The question I probably hear most often as a Style Coach is this: ’How come when I have a closet busting with clothing (seven sacks in storage, three at my mothers, my upper kitchen cabinets filled with sweaters) and I keep buying clothes, do I have NOTHING TO WEAR! Every Morning?
The answer is rarely simple; because, you human, are individual, unique, and wrapped in layers and layers of motives, meanings, agitations and impressions. The very same reason I remember a homeopath once said I was so much harder to treat than a fresh and perky child might be. The layers of an onion, as she described. The (apt) baggage one accumulates on the walk through life.
A closet of clothes and nothing to wear is a common conundrum, solved best by a bespoke approach of Lifting the Mist and un-peeling the onion, sussing style choices, strategies, generating ideas, shifting perspectives and identifying, defining, and refining ones individual Style Identity to result in a closet of clothes that are loved, where you always know exactly what to wear and the qualities you want it to bring.
That said, digital distance, objectivity of formality, and paragraphic restraint; a particularly prevalent source of closet frustration is the extensive influence of product exposure.
Kids whose parents riled at incessant toy commercials on television (‘you wouldn’t want it if you hadn’t just seen the ad on TV!’) grew into a generation with app linked credit sometime succumbing to the burgeoning multiple-platforms of temptation brought to us by the supersonic ownership of several screens, a digital age, a reinvigorated fashion industry, canny indie entrepreneurial ‘influencers’, brand builders, ideas generators, objects of our aspiration, tech savvy marketeers, and pollution churning production facilities.
Yesterdays subculture is todays saturation.
The chance to shop is everywhere. The opportunity to be seduced by products is in overdrive. Even in email, there’s no escaping whats ‘new this week’.
Inevitably, one might assume that something ‘new this week’ could solve the burgeoning problem in one’s closet, but it rarely does. Particularly if the piece in question has no connection to the existing contents of your closet, your lifestyle demands, professional, practical, and emotional requirements, tactile predilections, and existing style or body shape (to name but a few of the reasons you wont wear it).
The evolution of the subcultures of the past into the pick-and-choose-transience of today means that we now have no need to identify any deeper with aesthetic history than the financial transaction of a clothing reincarnation. Be a Beat Poet tomorrow, a Mod, a Casual, a New Romantic, a B-Boy on Thursday, a preppy nerd on Friday, a Punk on Friday night; its anarchy on the Upper East Side…
It is sartorial schizophrenia and it is everywhere.
The saturation of pop style culture that is spread so thick (and conversely so thin) and so wide (and so wi-fi) that while we are abound with brilliant imagery and creative stimulation and loads of cell phone squares to ‘heart’, many of us can be left with the propensity of assumption that more is more is more where our clothes are concerned. Would a cake bake better for a random dollop of anything added? Because making fashion, and cake, is not as polarized as people might think.
The new age of style is playful and fun and open to all but lacks the substance of formerly culture led roots. As Dame Vivienne Westwood says; ‘ We need to stop educating people to be consumers and educate them so they are capable of thinking with their own minds.’
Westwood is arguably the one of the finest resources for the rediscovery of sartorial significance. and cultural importance.
The residue of emotion from all that screen-deep tech-xic exposure can leave one feeling like one’s missing something. A new dress perhaps….
It can leave an urge to shop with wild abandon. It can leave the feeling that the others have it sussed and one more jacket and you will too… It can leave even more unworn clothes in your closet.
Style is a Subjective Pursuit.
Clothing has a magical ability to transform our emotions, and mastering the magic is where it begins. One such spell is acknowledging inspiration without acting in ownership. Like and let live.
Sussing your style can require the tuning out of commercial broadcast and tuning back into your own frequency.