Are your clothes trying to tell you something?

You're familiar with the 80-20 rule, right? Statistically, we use 20% of our clothing 80% of the time. 

There are many reasons why most of us have a wardrobe that is only 20% functional. We impulse buy. We succumb to the latest trends or irresistible bargains. We shop for a thinner future self.

A big part of shopping intelligently means knowing and crafting your own unique style—something I've written about in previous posts, based on a book I've been reading called Shopping for the Real You.

In the same book, author Andrea Pflaumer makes the point that smart shopping also means considering your lifestyle:

  • How do you spend your time?
  • What sort of climate do you live in?
  • What are your work and social requirements? (Does your office have a dress code? Do you often have to attend formal functions for your job or with your partner?)

So here's another ratio we could use to turn that 80-20 rule around. According to designer Christopher Bailey, a wardrobe should follow the 70-30 rule: 70% practicality and 30% fun.

Practical does not mean boring. It means clothes that you can and do actually use often in your daily life, because they are suited to your ordinary activities.

Pflaumer makes a further point that I found very interesting to consider. If you are consistently buying clothes that end up just sitting in your closet, maybe there's a deeper underlying reason. Here are a few questions she suggests we can ask ourselves: 

  • Do I like where I live?
  • Do I like where I work?
  • Am I happy with my friends and what we do/where we go when we hang out?
  • Do I need to schedule more play or exercise time?
  • Do I need a vacation?

During these times many of us have been given unprecedented opportunities for work and life changes. Whether we've had to embrace those changes willingly or unwillingly, now is a good time for a reality check...and these questions are a great place to start. 

As Pflaumer concludes: "Your subconscious might be trying to tell you something. Pay attention, take action and transition to a happier and healthier life."