Your lifestyle is the key # 4 of The 5 Keys to Dressing Well
Wardrobe needs depend on your lifestyle, therefore we are going to take a look at this next step to begin planning your dressing options.
You need to ask yourself three basic questions in order to determine your lifestyle:
What are the roles that you play in your life? Ask yourself what activities do you spend your time doing?
Roles are both related to your activities and your relationships. Below a few examples:
- Professional - What do you do for a living? Usually this role is the major one in our lives in terms of time spent...wished it were different though!
- Mom - Do you have other/s at your care?
- Wife - Are you married - divorced - separated - single?
- Girlfriend - Are you actively dating? Looking for a partner?
- Daughter - Are you still living with your parents? Do you spend every weekend with them?
- Team member/Community - Do you participate in sports, clubs, meetings?
- Party lover - Do you party every week? Do you like to go out with friends to clubs and bars?
- Student - Are you dedicated to finishing your studies? Are you just starting? Doing a Masters?
- Athlete - Does your work include constant physical training?
- Runner - Jogger - Dancer - Any role you identify with in terms of physical activity? Tennis Player?
Those are just a few ideas. Think about your own life, and the easiest way to do this is to do a Lifestyle Grid. Just do a spreadsheet or on a piece of paper or journal, write for a full week, hour by hour, what you spend your time doing.
FOR HOW LONG
That is the second question. Those activities where you spend most of your time are priority when it comes to considering your wardrobe selection.So in the spreadsheet or journal it is important to identify for how much time you spend doing that particular activity. It doesn't have to be exact! it can just be an estimate! And consider those times when we are in Mom role, or Wife role, or Friend role, for example, and write it down next to the activity. It might be that you go on a date with your husband, and that is definitely different than when you are acting you role of Wife, by going to see your in-laws. I am sure you wouldn't think of dressing the same for both occasions although your role would be the same.
Once you have identified all the activities and roles you play in your own life, let's look at the places where those take place. So here comes the second question that determines your lifestyle.
Where do you spend most of your time?
- Clinic (if you are a heath professional)
- Planes (you could be a flight attendant)
All the locations should be listed. It might be that you wear a uniform for work, so even though that role/activity occupies most of your time, you wouldn't have to consider it a priority when choosing your wardrobe.
We will group all of this information in different categories as below. And then we will compare our wardrobe to our lifestyle! See do they match? Do I own plenty of sports clothes but I go to the gym only once a month?
You should start to analyze all the information you gathered by asking yourself these questions.
What is acceptable dress for those activities in the area where you live?
But wait! How do I know what is in my closet?! I barely know how many of this or that are in there?
Then you might need to start doing a Closet Inventory!
They say that women only wear about 10 percent of the items in their closets 90 percent of the time. While you may be doing better than that, most of us have stood in front of a closet full of clothes more than once and said, "I don't have a thing to wear!" It used to happen to me all the time!
How could I have "a closet full" of clothes and nothing to wear? Does it happen to you?
Perhaps the clothing in the closet no longer fits your lifestyle or your body. Your wardrobe items can either be outdated or not suitable for the specific occasions that make up your lifestyle. Probably some items were buying mistakes in the first place! This is what happened to me all the time, I was a shopaholic and used to buy whatever was on sale, just because it was discounted and from a good "reputable" brand! Often the reason why we don't even know what we own is because we simply have a collection of garments, purchased to meet an immediate need, accumulated without adequate thought to an overall plan.
As an example look at the two pies below...to the left the activities/role pie and to the right the clothes inventory. As you can see in this example, this person has too many clothes for work and not enough for leisure and social activities. Check to see that the activities at which you spend the most time are the ones for which you have the most clothes.