Wardrobe 101

Mindful Dressing

Happy day, dear reader!

Just so you know that I am not ignoring the royal wedding… Yes, I saw part of the festivities, and enjoyed the outfits, hats, and fascinators. I will leave it to my British blogging sisters to dissect the event, and provide much better context than I can from across the pond. I was blessed to live in England for three years, but I certainly do not have the expertise to do the day justice. My takeaway: The new princess looked stunning in that gloriously simple gown, and Harry quite dashing! I wish them peace and joy in their life together…

So what would you wear to the wedding of the year? (Not a royal wedding, but what or wherever your wedding of the year may be.) Wedding invitations run in cycles. When you are in your own wedding season, many of your friends are, too. Then the baptisms. Eventually, the graduations. And another generation of weddings begin!

We spend time thinking about what we wear to special occasions. An invitation arrives, and we study it for clues. Does it tell us the dress code? Or do we take our hints from the time and venue? Maybe we go so far as to ask someone we know in the wedding party. We may ask the host or hostess. What Level of Refinement do we need? We check our closets for a dress, or outfit that is appropriate, becoming, and fits well. We pull out our shoes, bag, and jewelry. Are they clean, and in good condition? Do they need to be replaced? Does our date need a tux? Or will a suit do? We are preparing to dress for the occasion, engaged in the event, action, and emotions that come with it. That is mindful dressing.

Mindfulness! You can’t go anywhere without tripping over books and blogs about mindful eating, mindful cooking, curating your home, feng shui, meditation, and living in the moment. So why not mindful dressing?! Not just for special days, but for ordinary days. So many people with whom I speak want dressing to be mindless. (Is that what they mean when they say effortless?) Maybe that’s looking at it from the wrong perspective…

Mindful dressing means fewer unpleasant surprises. (Not no unpleasant surprises!) It means checking the weather forecast for the day, and looking at your calendar. How do I feel today? How do I want to feel today? Should I wear the flats or the heels? “Oh, that luncheon will be out of doors, let me put on the wedges so I don’t sink in the grass.” Or “I need to lead the team, not just be the boss… Let me choose a more approachable and welcoming color combination.” “We will be tour walking all day today… Let me change out my handbag for a backpack.” Thinking about how what you wear will affect you and those around you is neither shallow nor frivolous . Many would say that is being engaged or aware, responsible, conscientious. I say it is being mindful.

I know this all sounds like common sense. (Far more rare than common!) I often see people surprised by “the cold” in December (northern hemisphere) when they get out of their cars in flip-flops and shorts. And women who squeeze into a dress at least a size too small, only to be squirming and miserable the entire time they are at fill-in-the-event. I’ve listened to a man bad-mouth an interviewer and company because he didn’t get the job he wanted; he went in for the interview in cargo shorts and a band tee.

As for the “effortless” that so many see as the Holy Grail of style? I would posit that Effortless Style is the result of mindful dressing. (And shopping! But that’s another post…) It’s appropriate for the occasion and circumstances. Effortless Style is considered and intentional, even when simple. It respects the personality of the wearer.

Where am I going? What am I doing there? Who will I be with? What is the dress code? Are my clothes comfortable and appropriate?

How about you? What questions do you ask yourself before getting dressed? Or do you just dress and hope it all turns out? I love to hear what has and hasn’t worked for you! Let’s start a conversation in the comments below…

Stylishly yours,

Many thanks to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for the Link-Up!


  • ratnamurti

    Had to chuckle reading this post. I am the person who carefully takes as few clothes as possible when travelling, and don’t feel the cold as much as others do, so I can get away with it. But weddings? One still has to look glam in New Zealand for a wedding! It would inspire panic in me having to go to one, followed by shopping…. p.s. thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

    • closetplayadmin

      I’m a desperately light packer, myself, but I do feel the cold. As for Mr & Mrs Closetplay (He roared at that!), we have entered the next gen of weddings. Our youngest is to be married in October (Yes, we LOVE her!) and I snapped up a dress I liked this spring as soon as I saw it. Not what I’d call glam, but everyone defines that so differently! And it’s definitely one I can wear for the holidays. PS: You are most welcome!

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