Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

It’s time for part two of my personal style update. As a reminder, in my last post, I told you about a style course (now available as a standalone offering) that I took this year to help me better understand and translate my personal style aesthetic. In today’s post, I share some of the exercises I did as part of that course and what I learned about myself and my style as a result. I also outline the challenges I’m still experiencing in dressing in line with the image I want to project. If you love posts that include lots of photos, you’re in luck, as I share many examples here, both of others’ outfits and my own.

Let’s dive in! One of the first things I did was create two Pinterest boards: one that depicted looks I loathe and another that highlighted looks I love. I had fun compiling these boards and enjoyed some good laughs along the way. Interestingly, I found it easier to find examples of outfits that I didn’t like than pinpointing ones that I could readily see myself wearing (especially for my “real life” – more on that later). I think a reason for that discrepancy is that just one garment or accessory could immediately land a look in the dislike category, while pretty much all style elements needed to line up in order for me to classify an ensemble as one that I adored.

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Before I delve into today’s main topic, I want to share a bit about how I have been feeling. Time continues to feel strange. Sometimes it seems to move at the speed of light, and other times it feels like I’m stuck in a slow-motion time warp. In many ways, the past three months have seemed more like three years. I can scarcely remember the time before the coronavirus pandemic started. Surely, my life hasn’t always been like this, but my memory feels fuzzy and uncertain.

I’ve heard the state that we’re in now referred to as “the infinite present,” as it’s difficult to plan for the future when we have absolutely no idea of what that future will look like. Of course, it’s always true that we don’t know what’s around the corner, but we usually have a much better sense of it than we do now.

the infinite present

Has anyone else felt like they’ve been in a “time warp” recently?

As I’ve written about previously (like in the three-part series that started with this post), I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety, in addition to a number of physical health issues. Since our minds and bodies are inexorably linked, it’s not uncommon for me to experience flares on both the physical and emotional fronts simultaneously. This has been the case for me lately and it’s often been difficult to push past my pain, anxiety, and inertia to get even the smallest of tasks done. I always think I can do so much more, but then the days rush by and all of a sudden it’s Friday afternoon, with not that much to show for my week. One thing I always want to do more of is post on this blog, but it’s been hard to gather my thoughts and appropriately write them down.

I know I’m not alone in my struggles with time, depression, anxiety, and inertia. I’m tired of beating myself up about not getting enough done, so I’m just going to do my best and trust that it’s enough. Since enough is my word for the year, perhaps one of the lessons I need to learn is that my best is enough, even when it doesn’t feel like it so much of the time.

How Emotional Issues Impact Style

I’m sure I will expand upon some of these thoughts in the future, but now I’m going to switch to the topic of personal style. Although it may seem like personal style has nothing to do with the emotional issues that many of us grapple with, I’ve learned that style and our moods are more linked than most people think. In fact, our style can play a large role in our confidence, happiness, and well-being.

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So much has changed regarding the state of the world since I last posted. Although it feels trite and trivial to be writing about my wardrobe amidst so much pain, chaos, and unrest, I recognize that many people want to have other things to read about besides what’s going on in the news. While I’ve been reading a lot of news myself, I’ve often needed a break and found a dearth of new alternate content to peruse. We all need some balance in terms of the information we consume, so I’ll leave the commentary on national and world events to those who are far more qualified to weigh in on it than I am, and I’ll move forward with my standard content here on the blog.

holding positive thoughts for the world

Now more than ever, I’m holding positive thoughts for the world…

Sometimes when I’m struggling with anxiety (which is a common occurrence for me), I turn to wardrobe management as a way to distract myself and quell the “noise” inside of my brain. Since other people like to read my wardrobe musings, I’ll continue to share them here on the blog. I had thought this post would be related to personal style, but I’ll save that one for next time (hopefully next week), as I’d like to follow up on a few things from my last post.

Part of that post dealt with examining my closet “holding zone,” as well as what I’ve termed my “skinny box,” both of which I’ve recently combined in a single plastic storage bin.  After reviewing each individual item again and reading your comments, I’ve come to decisions on almost everything – and I’ve also decided to pass on some additional items. Today’s post recaps what I’ve opted to do – and why.

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In my last post, I shared an update on “the state of my wardrobe,” specifically my at-home pieces and crossover items (things that I can wear both at home and out and about). I also introduced a new guideline that I’ve put in place called “the rule of ten.” When I published that post, I thought I had been fairly comprehensive in recapping how I’m doing with my wardrobe, but I soon realized that I had left out some key areas.

Since my wardrobe posts are typically popular with readers – and because we all need some distraction right about now, I decided to do a part two.  Today’s post will cover what I’ve purged from my closet this year and why, and the state of my “holding zone,” and the out-and-about item purchases I’ve made thus far in 2020. If you like wardrobe analysis and number crunching, you’re in luck!

tidy and organized closet

This isn’t my closet, but mine is getting a lot more minimal and is better suiting my needs. 

What I’ve Removed from my Closet in 2020 – and Why

Let’s start by examining the pieces that I’ve removed from my closet so far in 2020. I’m going to primarily look at out-and-about and crossover items here, as I’ve found that most of my at-home and workout items tend to stick around until they are worn out. The exception to this is when there are issues with items that weren’t readily apparent upon purchase, but this phenomenon happens to even the best shoppers from time to time, especially in light of declining quality and workmanship.

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Last week, I gave an update on how I’m doing with my “20 for 2020” goals. I also shared the ways in which I’m modifying these goals to meet my changing life circumstances. Some of my 2020 goals relate to my wardrobe and style, as I outlined in this February post.  Although I highlighted my progress with all of my 2020 objectives in my last essay, there’s more that I want to say about my wardrobe today. I also want to debrief the year-long wardrobe challenge that I took on last May, my “wardrobe half project,” and introduce a new rule/guideline that I’ve put in place for my wardrobe.

state of the wardrobe

Don’t we all want to have fewer “I have nothing to wear!” moments?

“Out and About” Outfits – Some Cold, Hard Facts

For all of us, this year isn’t going the way we originally thought it would. This is true for many aspects of our lives, including our wardrobes. At the beginning of the year, I decided to track how often I got dressed in “out-and-about” outfits each month. I had estimated that I wore such clothes maybe half of the time, but I wanted to compile some cold, hard facts rather than just guess at what was going on.

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