It’s been said that consistency is critical – and for some things, like job performance, financial planning, and physical fitness / workouts, that is entirely correct. But for your image, to get stuck in a ‘rut’ and either forget to change or be afraid to change significant portions of your visual image, means that your image is ‘dead’.
Now before you get too cranked up about it, I’m not saying that you have to re-invent your image every day, week or month…but you SHOULD be taking a look at what you are doing to portray your personality, your experience and your motives at LEAST once a season. The image you project can vary a bit with the seasons without damaging your credibility and making you seem unstable – and to project the same exact look, day after day will eventually make you look as if you are stuck in a time warp – and not in a good way!
Let’s take Spring for instance – it’s the time when the weather starts to moderate for us here in the U.S. – winter is retreating, and lots of fresh new growth is seen in the plants, flowers and trees. Its a great time to modify your wardrobe – bring out lighter and fresher fabrics and colors, and if you are in the process of losing weight (or adjusting to weight loss) it’s also probably a good time to revisit your old ideas about what you look like!
When I was in the ‘hunt’, so to speak, and trying to maximize my weight loss, I was able to wear my old clothes from November, when I had my lap band surgery, through to the Springtime. When Spring arrived, all of a sudden I realized how much progress I had made – none of my prior Spring season clothes fit me any more. Not only did my clothes not fit anymore, but my physical proportions had changed! No longer was I a ‘rectangle’ – a figure primarily straight-up-and-down, with shoulders, hips and midsection approximately the same ‘width’ when viewed from a front-facing position. When I looked in the mirror, now I had a curved in area where my waist was appeariing! Woo Hoo for me, but it was now a challenge, because none of my former garments were made to fit that new body.
Complicating this further was my knowledge that my journey wasn’t yet over – I had not reached my goal weight, so I knew I’d be buying more clothes. I solved the problem in a couple of ways – I kept the jackets and blouses, because they would still work for me even though I was smaller – at least for a while – and I purchased new skirts and pants to coordinate with the jackets I already owned. I employed the principle of Capsule Wardrobing – using a limited number of pieces, in colors that harmonized with my color temperature and personality, to mix-and-match and create many different outfits.
That got me through the Spring and into Summer when my next wardrobe and image crisis occurred…now it was time to shed the jackets and long sleeved blouses, to retire the heavier fabrics, and “show off” my “new” figure…except I wasn’t ready to do that! Or was I? In this case, because Summer is a short season in New England, I made myself go to one of my new favorite stores for affordable casual clothing – Old Navy! They had t-shirts, tank tops, shorts and skirts that were perfect for summer, in many different colors, and I could create a Summer Capsule Wardrobe without breaking the bank and knowing that by the next summer, I might not be able to wear any of it…
That’s one of the great benefits (and challenges) of losing 50 lbs or more – you definately change your physical structure, sometimes your underlying body shape (depending on how you gained your weight) and your level of self-confidence changes for the better. I had one of the best summers I can remember – since I was a young child – because I was much less worried about what I looked like, and more able to enjoy the beautiful weather and outdoor activities. I was out walking, running, going to social events and much more – all because my confidence level had changed for the better with my weight loss.
In Part 2 of this article, I’ll tell you more about adjusting to the seasons and give you some examples of Capsule Wardrobes, plus an opportunity to recieve my Capsule Wardrobe self-study course.