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How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Lesson 7 of 25

Wardrobe Analysis: Formulation

Jennifer Baumgartner

How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Jennifer Baumgartner

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Lesson Info

7. Wardrobe Analysis: Formulation

Lesson Info

Wardrobe Analysis: Formulation

This seeks to answer the question, what do you want? All right, so the formulation stage, I like to see what a person wants and get a general idea. And usually what I have them do is I have them create a style file for me. And now with technology, you don't have to have the physical representations of these pictures. You can actually get pictures online, creating Pinterest boards, things like that. So we can actually create style files. I have the client do this over a period of time, because I find, as with myself, that there are wardrobe repeaters. There are things that keep coming out. So when I was creating my style file, I liked to have like, the pictures in my hand. I love technology but I also like that feeling of holding something and I like to kind of spread it out over my coffee table. So, when I was creating my own style file, I did have this, kind of stuff all laid out on a table and I didn't really expect to see repeaters in what I came up with, but of course I did. And my...

repeaters, like I have a thing for cream color sweaters. Like, monochromatic cream sweaters, but also the pants, I love that look. The second look I came up with was in formal wear, I noticed that I had very simple sheath dresses, or kind of long dresses. But there had to be an element of interest in the collar, some kind of jewel, or some built in decoration whether it be a belt or a collar. So those are some of the things that I was seeing with my style file. I found patterns of thematics. So like, English country girl. (laughs) Or, you know, Palm Beach princess. So these were kind of the themes that I came up with on my own. I don't just work with people and put this stuff on them. I actually test out my own stuff to see if I'm impacted by it. So that's what I tried, and that really worked for me to help me understand that I didn't need as many clothes as I thought I did, I just really needed to get better pieces that spoke to these themes. So, formulation, it's very general. It's similar to a treatment plan that we might do in therapy, where I'm not giving you specific weekly goals yet, I'm just coming up with a basic understanding of what needs to be done. So we've already cracked you open, we have explored you, now we're trying to formulate what it might be that we have to do. I don't just do the external, I also do the internal. So, life goals. So, what is it you want? Some of the big ones are usually like transitions, so I wanna go from working mother to, um, stay at home mother. Or I'm going from single to married. Or I'm going from, you know, 20 pounds lighter to 20 pounds heavier. So those are all kind of things that combat. Usually transitions are big ones. And I don't just wanna know where a person is, but I wanna know where they wanna go, what they wanna accomplish, and specifically, what brings their life joy. What will create a fulfilling life? I'm a big believer that you can't really dream too big when it comes to this, that why not have these longer term goals for you? Because I think it's very important to be able to have those plans even if they're totally not something that you'll ever achieve, why not? So, I ask you, audience, how do you want to dress for the life you want? Well let's first start with what's the life that you want? If you could accomplish anything you wanted to accomplish, and you could be crazy here, tell me, what is it, yes. I feel like this is a segment of my life, is I'm a big rock climber. So for me, one of my crazy goals is when I'm outside, you know, climbing is to be able to do these like, really harder routes. Like these harder grades outside. So when I follow the different climbers that have achieved this, you know, I see their different outfits and I realize no, my yoga pants may not actually help me, maybe feel stronger, 'cause you know, with rock, you can rip your pants. Do you, you know, find this different clothing, so for me, maybe that's my crazy goal is just to like, become stronger and more confident when I'm out on the rocks. So it's not just that you get the clothing, it's also that you plan specifically. So it's good to get the pieces, the costume. But the second piece is really, and we'll talk about this in the change phase, specific behavioral goals that you accomplish every week with those new outfits. How about for you guys, what else? What are some things that you really wanna do? With your life? Well, the transition that I'm in at the moment from work, what I'm doing, to retirement and what I want to do is, for example, social media presentation and teaching through that media. What I can't understand is, how am I going to use what you're asking, to translate and see what that looks like. I'm not able to make that transition to be able to answer the question. So it's, you know what it is you wanna do. So, this, in this stage you actually have accomplished it. What you have decided is that you do want to have, this, you wanna teach using social media. You wanna use that as the means to which you instruct. [Gentleman With Glasses] Correct. The next piece is gonna be, okay, I have to have a wardrobe that matches, right? Right. So you're gonna learn to research what it is, and we'll talk more about how clothing impacts people that look at you, what kind of message you wanna get across, then we're gonna create the outfits that translate that so you feel comfortable, and they feel comfortable, and again we'll also talk about workplace and the, um, role of clothing in the workplace, and different factors that I feel need to be fulfilled. So that would be that place. So in the formulation stage, though, we know that you wanna instruct online, and we also know that you may or may not have a wardrobe that allows you to do that. We don't know yet. But we do know that's what you need. So that is the formulation, and that you've accomplished. [Gentleman With Glasses] Thank you. Anybody else feels comfortable sharing? Yeah. I'm in a transition now and for the last year. I left a long, long time downtown San Francisco corporate job, and now I'm moving into something that's more creative. And I do feel like even though I've, I feel like I'm very clothes... Thought, a thoughtful dresser. But after this I'm gonna be even more thoughtful 'cause you've asked such great questions, but I do fall into like, this little chasm of maybe a rut. I sort of slide back into what I was comfortable in, and just trying to navigate that. And maybe it's similar to what Reza was saying, just like, what does that look like when I say moving more into a corpora- a creative life, what does that really mean to me and what does that look like? So maybe for you the formulation is to try out both. To try out the clothes that you have now, and say am I indeed in a rut? Am I in the chasm? And then the second piece would be what if I tried something a little different? A little, kinda pushing the boundaries that I thought people would wear or what I should wear in a creative field and try that, too. And that would be your formulation. That you are actually knowing that you wanna experiment with these items. That you're trying to figure that out, that's what you're trying to solve. And then in the change phase, you would do that more in a specific goal oriented way. So remember, the examination is just simply to see what you have. The formulation is kind of the where are you going? Like, what is your direction? Well, I know that I want to work on home decor. I love home decor. So, I haven't done that yet. I feel like my wardrobe doesn't speak to my creative side. In my formulation stage maybe I need to put a little more creativity in my wardrobe to make me feel more creative in my home decor, you know, job. I also know that I need to start developing that. So that's my formulation. It doesn't have to be specific. It doesn't have to answer any questions. It's just like a general direction.

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!