How you choose to present yourself at work and beyond the office can speak volumes of your personality and how you feel inside. If you’re not careful you can end up that person at work who dresses too young for her age much to the discomfort of the rest of the office, or the woman that is constantly wearing oversized clothing. Jennifer Baumgartner, a clinical psychologist and wardrobe consultant, tells Forbes that “your clothes reflect how you feel at the moment.” She offers nine common wardrobe mistakes that reveal your inner feelings, whether you’re going through a stressful situation or are unaware of insecurities you’ve kept inside.
The first mistake many people make is that they buy more clothes than they need. Baumgartner, a “closet whisperer” points out that people who buy too many clothes are like binge eaters. “There’s an emotional emptiness that you’re trying to fill with clothing,” she said to Forbes. “And because buying offers a temporary high, oftentimes excessive shopping can be a coping method to distract yourself from the real, underlying problem.”
Excessive buying creates an even larger problem when credit card debt and overstuffed closets come into play. It’s important to stop the habit and focus on what’s really bothering you. Try to channel your anxiety or stress into healthy habits such as exercising. If you can’t face whatever is bothering you, find a support group.
Next on her list is a closet in overflow. When you have more stuff than space, it may be a sign of mistake number one, but it may also be nostalgia. Some people refuse to get rid of their old clothes that they can no longer fit. People that make this mistake refuse to let go of the memories associate with the clothing. Baumgartner recommends it’s best to stop stalling and to clean out your closet. Then develop a plan for further upkeep.
Number three, is the person with a closet-full of neutral, basic and “safe” clothes. “If getting dressed doesn’t excite you, it may be that you’re not excited with your life,” Baumgartner said. This person needs to take some risks, and let go of the fear of being noticed or what people will say. They may want to find some exciting hang out activities to help encourage them to dress differently.
The person that avoids mirrors is next on the list. This shows a discontentment with body image. People who avoid mirrors are likely to hide themselves in over-sized clothing so that no one can see them. Baumgartner says that these people must learn to look at their body and love it so that they are able to effectively buy clothing that fits.
Number five is the person that shows too much skin. Women that chose to wear short skirts and extremely low cut shirts generally place too much emphasis on the body as their only value. They must recognize that showing too much skin receives the wrong type of attention.
Next are the people who refuse to dress their age or in this age. These people are unable to embrace their current situation. Whether you’re an older women who continues to buy from the junior section, a young women who tends to dress like her grandmother or the woman who can’t stop wearing her suits from the 80’s, it’s time to recognize how old you are and what year we’re in and dress accordingly.
The person that is always in work clothes is next on the list. This person fails to separate work and social life. People around you always see you as “on call” and it can impact your family life as well as how you define yourself. As Baumgartner points out, if you completely identify with work, what would you do if you lost the job?
Number eight is the person that feels compelled to wear designer clothes. If you truly like designer clothes, that’s one thing. But if you’re covered in labels and shelling out money you don’t even have, “it’s a farce,’” Baumgartner said. The first step is to take away the importance of a label and focus on a style instead of a name brand.
Lastly is the mistake of the “Mom Jeans.” These are the high-waisted, ill-fitting jeans that are usually accompanied with messy hair and sneakers. Women who tend to dress like the frumpy mommy aren’t acknowledging their entire identity. These people tend to over identify with motherhood and must learn to take into account their whole-selves.