Saturday, June 12, 2010

What to do in a wardrobe crisis

My wonderful friend Mel is having a wardrobe crisis, and as someone who has suffered a number of such crises over the years my own wardrobe bleeds in sympathy. Any sufferer will tell you that a wardrobe crisis is no laughing matter. Dr Love! It can turn even the most creative and stylish of us into a sobbing, heaving mess on the bedroom floor with our body image hovering somewhere near our suddenly over-large ankles. Nothing fits! Everything looks old, worn and so last season. Even our skin has morphed into a canvas of dry, cracked and peeling paint and as for our hair. Well...paper bag anyone? Shopping loses its glossy appeal. We can’t find anything we like. Everything we try on makes our arms look like tree trunks from the Enchanted Forest, only without the fairies and no matter what we do, we still look as though we swallowed our grandmother’s feather bed...ah the memories.

Lucky for Mel, I knew exactly what to do. I had been on that very brink only a few months before and managed to bring myself back from beyond without so much as a single kleenix. The solution was simple. It was time for Mel to bid farewell to her nearest and dearest, and find herself some new stores in which to shop. You see, as humans we are creatures of comfort and by comfort I don’t mean a big, soft cosy couch. I mean, we seek situations, people and places that make us feel safe and comfortable and without realising it, our lives become repetition. For the vast majority of us, we will shop in the same stores, and seek the same look because it makes us feel safe and in some situations, accepted. Our favoured stores and much loved jeans rarely let us down. We have always found what we’ve wanted, or at the very least an acceptable compromise and in turn we’ve been able to go about our business without detriment or drama. For the most part we resist change for any number of self-justifiable reasons - how many times have you got up in the morning determined to wear a dress only to find yourself walking out the door in your trusty denims because nothing else fits?? Then one day without realising it your whole world explodes. It’s a little bit like the time you ate nothing but toasted cheese sandwiches for breakfast for five months, then in the sixth months you burst into tears at the slightest smell of a bit of cheddar because your body craved something else. Same principle. For me, the turning point was the day I had my colours done. All of my favourite stores – Sussan, Witchery, Country Road, Jacqui E...need I go on were full of blacks, greys and white and the odd pop of whatever colour was hot off the runway that season. It occured to me then I needed to change not only the way I shopped, but where I shopped otherwise I would condemn myself to a life of neutral compromise. So I began to look for colour first and then shape and style and suddenly a whole new and glorious world of fashion appeared before me; a world that I now will share with my wonderful friend Mel.

As I text her back to sooth her fashion fears, I was reminded of a great story I once heard (and now paraphrase) about a man who fell down a hole in the middle of the street. He called out for people to help him, but no-one came. Then one day another man appeared at the edge of the hole and asked the first man what had happened. “I fell down the hole,” the first man said. “Can you help me get out?” “Certainly,” said the second man and jumped into the hole. “What are you doing?” said the first man in panic, “now both of us are stuck down the hole.” “Yes,” said the first man, “but I’ve been here before, and I know the way out.”

So Mel, when are we going shopping?

Milla’s hot tips:Ok, so you get the whole new-store-old-store concept but your budget doesn’t allow for a generous or short-term shopping spree. What do you do? grab yourself a friendly style queen in training and shop your own wardrobe. You will be amazed at the number of new en sems you can create with a new pair of eyes. Make sure your SQIT (style queen in training, don’t you just love it) is someone you can trust to be honest. You need someone that will help you decide what goes with what and what looks best for your body shape. If in doubt, immerse yourselves with a couple of fashion mags and set about recreating some of your favoured looks. While you are at it, grab a pen and start to make a list of items you would like to buy to complement your new wardrobe then next time you are out, look for that item – colour and might be surprised where you end up. If you are still not sure about colour, experiment. You'll soon work it out...

1 comment:

  1. I think getting my colours done prompted this crisis as well! Anyway, thanks to your advice, I've starting broadening my shopping palette - hello Diana Ferrari and credit card pain! You only need to pick up one little top or dress from a shop you don't normally go to in order to make your wardrobe feel exciting again. Thanks Milla!


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