I had a break-through in July. Up until then I had been in a black suiting rut. Everything I bought was black AND traditional office wear - jackets, trousers, skirts, and a handful (of the same) knit tops rotated through the week. Weekends consisted of jeans and the same tops. In my defense, my body was drastically changing and it was tough maintaining a working wardrobe without feeling like I was wasting money.
So it was a special treat to shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with my almost-done-losing-weight body. I picked up a few things on my own while my shopper finished up a transaction. I of course browsed the catalog, and saw this skirt and wanted it. I instinctively grabbed the dark purple version, completely satisfied because it wasn't black. Wut wut! But my shopper strongly encouraged me to go not just different, but very different. Vintage olive green. And I haven't looked back since. :)
I couldn't wait to get my skirt home and use it as a building block for my fall and even winter wardrobe.
After that experience, I started buying less items, and focused on how something would fit into my wardrobe with the key pieces I already owned, rather than what I thought was cute.
Gradually over the year I opened myself up to trying new things and finding new ways to wear the old things. I immersed myself in wardrobe blogs, catalogs, and fashion magazines for ideas and inspirations - spending more time focusing on how I could replicate something with my own items and style in mind.
It is refreshing to walk into my closet without saying "...but I have nothing to WEAR" every single day.
I have fewer actual items hanging in my closet from 2009, but I have better. I purged the items that didn't make me happy, fit well, or flatter, and made shopping appointments for specific items when I found a hole or needed a replacement.
Just like my weight loss, compiling a fun, fashionable working wardrobe won't happen over night. I hope I can help you all in the not so distant future by sharing what I've learned, and I hope that you can find the freedom and even joy that I have.
The first part of learning to love your closet is learning to embrace YOU and your lifestyle. Just because YOU isn't represented on the cover of a magazine, or on the most popular fashion blog, doesn't mean it isn't fab.
Being you is the best advice I can give.