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How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Lesson 4 of 25

Psychology Questionnaire of Dress Behaviors

Jennifer Baumgartner

How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Jennifer Baumgartner

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Lesson Info

4. Psychology Questionnaire of Dress Behaviors

Lesson Info

Psychology Questionnaire of Dress Behaviors

So when I'm working with a client I often have a questionnaire, I look at the four clothing behaviors and for each one I ask about the past, the present and the future. I'm just gonna go through the questions with you as I present them to a client and then if you want to chime in and answer some of them, please feel free. So start thinking about this for yourself. This is where we kind of analyze. We're first gonna look at how we acquire and we're looking at the past. Who bought you your clothes when you were younger? Were you with them when they made the purchase? Where was the purchase made? How was the purchase made? And that is like the method of payment basically. Did you receive hand-me-downs growing up? And what did you think about them? Anybody feel like anything's coming up for them when they hear those questions? For me it always my mom. I really didn't have much say. She just kinda got me what I got and I was okay with that when I was younger. Yeah for me it was my mom as ...

well. They were mainly very practical and plain and I think maybe that's the reason why, when I started purchasing they aren't that way. So I guess that's my... Well, kind of all of the above that you were saying which I get that I acquired in different way. One was when we were kids. My mother gave me all of it. And I was the youngest of a lot of cousins so I got a lot of hand me downs. The ones that I like. Other than that, that's just basically, and then you buy for particular purpose and practical. Nothing extravagant. When I, that's probably why I wear still plainer clothes than... When I was really young my mom's super crafty so she actually made a lot of my clothing and dresses and things like that. Yeah my mom dressed me. She was very glamorous. She extended that to me (laughs) so, I went to a school where I had to wear uniforms and one of the times we were on a field trip and my mom put me in culottes from Belgium and I'm the only weirdo wearing these super fancy culottes from Belgium. Of course I was the object of ridicule (laughs). And that's okay but she was very glamorous and she'd dress us like that. So it felt good when I was older, that normally I would not dress that way. That I wanted very simply clothing and, very almost more like sportswear. Kind of classic American sportswear and she was very like New York, Manhattan glamour. And so I don't know if my behaviors were a rejection against that or it's just what I wanted. But it's interesting to look at the past of how you get your clothing. Now we look at the present. How often do you shop? Do you shop alone or with another? What prompts you to shop? Are you triggered by negative or positive emotions that make you shop? How do you feel after you shop? Where do you shop? Do you shop alone or with friends? Who shops here with friends? Who uses shopping as like a social thing? Are you mainly shopping online? I think I'm more effective when I shop by myself. I definitely can like search for what I'm searching and I think I do my best shopping alone. I go shopping with her. (Jennifer laughs) But sometimes before, when I got shopping by myself is when it is practical. When there's something I need I go specifically for that. But the rest of the time I'm maybe window shopping. Not as specifically going for something. Yeah with the advent of the internet shopping, people aren't going to the malls as much. Malls were very much a social event. But that only happens if I know the brand. If I've already worn it, Right. if I know what the size is. How it would look with my body type. Other than that I'm not very adventurous again because of the hassle of sending it back and all of that with many outlets doing that. Right. They let you use it and then send it back. But it's just hassle I don't want to do. It's really what you're speaking is like a brand loyalty. Where you find a brand it works and you become loyal to the brand. I think once we become loyal to a brand, yeah it makes sense for us to continue to go and use that brand and order it online. We find that there are a lot of stores that are closing down, the physical stores are closing down and a lot of times shopping used to be very much like a social event. Now it's not as much because we can click on a computer and buy something right then and there once we've established like a brand loyalty. So, the future when you're looking at the future shopping, do you plan your future purchases or do you just, is it more impulsive? Do you have a shopping wish list? Guilty. Do you shop with looks in mind and do you have debt from shopping. (laughs) Everyone's like no. I am not gonna answer this question. It's okay. You don't have to but yeah so looking at the future of our shopping behaviors and where it's gonna take us. I can disclose I definitely have a fashion wish list. They're usually those pieces that I said I dress relatively simply so I pretty much have everything I need in terms of the simple, what I call them, blank canvas pieces, my work horse pieces. But the specialty items like belts, like special necklaces or earrings, I do kind of have a wish list and I get them in the future when I can actually afford them (laughs). So, okay. The next piece is assembling. So we look at the past. Who dressed you when you were younger? How did he or she dress? What were you taught about getting dressed? Was learning to dress a necessity, a creative process or both? When did you begin to dress yourself? Did you find the process exciting? Did you find the process frustrating? Were you indifferent? Have you suffered a wardrobe trauma such us peer bullying or parent criticism due to your dress? Did the experience alter your dress choices? How has your style changed throughout your life? For example have you gone from punk to minimalist? Tight to loose? Neutrals to colors? What prompted these changes? What has remained the same? Who were your style inspirations when you were younger and are they the same now? I know that's a lot (laughs). It's a lot but essentially it's, dress you. Physically dress you when you were younger and what was the other response to what you wore? Something you wore, like I went to a private school when I was younger and I remember like, one day we didn't have to wear uniforms and so I like worse shorts but like, I didn't think it looked showy or anything. I got through the house my mom said oh you look fine. It's like probably by my fingertips, it's all good. But I got there and then I got in trouble 'cause it was probably too short. So now it's funny how later in life, however many years later whenever I wore like a skirt or shorts like a little bit in the back of my head I'm like, is this gonna be too showy? Is this like long enough? Is this too short? It's funny how like you were saying just an experience. Yeah. It can trigger, I went to an all girls Catholic school my whole life and we wore skirts and let me tell you, my skirt basically, we would have boxers under or shorts under our skirt, roll up the skirt at the end of the day. I don't care how stained, dirty, disgusting it is, I would throw that thing into my locker and I had no clothes. I don't know if you had this experience when you wore uniforms when you were younger but Yeah. like a free dress day would come on. I didn't know, I didn't have anything. I had my soccer clothes so, that's kind of a common thing. Yeah. Another big one is like working. So, I was a working woman. I had a child. I was able to stay home with her for a couple of years and I literally didn't have any clothing that was appropriate for a mommy. I mean I had these high heel like work shoes and I needed, like I'm putting divots in the playground playing with my daughter because I don't have anything as a mommy who's running around. So I had to get to something that made sense for that life but I was following my mother. My mother, she did work but when she was staying at home she always remained dressed up. She didn't own a pair of jeans. She only wore heels so that what I was supposed to do when I was a mommy but then I realized this isn't working. So yeah we are all impacted by how we see others dress. Anybody else? Well Amy mentioned your mom. So it reminded me when I was in high school I made almost all my clothes 'cause it saved money and I love sewing and I kept a calendar so that I never wore the exact same thing twice in a month. I mean it would be similar pieces but mixed up. But I would stay up all night just to have a new outfit for school the next day which is probably not great priorities 'cause, but anyway, that gave me a lot of freedom and of creativity. Picking out the fabric, picking out the pattern and I felt a lot of autonomy in that too. Is that something you still do? I miss it. No, I haven't sewn for a long time because of-- Let's talk after the show. Okay (laughs). I might have to call you for some outfits. But no I, it's interesting you said, the priorities we're off. Maybe they weren't. Maybe, maybe. Maybe that your way of creating was just as much of a learning experience and important to your development as going to school. So, it might be interesting to return to that that gave you so much passion. They say that if you can find work that you forget the sense of time, Yeah. It's Csikszentmihaly, a psychologist who looked at when you get into the flow, when you're doing something that sparks your passion. It sounds like that was something for you and probably still is. It might be really worth checking into that again. So, yeah. Assembling what you wear and how you wear it, most of us it's usually our caretaker or mother. And they would physically put our clothes on for us and then so as you grow older, how do you do things differently? How do they change? So now we look at the present of assembling. How would you describe your style now? How do you feel when you shop for clothes? Why? How do you feel when you get dressed? Who is your style inspiration? Do you find getting dressed difficult? If so when did these difficulties start? What is the most difficult part of getting dressed? Do you find you have quote nothing to wear? I put that in quotes. We'll talk about that later. (laughs) Do you wear the same thing all the time? Are you wearing a new outfit everyday? Do you dislike most of your clothes in your wardrobe? Do you have a specific style that is so you? Do you have pictures for style inspiration? Do you wish you could improve the way you dress? What is your favorite color? And do you have a color in, that color in your wardrobe? So, color (laughs). What's your favorite color? Oh see that's hard 'cause I love every color (laughs). I would say maybe more the blues. Blue greens. Like more the cool tones. And then having occasional others when I feel like it. But yeah I would say the color would be more like the, yeah blues and greens. What kept you from wearing that today? So funny you say that 'cause (laughs) well I was traveling here right? So I didn't have as many clothes to bring but I actually, first thing I worse today was this bright green color. I'm trying to see if there's anything around here but like this bright green and (laughs), I wore it and I was like ah I don't know if this is gonna match with what kind of shoes I'd want to wear and I was kind of going with more like a casual sort of look and so then I'm looking at my sisters closet. I was like I need to find something. I don't know. So, it's funny you said that 'cause I actually had the green on first. Well usually when I hear somebody talk about what they love Yeah. and what interests them and then they're not reflecting it, I'm like something happened in between that and that's usually where the piece is going on. Right. So you say you want color. You say that it's Yeah. important to you but then you show up in black and white. Right. 'Cause it was more 'cause I just didn't know if it would match. 'cause I almost did. Right. I was like oh whatever I'll just wear it. It could make a mistake, you could make a mistake. Yeah 'cause you're like am I gonna look appropriate for let's say this class? Right. Yeah. Will you do me a favor? Can I give you a homework assignment (laughs)? Okay (laughs). Let us know (laughs). When you get home, Yes? to wherever you are staying if you still have that outfit the green-- I'll wear it tonight. Can you please wear it? And I'd love for you I will. to tell me or email me and let me know, do you regret not wearing it? Do you feel better when you're wearing what you originally wanted to wear? And was there a shift in what was going on when you put that on. Oh I love that, So let me know after the show. I will 'cause there's like a birthday dinner tonight. So I will for sure wear it out tonight. Okay. So thank you. Yeah it's interesting that, and that's another thing that you do with yourself is, like hearing what you're saying and how you're doing things but then looking at what you really love. Like you shouldn't be buying any store bought clothes. (laughs) You should make all your clothes right? So there are things like that. I think you are true to what you said you like. That you are liking clothes that you're wearing. That is colorful, it's sparkly and it seems like what you were telling me and how you're presenting matches as well as for the two of you. Yeah definitely. I mean this is like pretty muted to what I'm usually. Oh yeah. I wish I could see what you would really wear if at a, for yourself. My two favorite colors, different shades of blue. But not powder blue or really bright blue. Anything in that color range. Whites and grays I really like. For whatever reason that has become something that I've always worn. So saturated soft colors. Blues are very calming. Right. Also blues with different patterns sometimes is, like this one but the only decision I really had to make is whether I'm gonna wear this one or something gray. So that's about the only two things that I have to think about but those are my comfort places. Yeah so you had mentioned you wouldn't want to do anything too bright. Nothing that would stand out which is again what you were saying in terms of your internal self is that you don't want to stand out too much. So it's interesting because there is that dichotomy in terms of you're wearing the blues and they're soft and they're not drawing too much attention but you put a pattern. So you're mixing the patterns. Now I can see your cuffs and your collar there's like this polka dot and then you're also wearing this very patterned shirt. So any other color and it would look way too much right? Because for you it would probably not feel comfortable because you're not, you're calling attention to yourself. But you're able to use some sort of that flair in a muted way. Right. Which is really interesting. I mean she's encouraged me to wear different colors so I have some pinks and yellows but it's not a highlight yellow. It's just they're muted but they're still a bit of a color that adds a bit of color to my-- You're not gonna glitter your hair anytime soon right? Yeah. No. She wears the glitter a lot better than I do. (laughs) Alright next year at this time I have to see you with glitter. But yes, and fish bowl platform shoes. But so when you look at your present style and assembling, for me again I can disclose it's always simple. Maybe 'cause I was not dressed the way I normally would have when I was younger, through no fault of my mom. We always dress our kids the way that we feel that we would. It's more important for me to dress in a very like muted way. Like similar to you I don't want to call too much attention to myself because when I was younger I felt like the clothing that I was wearing was like far too sophisticated for what I should be wearing and did call attention to me 'cause I was, people are like what are you wearin' that culottes for? Like who wears culottes at, in third grade? So I felt like I could kind of hide a little bit more, maybe with the very muted simple colors but then I could throw in a little flare with the belts and maybe a little pattern. It's interesting. I have one item in my wardrobe that just does not go with anything else. It is this hyper colorful patterned, really psychedelic romper and anybody looking at this would never think that I'd wear this. But I do 'cause I say you know what? Let's try it. It's like glitter in your hair. It's like let's try this a little bit. And it's funny because that's usually the item that I get the most compliments on and because I've worn it just as kind of an exposure technique for me, trying something that would make me a little uncomfortable and seeing what that would feel like, I actually can wear it now and it feels okay. So, that's kind of how I'm assembling. Just trying to take a little more risks and that's something that you can do with your wardrobe is throwing in some things, maybe wearing some clothes that you try to make or maybe throwing in a color if you want to or wearing that super bright green outfit even though it might not be appropriate. For you you're doing everything to feel comfortable so I'm not worried about you. But for you, throwing in something that maybe has a brighter color and just using it as a way to observe and experiment what that's like for you and does it, after a couple of times when you start feeling comfortable, what are you noticing about your own responses as well as the responses of others? We have a couple from the internet. Yes. Just gonna throw those out there. Sonia says I think I'm sort of stuck in the 50's. I used to love watching old movies on late Saturday nights when I was a kid and the women were always so smartly dressed that I still like that look. I tend to gravitate to those types of dresses when I shop now and Leah says I love purple. We're gonna be talking about the power of psychology so we will be talking about purple. Purple's a really fascinating colors. There's like this psychonomy to it. So if you are grabbing purple, wear purple. The other respondent was talking about the 50's and kind of dressing in a way that harkens back to an old era. Yes they did dress better in those days. Often it was much more sophisticated. It's often not as comfortable as it may be now but it would be interesting to look at how you place the 50's in the here and now. And also looking at is it just the clothing that is what attracts you to that era? Are there other things that make you interested in that era? So, it would be kind of cool to experiment. Dig a little deeper and say okay, I like the 50's clothing. Is it just the clothing? Was it just that they dressed up or was it more deeper? That there was pride in the appearance? There was also a more formal way of socializing. There were far more social scripts. You kinda knew what to do and when to do it. So looking at why you might like an era kind of internally and what else does that say about you? Okay. So, we also want to look at a little more, a few more questions on the present. Is your style classic or trendy? Traditional or modern? Cleaned or adorned? I'm looking at assembling right now. Fitted or loose? Short or long? Do you wear what other women or men in your cohort wear? Have you tried to get help when crafting a wardrobe? Is your closet full of old or new items? Do many of your clothes still have tags? Do you feel that your clothes represent who you are? Do you feel that your clothes flatter your body? Do you feel your clothes enhance your age? Do your clothes function well with your current lifestyle? What is the most common fashion mistake you make? Have you tried to change this? Has your style changed with the time and made your transition? Are you happy with the change? Are you content with your current wardrobe and if so why? That's a lot and again I get this (laughs). So for me I can certainly talk to some things that have happened in my life that have changed. Let me first visit kind of patient work here. I will not assess wardrobes that heavily when I'm working as a clinical psychologist. Not a psychologist who looks at dress behaviors. And often I can tell when my patients are entering times of depression, psychosis or mania depending on what they're wearing. There's a reason why psychologists will assess self care and how people dress, because it is coming from the internal. So I do look at how, often when people are wearing clothes where there's a shift. So they might come in one day and they're covered. They're not wearing any makeup. Their hair isn't brushed and then all of sudden boom, they're wearing very flashy outfits, their hair's really done, they're speaking really rapidly and there might be someone who's entering a stage of mania. Or somebody who normally is dressing up that engages in a lot of self care and I notice that all of a sudden there's a change in what they're wearing. So, they're maybe wearing baggier clothes. Darker clothes. Usually very like causal, like sweatpants things like that and I know when I see a shift in that behavior there's something going on and usually it means that there's also a shift in the mood. So if you're wearing what you're wearing, it's not bad. It's the patterns and then there's a shift. So I look for how the person dresses. The person always wears sweatpants, then all of a sudden they show up in a tank dress and stiletto heels. Okay, what's goin' on there? So that's how you can use how you dress in a non clinical way but this will kind of show you, I know if I'm down I am not gonna be dressed up. I will put my hair in like a bun and I'm wearing my husbands sweatpants. So that's when I know like something's goin' on. And that something's like I'm bored, I'm tired, I'm not feelin' what I should feel. And so I'll usually try to make sure that when I'm feeling my worst, I'm putting on my best outfit because it really does shift me internally. And we'll talk more about the science behind that. So how about for you? When you are assembling do you find that you can use clothing? Does it help you indicate what might be going on or when you are feeling down are you dressing differently? Or when you're feeling good you dress differently. I feel like it's that whole like fake it until you make it sort of like attitude that you can have. So I've noticed, the times where I have shown up to work feeling very, like let's say I'm just tired. I'm not into going to work that day, so maybe I do wear the jeans with like more of a loose shirt or somethin'. Those days I don't feel as productive or I feel like that just adds on to my mood whereas the days where I'm like, I really don't know if I wanna wear that dress. You know what? Why I don't I just throw that on real fast. And then I show up to work, you get compliments or you're like, all of a sudden you're, first you're fakin' it but then you're like oh, okay. What mood? I'm actually in a great mood now. So it's amazing. I didn't realize until we're talking right now how important that actually is. It's a domino effect. So, and it's also talking about that feedback loop so you don't feel that great, you could just continue and look at that great, and then the feedback you get is not that great. Now we changed the outfit. You wear the flowy pretty dress that you feel really good in. There's a little energy to it. You're like oh, I look pretty good. You walk by the mirror or you walk by like a shop window and you're like who's that girl? That's me. So you start feeling a little better. Somebody says hey, would you be willing to take on this project? Yeah I would do that. I'm takin' on that project and then somebody else says you look really good today. I really like your outfit. Oh, why thank you and then you, so there is this kind of puffing up, bumping up of your mood. Is it long term? No. Is it short term and can there be internal things that are long term? Yes. You also mentioned like work productivity and clothing. So there are two cant's. Some of the research says that when you dress up, you become more productive. Some research says when you dress more comfortably you can be more productive. And I think it comes down to the individual. So for you, dressing up. If you feel like you're more productive, that's what you wear when you need to increase your energy. For other people they dress down, they feel more productive. That's what they would wear when they want to feel like they get more work done. I think about the kind of pride. You were talking about the different eras. I think there's a pride that a person takes in what they wear and it is their kind of respect that you give to the audience that you're going to be interacting with. So, and then to me, when you say how do I choose it or the present there's a fine line to me, whether you're being showy, look at me or having the pride in what you wear that I don't want to cross or be conscientious of that. So that's one of those ways that I try to wear at work or whatever have you. I've never liked their free dress days. So, those are the things that encourages me to either shop for or wear what I wear when I go to work or wherever I go. And I think it's so important, one of the words you mentioned is respect. Showing respect to the person that's, you're interacting with. When I, many of the places where I, many of the places where I've worked as a psychologist, it's been really difficult areas of the country. Many of my patients do not have resources. They are probably the strongest people that I've ever met. The most amazing people I've ever met. But unfortunately they, the environment doesn't speak to them being valued and I value them. And so one of the ways that I wanted to show them that I value them before I even open my mouth was really to dress for them in a professional way because I felt like what you said, for me for whatever reason if dressed appropriately I would show that I respected them and that I wanted to show them that I took my job seriously and that I wanted to look nice for them. And does that mean that somebody who's wearing sweatpants to work doesn't care about, no it doesn't mean but but for me, and probably you as well it's, if I wore this I felt like I could do my job better and I showed that I respected the job, the role that I had and that I respected the honor of being able to help them. So yes you certainly can use your outfit to convey a sign of respect if that what, as you understand respect, how you convey that. So, you'll find back in a lot of things with assembling, what you might be wearing for one role of your life changes with another. So that's another interesting thing to look at. So now we move to storing and organizing and we're gonna look at the past. Where were your clothes stored when you were a child? Did the area fit all your clothing? Did you share your closet space with another? Was your closet neat or messy? Did you put away your own clothes? Or did someone help you? Who was the person that helped you? So basically how'd you put your clothes away when you were a child? I mean who did it? I pretty much did it myself. I mean, when I was younger since you go through growth spurts and things, my parents didn't buy a lot of stuff because you just grow out of them. But for me keeping it organized was a way of seeing what I have, what I can match or what I can wear. So I was the one who put 'me away and I kind of like putting them away personally. But I like, when I put them away I know where things are and what I have. They don't get lost in a corner of the closet. So nothing is unexpected. Hope, that's the hope. I'm gettin' a read on you. No (laughs). Alright, you like things safe. Anybody else? A lot of folks on the internet are chiming in that their moms. Yeah, of course. Moms put it away. God save the mothers, yes (laughs). Now I want to ask the internet is there anybody out who can teach my five year old to put away her clothes 'cause if you can do that you have to perform miracles. But yeah, of course it's most of us. It's our mother or somebody who represented a mother figure in our lives. Like a caretaker or grandmother. So yeah. I was a slob when I was younger. I mean I just like, things where just thrown in there. It was a mess. I had a best friend. Her name was Kelly and Kelly was super super neat and Kelly came in and mind you she was like five years old (laughs), she came in and showed me the joys of organization and cleanliness. And it was like a switch went on in my brain and I went from being a total mess to minimizing everything, cleaning out everything and like keeping things neat. Don't know why. I'm thankful to her to this day for that but she was the one who taught me. My mother tried but I listened, usually you listen more to your peers and so there was a great peer influence. Okay. So now the present. How do you hold onto your clothes from the past? What are your favorite outfits from your past and why? Do you have tags on your clothes? Is your closet neatly organized or messy? Is your closet empty or crammed? Do you wear your clothes? Do you have clothes that you no longer fit into? Do you have clothes on the floor? No, not me. Do you have clothes unfolded or balled up? Can you see all the clothes that you have? We know you can. (laughs) Are you happy with the state of your closet? Are your clothes accessible? Do you have clothes in different areas of your room or house? Are your clothes separated from your accessories? What works in your closet? What doesn't work in your closet? If I were to walk into your closet right now, anybody, you said you might be a mess? Is that right? Oh it's a total mess. Yeah. And also there's a hierarchy of drawers in the dresser where it like, the ones at that bottom drawer it's like, what is even down there? I have no idea. The no man zone. So I had a couple, one other one I would like to throw your way is that outfit that your spouse, or that piece of clothing your spouse looks at and is like are you still wearing that? So why don't ya, I would love to know your thoughts on it. Interesting you should mention that because I have a husband. My husband used to play Penn State Football. Woo ya! (laughs) Anyways, he kept all his sweats. Like his gear from playing football and he will not let it go. I'm like you don't need 10 sweat outfits. And so we always kind of have this battle but for him and maybe for you as well I find that men have this nostalgia with their clothing and sometimes it's more than females. So, females are usually able to like get new stuff. They're excited about new fashion. With men I find that they often keep their things and there's like a nostalgic component. For my husband, it definitely is a nostalgic component for him where each of those items represents the work he put into it, the excitement of the playing the game, times where he was with his friends. Where he was learning and he was having fun. So absolutely for him, and maybe this is true too for you Jim that it's less about the clothing and more about what it might represent in terms of like nostalgia or what it made you feel when you were wearing that. So that may be a piece. And again that happens with male clients a lot. My father still has his Navy uniform. I'm like why? And this is something he retired from a long time ago but for him it represented a period of his life. I definitely have problems purging. I keep adding and not purging as much so I'm definitely running out of space in my closet, so, that's definitely my issue. If you came into my closet you'd probably go ah! (laughs) So for you it sounds like dress is very much a creative thing and I can just see that by what you're wearing. So it's like you can never have too many crayons in a crayon box. Yes. Right? Because, but you might want to look at repeaters because there's pink and then there's salmon and then there's fuchsia and then there's hot pink and some of them can accomplish the same effect. So for you it might be kind of categorizing your items and seeing if one is the best of that category. Might be helpful so you're not removing the creative and the desire to mix and match the palettes and the stripes and colors but picking the super top dog of all of them. It might be helpful to remove some of your stuff. You might like, a few months ago I went to kind of let me go and purge some and each item I could make a case for keeping them. I am like haven't worn this enough. It still looks good. It still fits. So it stays. Next one, same. Then I was like oh God, didn't purge anything. So... So the focus isn't whether or not this item is good 'cause all of it is right? You can make a case for it. It's really that you're running out of space. True but, I'll say well I'll squeeze it in (laughs). A storage unit, right. No and I'll talk more about like what that means and how you can do that in a way because it's can somebody else enjoy this even more than I am? And then it's like what is the best of all of them? Rather than making a case which is, for how you can use all of them, of course we can all make a case for that, but it's less about what is the best and picking then picking the best. Might help you. Men being nostalgic, I still have my rugby uniform that I wear every so often at home. I put it on and I just kind of, it's like a movie that plays in my head for about a couple of two or three years. The reason I like things hanging and not on the floor is 'cause I don't like too many creases in my clothes. I like to iron to iron them, so when I put them away I want to make sure, I even close them up so they don't get all wrinkly. One of the reasons, that's why it is or the way pants have to have the crease on your jeans. So precise, exact? As much as I can. Yes. As much as I can. This is an interesting pair here. So you might help her kind of remove some of her stuff and for practicality and you might help him and fuse a little-- I'm realistic. No I won't do that. I let her decide. Okay so now we talk about the future of our storing and organizing and this is relatively simple. What does your dream closet look like? Oh, I have so many (laughs). Do you have pictures, a vision board or Pinterest of your dream closet? What are the obstacles to achieving your dream closet? And if there anything now that you can do to improve your current closet? You go. Really for me and that's why I love this one movie, The Princess Diaries. It's like you walk in and it's like boom boom boom. Like little couch, mirror. It's like fun 'cause you an actually like go in. Oh I'll just try this and invite friends over. I think that would be a fun dream closet but very simple 'cause I don't want something like just too much 'cause then it will overwhelm me. So you don't want a closet, you want a dressing room? I feel like yeah, a fun dressing room as a closet (laughs). Get a coffee machine in there, yeah. I understand, okay. Jim. Oh I would always say that if I won the lottery I'd buy, have a brand new pair of socks every single day of my life. (Jennifer laughs) Isn't there a company who does that? Like sends you socks? 365 a... (laughs) Alright so we know it Jim. Well, we know what Jim wants for Christmas a sock. I think the socks might be forthcoming (laughs). Do you like 'em colored? Course (laughs). Anybody else have a dream closet in mind? Mine is kind of like similar to hers. Like a room. Like shelves for shoes that you can see all the shoes and a chandelier. (woman laughs) Oh yeah a chandelier. And also the makeup-- A vanity. Yeah vanity. Yeah. Yeah definitely. Yeah I know. A locker line 'cause what I was thinking is as he says winning the lotto, I would have a large master bedroom that has rows that you can hang up your clothes and so you can see what there is so she doesn't have to cram 'em in. She can just walk in, have her chandelier with a coffee machine. I love it. I love the kind of a dry cleaner, I don't even know what is that called? Their like rotating thing. Carousel? Rack and I, yes the carousel. I can press the button and I'm like oh. It's like a working wardrobe but I will take a chandelier. Certainly. I will take lot an ocelot pattern or cheetah printed rug closet of some sort. I'm so not like that in everything outside of that closet so I don't know why I do that but that's something I have to figure on my own. If my house is very kind of calm, muted, kind of an english colonial but then my closet, I think I would do like a very 60's psychedelic crazy prints, things like that. So, I don't know. Maybe I need to wear colorful socks. Maybe that's what it is. Alright, so in the removing stage. Past. What would do with your clothes when you outgrew them? What would you do with your clothes that were stained or ripped? How did you remove your clothes from your home? And did you remove items from your home frequently or infrequently? How'd you get rid of your clothes when you were young? I would imagine, I know the answer. (laughs) Probably your mom if she did. If you ripped, I, most children if they rip or stain things they usually, children will often hold on to their items. It's really hard for kids to give away their stuff. You think of the kid who like finds a rock and you cannot give away that rock. They have it forever and so children are similar with their possessions. Often it's hard for them to get rid of it. So usually it was probably a care taker. Alright, the present with your removal. What did you do, what do you do with your unworn clothes? What do you do with stained or ripped clothes? Do you follow trends? Do you wear clothes that are not on trend? Do you keep these clothes or give them away? Do you follow social media clothing posts? Do you watch posts on clothing hauls? Do you throw away your clothes? Do you give away your clothes? Do you check the chemical makeup of your clothes? So what do you do with your clothes? Yes? I don't have enough time, effort and the mental capacity to seek trends. What's trendy today is not trendy next season. So it's just I don't have the closet space or the finances to be trendy. Nor do I like trends. Short pants, socks, it's just not my thing. But at the moment when I want to give things away there's a particular charity that I like to take my clothes to. They're usable, they're wearable. So, that's what I choose to remove them. Just digging a little deeper, trends is kind of an unstable thing and it seems that from what you have told me that you like stability, kind of something that stands the test of time. It's a sure thing. Is that also, could that also be part of the reason why trends, let's say if you had all the money in the world and you could follow them is it also trend and stability that doesn't quite work for you? No I don't. I like more classic. Yeah. 40's and 50's look. That still looks beautiful. Right. It really doesn't matter. So that's not my thing. Stable. No I mean, right now for example a lot of people wear these short pants but you're not expecting any flood and to me not wearing socks with dress shoes is just simply uncomfortable. And just because Right. it may look okay at the moment, it's not something that I would follow regardless of how much money I have. How many of you have looked back at old pictures and you're just like oh my gosh (laughs)? My bangs were you know, at the end of the 80's. Things that just didn't make sense. So with a classic, we don't get that. But, sorry. You were talking about 80's. I look at some of the photos from the 80's, I used to wear the parachute pants and those type of 80's clothes so I wore those, but as an adult I, not something that I follow. Yeah I look at my pictures with shoulder pad jackets and I'm like oh my God how did I wear those? I think that was one era that I'm like, oh shoulder pads. Even if they come in fashion I don't think I'll jump on that band wagon. There was a short time that not too long ago we did have this very structured. I think it was the Balmain or the Alexander McQueen where there was this like, but it was a little different. It wasn't like, it didn't, you didn't look kind of robotic. It was more almost pointy. Much more angled but it was interesting that it came back in a modified way. What do you all think of the return of 90's fashion? Horrified? Okay with it? Do you still have your clothes from the 90's in your wardrobe for those of you who would? So again it's interesting to look at. I joke around with people when I'm talking about removing our clothing in the present and I say have you trends come back? Okay then there's something goin' on there. It seems like the fashion coming back from a few years ago some of the 70's look were coming back. I think what changed was some of the coloring and the hairstyles is what makes it more acceptable to them I mean 90's style's coming back but, or 80's with the shoulder pads and things but the hair do's have stayed lower which made it a little Right. less freaky. Muted (laughs). Muted. (laughs) Okay so then we'll look at the future. Do you have plans to decrease or increase or maintain your clothing consumption? Do you have plans to increase, decrease or maintain the items you have? Will you identify the chemicals in your clothes? How will you give away your clothes in the future? How will you dispose of your clothes in the future? Alright so, we've already kind of done this piece which is, you've answered all these questions. What would you, how would you dispose of your clothes in the future? Do you think it's gonna change? I don't know about disposing. Maybe they'll be biodegradable, but what I really like is to see the trend, clothes to 3D printing. Being able to print your own clothes, the way you like them. We are gonna talk about that. Yeah? Yeah. That's, yeah. Are you gonna talk a little bit more about the chemicals in clothing and fabric type? Somewhat. Okay. That's really something, that's kind of the last of our talks. Something I'm really passionate about is looking at the consciousness when you consume your clothing. It's really a piece of my book that I'm writing. So I will certainly tell you a little bit about that. Yeah. I'm a big believer, I wasn't that way and now that I've done more research and looked at things, I'm very much a believer in really being conscious of what you're doing with your stuff and when your clothing degrades, is that causing any problems to the people that are kind of at the down flow of the clothing that is degrading? Okay so we done our analysis here and I want to thank you so much for your participation. But we are not done (laughs). We're gonna talk about our next segment which is looking at the specific steps that I use to analyze your clothing. So, we're gonna look at the internal piece and the external. The external being the wardrobe, the things that we see above the water and then the internal, our goals, emotions, thoughts and values. So the five steps are the following. I'll go into this more. The examination, what you have and why you have it. So when I have a client talking to me, working with me, we go through these five steps and this is the goal of what we want to try to answer. The examination phase is what you have and why you have it. The formulation is what do you ultimately want. The change is the specifics, what do you want to alter? Then the fourth stage is exploration. What just happened? And the last stage is what's next? So we just talked about the history of fashion, how it came to be, how it came to be for me, how people respond to it. We also looked at the four fashion behaviors. The acquiring, the assembling, the storing and organizing and the removal and kind of the past present and future of those behaviors. And now we're gonna look at the specific steps that I use when we actually analyze the wardrobe.

Class Description

Every time we buy a piece of clothing and choose an outfit to wear, we’re saying something about who we are. Our dressing behaviors are like windows into our psyches, exposing our deepest feelings, desires, conflicts, and problems.

Author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jen Baumgartner will begin by looking at the general principles of psychology of dress and fashion, then dive into the nine most common dressing difficulties—from buying more than we need to being bored with our look to avoiding mirrors.

In this fascinating course, Dr. Baumgartner will not only help you examine your wardrobe and how it reflects your emotions, but will teach you how to modify your choices so you can make real improvements to your life—both inside and out.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the principles of acquiring, assembling, storing, organizing, and removing.
  • Identify which of the nine dress difficulties applies to you.
  • Stop buying items that you don’t really need or want.
  • Avoid always being in work clothes or mom jeans.
  • Formulate a strategy for changing your behaviors and revamping your wardrobe.

Ratings and Reviews

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Yolanda Azpiazu

Loved it! Incredible class, so interesting and filled with new concepts, I am a big fan of the author and I admire her for the way she suggests us to analyse things with curiosity and looking "bellow the water", rather than judgement. Thank you so much for this wonderful class Dr. Baumgartner.

a Creativelive Student

It's about how you dress, but really, it's about how to use the way you dress as a lens to better understand yourself. Packed with useful information and tips, highly recommend! Thanks Jenny!