It’s not often that I have an epiphany moment- as a rule I don’t trust epiphanies; they’re too convenient. But, while reading “Dress to Express” by Tracy McWilliams I had one, a supreme moment where such a huge light bulb went off that there was indeed a huge spotlight shining on me with a choir singing somewhere (I’m pretty sure it was this).
First she has you list five words that you feel describe the image you’re projecting and dressing to right now. Mine were:
Then I had to list five words that I feel personified the image I want to be projecting and dressing to. Those were:
- Sensual (for that hint of booyah all women should have)
Then came an exercise where I was supposed – just for fun – ask a family member to give me five words they thought described me now. Just a note, ladies: never ask your husband. I figured he’d be honest and it turned into a conversation that nearly had me in tears in the middle of a diner. His answer to my desire to motivate myself to do more by feeling I was pretty and well put together was to suggest I wake up earlier if I wanted to get more done. Yeah, because that was the point. I don’t feel pretty because I don’t wake up early enough. Bastard.
Moving on! After the evil Magic Image Words came determining the style you want to become. The choices were Socialite, Actress, Artist, Classic, Sporty and Rebel. I’m going with Classic. It reminded me of Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn and Kathleen Turner, and their style was always inspirational to me. So, I have my style locked in- “I am always appropriately dressed.” Then came the a-ha! moment. Clothing Emotions.
There are four basic emotional patterns into which most women can be sorted. I found that I was a mixture of two different emotions, but I’m going to list out all four for the curious.
- The Overachiever: A person who feels she always has to look and be perfect. “I need to be perfect and look that way.” “I need to show how special I am.”
- The Accumulator: A person who feels the need to accumulate as many clothes (and often other things) as possible. “I do not know who I am.” “I am not feeling whole.”
- The Moderate: A person who does everything in moderation. “I need to fit in.” “I don’t want to make others uncomfortable.”
- The Depriver: A person who has a minimal interest in clothing or image; a person who deprives herself of the right to feel and look good. “I do not feel deserving.” “I feel guilty.”
Anyone else just have a “holy crackers!” moment? I know I did all over again. Every time I read these I find more triggers that lead to my emotional shopping habits. My clothing emotions fall squarely into the overachiever and the depriver. I always feel I should look perfect, not a hair out of place. Because I often don’t -due to skin issues, limited/out of date wardrobe options and a haircut with absolutely no style to it- I often feel like there’s no point and I give up. This swings me to the depriver emotion, which I always hover near anyway due to my husband’s fanatic fear of us being poor, where I just wallow in self-pity and depression. Since I’m already there, I just stop trying and keep wearing what I already have, and as a result feel even worse about my appearance.
Now that I recognize the issues, and apparently admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery in all things, I have to build a plan of attack. I’m going to start with the stuff I can work on at home. I guess that means putting in the extra time on my appearance, which does require waking up a little earlier (yes, Ryan, I get it) and maybe spending a bit of time on myself at night before bed too. This may mean I have to buy a hairdryer too. This could get tricky.