What are the things that we love, and why do we love them?
When you pace through your closet pondering what to wear, exhausted by the thought that nothing will look good or feel good today, you see it. There is a sliver of sheen that greets the corner of your tired eye. That one item that makes you smirk slightly as your pupils soak up the color. It is the piece you can’t help but to caress as you stroll by. You grab it quickly with a tug and knowing that it nostalgically feels like home. As the fabric drapes against your skin, you brush out the slight wrinkles, stare at yourself in the mirror, and sigh. But this sigh, it is one of relief. It’s that “never fail me” dress. The piece that you would wear 9 out of the 7 days of the week if only it was socially acceptable. You hurriedly turn to walk out to your bedroom; the day is calling, but you laugh because you can do this, the hardest part is over.
The "Never Fail Me" Outfit
Growing up, my mother would slouch under the fluorescent lights in front of the bare, starch gray, isolating department store mirrors and pick herself apart. No, she would rip herself apart, to be honest. She hated shopping- and still hates shopping. She does not shop for pleasure or fun, it is out of shear necessity. (We will come back to this later in the blog.) In all of this loathing of clothing and shopping itself though, she had one outfit that would raise her rouged lips and flush her cheeks with a bright smile.
This was a black with small white polka dot spandex polyester blend shirt and skirt set. In the fashion industry, there is nothing outstanding about this outfit. Yet, for my mother, this is the outfit she loved and wore to every important event over the next 10 years. I am not exaggerating when I say she wore this out. If you think of your own mother, I’m sure you can find a nostalgic piece that makes you chuckle as you think of her in it. So why are our closets filled, and yet our wheelhouse of favorites can be counted on our hands? But what are the characteristics of these pieces? And why are they hidden in a closet full of meaningless pieces?
What creates a love affair with only a few specific clothing pieces in our lifetime? What are the characteristics of these pieces? And why are they hidden in a closet full of meaningless pieces? Such philosophical questions, yikes! So, let’s take on the technical first: the overfilled closets of mediocracy.
Excess of Mediocracy
I’m going to throw a curve ball here and talk about Steve Jobs. What? Really MM, what does he have to do with what I wear and don’t wear? Well, what we wear is more than just fashion, there is a bigger idea at hand and that is decision-making and choice. Steve Jobs wore the same black shirt and jeans for most of the 365 days of the year because he had to make several decisions throughout the day. Humans are noted to make about 35,000 decisions a day.
Steve Jobs would wear the same black shirt and jeans in order to conserve his decision making for more important issues throughout his workday. Allowing for more stamina and diligence. If he would start his day struggling between the J Crew flannel and the Patagonia vest, we may not have some of the tech advances Apple has given us. I know, I know I’m being dramatic, but there is truth in the stress of your first decision of the day, especially when you have the social pressures of womanhood.
Let’s stop and reflect here. Visualize or look in your closet. Do pieces come to mind when you read the following: What fills your closet? Impulse buys from target that fill a “it will work” mentality because you didn’t have help to find exactly what you needed. Isolated shopping at Macy’s with stale lighting and no help and you were just so frustrated and wanted to be done, so you just settled for those pants? Pulling 20 dresses at Bon-Ton and you ended up with one that looks nice, but it is not functional for other events and you only wore it once because it was just too uncomfortable? Because of these types of pieces, there is stress of too many negative choices in your closet making you anxious and causing stress because you feel defeated and it isn’t even 8am.
Here is the answer, we all have these pieces (including me), but we need to shop more efficiently and effectively to save money and also keep our closets clear of let downs and pessimism because we want to start the day inflated by what we wear. Please read inflated as an internal, and yes, I used it on purpose. Think of the items you love; was someone with you while shopping for it, did you receive specific help from a stylist or maybe another consumer stopped their lives to pay you a compliment when you were trying it on? I’m sure most of these pieces have an impact because someone was there helping you.
That is why it is so important to make time to go shopping in places like TLB. So many times we are told, “I never would have tried that if you hadn’t pulled it.” This happens because as the client, you don’t know our inventory and you don’t know how to effectively dress all different body types, so of course you are going to miss certain pieces. Ignorance sheds light to vulnerability, but we have to own up to the fact that we cannot be masters at something we do not know. Think about it: Do you cut your own hair or go to a professional who cuts hair every day and sees all different hair types? The same principle should be applied to shopping! Let others, like us, help you! You can book an appointment from our site and pick a stylist, or work with me, MM (Also, we are free - nothing extra to have our one on one attention). I guarantee your closet will start to change and become less of a clothing abyss.
Another great asset is a personal stylist and closet editor, someone who gives you accountability to make the right choices and not impulse buys (if your budget allows). But think of it this way; three $26.99 itchy sweaters that you bought at TJ Maxx and only wore once may cover the cost of a closet meeting with a personal stylist. If you are interested, start by checking out Threads of Hershey.
An assortment of MM's favorite pieces. A jacket from a boutique in NYC that's her most complimented piece. A top with feminine details including a ruffle neck and 3/4 length cinched sleeves (a favorite sleeve detail). Black jeans with a raw hem hat are out of her comfort zone and make her feel badass.
The Ones We Love
Now, tackling the emotional drive towards our favorite pieces. What creates this love affair with specific pieces, beyond our initial try-ons, that continues to extend through a decade like my mom? A connection, a feeling, an experience. I personally believe it is a blend of all three that helps form your relationship with your favorite pieces. But what are characteristics of these pieces?
This is the point in the blog where I want YOUR help. I want to know what details of your favorite pieces that you have fallen in LOVE with?What details do you love on YOUR body? As you finish reading, I want your answer. TLB recently announced the start of our own brand, JoFlower, and we want to create those pieces in your closet, the ones that pull you in as you walk by. The ones that make you sigh in relief because you can always depend on that dress, pant, shirt, etc. this LOVE that never lets you down. That is what we want JoFlower to be.
I’m going to gather my thoughts with a final metaphor (like my dad used to say, “Margaret lets land this plane” - I was a very talkative child). The goal is for the clothing to be the supporting character. Clothes are there to let YOU, the star, shine. As our clients, we want to make sure our pieces let you steal the show.
Nothing looks better than seeing the woman in the dress and not the dress on the woman.