leg, I do look much more balanced with a wider legged trouser that falls straight from hip.
Without calling them rules we picked through my clothes piling high the pieces that don’t work for me.
My stripey Boden bretons? I’d only ever wear them with a scarf to cover my chest, so I kept the brighter blue and am ditching the navy (though it may squirm itself out of the “to be consigned” basket, and into my mother’s closet). It’s true what they say about horizontal stripes, at least on a body like mine.
What to wear then for my Wednesday, Beautycounter event with the founder of the company? The pieces that worked… Limited Drew Pants, Vince deep green top, Stella & Dot necklace and bracelet, and if the repair man has the choo’s ready…. easy peasy, dressed to go.
I’m sure that over the next few weeks I’ll be writing more about Claire. The experience left me feeling emotional in the very best way. Like finding myself on a yoga mat with crying eyes, sometimes tears are released to make way for clearer understanding, and newness in the soul. I needed this more than I knew.
With tears wiped dry, my eyes are seeing things differently, in a fashion sense. My normal response to racks of clothes before Claire looked like this: find, find, love, love, buy, hang in my closet, and never wear.
A post Claire visit to TJ Maxx (to return the wrong, with tags of course) had me cruising aisles looking for pieces that might work on my shape, and for stand up taller, re-entry to the working world.
Internet shopping, a much-loved past time has time lost its lustre. Buying things online can be good if your know what you’re getting, and there are free shipping and returns. There will be no more willy nilly online purchases in my future; good for my wallet, and confidence about my appearance.
Really interesting for me was Claire’s take on shopping. We talked a little about shops and stores, and she feels that retail often traps consumers into buying trendy items. As I wandered the mall with my clearer eyes it’s obvious that she’s right. From the point of view of an image consultant, shapes and color are more important than trends and labels.
When she left, I texted her my heartfelt thanks, surprised by how much I needed the time that she spent with me. My new beginning will be faced with more confidence, putting my best pencil skirted, pointy-toed foot forward. I think I’m going to start lining my eyes again, now that I’ve been given the name of one of the owners of North Raleigh’s Luxe Beauty Boutique who sells safe and healthy cosmetics that won’t make me want to scratch my eyes out. The hair that’s been in a ponytail for six years is getting done up in some hot rollers. Waves and body here I come.
Speaking of body, I feel better about the one I currently live in after seeing myself in clothes that worked. A tailor may have to nip some of my sweaters so that they go inward at my smallest point (a high waist). My closet will be thin as I work to get myself back into tip-top shape.
To really start over you have to remove everything that isn’t working.
Gleaning down to only what works makes it all a lot less scary.
Have you ever used an image (wardrobe) consultant or stylist? Do you need to clean out your closet?
The hub for all I do, marthawills.com documents life from a working mom's point of view. When not mothering, I manage the social media needs of small businesses through Wills Media Group, LLC, and write a weekly column for Raleigh's News & Observer online entitled, Are We There Yet? Most recently, my passion for health and wellness led me to become involved as a consultant for Beautycounter, a company that's making a difference by educating about toxins in products, spreading the word via the web.
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