There are times in our lives that we come across something that makes a profound impact on us. It can be something huge like a change in our eating habits or a way of working out, or it can be something small like a pair of shoes that don’t require added insoles. Dressing Your Truth has been one of those BIG things for me. I didn’t know when I first heard about it what exactly it would become for me or how it would impact my everyday life. In fact, when I first heard about it, the name didn’t even stick with me and I had to ask about it again later! Here’s how my wardrobe change happened…
In the fall of 2015 after I first became a co-leader for my local babywearing group, one of my fellow leaders and good friend, Erinn (from Making Little Miracles), was telling me about this course that she had taken a few years prior that allowed her to live and dress in a way that coincided with her natural movement, not her skin tone. Since we were discussing launching our businesses shortly, she suggested that taking it would benefit my wardrobe choices. Being what I considered as ‘non-fashion oriented’ myself, I listened interestedly but was not jumping at the chance to pay for the course or really even learn more about it through the free profiling assessment. I was content with the casual business attire that I had from my days working in the bookstore. However, I continued to observe Erinn over the next year, admiring the way that she appeared so free to be herself, never worrying what others thought about her personal style, and how vibrant she was in her expression and voice.
Instead, I spent the next year concentrating on taking the Center for Babywearing Studies foundation course, attending the 2016 International Babywearing Conference (IBC), launching my official consulting business, teaching a workshop at the Empowering Fearless Birth (EFB) Symposium in February 2017, and attending the 2017 WEAR Conference in Chicago. Busy, busy, BUSY!
It actually wasn’t until I attended the EFB Symposium as a first time vendor that I really thought about Erinn’s “dressing system”. When I had walked out of my house early that morning for the event, I left in what I felt was typical business attire- a shin-length black skirt, black flats, and a white & navy patterned blouse. My makeup and accessories were kept to a minimum. I wasn’t flashy, gaudy, or overdone. All in all, wearing exactly what is stereotypically expected of someone owning a business. While there, someone took a picture of me standing by my table and upon seeing it I knew immediately that something needed to change; I looked AWFUL!
But upon seeing myself in the photo, I felt like the ‘picture me’ was trying to play dress up in clothes that she had seen on a mannequin that she THOUGHT would look good on her but in the end, was completely wrong in every way. Despite my smiling face, I look so tired and worn in the photo. I also felt like I looked like a child trying to play dress up in her mother’s clothes. I couldn’t believe that that professional business person standing beside my table was truly me!
It was then that I realized that my friend had been spot on the entire time- my clothing choices were quite literally bringing me down, suppressing my buoyant energy you could say. (Where was the vibrant, chipper woman that I knew??) I did not feel or look like a business owner and wondered if anyone had taken me seriously that day. It was quite a disappointing thought! So I decided that I needed to look into this course that Erinn had told me about. You know, the one from before that I had to ask the name of again!
I spent most of the next two weeks perusing the Dressing Your Truth website, reading the material, and watching the videos. I was a dry sponge, eager to become saturated with the information being offered. There were so many aspects to simply dressing that I had never before taken into consideration!
Now, before you assume that I was sucked in by some quick-fix solution, I should mention that after my active time in the military, I have turned into quite a skeptic when it comes to anything being sold; I’ve become highly suspicious of gimmicks and fix-all cures. I don’t believe in overnight weight loss solutions and I completely dismiss anything that assures me that it can solve all my problems, monetarily or otherwise. Interestingly, I wasn’t like this in my pre-military years. Before I was very ‘let’s try everything!’ and ‘benefit of the doubt’. Amazing how some experiences stick with you, isn’t it?
Luckily for me, I was quite intrigued by what I saw- it was unlike any other dressing/colors/skin typing course that I had ever seen; it is a system of dressing based on a person’s energy/movement level. (Sounds crazy when I say it but if you watch the video, it makes more sense when Carol talks about it!) Something that applauded my high energy AND would help me dress to match it?? I was in! As fate would have it, right around this time the course went on sale! I decided to invest in it for my business, thinking that at the very least it would help me to dress smarter and more professionally. I never imagined what it would turn into for me.
After I bought the course I dove in headfirst, really trying to learn everything that I could about my Type and its dress, to determine how best to progress through the course and my life while embracing that movement fully and wholeheartedly. (For those of you who have watched or do intend to watch the course, you will readily agree that I am a Type 1 energy- buoyant, upbeat, cheerful, happy, and constantly moving forward with a pep in my step!) I took this newfound knowledge and flew through my wardrobe, discarding almost everything that was not true to my nature. Thankfully, this wasn’t that challenging as I had previously purged most of my wardrobe with the KonMari Method, first introduced to me by Hedwych (from Wrap You In Love). So it didn’t take long to go through it all. However, it left me with very little to wear- sooooooo much of my wardrobe was black and gray (which I choose not to wear anymore because it is not nearly as bright and fun as I am!)!!!
Now, I will say that I did not readily donate all my non-Type 1 items to the thrift store. Instead, I set them aside and took the 30-day Challenge (which is 100% free, by the way), only wearing what was true to my nature. Over time, sentimental things went into my ‘quilting box’ (someday I plan to make a t-shirt quilt to fit my bed from all my sentimental ones!) and the leftover things that had been out of sight for those 4 weeks I did end upchucking into the box to bring joy to someone else’s life because I found that they no longer brought joy to mine (a mindset that I’ve held onto from KonMari, which Carol also talks about with DYT). A few I have held onto intending to repurpose them with dyes, in hopes that I can make them into something I will wear again!
My shoes and jewelry have been harder for me to KonMari in the way of DYT.
For me, shoes have always been a functional item. When I took up the tomboy mantle at a young age, I convinced myself that I wasn’t like my sisters and I didn’t care about frivolous things like shoes, hair, and makeup. Today I only have a couple pairs of very plain, practical shoes, such as a pair of black flats that I’ve had for years, barefoot or minimal drop workout shoes that are still in perfectly good and useful condition, and well-loved Sanuks that do not yet have enough holes for me to throw out! They are almost all gray or black and someday when they have worn out their usefulness I will replace them with brighter, more fun Type 1 pieces. Because when you’re on a budget, shoes just become one of those things that are too expensive to replace willy nilly (at least for me!).
Jewelry. Honestly, I have never thought much about jewelry as an accessory, nor have I collected costume jewelry to match with my outfits. In fact, I don’t wear much jewelry at all; I only have a few pieces that I wear continuously. These pieces were gifts and are very sentimental to me. The trend for white gold and silver has been all the rage this past decade so naturally, these pieces fall into this category, far outside the realm of the bright, shiny gold that we Type 1s love and are naturally drawn to. I have loved yellow gold for my entire life (my grandma has some awesome pieces that she has passed down to me! Squee!), but unfortunately, the cost, care, and long haul upkeep of plating or dipping my cherished pieces in yellow gold is just too much to maintain. So instead I am content with being two-toned when it comes to wearing both white and yellow gold simultaneously!
I’m learning that re-building a wardrobe is a slow process. Because when you Dress Your Truth it’s not just about wearing the right colors. There are other important factors that you should consider when building the wardrobe for your Type, such as design line, texture, fabrication, and pattern. Even learning your Secondary Energy has an impact on the overall effect! It takes time and some honest effort to revamp it to compliment your nature. It even takes courage to step out of whatever complacent clothing bubble you were living in before, to allow yourself the freedom to trust in your style sixth sense, and live a life of being exactly who you were meant to be and that includes dressing the part. I have been a t-shirt and jeans gal for so long that branching out has been my constant challenge, though babywearing nixed the t-shirts for me in favor of scoop/v-necks! And I will never, ever again walk into a store, even the thrift stores, without my Style Guides! I need all the help that I can get and they fit right in my pocket! 😉 I may not always get it right on the first go, but I’m getting better each time! (For a great “Closet Transformation”, check out Kelly’s story from over at Primally Inspired!)
My journey through 2017 has not been an easy one, as it has been littered with tragic circumstances. DYT has been something that I’ve turned to quite often, finding healing and sunshine through ‘happier clothes’ and beyond it. A wardrobe makeover was just the tip of my DYT iceberg but because this post seems to be getting quite long already, I am going to break the rest of my discoveries into 2 (or 3!) more posts. Stay tuned for the other pieces in my DYT mini-series! And if reading this has made you curious, head on over to the Dressing Your Truth page and check it out for yourself!