Do you ever think about having a future-focused wardrobe? It’s something that will occur to some of us, and for others, it’s something that feels like a completely foreign concept.
When you think about your current wardrobe, every single thing in there is based on a decision that happened in history (even if you just got a garment home from the store 5 minutes ago), and so much of what we end up buying relates to the past in some way.
For instance, you may think about these questions when purchasing a garment:
- Does this style suit me (based on what I know from past experience and garments that I own that are in a similar style)?
- Does it feel familiar and comfortable to me?
- Do I wear things like this?
- What will I wear it with?
These are all questions that hark back to the past (not a bad thing) and can be a useful starting point to making purchasing decisions for your wardrobe. But there are some other questions you might want to ask yourself as well to ensure that anything new you bring into your wardrobe is going to work for you tomorrow, next week and even next year as you build a more future-focused wardrobe.
What We Keep in Our Wardrobes
So frequently I see wardrobes full of clothes that no longer work for our current:
- Fashion Trends (looking modern and current)
They are full of garments that we may have worn at a previous time in our lives, that may have been fabulous at that time, but are no longer worn, yet we don’t let them go, they remain inside (creating clutter).
If you are one of the psychological type (Myers Briggs) Sensing/Judging types (your Type Code contains the letters xSxJ) then you are prone to looking back at the past to inform your future, and this includes your buying decisions when purchasing clothing. It makes it very easy to keep going for the familiar, and comfortable over considering newer fashion trends and styles.
Beware of the Imagined Fantasy Lifestyle
The big mistakes Jill has made in her wardrobe when thinking about the future, is buying for an imagined future, which is one of fantasy, rather than thinking about her actual life goals and buying for that lifestyle. She has to be very careful not to end up in a fantasy lifestyle rather than for the lifestyle that works with the path she’s on. Instead, Jill asks herself “is this still serving the me I am today?” rather than trying to go too far into the future as that’s where mistakes can happen easily.
If you look in your wardrobe at your big mistakes (or muse on them if you have let them go), if you realise they are for a fantasy lifestyle, then this is something to become aware of and be much more aware of when shopping. Instead, you want to get more grounded (not quite as fun I know) and think about what path you are on and where you are going in reality.
Many Intuitive and Perceiving types (xNxP) also have a preference for seeing possibilities in everything and can find it hard to let go of anything as there is always an imagined life where that garment could possibly be worn, and can buy wardrobe mistakes because of all the possibilities of life. I have found working with these types and getting them to nail down their own criteria can be super helpful in figuring out what they should buy and what they should keep.
Whether you see all the possibilities or tend toward an unrealistic fantasy lifestyle, when you have developed an internally imposed criteria, this becomes your touchstone and guide to making your best style decisions.
Do I Have the Wardrobe To Assist Me in Where I Want to Go in Life?
Will my wardrobe support my personal and work goals?
Other 8 intuitive types ( and those who have an xNxJ in particular) will find it much easier to think about a future-focused wardrobe that is embedded in reality. I’d love to have a fantasy life where I get to wear glamorous clothes every day, but the reality of my life is I work from home and need comfortable clothes that are easy to wash and wear.
Thinking about your life goals, your work goals, your personal goals and of course your day-to-day real life can help you figure out what you may need to move your life forward in a way that makes you feel happy.
If you are turning down invitations because you have nothing to wear, this is a great indicator that your wardrobe is not working for your current lifestyle. It’s telling you loud and clear that there is work to be done in there and you are missing opportunities because you don’t feel you have the right thing to wear.
Who are You at Your Core
Style goes right to your identity, whether you feel like you need to hide who you are (has anyone else ever suffered from imposter syndrome?), or whether you are dressing to please others or just toeing the line on a dress code that fulfils a work requirement, you won’t be feeling as comfortable and confident as you could be if you’re not dressing in a way that expresses your personality authentically.
As you are getting dressed each day, or when shopping for clothing, there needs to be some consideration about “is this going to help move me forward to where I want to go, or will it hold me back (or is it so fantastical I won’t actually wear it)?”
Jill has a great blog post on 36 Ways to Cull Your Closet, and one of the most useful questions she poses is “Can you imagine wearing this again?”.
For me (as a future-focused type naturally) I have found this very insightful, as even if I’m considering a garment I’ve loved and worn, but I can’t imagine wearing it again, it’s a great sign that it’s time to let it go as it’s not the future me, it’s the past me. Whilst there are other garments that I may have not worn for a while but I can imagine wearing again and so these stay (that “have you worn it in a year?” closet culling question doesn’t work for all of us and may not be the best question for you). Here are more tips to help you declutter your wardrobe.
Who You Are is Perfectly OK
Knowing your psychological type can help you see just where your style strengths are, where your blind spots are and how you can use this information to improve your style and make the best style decisions for you. This is why we’ve developed our Your Type of Style program to take you into a whole new world of personality type and how this influences every style choice you ever make and even how this radiates out into the rest of your life. Because our research has shown us just how much your approach to style is deeply related to your personality, understanding this can really help you hone your style in an authentic way.
Fabulous post, ladies! I found the difference between the future views of the S types and the NP types fascinating. As an INFP who loves variety and has lots and lots of clothes, I can indulge my love of coming up with a different outfit with the same pieces on regular days, but have found that employing a mix-and-match capsule philosophy and photographing possible outfits ahead of time is the only way I can fit everything into one suitcase when I travel. A capsule wardrobe would be far too limiting on a regular basis and would bore me to death. I’m very happy with the Tranquil palette Imogen gave me and appreciate the restrictions that it provides in an otherwise all-over-the-place closet.