Your wardrobe typically evolves as you move into the woman you are becoming. You start to integrate a new bag or a new look as you figure out what works for you and how you want to represent yourself. And the shift is gradual and usually, not very dramatic or overwhelming to the budget. But there are times when you are thrust into a huge identity shift and your wardrobe as a lot of catching up to do. I talked a little bit in a prior post (you can read it here) about how I had left my career, gained 74 lbs and became a SAHM…and what was left of my wardrobe was one pair of jeans and a couple of maternity shirts. And, in a way, my wardrobe felt a lot like my identity…not much left.
The task of rebuilding my wardrobe was so overwhelming for a couple of reasons. For one, I had gained so much weight, that it felt defeating to invest in clothes at the new larger size. I was furiously working to lose the weight, so I wanted to save up my money for when I could wear clothes in a smaller size. I kept thinking, if I lose 10 more pounds, I will buy something new. Money also played a role because we went down to one income and we didn’t have the financial margin for me to buy all the things. New weight, new lifestyle, and new financial situation…how do you even begin to rebuild a wardrobe after that!?
Here is what I learned in the journey…
1. Get honest about your new situation
This was the hardest part for me and I truly had to grieve the loss of my career lifestyle for a while. But I had to get real about what my life looked like now and what I needed. I think there will always be a tension between my Fantasy self and my IRL self. My Fantasy self wants to wear expensive small sized clothes, but my IRL self needs practical clothes that fit the new size I am wearing. Being honest about where I am at and what I really need is the best thing I did.
2. Be kind to yourself
This idea that I would hold off on buying something until I was a smaller size, is actually kind of a mean thing to do. The reality is that anything I do to invest in myself is not a waste of money. I may not be where I want to be, but I shouldn’t withhold good things from myself because I haven’t reached a certain weight goal. And, practically speaking, it takes about 2.5 months to drop a dress size, which means that I can get a lot of wear out of something even if I am actively losing weight. So, buy the dress/pants/shirt/thing that you have had your eye on and enjoy wearing it no matter what size you are!
3. Have fun reinventing yourself
The funnest part of exploring a new season of your life is that there is an opportunity to reinvent yourself. You get to look over your wardrobe and imagine what new styles you would like to try or how you would like to present yourself in this new role. It doesn’t have to be a total departure from who you were before, but it can be different! You get to choose.
In the coming weeks, I am going to start exploring what rebuilding your wardrobe looks like in practical terms and I would love for you to join me on Instagram where I am sharing the outfits I’m putting together from my simple closet!