Every once in a while, life knocks us down. Like it's trying to show us who's boss. One of the biggest blows I've ever encountered was my divorce. Even though my ex and I sailed through ours somewhat seamlessly, I still had my on-my-knees moments. Regardless of what life throws at you, it's not so much what knocks you down that matters, it's that you get back up. Just as important, is how you do it.
Google the topic and you'll find a ton of advice -- from accepting the situation or finding something to be grateful for, to reaching out to your support system. I found that red wine helps, too.
Now I'm no therapist, but I do know that when you look good, you feel good -- and feeling good, in my books, is exactly what you need when life deals its blows. (That and the wine.)
One of the first things you could do when you're down, other than all that self-help stuff, is figure out what makes you look good -- to yourself. Is it having your hair perfectly done or back in a messy bun? Full makeup or a clean, freshly washed face? That outfit that hugs your curves just right or a loose comfy sweatshirt and your favourite Lulu's?
As a stylist, I think nothing beats wearing something fabulous that looks amazing on and makes you feel like a million bucks. We've all heard that looking good is the best revenge. What better way to stick it to life than to look absolutely incredible, every single day until you're back on your feet?
When life's doing its thing and you're down on your knees, you might as well crawl over to your closet and get to work.
Go through everything you own and pick out all your faves. All of them. (You don't know how long this'll last.) Pick out everything that looks amazing on you, that's in your favourite colour or pattern, that fits just right. Pull out your favourite shoes and bags, belts and accessories. Everything.
Start putting outfits together. Multiple ones. Combine the pieces in the usual ways and then mix and match to create new looks. Snap some pics on your smartphone so that you have them recorded. Trust me, on those days where you can't think straight, you'll be happy you did.
When you're done, take a look at what's left. All those items that didn't make the cut? What are they there for? What's their purpose? If they don't fit right, aren't your fave's or don't make you look good, then what's the point of hanging on to them? Your closet should be filled with only the best, most amazing pieces.
If they don't serve a purpose or you don't love them, let them go. Set them free so that they can go help someone else. That way, the next time life takes a swing at you, you'll be prepared -- to duck and swing right back. With that fabulous pair of five-inch heels.
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Don't let clothes in need of tailoring or repair sink further into the back of your closet. Get these pieces fixed ASAP so they can quickly rejoin your closet as wearable wardrobe options.
Invite your friends over and model any items that you are unsure about giving up. Having a few extra sets of eyes can help you make a final decision.
We all have clothes in our closet for our ideal image of our body. But more times than not they sit in our closet forever untouched. Let go of clothes that don't fit. Instead of holding onto pieces that you want to wear when you slim down keep working towards your health goals and get excited to buy new clothes when you hit your target weight.
Those sky high heels that you can only walk from the taxi to the curb in? If your feet shriek in horror at the thought of putting them on it may be time to let them go. Consider tossing itchy sweaters, pants that bunch in the wrong places, and skirts you are constantly tugging down. If you don't feel your best in something you are less likely to wear it.
If you haven't worn something in over a year that's a huge sign that you don't need it. Is the item out of style? Is it beyond repair? If the answer is yes it may be time to give it to a friend or donate it. If you still don't want to part with the item just yet put it in storage and if you don't seek it out within the next few months it's time to say goodbye.
Try hanging up clothes instead of folding. Folded clothes are more likely to be forgotten or lost in a packed wardrobe.
For more challenging pieces in your closet take the time to figure out some ways you can incorporate them into an outfit. Put your favorite look on a hanger in your closet to eliminate styling stress when you're ready to wear it.
Follow Barbara Aleks Hecht on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BarbaraAleks