American and British women are more similar than you may think. Both spend loads of money on clothes and shoes, spend hours trying them on, and then agonize over how they look in their new purchases. It’s really no secret that most women in America and Britain will have issues with weight and body image at some point in their lives, and not just in the Macy’s or Top Shop dressing rooms with scary lighting. At this time of year, when we have a clean slate ahead of us, women seem to stress about their weight and body image the most. Research shows that in the US and Britain, most New Year’s resolutions relate to either taking better care of your health, specifically making goals to “go on a diet” or to “get in shape”, and/or getting your finances in order. Yet, in spite of our best intentions, most Americans and British will have given up on their resolutions by Groundhog’s Day. For British women, the decision to quit comes much sooner with most British women forfeiting their diet resolutions after just 6 days.
It is for these reasons, and many others, why I usually do not make diet-related New Year’s Resolutions. But this year, I wanted to try something different – to make a diet resolution that was more fun, more realistic, and more budget-conscious. Instead of putting myself on a traditional diet, where I would scrutinize what food I buy and what food I eat, I have resolved to put my wardrobe on a diet – watching what clothes I buy and what clothes I wear – with the intention of cutting the fabric clutter in my closet and adding more style than hangers.
This week, we celebrated Groundhog’s Day. To me, this is the perfect time to start my New Year’s Resolution. As of today, I am already past the point of resolution failure. When you look at it that way, I’ve already made it farther than most.
If you’re like me and are ready to make an easy and fun New Year’s Resolution – try the Wardrobe Diet. You may end up keeping this resolution past Memorial Day.
The Wardrobe Diet: 5 Steps to Getting the Wardrobe You Desire
- Purge your closet – Like the excess pounds that you do not want, get rid of your excess clothing baggage. Assess your current wardrobe by identifying clothes that don’t fit and put them in a pile to donate. Even if you intended on losing 10 pounds in order to fit into the jeans you wore 5 years ago, now is the time to stop dreaming and start purging. Also donate those pieces that are worn out or out of style. This should leave you with a decent “base wardrobe” containing all items that still look great and look great on you.
- Follow the 1:1 ratio – This is the buy one, donate one method, where you a) only buy clothes as a replacement for existing clothes in your wardrobe or b) only buy clothes you do not already have. For instance, if you do already have a black turtle neck, you can buy a new one but must donate the old one. This wardrobe diet tip can help you avoid SSS – sale stockpiling syndrome. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Just because henley shirts are on sale does not justify buying 5 more of the same shirt you already have, even if they are in different colors.
- Give your figure a compliment – Don’t buy clothes that don’t fit your figure or don’t fit properly. Why spend your money on something that looks better on the hanger than it does on you? Buy clothes that complement your figure, including those that flaunt your assets and downplay your flaws. If you must buy clothes that don’t fit exactly how you’d like, take them to a tailor or trusted dry cleaner to make alterations.
- Let your style show – If you have your own unique style or aspire to have one, be on lookout for pieces that fit that style. Likewise, if there is a certain image you want to portray, be it professional, casual, or sexy, let your wardrobe fit your image. Granted, every piece in your wardrobe does not have to reflect one style. But, before you shop for or buy a specific item, ask yourself how this new piece fits your style. If you’re hoping for a more French chic style, but the piece screams 1980s housewife, you may just want to keep on looking – even if it is 75% off.
- Invest in the best (that you can afford) – In this economy, it’s difficult to justify spending money on more clothes when most of us have an adequate wardrobe. But, when the time comes where you do find yourself with extra fashion cash, remember that the most flattering clothes are not necessarily ones with a brand name, ie. more expensive. Simply buy the best quality clothes that you can afford on your budget, keeping in mind that they should make you look and feel great. A word to the wise, a $20 pair of nondesigner cords that are perfectly tailored to your shape are worth much more than a $75 designer pair that are two sizes too small.
If you’re like me and want to make a different New Year’s Resolution, try the Wardrobe Diet. It’s much easier than counting calories and carbs and it gives you something else to concentrate on other than food. So, whether you’re British or American, the Wardrobe Diet can help you curb your apparel appetite and may even give you a sleeker, sexier wardrobe in the process.