Your Style Evolution

You completed your closet cleanout. You considered your clothing needs and wants as you made your shopping list. You headed to your favorite stores, list in hand, and returned home with bags of items that fit your wardrobe words. Now what?

Fashion Show and Outfit Photos

After your shopping trip, it’s time for a fashion show! I try on all of my outfits for an audience of one: my husband (I know -- I’m lucky). As I sort through my purchases, I determine what I want to keep and what needs to be returned. 

Shopping Tip: In an effort to reduce decision fatigue while shopping, I like to shop at stores that have good return policies. I usually shop two or three times a year, and it’s hard to decide about everything on the spot. For instance, if I spend more than I planned on spending, I can sort it out at home and make some returns.  

Before I put my new pieces on my black velvet hangers, I put outfit options together and take photos of them. Although it’s time-consuming upfront, having photos of different outfits saves me a lot of time in the long run!

As I’ve previously mentioned, I worked with image consultant Brenda Kinsel, who unfortunately passed away last year. She developed this Wardrobe Workout Chart, which can be used to map out five outfits around a key piece of clothing. If you have a chance, watch this video as well: “Brenda Kinsel’s Fashion Makeover: 30 Days to Diva Style.” Here, she talks about putting outfits together and the importance of matching your personality, your lifestyle, and your passion with your clothing choices. 

Embracing Style Transitions

Our style changes for several reasons, including weight loss or gain, career, and aging -- and these transitions aren’t always easy! Shoes were tough for me. I love, love, love a high, sexy, feminine pair of heels. The last time I wore them, though, was over three years ago for my grandson Mathieu’s college graduation. When we headed to the airport that evening, I had terrible back pain -- and I knew it was caused by the weird way I walked in the shoes. As revealed in this study, “High-heeled shoes can dramatically increase the forward sway (or lordosis) of the low back. This increased curve can in itself cause significant muscle tension and low back pain.”

This experience ignited a mission to find low-heeled shoes that could give me the same confident, desirable feeling. The first thing I did was take all of my high-heeled shoes out of my closet and sort them into three different piles:

  1. The Can’t Wear But Can’t Say Goodbye Pile: This pile included shoes that I absolutely loved but could no longer wear. At the same time, I knew I couldn’t part with them either.
  2. The Time to Let Go Of Pile: These were shoes I knew I could let go. This pile was emotionally difficult because I knew I was saying goodbye to them forever.
  3. The Ambivalent Pile: Much like my closet cleanout pile, this pile included pairs of heels that I didn’t know if I wanted to keep or give away.

First, The Time to Let Go Of Pile was given away with my blessing. The Can’t Wear But Can’t Say Goodbye Pile and The Ambivalent Pile went back in my closet. I put them on a high shelf so I could see them and mourn the fact that I was no longer able to wear them. They also served as inspiration when I looked for lower-heeled alternatives. As my husband and I prepared for our extended European trip, I finally got rid of these remaining pairs of high heels. 

I now enjoy my new shoe wardrobe, and I especially like that I’m much more comfortable and stable, particularly during my travels abroad. As I walked around the lovely cobblestone streets, I realized that stability and comfort were now my top priorities when it came to shoes.


Thank you for joining me as I explored the impact of clothing deprivation and the power of a wardrobe refresh during this blog series! I’m excited to host a Facebook Live on these topics on Tuesday, July 27th at 10:30 am PDT/1:30 pm EDT. I hope to see you there!

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